Chapter Champion Award

PRSA Georgia's Chapter Champions

This award recognizes PRSA Georgia members who have gone the extra mile in service to the Chapter. The award is presented on a monthly basis, or as appropriate. Eligibility for the award includes all Georgia Chapter members who go above and beyond the call of duty as a Chapter volunteer.

Gary McKillips, APR, Fellow PRSA is the recipient of the September, 2016 Chapter Champion Award for his long-time, dedicated volunteer work with PRSA Georgia.  After serving as Chapter president in 2003, Gary has continued his extensive contributions to this organization. He has coordinated and moderated the “Public Relations in the World of Sports” session for our Real World Collegiate Conference for many years, as well as several similar sessions for professionals.  Each year, he steps into his broadcaster role as the “Voice behind the Curtain,” better known as the “Voice of God,” at the Chapter’s Awards Celebration gala. Additionally, he has served as the Chapter’s Ethics Officer since 2011.  Gary also helped with the development of the Leader Board, the Chapter's organization dedicated to professional development and networking for senior level public relations professionals. He has  helped mentor young professionals on a one-on-one basis as well as at various special events.

“I decided to become involved with the Georgia Chapter because I believe in the power of the organization to grow the reputation of the profession. Throughout my career it always seemed that we as public relations professionals were fighting to gain that proverbial "seat at the table" with the other leaders of an organization. Thanks in large part to the efforts of local chapters such as PRSA Georgia we have made it. In my opinion public relations has never been stronger and never been more respected. Of course advancing the profession was not the only reason for my joining PRSA. The networking opportunities (which led directly to two of the jobs), the educational opportunities and the chance to meet some of the brightest, most talented people in any aspect of business were also reasons for my becoming a proud and now long-time member of the best PRSA chapter in the country." 

Gary is now a free-lance writer, broadcaster and public relations consultant. He provides PR counsel to the International University of Grand Bassam (IUGB) Foundation in its efforts to gain exposure and provide support for IUGB's efforts to train students for leadership positions with the many U.S. companies located in West Africa. He also covers Atlanta sports for Associated Press Radio and is a contributor to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, writing on such subjects as sports business, general management topics, the auto industry and more. He received his APR in 1998 and was selected for the College of Fellows in 2002 and the Order of the Phoenix in 2006. He was a vice president of public relations for Contel Corporation, Turner Broadcasting (vice president of corporate and sports PR) and also served as head of public relations for the University of Tennessee System and Georgia State University's Robinson College of Business, where he orchestrated numerous international PR initiatives with Georgia State partners in Cairo, Dubai, Johannesburg/Pretoria, China, South America, Russia and Azerbaijan. He is a graduate of John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio and studied sports management at the University of Tennessee.

Previous Recipients

Mousa Ackall
Deanna Anderson, APR
Rosalind Barnes Fowler
Whitney Ellis Boudreaux
Jim Brams
Lindsay Cameron
Ann Cave
Sarah Cannon
Angie Champsaur, APR
Sally Corbett
Ray Crockett, APR
Liz Chilla
Angie Clawson
Kellye Crane
Connie Crumbley
Jamie Cwalinski
Marci Davis
Tacey Derenzy
Becca Dill
Laura Dudebout
Mark Dvorak, APR
Kirk Englehardt
Debbie Fitzgerald
Ashley Fulmer, APR
Sarah Funderburk
Roszell Gadson, APR
Carol Galbreath
Chris Giallanza
Karen Powers Haggerty
Elyse Hammett, APR
Ada Hatzios
Nicole Henderson
Kristina Heuman
Justine Holcomb, APR
Tim Hussey, APR
Caroline Sanfilippo Huston
Alison Ilg
Paige Janco, APR
Matthew Johnson
David Jones
Cindi Kurczewski
Mitch Leff
Victoria Lelash
Victoria Lightfoot
Jennifer Lob
Stephen Loudermilk
Mary Rose Macaranas
Michael Manning, APR
Katherine Mason
Michael McCullough
Victoria Barksdale McGhee, APR
Simone McKinney
Ruth Mitcham
Mikey Mooney
Lisa Newbern
Kimberly Nogi
Helga Ojinmah
Elizabeth Olmstead
Kritin Parrish
Becky Peterson
Jacqueline Petty
Michelle Potter
Joe Quimby, APR
Eminah Quintyne
Jessica Riley
Rocio Rivera, APR
Wayne Roberts
Jason Rollins, APR
Don Rountree
Elizabeth Salter
Morgan Sapp
Jenny Schmitt
Kelsey Schmitt
Melissa Smith
Monica Brosman Smith
Stephanie Stinn
Lisa Bigazzi Tilt
Natalie Tindall, Ph.D.
Alison Tyrer
Jackie Tyson
Ed Van Herik
Meera Venkatraman
Dave Watson
Malika White
Kristy Wilson, APR
Nancy Wood, APR, Fellow, PRSA

Nomination Process

  • E-mail the following nomination information to Denise Grant at
    • Name of nominee
    • Company and title of nominee
    • E-mail and phone number
    • Reason for nomination
    • Nominator's name and contact information
  • Nomination deadline for each month's Chapter Champion is the Thursday following the current month's luncheon.
  • Award is presented on a monthly basis, or as appropriate, at the monthly luncheon meeting and featured in the following week's e-mail to members.
  • Note that current Chapter leaders are eligible with the caveat that the recognition is not based on activities as designated by their position.