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January 12, 2011

PRSA Foundation Names Jon Iwata 2011 Paladin Award Recipient

IBM’s Lead Communicator to Receive Award at March 24 Event in New York
(Jan. 12, 2011) — The PRSA Foundation will honor a long-time public relations industry leader at its annual Paladin Dinner on Thursday, March 24, 2011, at the W Union Square Hotel in New York.
“The PRSA Foundation Paladin Dinner was created to honor champions — industry leaders who have been advocates for our profession,” said Debbie Mason, APR, Fellow PRSA, president of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.  “A paladin was a heroic champion, a determined advocate of a noble cause in medieval times, and the PRSA Foundation is pleased to honor a true advocate for public relations, Jon Iwata, senior vice president, marketing and communications, for IBM.
“Jon is a champion for our profession, not only by leading communications for one of corporate America’s foremost organizations, but also by personally demonstrating to leaders in all practice areas — government, agencies, corporate — the significant role public relations plays,” said Mason.  
Iwata leads IBM’s global marketing, communications and citizenship organization, and is responsible for market research, the marketing of IBM’s portfolio of products and services, corporate communications, community relations and brand stewardship.
Recently, Iwata and his team led the development of IBM’s “A Smarter Planet” strategy, which describes the company’s view of the next era of information technology and its impact on business and society. He also serves as a member of the IBM Operating Team, responsible for day-to-day marketplace execution, and the IBM Strategy Team, which focuses on long-term issues and opportunities. Iwata is also vice chairman of the IBM International Foundation.
Iwata joined the IBM communications group at Almaden Research Center in Silicon Valley in 1984. Five years later, he moved to IBM corporate headquarters in Armonk, N.Y., becoming vice president of corporate communications in 1995 and senior vice president in 2002. He assumed his current role in 2008.
Among his civic activities, Iwata is a member of the Technology Committee of the Museum of Modern Art, and is a trustee of the Arthur W. Page Society. From 2006 to 2007, he served as chairman of The Seminar, a professional group consisting of chief communications officers. Iwata holds a B.A. from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at San Jose State University.
Along with his other achievements, Iwata is the co-inventor of a U.S. patent for advanced semiconductor lithography technology.
Last year’s sold-out PRSA Foundation Paladin Dinner brought together leaders from across the industry for what attendees said was a unique opportunity for renewing old friendships and meeting new colleagues. In attendance were leaders from PRSA and the PRSA Foundation, Arthur W. Page Society, The Wisemen, The Council of PR Firms, the Institute for Public Relations, and many major PR agencies and leading corporations, including IBM and Lockheed Martin. 
Previous recipients of the Paladin Award include Fleishman-Hillard Chairman John Graham in 2009, and Marcia Silverman, chairperson of Ogilvy PR, in 2010.
For information about PRSA Foundation Paladin Dinner or the PRSA Foundation, contact Wendy Gallo at the PRSA Foundation offices, (212) 460-1412,. Proceeds from the PRSA Foundation Paladin Dinner support the initiatives of the PRSA Foundation.

About the PRSA Foundation
Founded in 1990, the PRSA Foundation is an independent charitable foundation that raises funds to support scholarships for public relations students, to sponsor research projects that impact the practice of public relations and the profession’s ability to serve the public good, and initiatives that build greater understanding of the role of public relations among business and government leaders. It is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit foundation with offices in New York City.
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