This story was written by the Public Relations Society of America.
St. Louis, MO – Last week, the Public Relations Society of America St. Louis Chapter awarded Danny Ludeman, President and CEO of Concordance Academy of Leadership, its inaugural Presidents’ Award. This award recognizes a passionate and ethical leader in the Greater St. Louis community who utilizes public relations techniques to influence, engage and build relationships with key audiences in the St. Louis region and beyond for the benefit of the community at large. Danny accepted the award with his wife Susan at PRSA’s ImPRessions Awards on November 15 at Vue 17, which was emceed by KSDK Channel 5 Today in St. Louis Co-Anchor Rene Knott.
When Ludeman retired in 2013 as CEO of Wells Fargo Advisors, instead of enjoying a relaxing retirement, he took on the challenge of reducing crime in the St. Louis area. As President and CEO of Concordance Academy of Leadership, Danny’s team helps formerly incarcerated people navigate the return to their communities after prison.
Concordance Academy is trying to solve a major social problem in our community, and positive public engagement and support is critical to our success,” said Ludeman. “Being honored by PRSA is extremely meaningful to me as we work toward making St. Louis the place where our country’s recidivism issue is finally addressed.”
Nominated and selected by PRSA St. Louis’ past presidents, the PRSA St. Louis Presidents’ Award is the highest honor the chapter can award a non-public relations professional. Nine of the organization’s presidents, current and former, attended the awards, including: Paul Murphy-Spooner (2018), Sandi Straetker, APR (2017), Drew Langenberg (2015), Tressa Robbins (2014), Stephanie Widaman (2013), James Braibish, APR (2008), Les Landes, APR (1995), Cathy Dunkin, APR, Fellow PRSA (1994) and Craig Workman, APR (1993). Craig Workman was the PRSA President who nominated Danny Ludeman for the award.
Additionally, Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) student Aaron Wendel was awarded the PRSA St. Louis Rising Star Award. Nominated by former PRSA President and SEMO Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Advisor Tressa Robbins, then selected by the 2018 PRSA St. Louis board of directors, the PRSA Rising Star Award is awarded to a PRSSA student in the region who demonstrates outstanding leadership potential and possesses an enthusiasm for the future of public relations. The PRSA St. Louis Chapter awarded Aaron a scholarship for PRSA Associate Membership upon graduation for this achievement.
Graduating in December 2018, Aaron has sought ways to gain experience through multiple internships including Optum Marketing Group, Saint Francis Healthcare System and Riverfront PR. He has a passion for public relations because of the thrill of sharing stories, connecting with people and the challenge of adapting to a constantly changing industry.
We are thrilled to recognize Danny Ludeman as a trailblazer and changemaker in our community, in addition to Aaron Wendel who represents the next generation of talent in public relations,” said Paul Murphy-Spooner, PRSA St. Louis current President. “The ImPRessions Awards are an opportunity to celebrate our chapter’s nearly 70-year legacy, build connections between our current members and former PRSA leadership, and recognize the people who are creating positive change in St. Louis.”
PRSA’s mission is to make St. Louis communications professionals smarter, better prepared and more connected through all stages of their career. Its 2018 programming included topics on Handling Sexual Harassment in the Media, Diversifying the Workplace, Planning for Crisis in the Digital Age, and Fast Pitch Media Training, among others. To learn more, visit www.prsastlouis.org.
About PRSA’s St. Louis Chapter:
Founded in 1949 by 14 local public relations professionals, the St. Louis Chapter of PRSA is the seventh oldest continuous chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. Today, nearly 200 members from both sides of the Mississippi River, make up the St. Louis membership. Monthly thought leadership events and professional growth opportunities draw more than 1,000 registrations annually. For more information, visit www.prsastlouis.org.