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Gelia, Friends of Paul Dyster receive Platinum Excalibur Awards

A political research campaign for Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster and a cultural event featuring Chinese traditions produced by local advertising agency Gelia were winners of top awards at the annual Excalibur Awards dinner Wednesday.

The event, organized by the Buffalo Niagara Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, recognizes outstanding public relations programs, projects and professionals in the Buffalo Niagara region.

Jeff Paterson, from the Friends of Paul Dyster, and Devon Slobodzian of Gelia, each received Platinum “Best of Show” and Gold Excalibur awards for their work on the campaigns. Friends of Paul Dyster was recognized for a data-driven research campaign. Gelia was honored for work on a technical center grand opening event at Dana Holding Corp. that focused on traditional Chinese customs

In all, 26 gold, silver and bronze Excalibur Awards were also awarded at the dinner, with the University at Buffalo receiving eight awards.

Rose Caldwell, director of communications and public relations at Catholic Charities of Buffalo, was presented with the chapter’s highest honor, the May C. Randazzo Outstanding Practitioner Award. Kenneth P. Houseknecht, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Erie County Inc., received the chapter’s Outstanding Executive Award. Tom Lucia received the chapter’s Distinguished Service Award, and Phillip Weiss, assistant director of development at Alzheimer’s Association, WNY Chapter, received the chapter’s Rising Star Award.

Students Jordyn Holka and Lauren Orlowski, both from the SUNY Fredonia, each received May C. Randazzo Memorial Scholarships of $1,500.

Other Excalibur Awards in the following categories were presented to:

Community Relations: Gold: Community Music School of Buffalo, “Setting Our Sites: Community Music School Searches for a New Home;” Silver: Travers Collins & Catholic Charities, “Catholic Charities – Protect. Strengthen. Empower.”

Special Events & Observances: Gold: University at Buffalo, “Seven Days Until Obama: A University Gears Up for a Historic Visit from a Sitting President;” Silver: American Heart Association, “February is American Heart Month;”

Silver: “U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts Commemorates Robert H. Jackson Center 10th Anniversary.”

Marketing Consumer Products or Services: Gold: University at Buffalo, “A Winter in Snowy Buffalo – Marketing the new Winter Session at the University at Buffalo.”

Global Communications: Gold: Gelia, “From Maumee to Wuxi: A Technical Center Opening of Global Proportions.”

Internal Communications: Bronze: AAA Western and Central New York, “Two Ways to Save Lives.”

Integrated Communications: Bronze: Girl Scouts of Western New York, “Gaining Awareness by Showing Girls and the Community How to Lead in Crisis.”

Social Media Strategy: Silver: Gelia, “Digging Up Social Media Solutions;” Bronze: Travers Collins, “Successful Social Media Campaign Awakens Mattress Brand.”

Projects: Media Relations: Gold: University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions, “Drinking and Divorce Research Garners Worldwide Media Attention;” Gold: University at Buffalo, “Science and You: A Media Relations Team Shows the Human Impact of University Science and Technology Research;” Silver: American Heart Association, “Heartsaver Hero Commendation;” Silver: University at Buffalo School of Management, “Why Bullies Thrive at Work.”

Magazines: Gold: University at Buffalo Office of Alumni Relations, “Bringing UB Today to At Buffalo;” Gold: University at Buffalo School of Management, “Buffalo Business Magazine.”

Special-Purpose Publications: Gold: St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, “Making the Case: Ensuring the Future Through Engaging the Present.”

Internal Video/Audio Programs: Gold: Mercy Hospital Foundation, “To Give is to Care.”

External Video/Audio Programs: Gold: St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, “We Are St. Joe’s: Fundraising Video Sparks More Than Just Donations;” Silver: University at Buffalo School of Management, “Graduates Share the “Alumnicity.”

Speeches: Silver: The John R. Oishei Foundation, “Keynote for Buffalo Society of Artists Meeting.”

Editorial/Op-Ed Columns: Gold: Travers Collins and Independent Health, “Independent Health – Transforming Healthcare in Western New York.”

Research/Evaluation: Gold: Friends of Paul Dyster, “A New Majority: Research Study Paves the Way for a Change in City Hall.”

Creative Tactics: Bronze: Travers Collins, “Thumbs Up for the Thimble.”