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Young Professional Award Recipients
Since 2012, the Young Professional Award is given annually to a young professional from the chapter who has made an extraordinary contribution to their organization and also to the public relations community and profession as a whole through their work and service.
Past recipients of the Young Professional Award have demonstrated passion of the next generation of leaders in our profession. (Please note that the summaries are from the year in which they received the award.)
2017 – Keegan Shoutz
As the Vice President of Creative Services at Lola Red PR, Keegan has led PR outreach for clients like BB-8 by Sphero, Love Your Melon, Madden’s Resort, and Lift Bridge Brewery. He has also played a vital role in the client wins of J.R. Watkins, Great Clips and European Wax Center. Keegan’s ability to sell the power of PR and capture the vision of a brand through innovative strategies has enabled Lola Red to continue to connect and succeed with national brands.
In addition to his day job, Keegan works hard to excite the next generation of public relations students through his five-year service on MN PRSA’s Student Relations Committee. He furthers this work by serving as a mentor for a staff of 13 at Lola Red.
2016 – Becca Bijoch
As a senior publicist at Lola Red, Becca has created buzz for clients, ignited brand awareness and driven home results for clients like BB-8 by Sphero, Chuck & Don’s and Creative Kidstuff. Becca also supports national brands like Famous Dave’s, Lifetime Fitness and Best Cheese Corporation’s Parrano brand.
When she’s not dreaming up idea-fueled campaigns or hunting for bargains, Becca is helping to advance the careers of young professionals in the surrounding area. As a six-year veteran and active member of the Minnesota PRSA chapter, Becca serves as the co-chair of the Student Relations Committee. She also spends time mentoring young entrepreneurs and future business leaders at Minnetonka High School.
2015 - Maggie LaMaack
As an account executive at Bellmont Partners, LaMaack uses her diverse communication skills to help her clients stay ahead of today’s instant communication. Since joining the agency in 2013, LaMaack has worked with clients such as Minnesota Wine Country, Uptown Art Fair and Red Cow. Prior to joining the agency, LaMaack honed her media relations skills by working on local campaigns, event planning and national consumer accounts at McFarland Cahill Communications and FAME retail. She gained international experience with an internship in the public relations department for Guess in London and completed four additional internships with the Ronald McDonald House, Fairview Health Services, Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation and the Minneapolis Grain Exchange.
Along with LaMaack’s professional qualifications, she volunteers on the Minnesota PRSA Classics committee, serves as editor of l’étoile magazine and writes a weekly Twitter column called #MSPtweeps for the magazine’s LOL/OMG blog. She has established her writing presence in the Twin Cities with bylines in local publications such as Vita.mn and City Pages. LaMaack was recently named one of the “Top 30 Twin Cities Tweeters in 2014” by Aaron Gleeman and featured in BringMeTheNews. . She also volunteers her time with ThreeSixty Journalism Summer Camp where she shared her knowledge of public relations and journalism with young communicators.
2014 – Shannon Heine
Heine recently accepted a position at General Mills. Prior to that she spent nearly four years in the public relations field, all of which have been spent at Carmichael Lynch Spong. Heine has been promoted twice to the position of Senior Associate and garnered praise from colleagues and clients alike. Through her work in social media, media relations, event coordination, and account management, she helped organizations including Calphalon, Jack Link’s, and Trane exceed all set expectations. At Carmichael Lynch Spong, Heine volunteers as the chair of the Interpublic Group Women’s Leadership Network, planning events to inspire skills trainings, mentorship, and leadership among young women working in the public relations and communications field. This year, she also volunteered as lead PR counsel for Adopt-a-Classroom, a program which empowers teachers with the funds needed to purchase hands-learning resources. Through her national media relations campaign, she was helped the organization spread their message, even securing an interview for the head of Adopt-a-Classroom on the “Today Show.” A member of Minnesota PRSA for several years, Heine currently serves as the sponsorship chair for the 2013 Classics Committee, securing several multi-year sponsorships for the event.
2013 – Christina Milanowski
As social media director and account supervisor at Maccabee Public Relations, Milanowski blends the new world of public relations with that of PRSA's rich legacy. Directing public relations, marketing and communications strategies for GNP Company (Gold'n Plump and Just BARE brands), RBA and PsyBar, Christina also champions campaigns involving YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+, corporate and thought leadership blogs, and content-driven inbound marketing.
Milanowski has been a member of Minnesota PRSA for more than six years and she currently volunteers as a co-chair of the Membership Committee.
Her remaining free time is spent pursuing an advanced degree in business communications from the University of St. Thomas. Christina holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism and Strategic Communications.
2012 - Marnie Anderson
Marnie Anderson of Padilla Speer Beardsley was honored with the inaugural Minnesota PRSA Young Professional Award. In her work as an account executive at the firm, she serves as a core team member on two large agricultural accounts. Also, Anderson’s work organizing and staging the inaugural Minnesota PRSA John Beardsley Lecture in 2011 showcased her ability to lead a cohesive community of talented professionals.