Jeff Wilson APR, vice president of Workplace Culture, DEI and Chief of Staff at Padilla, has been honored with the 2023 Excellence in Public Relations Award from the Richmond chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Richmond). The career achievement award is PRSA Richmond’s highest honor, which recognizes the extraordinary achievements of seasoned public relations practitioners working in the Greater Richmond metropolitan region.
As a member of the agency’s Cabinet (senior leadership team), Jeff is responsible for workplace culture programs, internal communications and DEI initiatives. He also provides DEI strategic counsel to clients across a variety of industries, as part of the agency’s Social Impact Consultancy, and speaks nationally on DEI and social impact issues. He previously led the agency marketing team for Padilla. Jeff also has specific expertise in community relations, grassroots marketing, issues management and higher education.
Along with professional achievements, the Excellence in Public Relations Award also recognizes senior leaders for their community involvement, mentorship of others, service to PRSA, continuing education in the field and overall contributions to the profession. Jeff has held several volunteer leadership positions within the local Richmond community as well as the greater public relations and communications industry. He serves on the board (executive committee) for the Visual Arts Center of Richmond. He previously served on the national board of directors for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), as co-chair of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame advisory committee, chair for MENTOR Virginia, president of PRSA Richmond, and president of the Richmond Public Relations Foundation, which recently named a scholarship on his behalf for Richmond Region college students of color.
“I’m humbled by this recognition. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of the past award recipients – some who’ve served as mentors and colleagues,” Wilson said. “It is a privilege to have my name listed among theirs.”
Jeff began his career as a city government reporter for the Greenville News in South Carolina and later as a public information coordinator at the University of South Carolina where he earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism.
Previous Padilla honorees of this career achievement award include Mark Raper (2007), Mike Mulvihill (2016) and Natalie Smith (2021).