LOS ANGELES, CA – The Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA), a non-profit organization founded to advance the careers of Hispanics in the field of communications, celebrated a night of excellence at its annual PRemio Awards &HPRA Logo Scholarship Gala on Thursday, October 8, at The Highlands in Hollywood.

The theme for the evening was “Twenty-Five Years in Action” in honor of the long-lasting legacy the organization represents. Founding members John Echeveste, Myrna Gutierrez, and David Garcia highlighted why the organization was started in 1984, and why it’s still relevant today to foster the next generation of Hispanic communicators. The organization was founded on the principals of promoting professional development through educational programs; provide assistance to students; and to advocate responsible coverage of issues and images affecting the Hispanic community.

“As an organization, we’re proud to achieve such a milestone,” said Ivette Zurita, HPRA President. “The need for HPRA continues to grow as more and more Hispanic PR practitioners enter the workforce, becoming the voice of our communities and seek cultural camaraderie.”

As the organization continues to expand, so do the categories that are honored in the prestigious campaign of the year awards. Entries from national and regional public relations, marketing and advertising professionals and agencies were received. The entries were judged by an independent panel of judges with specific expertise in Hispanic campaigns.

The HPRA campaign of the year categories and 2009 winners include:
1.    Non Profit Media Event Category – The Axis Agency /Weber Shandwick (Miami) Client: U.S. Army’s Miami Recruiting Battalion
2.    Integrated Marketing Communications Category – Bromley Communications (Houston) Client: Western Union
3.    Healthcare Category – EuroRSG (Pittsburg) Client: Transition’s Optical
4.    Sports Category – Formulatin (New York) Client: Tecate Premios Deportes
5.    Public Education Category  – VPE Client: McDonald’s RMHC/HACER Scholarship
6.    Food and Beverage Category – RL Public Relations Client: Honey Nut Cheerios “Delicioso y Saludable”
7.    Corporate Media Event Category – RL Public Relations Client: Heineken Green Ribbon
8.    Non Profit Category – Revolucion (New York) Client: American Heart Association

“HPRA has been the standard in the Hispanic public relations industry for the past twenty-five years. Communications, specifically public relations, is the association’s and its members’ core focus, and not something tagged on to marketing programs as added value. Our practitioners are experts in their field, and the campaigns awarded demonstrate best practices industry nationwide,” said Ivette Zurita, HPRA President.

During the event, HPRA recognized the following outstanding Hispanic communications professionals: Roxana Lissa, CEO and founder of RL Public Relations with the Public Relations Award; Abelardo de la Peña, Jr., Editor and Publisher of LatinoLA.com and contributor to national think tank, Iconoculture with the Journalism Award, and McDonald’s® Corporation  with the Corporation of the Year Award.

In addition, HPRA awarded $10,000 in scholarships to the following deserving Hispanic undergraduate students pursuing a communications degree or a career in the field:

1.    Ben Gutierrez, University of Southern California
2.    Kimberly Martinez, Riverside Community College
3.    Manuel Miranda, University of Southern California
4.    Ernesto Muñoz, Jr., Cal State Fullerton
5.    Tanya Prouty, University of Southern California
6.    Jocelyn Torres, University of Southern California
7.    Nicole Vega, Cal Lutheran University
8.    Natalie Veissalov, University of La Verne

Serving as emcee for the evening was author and Hot 92.3 radio personality, Josefa Salinas, a twenty plus radio veteran. Directing this year’s PRemio Awards was Oralia Michel, President of OMAGEN, Inc.

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