SPRF | Professional Achievement Award

Each year, SPRF member organizations (ECPRO, PRAL, PRAM, and PRCA) are invited to nominate one outstanding public relations professional for the SPRF Professional Achievement Award, formerly known as the Practitioner of the Year. The recipient of this award is announced at the SPRF annual conference. SPRF established this award to recognize an individual that has continually demonstrated the highest ideals of the profession as well as a commitment to advance the profession of public relations.

For guidelines for the Professional Achievement Award, open and download this PDF file


2013 PAA honoree Mary Cracchiolo Spain
The 2013 Professional Achievement Award recipient Mary Cracchiolo Spain.

2013 Recipient
2013 Recipient Mary Cracchiolo Spain serves as the Regional Director of Public Relations for MGM Resorts International Mississippi Operations, which includes Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi and Gold Strike Casino Resort in Tunica. Her responsibilities include overseeing strategic direction of internal and external communications for the two resorts including developing and managing public relations programs; employee engagement; crisis communications; media relations; special events and serving as the company spokesperson.

Spain is a past president of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi (2006), as well as past president of the PRAM Mississippi Beach Chapter (2001). She has been a board member of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross for 12 years focusing on fundraising, disaster relief and communications.

Spain graduated magna cum laude from Park University in Missouri with a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing.

Past Professional Achievement Award Recipients:

  • 2012: Lea Ivey Stone, APR, PRAM
  • 2011: Jennifer Jenkins, APR, PRCA
  • 2010: Susan Broussard, APR, PRAL
  • 2009: Kristie Aylett, APR, Fellow PRSA, PRAM
  • 2008: Glen Duncan, APR, PRAL
  • 2007: Denise D’Oliveira, APR, PRCA
  • 2006: Suzanne Fornaro, APR, PRCA
  • 2005: Michael Tullier, APR, PRCA
  • 2004: Carol Mann, APR, PRCA
  • 2003: Missy LaBorde, APR, PRAL
  • 2002: Delia Adams Taylor, APR, PRAL
  • 2001: Deirdre McGowan, Ph.D., APR, CAE, PRAM
  • 2000: Sherry Harlow, APR, ECPRO
  • 1999: John Forde, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, PRAM
  • 1998: Bill Todd, APR, PRCA
  • 1997: Dave Rickey, APR, PRCA
  • 1996: Karla Shackleford Conway, APR, PRCA
  • 1995: Jamie Palmer, APR, PRCA
  • 1994: Rosemary W. Blackmon, APR, PRCA
  • 1993: Bill Michelet, APR, Fellow PRSA, PRAL
  • 1992: Philip Shirley, APR, PRAM
  • 1991: Peri Widener, APR, PRCA