PORTLAND, OR (Dec. 10, 2021)—The Oregon chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) recognized accomplished professionals at the 2021 Spotlight Awards on Nov. 19, 2021. Salem public relations professional Mary Louise VanNatta, CAE, APR, Fellow PRSA, was honored with the Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award.

A longtime member of the PRSA Portland Metro Chapter, Olga M. Haley served as president in 2003 and continuously gave back to the PRSA community by serving as a mentor to members of the chapter. Haley passed away in March 2014 at the age of 69, leaving behind an unparalleled legacy of mentorship, excellence, and professionalism. The Olga M. Haley Membership Award is given to a PRSA 

Oregon Chapter member who demonstrates exceptional mentorship and support as they advance their careers in public relations.

This year’s recipient is Mary Louise VanNatta, CAE, APR Fellow PRSA. She currently serves as the chief executive officer for VanNatta Public Relations. Mary Louise has spent over 35 years in association management and public relations.  In her long public relations career, Mary Louise mentored more than 106 interns, along with countless job shadows, informational interviews, and in-class career presentations.

“Over the years, Mary Louise has shared her expertise through one-on-one mentoring, job shadowing, presenting at career fairs, and speaking to many classrooms of students,” said Kelli Gassman, assistant professor with the Hoff School of Business at Corban University. “Her contribution to the professionals of tomorrow has provided them with key learning, perspective, and experience they could not have garnered on their own.”

VanNatta is committed to advancing public relations through personal career achievements and giving back to young people and the community through volunteerism and mentorship.

In addition to the statewide honor, VanNatta Public Relations took home three statewide awards:

  • Event planning for the Oregon Department of Veteran Affairs’ Women’s Veterans Conference. 
  • Pro Bono Work on behalf of The Santiam Rebuild Coalition: Bringing back the Canyon.
  • Investigative Reporting:  On behalf of Marion-Polk County Medical Society, ChartNotes – homelessness features and in-depth interviews to inform members of the Marion-Polk Medical Society.



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