Frederick E. Leuschner Award for Excellence in Public Relations
Frederick E. Leuschner is very inspiring, and we are honored to have our chapter’s highest individual honor award named after him. He moved from a career in broadcasting to a career in public relations at the Pennsylvania State Education Association to starting his own business to teaching.
Frederick E. Leuschner was president of our PRSA Central PA Chapter from 1965 to 1966. He along with his core team rechartered the chapter and brought it back to life. He became accredited in public relations (APR) in 1970 and became chapter accreditation chair in 1972 and then again in 1987 for a number of years. Other people followed him in that role, Deborah Saline, James Cartmell, Bob Saline, and Jason Kirsch are leading APR training with the help of other chapter APRs. Our chapter has the only PRSA National trainers in the country and the highest APR test passing rate.
Fred was unanimously voted the first recipient of the Frederick E. Leuschner Award for Excellence in Public Relations in 1989. He was elected to the PRSA College of Fellow in 1991. He was the first Fellow from our chapter.
Fred is the perfect mentor and taught chapter members the need for transparency and ethics. Fred built a library of ethics white papers, studies, and other resource materials. First, they were passed on to Bob Saline and now are in the hands of Jason Kirsch.
Fred nudged and encouraged others to get involved in the chapter, as winners of the Frederick E. Leuschner Award have done ever since.
Fred Leuschner, APR, Fellow PRSA (1989)
Eric S. “Rick” Drake, APR (1990)
Kenneth H. Quigley, APR (1991)
Carl D. Andrews, APR (1992)
J. Scott Dugan, APR (1993)
Karen H.B. Early, APR (1994)
Robert S. Saline, APR, Fellow PRSA (1995)
Deborah S. Saline, APR, Fellow PRSA (1996)
Kenneth G. Robinson, APR (1997)
Douglas H. Bedell, APR (1998)
(Gap until 2009 has been confirmed)
William Swanger, APR, Fellow PRSA (2009)
Jason S. Kirsch, APR (2012)
Betty C. Hungerford (2013)
Janet Kacskos, APR, Fellow PRSA (2014)
Liz M. Smith, APR, MBA (2015)
Amy Hill, APR (2016)
Julian Richter (2017)
Greg Swartzlander (2018)
(Gap until 2023 has been confirmed)
Linda Burkley, APR (2023)
Notes about the Leuschner Award
The Frederick E. Leuschner Award recognizes one member of the Central Pennsylvania PRSA Chapter who advances the public relations profession by being a positive role model. Former honorees select a practitioner who demonstrates excellence in five areas of his/her daily life:
- Career Accomplishments
- Chapter Service
- Community Service
The award was named in Fred Leuschner’s honor, and he was the first to receive it in 1989. Mr. Leuschner began his public relations career in 1957 as a public information officer for the state Civil Service Commission after working for five years at WHTM-TV. PR jobs with the Pennsylvania State Education Association, Harrisburg Area Community College, and Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency followed. He started his own public relations consulting company in 1988.
During his career, Mr. Leuschner always stressed the need for professionalism and ethics. As he transitioned from WHTM-TV to public relations counseling, he established a clear need for his client’s transparency and ethical decisions. He helped many understand the differences between marketing and public relations.
During his career, Fred had always stressed the need for professionalism and ethics. As he transitioned from mass media to public relations counseling, he established a clear need for his client’s transparency and ethical decisions. He helped many understand the clear differences between marketing and public relations.
Fred (our area’s only Fellow at the time) was instrumental in the re-chartering of our chapter. While there was a team working with him, he took on the key role of motivator.
He has always been the perfect role model of a mentor. He has constantly inspired others (nagged, nudged, encouraged) to be part of a professional group (Pennsylvania Public Relations Society and Public Relations Society of America) and to take on leadership roles in those organizations. Naturally, he encouraged many in PRSA to be active locally, regionally, and nationally. (Deborah and I were often nudged/nagged/encouraged by Fred to take one more step in our professional development. But, we were only two of many.
It was Fred who organized, planned, and taught the first few sets of APR coaching sessions. He encouraged participants to attend coaching sessions and then encouraged the participants to become part of the APR “faculty” soon after they achieved their APR.