Our community joins me in mourning the sudden and unexpected passing of friend, coworker, colleague and PRSA member Arthur Andrew Yann III, APR, PRSA vice president of public relations, on Thursday evening, June 13. He was 48.

Arthur first came to my office to interview as we were filling one of the toughest jobs in public relations — VP of PR for an organization representing more than 20,000 public relations professionals.

He first joined PRSA in 1999, led his own agency, was a member of PRSA Counselors Academy, served as a PRSA volunteer, and designed a campaign that not only won a Gold SABRE and three Big Apple Awards, but also three Silver Anvil Awards. Two Anvil trophies are proudly displayed on his office bookshelf, at this very moment.

As we spoke that first day, many other things about Arthur became clear to me — his quick sense of humor, his powerful intellect and his passion for his work, which were reflected in his attention to detail as well as his commitment to excellence. And so, Arthur joined our team in August 2008.

I was never sure where Arthur got his sense of humor, but it touched us all. He had a booming laugh that echoed across the office at random moments as he found humor in the absurd. He once told us that his ancestors were Western European, and that their original surname had been truncated by a harried immigration official. As a result, for much of his life, people were “expecting (him) to be Asian” since his family had now become the Yanns…

Read more at the PRSA website.

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