The Public Relations Society of America's National Capital Chapter (PRSA-NCC) will induct Jody Powell and Sheila Tate to its Hall of Fame this year. Mr. Powell, who passed away in 2009, is being honored posthumously. His wife Nan will accept the award on behalf of the family. Sheila Tate will accept in person. The induction ceremony will take place during PRSA-NCC’s Annual Thoth Awards Gala on September 9, 2014 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the Artisphere in Arlington, Virginia.
Jody Powell and Sheila Tate, co-founders of Powell Tate (now a part of Weber Shandwick), were nominated for their longstanding contribution to the profession and the Washington, DC public relations scene. As individuals, each had public affairs careers with significant political influence and effect. Both also served as White House Press Secretaries (Powell for President Carter and Tate for First Lady Nancy Reagan). They united their considerable talents in 1991 to form the nation's leading public affairs firm, Powell Tate.
Although they were political opposites, Jody and Sheila combined their public relations skills and political pragmatism to attract global clients and leading professionals to their unique consultancy. Former House, Senate and Administration press secretaries, White House correspondents, and political operatives of the first order came together as staff to counsel clients on some of the most complex and controversial public affairs challenges of the century.
"There are literally hundreds of practitioners around town who learned at Powell and Tate' hands, and whose careers would not have been possible without their influence," said Brian Wommack, Senior Vice President, Powell Tate, in his nomination for the pair.
The chapter started the National Capital Public Relations Hall of Fame in 1999 by inducting 50 leaders with significant accomplishments in the public relations field as part of the chapter's 50th Anniversary celebration. The Hall of Fame members hold more than a thousand awards, distinctions, honorary degrees, advisory positions, charity board seats and Who's Who citations among them. Criteria for induction in the NCC Public Relations Hall of Fame includes 30 or more years of distinguished accomplishments, visionary leadership, mentoring, commitment to the profession, positive and significant impacts on the industry, and contributions to the local public relations community. Inductees must have worked in the Washington, DC area for at least 10 years.
About Jody Powell
Jody Powell was chairman of Powell Tate. As the leader of the firm, he was instrumental in creating Washington’s most dynamic and respected public relations firm, serving a client roster that includes many of the nation’s prominent corporations, trade associations and nonprofit organizations. In May 1970, Powell joined gubernatorial candidate Jimmy Carter’s staff. When Carter became the governor of Georgia in November 1970, Powell was appointed press secretary, a position he held through the end of Carter’s term as President of the United States. From January 1982 to January 1987, he wrote a twice-weekly column syndicated by the Dallas Times Herald and was a news analyst for ABC News, appearing on such shows as This Week with David Brinkley, Nightline and Good Morning America. He also lectured frequently on public policy and press issues. Powell’s book, The Other Side of the Story, about the press/presidency relationship, was published in April 1984 by William Morrow & Company. From January 1985 through May 1986, Powell held the Speaker Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Professorial Chair in American Politics at Boston College, teaching a course on the press and the presidency. From 1987 until 1991, he was chairman and chief executive officer of Powell Adams & Rinehart, formerly Ogilvy & Mather Public Affairs. Powell was born September 30, 1943, in Vienna, Ga., and attended public schools there. He attended the U.S. Air Force Academy from 1961 to 1964 and graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in political science in 1966. Powell became involved in the 1970 gubernatorial campaign of Jimmy Carter, working as a volunteer, while he was in graduate school at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., where he completed course work on a combined M.A./Ph.D. in political science.
About Sheila Tate
Sheila Tate served for twenty years as president and vice chairman of Powell Tate, the firm she co-founded in 1991 with Jody Powell, Presidential Press Secretary to President Jimmy Carter. She retired in 2012. Mrs. Tate’s political and government experience ranges from her 1981-85 service as White House Press Secretary to First Lady Nancy Reagan to the 1988-89 Presidential campaign and transition during which she served as press secretary for President-elect George H. W. Bush. She was also communications director for the successful 1996 Republican convention in San Diego. Most of Mrs. Tate’s business career has been devoted to agency work. She was twice affiliated with Burson-Marsteller, both in Pittsburgh in 1967 and in Washington, D.C., from 1985-87. She was also employed twice by Hill and Knowlton in the Houston and Washington offices in 1977-81 and l987-88 respectively. She served two five-year terms on the Board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), appointed by both Presidents Reagan and Bush. She served as vice chairman from 1990-92 and chairman from 1992-94. She also served nine years on the National Advisory Board of the Salvation Army where she chaired the Community Relations and Development Committee. Mrs. Tate was a member, an officer and director of the National Press Foundation for 10 years. She also served as chairman of the Civilian Public Affairs Committee for the United States Military Academy. During the George H. W. Bush administration she was a member of the United States Information Agency’s private sector public relations committee. She also served as a member of the Commissioner’s Advisory Council of the Ladies Professional Golf Association. Currently Mrs. Tate is a member of the board of The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression. She also serves on the board of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Foundation and as president of the board of Farmington Country Club, both in Charlottesville. In 2001, the Washingtonian magazine named her one of the “100 Most Powerful Women in Washington.” In 1999, PRWeek selected her as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Public Relations” and one of the “100 Most Influential PR People of the 20th Century.” Mrs. Tate holds a B.A. in journalism from Duquesne University and has done graduate work in mass communications at the University of Denver.
About PRSA’s National Capital Chapter
The National Capital Chapter of PRSA (PRSA-NCC) is a professional public relations association of more than 1,500 members in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region. PRSA-NCC provides professional development programs, accreditation instruction, and networking. PRSA-NCC also promotes public relations education through five area Public Relations Society of America student chapters. For more information, please visit www.prsa-ncc.org or call 703-691-9212. Connect with us on Facebook at PRSANCC or follow us on Twitter @PRSANCC with #thoth2014.