Each year, PRSA Georgia honors “star” members for professional excellence and significant contributions to the Chapter. These winners are recognized each year at the Annual Awards celebration.
The 2020 honorees are listed below:
Distinguished Public Relations Award: Carlos del Rio, M.D. Distinguished Professor for Emory Clinical and Academic Affairs at Grady Professor of Medicine and Executive Associate Dean for Emory at Grady, Emory University School of Medicine Professor of Global Health and Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health
Carlos del Rio, M.D., is Distinguished Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, and professor of global health and epidemiology at the Rollins School of Emory University. He serves as the Executive Associate Dean of Emory University School of Medicine at Grady Health System, and is the co-director and principal investigator of the Emory Center for AIDS Research. Outside of Emory, Dr del Rio is the Foreign Secretary of the National Academy of Medicine, Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of PEPFAR and member of UNAIDS Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee. Dr. del Rio also works on emerging infections, epidemic and pandemics. During the 2009 Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) he was a member of the WHO and CDC advisory teams and during the COVID-19 pandemic Dr. del Rio has been a leader locally and nationally, doing research, developing policies, writing scientific publications and making countless media appearances. Before joining Emory faculty in 1996, del Rio was executive director of CONAIDA, the agency of the Mexican government responsible for AIDS Policy.
Luminary Star Award: Deisha Barnett, Chief of Brand and Communications Officer, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Metro Chamber of Commerce
Deisha Barnett, the chief brand and communications officer and head of diversity and inclusion with Metro Atlanta Chamber and ChooseATL, is an accomplished leader who shapes communications strategies, counsels CEOs, advocates for inclusion and grows teams. She is a passionate driver of transformative initiatives that generate results – whether targeting investors, analysts, consumers, employees or community stakeholders.
Deisha leads the Metro Atlanta Chamber’s strategic focus on promoting Atlanta and is the organization’s head of diversity and inclusion. Her team spans across internal communications, media relations, speech writing, digital communications, traditional marketing and the region’s millennial and gen Z-targeted movement, ChooseATL. She also leads the organization’s inside-out approach to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion, including efforts that aim to drive collaboration and collective impact among the region’s diversity and inclusion leaders.
Deisha is a Silver Anvil Award winner who served on PRSA Georgia’s Real World PR planning committee in 1999 and was named to PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 in 2015. In 2019, Deisha was co-chair for PRSA Georgia’s Leader Board and played an important role in the chapter’s partnership with the PRSA Foundation, which hosted its first Atlanta event last year, “Diverse Voices ATL.”
In September 2020, Deisha was appointed to the board of directors for skincare brand Urban Skin Rx. She is also on the executive advisory council for the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications and is a proud alumna of Clark Atlanta University, where she served as the PRSSA chapter’s president.
Shining Star Award: Lauren Powers, Senior Marketing Manager, Emory University Department of Medicine
Lauren Powers has a passion for higher education and has spent much of her career working in communications for Emory University. She is currently the Senior Marketing Manager for the Department of Medicine (part of Emory’s School of Medicine), the largest department at Emory with more than 700 faculty members who are renowned leaders in research, education and patient care. She leads all internal and external communications and marketing efforts on behalf of the department’s faculty, staff, residents and fellows. She previously served as the Communications and Special Events Manager for the Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. Prior to her roles at Emory, she worked in communications for the Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta Affiliate.
Powers has served as co-chair of PRSA Georgia’s Phoenix Awards Committee since 2017. As co-chair, she truly enjoys helping the best and brightest in our industry get recognized for their incredible work. This year, she also served as co-chair of the chapter’s 2020 Annual Conference committee. She was recognized as part of the inaugural class of PRSA Georgia Forty Under 40 honorees, and as the December 2017 Chapter Champion.
Powers earned her bachelor’s in mass communication from Louisiana State University. She lives in historic Grant Park with her husband, Matt. Outside of her day job and volunteer activities, Powers is a dance fitness instructor and certified personal trainer.
Rising Star Award: Trey Newstedt, PR Manager, Global Commercial & Technology, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG®)
Trey has been in PR for nearly seven years and has held roles in both agency and corporate after graduating from Elon University. Currently, Trey is the Enterprise PR Manager for IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group). In this role, he is responsible for highlighting the industry-leading work happening across marketing, commercial and technology at IHG including guest experience and hotel innovations, B2B offerings and more.
Since joining IHG in August of 2017 as Communications Specialist, he has worked across Holiday Inn, IHG Rewards Club and its upscale brands. He also completed a two-month secondment in the summer of 2019, supporting the Greater China team in Shanghai. Prior to joining IHG, he worked at Edelman and Rountree Group Integrated Communications.
Trey is motivated to give back to the next generation of comms professionals and has assumed several PRSA leadership roles over the past five years. He helped launch and expand the Chapter’s mentoring problem, has served as an Annual Conference roundtable speaker, and co-chaired the Young Professionals Special Interest Group. He also serves as president for the Elon University Alumni Atlanta chapter.
George Goodwin Award: Angie Champsaur, APR, Director of Corporate Communications, Focus Brands
Angie Champsaur, APR is the director of corporate communications for Focus Brands − the powerhouse behind some of America’s beloved brands including McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Schlotzsky’s, Cinnabon, Jamba, Carvel and Auntie Anne’s. Her background includes global consumer goods company Newell Brands, where she has provided PR strategy for Contigo, FoodSaver, DYMO and Rubbermaid Commercial Products (RCP), as well as other brands within the company’s portfolio. Prior to that, she worked for leading staffing agency Robert Half International and supported media relations and communications in the Southeast for seven lines of businesses. A big portion of her career has been in the broadcast and post production industries in corporate communications, military relations and as a TV reporter.
Angie also has a heart for non-profits and currently serves as the president of the Board of Directors for GiGi’s Playhouse Atlanta Down Syndrome Achievement Centers, where she has been a volunteer for more than five years. The organization provides life-changing educational and therapeutic services at no cost to families living in Georgia. Under Angie’s leadership, GiGi’s Playhouse Atlanta has grown its outreach to underserved communities within the state. One of her proudest moments has been the launch a local program to help young adults find meaningful employment by matching individuals with prospective employers. Her continued dedication and work with her staff, Board and Jr. Board [made up of eight area high schools] continues to make an impact on the Down syndrome community.
Angie is an alumna of Jacksonville State University (Ala.) with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications and proudly serves on the Board of PRSA Georgia.