The Philly Ad Club, with more than 2,500 members of the Philadelphia ad agencies, announced that Professor David Brown and Bernie Prazenica, KLN '79, will both receive the group's Movers and Shakers Pinnacle award at a ceremony this week. The award is given to professionals who demonstrate leadership and leave a profound impact on their community in their communications position.
Brown, who serves as diversity advisor to the Office of the Dean and as a professor in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, joined Klein College 2016. Brown has previously won the National Black Public Relations Society's Ofield Dukes Educator Award, and he was the first African American to win the Public Relations Society of America's David Ferguson Outstanding Contributions in Education Award. When he receives the Philadelphia Ad Club's Pinnacle Award, he will become the first African American inducted into both the city's PR hall of fame and its advertising hall of fame.
"It's a great honor. I was inducted in the PR hall of fame back in 2007. This is a different discipline, but nevertheless meaningful," he said.
Although Brown is extremely proud of being the first African-American to be in both hall of fames, he feels like progress can still be made to recognize achievements by African-Americans.
"It's kind of bittersweet. We're in 2019, and we're still looking at people of color being a "first-ever" award-winner. I'm certainly not diminishing the award, it's a tremendous honor, but I think more people of color need to be recognized, too," he said.
As a leader in the African American community, Brown has run events to honor Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday for the last 20 years. Over the last 11 years, he's organized the Bridge Walk for Peace across the Ben Franklin Bridge, on the day King Jr. was assassinated (April 4). He even received awards for his work those events.
While he's busy, Brown said he likes the variety.
"I think it's very important to have a natural curiosity to do different things," he said.
Prazenica, who has been the president and general manager of 6ABC since 2007, graduated cum laude with a bachelor of arts in communications, radio-TV-film in 1979. He received a Lew Klein Alumni in the Media Award in 2009 and was inducted in Klein College's Gallery of Success in 2014.
"I hold Temple in very high regard," he said. "What Temple does for a lot of people is it says, 'Look, you've got to do this on your own. There's a lot of resources, but if you don't have it in you to make the best of these resources, you may not succeed at the level you want to.'"
Prazenica said he had dreamed of being in the television industry since high school and came to Temple University to learn how to produce and direct shows. It wasn't until he was an upperclassman at Temple that he took an interest in the business side of the industry.
He interned at PHL17 at Temple, but he kept himself on his toes looking for more opportunities.
"I did anything I could," he said. "Through other students, you heard about this gig, that gig, or somebody would give you a chance to do something to give you experience. That was always going on."
Prazenica, who has led 6ABC as the number-one rated news station in the Philadelphia region, wants to be known as someone who made a positive impact on others' lives.
"I want to be remembered as a good guy, a fair guy," he said. "Somebody that was good to work with and for. That I was respectful of everyone's opinion and a good teammate."
Brown and Prazenica will be honored by the Philly Ad Club on Thursday, April 25 at 12:00 p.m. at the Union League of Philadelphia.
Brown also said it's not all about the awards.
"You don't do these things for the trophies, man. It's like, how can you be of service," he said.