Emily Lenzner and Karen van Bergen are PRWeek's PR Professionals of the Year

At the 2016 PRWeek U.S. Awards, Lenzner, Atlantic Media, won the in-house award; van Bergen won on the agency side.

PR Professional of the Year
Emily Lenzner, Atlantic Media (In-House), and Karen van Bergen (Agency)

Emily Lenzner, VP of global communications at Atlantic Media, is regarded by colleagues as an exceptionally smart, creative, and effective communicator.

She was part of the team that attempted to free five American hostages held by the Islamic State in Syria. The group was put together by Atlantic Media chairman and CEO David Bradley. Their efforts were detailed in a 21,000-word story published in July by The New Yorker.

Ray Kerins of Bayer won honorable mention in the category.

On the agency side, judges raved about Karen van Bergen’s impact on Porter Novelli. Early this year, Omnicom named her to the new position of CEO of Omnicom Public Relations Group, putting her in charge of all of the holding company’s PR agencies.

"Changing an organization’s culture is harder than winning new business," said one judge about her performance at the helm of Porter Novelli. "Karen van Bergen certainly did the latter, bur her efforts on the former were truly inspirational."

Aedhmar Hynes, CEO of Text100, won honorable mention.

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