Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA Announces the Recipients of the 2023 Communicator and Public Relations Professional of the Year Awards

Fort Worth, Texas (October 9, 2023) – The Greater Fort Worth Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is honored to announce Opal Lee, the ‘Grandmother of Juneteenth,’ as the 2023 Communicator of the Year and Matt Zavadsky, the chief transformation officer at MedStar, as the 2023 Douglas Ann Newsom PRSA Professional of the Year.

Opal Lee is a community leader and activist who has dedicated her life to fighting for justice and equality. She is best known for her tireless advocacy for Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. In 2016, at the age of 89, Lee embarked on a 1,400-mile walk from Fort Worth to Washington, D.C. to raise awareness of Juneteenth.

She made this walk annually, calling for Juneteenth to be recognized on a national scale. In 2021, Lee’s dream finally came true when Juneteenth was officially designated as a federal holiday. Her advocacy helped to educate millions of Americans about the importance of Juneteenth and to ensure that this historic event is never forgotten.

Matt Zavadsky serves as the spokesperson for MedStar Mobile Healthcare, an agency providing advanced life support ambulance services across 436 square miles of North Texas. As Public Information Officer at MedStar, Zavadsky is a key figure in coordinating with media and partners, providing crucial information about MedStar’s roles and activities in the community.

Often the first responder at tragic events, Zavadsky’s composed and sympathetic demeanor underlines his exceptional qualities as a spokesperson. With 42 years of experience in EMS, a master’s degree in Health Service Administration, and co-authorship of the book “Mobile Integrated Healthcare – Approach to Implementation,” Zavadsky embodies excellence in public relations and health care communication.

Opal Lee and Matt Zavadsky will be honored at the 10th annual Worthy Awards ceremony on Nov. 3, at the Fort Worth Zoo. The event begins at 6 p.m. and tickets are on sale now.

About the Communicator of the Year Award
The Communicator of the Year award is presented to a community member who has demonstrated significant leadership and communications ability in the greater Fort Worth region.

The recipient must be a role model for communicators and must have made a significant contribution to the community through their communications work.

About the Douglas Ann Newsom PRSA Professional of the Year Award
The Douglas Ann Newsom PRSA Professional of the Year Award is presented to a public relations professional in North Texas who has made significant contributions to the advancement of the public relations profession. The recipient must have demonstrated excellence in public relations practice, leadership, and service to the community.

About the Greater Fort Worth Chapter PRSA
The Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA is an organization dedicated to enhancing the profession of public relations by promoting the professionalism of its members, as well as the public perception of the value of our contribution to the betterment of the community.

PRSA creates a professional environment, serving the needs of its members by providing educational, networking, mentoring and social opportunities for professional growth and development. Learn more at

Media Contact
Jessamy Brown, APR President of GFW PRSA

Empowering the Modern PR Leader

Join the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (GFW PRSA) on Wednesday, October 4, for our annual half-day professional development program and luncheon presented by Mark Mohammadpour, APR, Fellow PRSA.

Mark is the founder and CEO of Oregon-based PR consultancy Chasing the Sun, an internationally acclaimed speaker and PR practitioner, a monthly columnist for PRSA’s Strategies & Tactics magazine, and a certified health coach and personal trainer.

Titled, “Empowering the Modern PR Leader,” the program will include interactive workshops and breakout sessions focused on Confidence and Owning the Room, Designing Your Personal Well-being Plan, and Leading with Empathy, which includes PR management lessons from the Apple TV+ hit series, “Ted Lasso.”

Attendees will learn how to:

  • Build trust and earn respect from colleagues and clients-alike
  • Prioritize health and wellness to stay mentally and physically resilient
  • Implement a winning workplace culture through an empathetic leadership style
  • Become a more impactful leader

Breakfast & Networking – 8-8:30 a.m.
Morning Program – 8:30-11:30 a.m.
Lunch & Networking – 11:30 a.m.-noon
Lunch Program/Keynote – Noon-1 p.m.

Morning Program Only – $80 (all registrants)
Morning Program and Luncheon – $90 (all registrants)
Luncheon Only – $45 (members), $50 (national members), $50 (non-members), $35 (students)


ChatGPT And Beyond: Elevate Your PR Strategy With AI

You’ve heard of Artificial Intelligence, but do you know how it can help you as a PR and communications professional? This practical webinar will explore how AI can help revolutionize your creative strategy to be more efficient and cost-effective, through the automatic creation of content for all your digital platforms and helping you better understand your audience, customers and opportunities.

Expect laughs, learning, and lightbulb-moments as bestselling author and award-winning digital trainer Gary Ennis presents a fast and furious webinar on how AI can assist with all things PR, communications, and marketing, exploring the consequences (good and bad) of using tools such as ChatGPT and more. 

It’s all happening live from Glasgow, Scotland, Wednesday September 6, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Central Time.

Don’t miss this opportunity! During this webinar we’ll discuss:

  • What is Artificial Intelligence?
  • Current AI tools and systems to use right now (including ChatGPT and Dall-E 2)
  • Automating digital content for blogs and social media
  • Using AI for PR and marketing strategy, and customer profiling
  • The pros and cons of AI for organizations like yours

Can’t make it to the live event? Register anyway because a link to the webinar recording will be emailed to all registered attendees after the event.

Please note: A link to access the live webinar will be sent to you in your booking confirmation email. You may need to look in your “Junk” or “Spam” folder to find it.

About Gary Ennis
Gary Ennis is a qualified trainer, coach and Chartered Marketer (look it up), with 25+ years experience in the field of Digital Marketing and Social Media. He is the founder and Managing Director of NSDesign, an award winning digital training consultancy based in Glasgow, Scotland, and the sole supplier of the Scottish Government’s DigitalBoost national webinar training program. Gary’s passion is working with SME companies (and their people) to help improve their digital footprints, and he has recently co-authored the Amazon bestselling book on social media, “Embrace the Space”. 

PR Pitch Shark Tank: 60-second Story Pitches with News Media Panel

Get ready for an intense program on August 2 as we hold a 60-second PR Pitch Shark Tank! Our panel of media professionals from CBS News, ABC News, and The Wall Street Journal will give live feedback on news story elevator pitches from our attendees. 

If YOU are interested in presenting a pitch for live consumption…er, feedback, during this program, please email by July 21. 

Our panel knows what will sink or swim in these waters. Will they tear the next pitch to shreds? Or will it survive… the Shark Tank? 

(No sharks or reporters were harmed in the planning of this program.)

Our news media panel:

Buy your tickets by 11:59 p.m. Thursday, July 27. Space is limited, so sign up today!

**NOTE: This luncheon will be held at Lou’s Place at Texas Wesleyan University (1112 Wesleyan Street, Fort Worth, TX 76105). 

We look forward to seeing you!

Is the Future of News Nonprofit? The Fort Worth Report Success Story and What It Means


Two years ago, the founders of the nonprofit Fort Worth Report made a big bet: That the community not only needed more local news coverage, but that it would support it. 

Today, with more than a dozen Fort Worth Report journalists covering everything from school boards to city hall to the museum district, that bet has paid off. 

Come hear how the Fort Worth Report built both a successful business model and an impactful reporting team, and what that could mean for the future of local news coverage in Fort Worth, and across the state and nation.  

Join us on June 7. Space is limited, so sign up today!

Our featured speakers from the Fort Worth Report are:

Buy your tickets by 11:59 p.m. Thursday, June 1, the catering deadline for our venue.

We look forward to seeing you!

Generously sponsored by Dynamic Development Strategies.