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HONOLULU – Public relations and communications PRofessionals from across the state gathered at the 40th Annual Koa Anvils Awards ceremony held at the Halekulani on Thursday, July 27, 2023. The Hawai‘i chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) received over 75 entries for this year’s awards and of those 54 were recognized with awards.

In front of over 180 attendees, PRSA Hawai‘i handed out awards in two main categories:

Koa Anvil Awards for outstanding public relations programs and campaigns; and
Koa Hammer Awards for tactics that are part of a communications campaign.

The Best of Show Award, which honors the public relations campaign that received the highest score in the Anvil category, for the first time ever was a three-way tie between three entries. After going into a tie-breaker by the judges, “The Grand Opening of MangoMango Dessert at Ala Moana Center” by Crystal Clear Communications for MangoMango Dessert / “Our Kaka‘ako Honolulu Night Market Relaunch” by Olomana Loomis ISC  / for “Building Hawai‘i’s Economy: Advancing Kalae” by Bennet Group Strategic Communications came out on top. The awards were judged by the PRSA Colorado Chapter.

For the third year in a row, Becker Communications, Inc. took home the MVPr Team of the Year Award for collecting the most awards this year with a total of 18.

PRSA Hawaii also honored industry leaders and recognized up-and-coming talent within the public relations field:

Hall of Honor Award – Kitty Yannone, CEO, CommPac (In Memoriam)
Gregg W. Perry Public Relations Professional of the Year Award – Jocelyn Collado, APR, Vice President, Becker Communications, Inc.
Hōkūpa‘a Young Public Relations Professional of the Year Award – Pono Suganuma, Senior Account Manager, Bennet Group Strategic Communications
President’s Leadership Award – Jaclyn Hawse, Director of Communications & Business Development, USS Missouri Memorial Association
Alaka‘i o ke Kaiāulu Award – Ernest Y.W. Lau, P.E., Chief Engineer, Board of Water Supply

“On behalf of the entire PRSA Hawai‘i board, I would like to congratulate all of this year’s honorees and their exceptional work to continue to elevate the public relations profession in Hawaii,” said 2023 President of PRSA Hawai‘i, Liane Hu Okumura, APR. “This event is an important opportunity for our PR community in Hawai‘i to come together and recognize the standout campaigns from the last year as well as those who have demonstrated excellence in their career.”

Mahalo to Bennet Group Strategic Communications who was the Koa Anvil Awards’ Platinum Sponsor.

**The full list of winners in all categories will be posted shortly**

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Founded in 1947, PRSA Hawai‘i is one of six founding chapters of the Public Relations Society of America. The chapter’s mission is to build value, understanding, and the demand for public relations professionals in Hawai‘i.

The Hawai‘i Chapter offers professional development seminars, informational forums, skills workshops, and monthly luncheon programs to public relations professionals of all experience levels and to students across the state.

PRSA Hawai‘i is a vibrant organization comprised of an active nucleus on Oahu, a progressive affinity group on Maui, and over 80 members across the state. The organization also mentors a Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. For more information, visit

For inquiries contact:
Crystal Yamasaki
(808) 389-2890

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