PRSA Hawaii Chapter Honors the Best in Local Public Relations at 33rd Annual Koa Anvil Awards

HONOLULU – (July 29, 2016) The Hawaii chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) celebrated the best in Hawaii’s public relations industry at its 33rd Annual Koa Anvil Awards ceremony last night in Waikiki.

After a record number of entries, PRSA Hawaii gave out a total of 89 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 campaign that received the highest score in the Anvil category, went to Aqua-Aston Hospitality for its brand relaunch campaign. Honolulu PR agencies Becker Communications Inc. and Bennet Group Strategic Communications each received 17 total awards.

“The quality of the programs and campaigns honored at this year’s Koa Anvils is a testament to the strength and vitality of Hawaii’s PR industry,” said President David Pettinger, APR. “This year’s winners show just how public relations can be used to strategically carry an organization’s message to both external and internal audiences. We applaud the hard work of all of our industry friends.”

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

  • Gregg W. Perry Public Relations Professional of the Year AwardKristen K.C. Bonilla, APR, Hawaii Pacific Health
  • Hokupa‘a Young Public Relations Professional of the Year Award Hilary Bingman, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company
  • President’s Leadership AwardAmy Hennessey, APR, Ulupono Initiative
  • Hall of Honor Award James Boersema, APR

The chapter also recognized three members who received their Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential in the past year – David Pettinger, APR; Christina Yumul, APR; and Krista Groothuis, APR. The APR is a mark of distinction for PR professionals.

Established in 1983, the Koa Anvil Awards captures and celebrates the four rings of excellence for which the Koa Anvil competition is judged: research, planning, execution and evaluation. It is a competition to develop better plans, use creativity to produce better results, increase professional skill to produce the best public relations programs and tools that keep the professional motivated and moving forward.

About PRSA Hawaii

Chartered in 1947, PRSA Hawaii is one of six founding chapters of PRSA. Committed to advancing the standards of the public relations profession, the chapter’s mission is to build value, understanding, and the demand of public relations professionals in Hawaii. For more information visit

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