The Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF)  established the Chapter of Distinction Awards (CODA) program in 2009 to promote continuous improvement in chapters’ function, outreach, and benefits to their members and communities. The competition allows chapters to use best practices in public relations by setting objectives in each area, developing a clear strategy and underlying tactics to achieve those objectives, and provide measurable evaluation. The program encourages member organizations to annually evaluate their activities as well as plan ahead to make progress in these areas to improve the chapter and its services.

SPRF awards a first-place and runner-up in each of eight categories. Each of SPRF's 21 chapters may choose to compete in any or all categories. Each first-place win earns a chapter four (4) points, with two (2) points awarded for second place and one (1) point for third place. At the conclusion of judging, the chapter accumulating the most points overall will be recognized as the Jamie Palmer Chapter of the Year earning a $100 honorarium, and the individual who led the chapter during the awards’ eligibility period named SPRF President of the Year.


  • ACCREDITATION :: PRCA Mobile (winner) PRCA North Alabama (2nd)

  • CHAPTER MANAGEMENT :: PRCA North Alabama (winner) PRAL Baton Rouge (2nd) PRCA Mobile (3rd)

  • COMMUNICATION :: PRCA Mobile (winner) PRCA North Alabama (2nd) PRAL Baton Rouge (3rd) 

  • MEMBERSHIP :: PRCA North Alabama (winner) PRAL Baton Rouge (2nd) PRCA Mobile (3rd)

  • PROGRAMS :: PRCA North Alabama (winner) PRCA Mobile (2nd) PRAL Baton Rouge (3rd)

  • PROJECTS :: PRCA North Alabama (winner) PRCA Mobile (2nd)

  • PUBLIC RELATIONS EDUCATION :: PRCA North Alabama (winner) PRCA Mobile (2nd) PRAM Central (3rd)

  • PUBLIC SERVICE :: PRCA North Alabama (winner) PRCA Mobile (2nd)

  • 2020 :: PRCA North Alabama / Kristen Pepper, President

  • 2019 :: PRCA North Alabama / Kristen Pepper, President

  • 2018 :: PRCA Mobile / Jennifer Ekman, President

  • 2017 :: PRCA Mobile / Renie Baya Kennemer, President

  • 2016 :: PRCA Mobile / Sabrina Alexander, APR, President

  • 2015 :: PRCA North Alabama / Leah Gradl, President

  • 2014 :: PRCA North Alabama / Abby Guasti, APR, President

  • 2013 :: PRCA Mobile / Amanda Gonzales, President

  • 2012 :: PRCA Mobile / Penny Hatcher, President

  • 2011 :: PRCA Mobile / Leslie Schraeder, President

  • 2010 :: PRCA Mobile / Lindsay Hutchisson, President

  • 2009 :: PRCA Mobile / Susan Rak-Blanchard, President

Jamie Palmer, APR, is a longtime member of SPRF who has lived in all four member states, as well as the Middle East, Argentina, and now Colombia. Palmer was in the charter group of Senior Practitioners in 1990 and served as the SPRF President in 1991. In 1995, she received SPRF’s highest individual honor, the Professional Achievement Award. She is a founding member of SPRF’s Council of Leaders. Palmer has a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Oklahoma and a master’s in public relations/advertising from the University of Alabama. She has worked in the agency, nonprofit and corporate sectors and has taught public relations writing, management, and campaigns.