National Capital Chapter

Washington Region’s Top Communicators Honored at 53rd Annual National Capital Excellence in Communication Awards (ECAs)

Allison+Partners and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Take ‘Best in Show’ and PR Hall of Fame Inductees, Ben Finzel and Kate Perrin Honored

November 5, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Public Relations Society of America National Capital Chapter (PRSA NCC) held its 53rd Annual National Capital Excellence in Communication Awards (ECAs) virtually on Thursday, November 4. The event, which drew more than 130 industry professionals, honored the top communications professionals, programs, products and campaigns in the greater Washington area from the past year.

In addition to the award winners, the chapter announced the year’s National Capital Public Relations Hall of Fame inductees: Ben Finzel, president and founder of RENEWPR, and Kate Perrin, founder and CEO of PRofessional Solutions, LLC, the Washington, D.C., area’s first temporary staffing agency for public relations professionals, which operated from 1994 to 2020.

Lee Woodruff, best-selling author, co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation and former contributing reporter for ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, served as emcee for the evening. The Coca-Cola Company’s Lori George Billingsley, who serves as the company’s Global Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Officer, provided the evening’s keynote address, sharing her achievements creating an inclusive culture that positions employees for professional growth. She also urged attendees to find their passion and always live their lives with purpose.

PRSA NCC presented a total of 10 Excellence in Communication Awards and four Certificates of Excellence, selected by a panel of experienced practitioner judges who meticulously scored and reviewed entries against research, planning, implementation and evaluation (RPIE) standards.

The evening was highlighted by the announcement of Allison+Partners and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants “Launch of the Chief Virtual Learning Officer (CVLO) Program” as the 2021 recipient of the Best in Show Award in a new awards category of public relations campaigns that demonstrated innovation due to COVID-19. The Best in Show is given to the entry that has the strongest strategic initiative along with creativity and impeccable execution. Allison+Partners’ and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ campaign recognized parents’ stress and anxiety with helping their children through online schooling during the pandemic and invited families to get away together.

“The National Capital Excellence in Communication Awards are the D.C. industry’s premier awards program to honor and recognize exceptional creativity and innovation,” said Lauren Lawson-Zilai, President of PRSA NCC. “This year, we introduced new categories to acknowledge and celebrate how communication professionals had to pivot and adapt to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the pandemic, frequently with no additional staff or budget to do so. This year’s award winners and Certificate of Excellence honorees truly represent the best and the brightest in the greater Washington region.”

For a comprehensive list of all National Capital Excellence in Communication categories and winners, visit

Sponsors for the evening included AARP, PR Hall of Fame and Pre-Reception Sponsor; Event Host Platform Sponsor, BeSpeake; Pre-Reception Sponsors, Porter Novelli and Vanguard Communications; Event Sponsors, Urban Emu and Mei Xu, founder of Yes She May; Graphic Design Sponsor, Julia Tylor; Food and Beverage Sponsor, Lucas Bols; and Supporting Sponsors, Goodwill Industries International and Social Driver.

About PRSA’s National Capital Chapter

The PRSA National Capital Chapter (PRSA NCC) is an association of communications professionals in the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. region. As the largest PRSA chapter in the country, NCC advances the local communications profession by fostering collaboration, enhancing knowledge and skills, and creating connections through robust, up-to-date, and inclusive educational, networking, and professional growth opportunities. For more information, please visit, or connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Share the event using the hashtags, #ECAs2021 and #PRSANCC.