Young PR Professional of the Year 2011

Sponsored by Edelman

Winner: Andrew Testa, Coyne Public Relations

Only two years into his tenure at Coyne Public Relations, account executive Andrew Testa tested the PRSA's suggestion that PR pros obtain five years of experience before pursuing accreditation. But, even as he studied for the final APR exam this past December, Testa continued working on various Coyne projects. Active within the PRSA-NJ, he also recently helped it organize a three-on-three basketball tournament.

At Coyne, he works on accounts from a variety of consumer and b-to-b entities, including Shell Lubricants, Goodyear, Toys "R" Us, AMP Energy, Mountain Dew, and Sealed Air Corporation's Bubble Wrap, for which he developed a campaign using customized Yankee Bubble Wrap to protect Derek Jeter from the notorious Sports Illustrated cover jinx. The story broke on and was picked up by various national news outlets. He also led coverage of the AMP Energy Hometown Takedown promotion.

"These are truly impressive results for someone who has been in PR for such a short period of time," noted a judge.

Another judge praised the "great collaboration and tenacity to get the work accomplished and to meet all the goals."

PR is not only a career for Testa. It resonates in his personal life, as seen in his activities for his alma mater, Seton Hall, where he speaks at communications roundtables, career fairs, and PR events. He has also spent time discussing media relations at a PR class.

As a student, he held various editor positions for the college paper, covering sports and news, and secured an internship with the NBA's New Jersey Nets.

Testa also devotes his personal time to pro-bono media relations for the Community FoodBank of New Jersey. In addition, he raised money for prostate cancer during last November's pledge drive.

"Andrew's work in both traditional and new media is impressive," said a third judge. "His volunteer efforts beyond the workday make him a great part of the PR community."

Honorable Mention
: Elliott Suthers, Spector & Assoc.

Following a number of political internships, senior account supervisor Elliott Suthers has helped Spector & Associates nearly triple its revenue. Suthers, promoted twice in 2010, has developed a media briefing webcast for defense writers, contributed to a $42 million contract award, and completed acclaimed programs for ITT Defense. While in college, he worked with Joe Lieberman's Senate campaign and later joined the John McCain presidential campaign. He's also a member of the UN Foundation and works pro bono for the communications adviser to DC Language Access Coalition, UN Development Program, and Defenders of Wildlife.

The Award Open to PR professionals who have been in the industry for less than three years (since October 5, 2007), nominees are judged based on outstanding achievement in handling clients or senior-level staff, development of PR strategy, business savvy, creativity, knowledge of PR tactics, and contributions to business objectives.

Finalists 2011

Michael DiSalvo Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide

Cassie Eberle Catalyst Public Relations

Jennifer Kokell Pfizer

Elliott Suthers Spector & Associates

Andrew Testa Coyne Public Relations

Sponsor: Edelman, the world's largest independent public relations firm, has wholly owned offices in 53 cities and 3,600 employees worldwide. Edelman was named "PR Firm of the Decade" by Advertising Age and The Holmes Report, Ad Age "2010 Best Place to Work" and PRWeek's "2009 Agency of the Year." Edelman owns specialty firms Blue, StrategyOne, RUTH, DJE Science, and MATTER.

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