Gail Moaney, APR, received the Marcella Martinez award in memory of the meritorious and productive life of the late Caribbean public relations professional and diplomat.
Bevan Springer, who leads the nonprofit Caribbean Media Exchange (CMEx), congratulated his fellow board member "for capturing this prestigious honor, which, in turn, honors one of Jamaica's most accomplished daughters."
"Gail is indisputably deserving of this award, not only for her unmatched contributions to our profession and her service to the Caribbean, but also for her unstinting generosity to the youth of the region," said Springer, who, inspired by Moaney, established Marketplace Excellence, a New Jersey-based public relations practice.
The award, first presented in 2005, honors individuals and organizations which have made outstanding contributions to strengthening the marketing programs of Caribbean destinations. Winners are singled out for their work with the region's communities, as well as for providing consistent support for the Caribbean's cultural values and heritage.
"I am so touched and humbled by this," said Moaney, the founding managing partner of the New York City-based global firm Finn Partners. "Marcella Martinez was a dear colleague, mentor and friend. I remember her face so vividly when we told her that the Jamaica Tourist Board was establishing this PR award in her name," she reflected.
"It was towards the end of her battle with cancer and I was so happy that she was able to participate in the announcement. Although she left us before the awards ceremony, I always felt good knowing that she knew that her legacy would live on," said Moaney.
The award was presented to Moaney during Caribbean Week in New York, a city where the late Martinez made her mark in public relations and in international diplomacy.
Moaney, who in 2016 was an honoree in the inaugural Diversity in PR Award program presented by PR News, has more than 25 years of experience in agency and corporate public relations. She also spent 12 years in broadcasting as a producer and executive producer for NBC/WRC-TV, PBS (Public Broadcasting System), and Warner Amex Cable Communications.
An adjunct professor at NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies where she teaches Master's level courses, Moaney amassed an impressive list of clients in the Bahamas, Barbados and Jamaica, and has provided philanthropic support to the University of the West Indies and other regional organizations.
A fine arts graduate of Howard University, Moaney also earned an MA degree from American University. Among her many positions, she is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists as well as an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), for which she has served on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), and an allied member of the American Society of Travel Agents.
Moaney serves on the board of The LAGRANT Foundation, the New York Urban League, and the American Foundation for the University of the West Indies (AFUWI).