2023 Paragon Awards Luncheon


The Paragon Awards were created in 1983 to encourage members to strive for public relations excellence. The awards recognize outstanding work in the area of public relations, honor creative and strategic excellence, and encourage a higher level of performance among public relations professionals.

The 2023 Paragon Awards Luncheon will be on Thursday, May 25 from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Marcus Performing Arts Center in the Bradley Pavilion.

The 2023 Communicator of the Year Award will be presented to Sarah Maio where she serves as the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Wisconsin Center District (WCD), where she oversees marketing and communications efforts for the Wisconsin Center, UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and Miller High Life Theatre. Maio has experience in developing and executing integrated brand and marketing strategies, internal and external communications strategies, public relations and government affairs, business development, strategic partnerships, board relations, executive positioning and employee engagement. Her impact on the WCD has reverberated through the community, most recently with her recognition as a Milwaukee Business Journal CMO of the Year, BizTimes Notable Marketing Executive, co-chair of TEMPO Milwaukee Leadership Event, guest speaker at Marquette University, and Women’s Fund of Milwaukee “Reclaiming Feminism” honoree.

The 2023 Dorothy Thomas Black Award, which recognizes sustained superior performance in public relations, will be presented to Michael Pflughoeft, APR, Fellow PRSA.  Pflughoeft brings decades of experience in Public Relations, Communications and Events to every client and project – small or large. He is currently a Public Relations Director at BVK and has worked with some of the highest profile organizations in Wisconsin and beyond, including Harley-Davidson, Steelcase, Aurora HealthCare, Pabst, Herman Miller, The Marcus Corporation and Doral Dental / DentaQuest. He was inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows in 2015.

Michael is currently the Accreditation Co-Chair and has served in virtually every board position for the Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter of PRSA, including two terms as President. He is the creator and founder of the Chapter’s annual “PR Palooza” fundraising event; he helped develop and launch the Chapter’s first formal mentorship program and served as chair of the Chapter’s 50th anniversary program/event. He has also volunteered his time and services to several associations and advocacy groups including the American Red Cross, AIDS Walk Wisconsin and MDA of Wisconsin.

Advance registration is required. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and luncheon and awards ceremony start at 12 noon. The cost to attend is $45 for PRSA members, $50 for non-members, $25 for PRSSA members (students) and $500 for corporate table sponsors (includes a corporate table of 8, company logo displayed in the award presentation, verbal recognition during the program and company logo on the PRSA website). Registration deadline is Friday, May 12.

Questions, please contact Joette Richards at prsasewi@gmail.com.

Special thanks to our corporate table sponsors:









Photography provided by:

When: May 25, 2023

Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12 noon networking and registration 12 noon - 1:30 p.m. luncheon and awards ceremony

Where: Marcus Performing Arts Center in the Bradley Pavilion at 929 N. Water Street in Milwaukee