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.
The award was established to recognize someone who has continually demonstrated the highest ideals of the profession as well as commitment to the professional development of public relations.
Lea Ivey Stone, APR is the corporate manager of community relations for Hancock Holding Company, owner of Hancock and Whitney Banks in addition to numerous subsidiaries. Stone’s career includes working in the healthcare industry as marketing director for Crosby Memorial Hospital, executive director of marketing and community relations for Sand Hill Behavioral Healthcare and referral development/contract specialist for Memorial Behavioral Health.
A native of Picayune, Miss., she earned a communications degree from Mississippi State University. In 2008, Stone received a (CRSP) Certified Retirement Plan Services Professional and a State of Mississippi Insurance License. In 2003, she became Accredited in Public Relations. She is a former president and active member of the PRAM Mississippi Beach chapter.
Past Professional Achievement Award Recipients: