Communicator of the Year

    February 13, 2020
    11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
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    University Club of Memphis
    1346 Central Ave
    Memphis, TN 38104

    The Memphis Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) has selected University of Memphis Head Basketball Coach and former NBA star Penny Hardaway as its Communicator of the Year for 2019.

    The award will be presented at the PRSA monthly luncheon at noon Thursday, February 13, at the University Club, 1346 Central Avenue. Hardaway’s schedule has made it impossible for him to attend. However, Laird Veatch, director of athletics at UofM, will accept the award on his behalf. Prior to the presentation, WMC-TV Sports Director Jarvis Greer will speak about Memphis sports and his four decades on the air.

    The Communicator of the Year Award reflects Hardaway’s cumulative excellence as a positive role model and his influence as a spokesperson and representative for Memphis. Hardaway has used his communication skills to energize the city’s support and pride in a storied program that has been credited for helping bring the city of Memphis together.

    “We applaud Penny for his work as an ambassador on behalf of Memphis,” said Sheila Noone, PRSA Memphis chapter president. “He has brought with him a hometown pride that has spilled over from the sidelines onto the sidewalks of Memphis and excited the city, which he obviously loves.”

    A graduate of Memphis Treadwell High School, Hardaway’s basketball talent earned national attention. After playing for then-Memphis State University, he entered the National Basketball Association draft in 1992. His impressive NBA career included leading his team to eight playoff seasons, as well as collecting a number of All-Star honors, and helping the United States’ Olympic Basketball Team win a gold medal in 1996. He played for four NBA teams before injuries forced him to retire in 2008. He returned to college and earned a bachelor’s degree in 2003.

    This will be the 43rd year that PRSA Memphis has selected its Communicator of the Year. The award is given to a member of the community who exhibits the ability to communicate effectively to general or specific publics, has visibility, and is a respected member of the community who invests his or her time and talent conveying a specific message.

    The recipient is not necessarily a public relations practitioner. The committee considers the difficulty encountered to achieve a goal, as well as the number of people who benefited from the effort. The award was established in 1976 with Bud Dudley, founder of the Liberty Bowl, its first recipient. The list of honorees includes Ron Terry, Cecil Humphreys, Allie Prescott, Linn Sitler, D'Army Bailey, Mayor W.W. Herenton, John Calipari, Dr. Scott Morris, Fred Jones, Beverly Robertson, Molly Meisenheimer and last year, Otis Sanford.

    The Memphis Chapter of PRSA is an organization composed of about 175 public relations professionals representing hospitals, non-profit agencies, large corporations, small private companies, consulting firms, educational institutions, marketing firms and freelancers across the region. The chapter was founded in 1952. Today, our members meet throughout the year for programs, professional development seminars, awards programs and social events.

    For more information or to purchase tickets to the luncheon, go to


    $0.00 Member Ticket

    $25.00 Non-Member Ticket

    $15.00 Student Ticket