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Diocesan members receive awards for communications work

Chris Whitaker, Nina Nicholson and Kirk Petersen with their 2023 Polly Bond Awards.
Chris Whitaker, Nina Nicholson and Kirk Petersen with their 2023 Polly Bond Awards. CYNDE BIMBI PHOTO

Several members of the Diocese of Newark received professional recognition for their communications work at the annual Episcopal Communicators Conference held last week at Camp Allen in the Diocese of Texas.

Nina Nicholson, diocesan Director of Communications & Technology and a member of St. George's, Maplewood, received an Award of Merit (equivalent to 2nd place) for her 2022 feature article, "A string of miracles" - Second house renovated to host Afghan refugees. She has won four previous Polly Bond Awards, for blogging, photography, social media post, and short-form video.

Chris Whitaker, Director of Communication, Outreach and Youth at Christ Church, Short Hills, received two Honorable Mention awards (equivalent to 3rd place) for the booklet Christ Church in Short Hills: A 140th Anniversary Commemorative Guide (an award he shares with Libby Clarke and Cathy Fernandez, who did not attend the conference), and the campaign Deeply Rooted, Branching Out - Celebrating 140 Years of Christ Church in Short Hills (which he shares with Libby Clarke). This was Whitaker's first Episcopal Communicators Conference and his first Polly Bond Awards.

Kirk Petersen, a member of St. George's, Maplewood who is an Associate Editor for The Living Church magazine (and, incidentally, Nina's husband), received an Award of Excellence (equivalent to 1st place) for his news article Want More Pandemic Money? It’s Complicated, as well as an Award of Merit for a second news article, Against All Odds, Paula Clark Is Consecrated Bishop of Chicago. These are his fifth and sixth Polly Bond Awards; all were received for news articles.

Founded in 1974, Episcopal Communicators is an organization of communication professionals working for dioceses, congregations and organizations in the Episcopal Church. In addition to its annual conference, it also maintains an email list for members, and a Facebook group open to all who work in communications in the Episcopal Church, whether or not they have chosen to become formal members of Episcopal Communicators.

Episcopal Communicators established their annual Polly Bond Awards to recognize excellence and achievement in Episcopal Church communications. They are named in honor of Episcopal Communicators co-founder Polly Bond (1914-1979). See all 2023 Polly Bond Award recipients, and their winning work, here.