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 2018 Paragon Awards Luncheon will be on Wednesday, May 16 from 11:30 am-1:30 pm at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in the Serenity room in the hotel portion of the property.
The 2018 Communicator of the Year Award will be presented to Steve Costello, president and CEO of Bradley Center Sports and Entertainment Corporation, a public, not-for-profit corporation created by the State of Wisconsin to receive own and operate the BMO Harris Bradley Center for the economic and recreational benefit of the citizens of Wisconsin.
Steve joined the Center team in 1987, during construction and one year before the building opened. He has been the Center’s senior executive since 2004, having previously served as General Manager, Vice President and COO. As CEO, Steve leads the BMO Harris Bradley Center’s organizational vision and strategic direction, as developed by the BCSEC board of directors. His responsibilities include advancing tenant relationships; securing public, private, and community programming; assuring the fiscal stability of the community asset; nurturing an outstanding workforce and workplace culture; and building the Center’s connections with and service to the wider community.
Community service is at the heart of the Center’s mission, and a core value for Steve and his team. Steve has worked with scores of local community organizations to facilitate fund-raising events and other special activities. He serves on the Milwaukee RiverWalk District Board and the Westown Association board, where he is a past president.
Steve spent seven years working for Syracuse University in various capacities before coming to the Center, and he attended Syracuse University as an undergraduate. He is active in the sports and entertainment industry and is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the International Association of Venue Managers.
The 2018 Dorothy Thomas Black Award will be presented to Dr. Debra (Debi) A. Miller, president and senior consultant for Global Communications Strategists, LLC, an award-winning leader in strategic communications and public relations management. Dr. Miller has spent her career of more than 25 years, achieving measurable results for Quarles & Brady LLP., an AmLaw 200 law firm with U.S. offices (domestic and international clients), Wisconsin’s largest health care system (Aurora Health Care), federal and municipal agencies, several public and private universities, as well as employers and clients that represent and market some of the world’s best known brands including Bank of America, Capitol One Financial Services, Walmart, Delta Airlines, Levi Strauss Canada, Time Warner Cable (Spectrum), AT&T, Astra Zeneca and Shell Oil.
In 2015 Miller led the team that won the Legal Marketing Association’s, First Place “Total Website” award. Miller was inducted into Hampton University’s Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications (SHSJC) Hall of Fame in 2012 where she was recognized for her outstanding professional accomplishments and servant leadership. An author and highly sought national speaker, Miller received the Public Relations industry’s highest award, “The Gold Anvil,” from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) in 2006, in recognition of her career achievements and outstanding contributions to the profession.
In 1997, she became President and CEO of PRSA, making her the first woman of color, the first African American and only the second educator to head the 30,000+ member organization.
Dr. Miller is a graduate of Hampton University (B.A.), the Ohio State University (M.A.) and Florida International University (Ed.D.) as well as a member the Public Relations society of America, International Association of Business Communicators, the Law Firm Marketing Association. She has served on several civic and hospital boards and belongs to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee and several national public service organizations.