Special Achievement Awards

These awards recognize individuals who have helped build public trust in government by presenting accurate, timely and meaningful information effectively. The awards may also recognize an individual whose work has gone well above and beyond the normal duties and responsibilities of their position. The recognition could stem from a single event during the year, from work done over the course of the year, or from a career-long body of work and achievement culminating in the award year.

      • Communicator of the Year Award
        Someone who has excelled in communicating for a government entity in 2017 or 2018.
      • Scott Pengelly Lifetime Achievement Award
        Someone who has been in a government communications role for the majority of their career and has documented successes during that time.

Awards are presented at the Northern Lights Awards Ceremony, held each year in May.

Awardees are chosen from the submitted nominations by the MAGC board. MAGC reserves the right to award more than one nominee in either category, and to refrain from granting either award in any given year.

This page has a list of previous Communicator of the Year and Lifetime Achievement recipients.

Eligibility Criteria

The individual must have communicated the messages, conveyed the information or completed the work for a government entity during the preceding calendar year. The nomination may be centered on one project, a body of work during the year (Communicator of the Year Award) or work during a career (Lifetime Achievement Award).

Recipients must have generated substantive media coverage or public recognition for their government employer.

Recipients need not work in a “communications" field. Mayors, city managers, sheriffs, agency executives, and people in other occupations are eligible for nomination.

Recipients must have been in compliance with the MAGC Code of Ethics in performing government duties with truth, accuracy, fairness, responsibility and accountability to the public.

Recipients need not be MAGC members. Current MAGC board members are ineligible to receive these awards.

Nomination deadline

Nominations for 2020 will be accepted between Monday, March 2, until Friday, April 3.

To nominate a person for either award

  1. Visit the awards website between Monday, March 2, and Friday, April 3.
  2. Create an account if you haven't done so already and get yourself logged in.
  3. Click "Start entry."
  4. Select "Nominations," and then select "Communicator of the Year Award" or "Lifetime Achievement Award." 
    These options will only be active while nominations are open.
  5. Provide the requested information. See below.

You will be asked to provide the following. Note: these requirements are under review for 2020 and are likely to change somewhat from what's stated below! 

      • A short explanation (maximum of 500 words) telling the reasons you are nominating this person for an award.
      • A summary of the nominee’s work history, education and other background. A copy of the nominee's resume will suffice. 
      • Any supplemental material you would like the selection committee to consider. This might include news articles that provide information about the individual's accomplishments or other materials that demonstrate the individual's achievement. Supplementary materials will need to be uploaded as PDF, Word, PowerPoint, or video files.
      • We encourage you (but don't require you) to provide 2 or 3 letters of recommendation in support of your nominee. These can be written by anyone familiar with the nominee's strengths and work history. Letters of recommendation may be included in your supplemental material. 

Any current MAGC member in good standing may submit a nomination.

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