GOLD COAST PR COUNCIL Announces Winners of 2021 Bernays Awards

Arts and Entertainment

July 22, 2021

(Boca Raton, Fla. – July 22, 2021) Melissa Perlman, president of the Gold Coast PR Council (GCPRC), South Florida’s largest independent association of public relations, communications and marketing professionals, today announced this year’s Bernays Award winners. GCPRC has given out these awards since 2005 honoring excellence in local public relations campaigns, marketing programs, and media coverage.


The honors were presented on July 20 at GCPRC’s 16th annual Bernays Awards yesterday via Zoom with more than 40 virtual attendees. Honors were presented in 10 competitive categories, plus three special awards selected by the nonprofit organization’s board of directors,


Only one award winner is announced in advance, GCPRC’s prestigious Presidents Award, which is given to a person or organization for truly outstanding performance. This year’s recipient is Jorge Pesquera, President and CEO of Discover The Palm Beaches for showing outstanding leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic by aggressively promoting and protecting South Florida’s critical tourism/hospitality industry.


Lisa De La Rionda, Director of Palm Beach County’s Public Affairs Department, was named this year’s PR Star for the superlative way in which she communicated “the county’s public and media response to the COVID pandemic, the resultant downturn in business and tourism, even an unruly election year.”


The Founders’ Award went to GCPRC Treasurer Michael Turnbell for keeping the organization “solvent and viable during a truly difficult economic environment.”


The winners of the 10 competitive Bernays Award categories are:


Nonprofit Project or Campaign - Small

Palm Tran

Go Glades Relaunch as a Dial-a-Ride Service


Nonprofit Project or Campaign – Large

T. Leroy Jefferson Medical Society

COVID-19 and Educating South Florida’s Black & Brown Communities


Social Media Campaign – Nonprofit

Loggerhead Marine Life Center

Diving Into Ocean Conservation – Virtual Coastal Classroom


Crisis Communications 

Food For The Poor

Food For The Poor Responds to Back-to-Back Hurricanes in Central America


Marketing Materials – Print, Internal, External

Labor Finders

Coffee, Tea or We


Marketing Materials – Digital/Video Internal, External 

Multi-Media Works, Inc.

ParkFest Family Music Day 2020

(Viewable at https://youtu.be/23XgEzmxnh0)


Special Event – Live or Virtual 

Solid Waste Authority (SWA) of Palm Beach County

Celebrate America Recycles Day with the SWA 


Social Media Campaign – For Profit

Boardroom PR

Empowering Survivors – Eisenberg and Baum


PR Campaign By a Small Company or Firm

Kaye Communications, Inc.

The New Way to Club™: Boca Lago Golf & Country Club


PR Campaign By a Large Company or Firm

Lynn University

What’s Your #Common Thread?


GCPRC’s Bernays Awards 2021 was hosted online by three longtime board members: Rich Pollack of Pollack Communications, Anne Dichele from the Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization, and David DiPino from Tenet Florida Physician Services.


The next monthly Zoom meeting of the Gold Coast PR Council will be held on August 17 at 4 pm. The topic is “Inside City Magazines” and will feature Alona Abbady Martinez, editor of Boca Raton Observer; David Mizen, publisher of Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach; and Li Pan, owner of The Parklander. For more information about GCPRC, please visit www.goldcoastpr.council.com.


Attached Images:

1)   Jorge Pesquera, President/CEO of Discover the Palm Beaches, and GCPRC’s President’s Award Winner 2021

2)   Lisa De La Rionda, Director of Palm Beach County’s Public Affairs Department and GCPRC’s PR Star 2021

3)   Michael Turnbell, GCPRC Treasurer and winner of this year’s Founders’ Award


Media Contact:

Gary Schweikhart

GCPRC Co-Founder & Secretary