NAMA Names Professional Development Award Winners for 2018

Written by NAMA on Tuesday, September 4, 2018 , 2:10 pm

NAMA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 Professional Development Awards of Excellence. Each year, NAMA recognizes industry leaders at the very top of their respective fields. These prestigious awards acknowledge excellence in the areas of marketing communications, public relations and sales.

The 2018 Marketing Communications award recipient is Jerry Gennaria, Chief Operating Officer/Senior Vice President at Brighton Agency. Jerry’s experience in a wide range of agricultural sectors along with his passion for teaching and mentoring make him a great asset to the Strategy & Engagement team at Brighton. As a member of the Gateway Chapter, Jerry played a leading role in guiding NAMA through the recent evolution of its brand. Jerry and his team guided the organization’s leadership as it identified brand beliefs and pillars, reviewed audience perceptions and desires and, ultimately, developed a mission, purpose and, brand story that better positions NAMA today and for the future.

John Robinson is awarded the Professional Development Award for Public Relations. As Executive Director, Organizational Communications at the Natl. Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), John has helped grow the organization’s digital presence by tripling the number of Facebook followers and continuing to increase NCBA’s Instagram and Snapchat audiences. Recently he co-led the NCBA rebranding team, focusing on creating a more consistent brand presence for the association. John is an active member of the Rocky Mountain NAMA Chapter. He regularly attends meetings, has served on the chapter’s planning committee, and encourages team members to get involved in the organization.

The award recipient for Sales is Sonia Tighe, Executive Director, Florida Specialty Crop Foundation at the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association. Sonia’s passion and determination have played an integral role in helping transform the “single crop” culture within the state of Florida. Her enthusiasm for the success of the local farm community is helping her evolve an entire farming culture. Sonia is a board member for the Florida NAMA Chapter and she regularly attends national meetings. She is also working closely with the Florida Student NAMA team to ensure they can participate at the annual competition.

The Professional Development Awards of Excellence will be presented at the 2018 NAMA Fall Conference in Minneapolis, MN. The honorees will receive their awards during a morning session on Wednesday, September 19 at the Loews Minneapolis Hotel. For more information on the NAMA Fall Conference, visit

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