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Adventist Communicators Meet for Learning and Networking in Denver


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By Kimberly Luste Maran
More than 220 communicators, including seasoned professionals, college and university students, and volunteers from across North America and beyond, met on October 13-15, 2016, for the Society of Adventist Communicators convention held at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center in Colorado.
The convention, themed “Keep Climbing,” opened with morning media tours of the NBC Uplink facility and Karsh & Hagan Communications. Thursday afternoon offered attendees an extended workshop entitled “Things You Should Know,” with a social media panel discussion, crisis management presentation, and much more. The opening reception on Thursday night gave attendees the opportunity to enjoy a meal and network.
After TechTalk, Friday’s early morning workshop, Daniel R. Jackson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, who made an unscheduled trip to Denver, addressed the group in regard to the early October Annual Council’s vote to approve the Unity in Mission document, “which examines the need for procedures that the church can follow when an administrative body fails to follow “biblical principles as expressed in the Fundamental Beliefs, voted actions, or working policies of the Church." [Click here for NAD Unity Info webpage.]
After affirming the role of women in ministry, and clarifying that the division is operating within General Conference working policy, Jackson said, “This year we have the opportunity to dialogue, pray, . . . And work through issues together.” He added, “A culture of silence on issues is not okay. We need respectful objections and thoughtful disagreements.”
Kurt Kennedy, keynote speaker for the convention, addressed the “communicator’s role in the climb,” sharing thoughts on change and messaging. He said, “Change is a process we have to get familiar and comfortable with as communicators.” Kennedy is the CEO and executive creative director for Kennedy Communication Global, a leading internal-external brand alignment agency.
Workshops offered during the remainder of the morning and afternoon gave communication professionals and students the opportunity to choose sessions that best suited interests. Workshops included crisis communication, digital media, broadcast media (video and radio), graphic design, social media, photography, branding, and communication education.
The day wrapped up in the evening panel presentation, "How to Use Communication Skills to Reach Our Communities.” Panelists were asked to share how community service and communication go hand in hand in helping others, sharing Christ, and telling stories.
Following the Sabbath morning devotional given by Becky De Oliveira, Adventist speaker and author, attendees visited the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs for walking/hiking and a photo tour. “It was a real blessing to fellowship with fellow communicators in such a beautiful setting,” said Dan Weber, communication director for the NAD and executive director of SAC. “The Sabbath afternoon walk and opportunity to make new friends and acquaintances was a wonderful way to close out the convention.”
“The 2016 SAC Convention was fantastic due to the hard work of the SAC Board and the NAD communication team,” said Tammy Fisher, communication director of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference and SAC president. “I hope everyone who attended had a great experience—from the presentations to the tours to my favorite part, the networking.”
The convention concluded Saturday evening with the awards banquet featuring the documentary "A Certain Kind of Light," which showcases the life and work of Wil Alexander, an Adventist pastor and long-time Loma Linda University professor who advocated for “whole person care” to generations of medical students. Alexander, who passed away at 95 years of age on Nov. 16, 2016, was known for his “love rounds” where he visited with patients—often getting them to open up and share their stories.
At the conclusion of the awards ceremony, the SAC board announced that the 2017 convention will be held in Portland, Oregon. The theme is “Building Bridges.”
The list of 2016 award winners, chosen from 209 entries, is below:
Broadcast Media
Best Radio Show or Podcast:
Best in Class — Lovejoy Tafadzwa Gutu, “Smile Weekly Radio Show”
Best TV/Internet Show:
Best in Class — Julie Z. Lee, “The Call to Kenya,” Maranatha Volunteers International
Best Video Story/Project:
Best in Class — Michelle Stotz, “Shadow Empire,” Voice of Prophecy
Corporate Communication
Best Constituency or Annual Video Report:
Best in Class — Costin Jordache and Tibor Shelley, “Constituency Video Report,” Central California Conference
Honorable Mention — Kenn Dixon and Cliff Laurent, “3rd Quadrennial Session Report,” Southwest Regional Conference
Best Constituency Report (Print) or Best Special Event:
Best in Class — Judy Leach, Leigh Hall and Jim Bartosik, “Annual Report: Hand in Hand,” Kettering Health Network
Honorable Mention (tie) — Shelley Freesland and Clayton Kinney, “Annual Report,” Adventist World Radio
Honorable Mention (tie) — Larry Becker and Nancy Yuen, “Now Is the Time,” Loma Linda University Health
Best Website:
Best in Class — Heather Grbic, Frank Spangler and Lauren Clark, “ADRA.ca,” ADRA Canada
Honorable Mention — Darcy Force, Glen Robinson, Charles Lewis and David Mendoza, “SWAU.edu,” Southwestern Adventist University
Best Book Cover:
Best in Class: — Karen Pearson and Gerald Lee Monks, “Everyone Welcome*,” Pacific Press
Honorable Mention — Karen Pearson and Gerald Lee Monks, “Searching for Lost Love,” Pacific Press
Best Magazine Cover:
Best in Class — Michelle C. Petz and Heather Quintana, “Vibrant Life, May/June 2016,” Pacific Press
Honorable Mention — Jason Busch, Kristina Lockhart, Madelein Terreros, Sora Yanez, “Flame Magazine, Summer 2016,” Texas Conference
Best Magazine Design Overall:
Best in Class — Debbie Michel, Diane Myers, Felecia Datus and Keri Elaine Lawrence, “Envision Magazine, Fall 2016,” Andrews University
Honorable Mention (tie) — Michelle C. Petz and Heather Quintana, “Vibrant Life,” May/June 2016,” Pacific Press
Honorable Mention (tie) — Jessie Johnson, Annalyse Hasty, Ariel Warren and Michael Prewitt, “Impressions, Winter 2016,” It Is Written
Best Project Design:
Best in Class — Cassie Martsching, Liv Jacobson, Aphee Messer, Jennifer Gooch and Liz Jeanniton, “Adventurer Club Curriculum,” AdventSource
Honorable Mention — Shelley Freesland and Robert Valencia, “Studios for China,” Adventist World Radio
Best Photograph:
Best in Class — Daryl Gungadoo and Shelley Freesland, “Refugee Life in Dunkirk,” Adventist World Radio
Honorable Mention — Terry Henson, “Peace at Last”
Marketing/Public Relations
Best Promotional Video:
Best in Class — Costin Jordache, Tibor Shelley and Eduardo Gonzalez, “Pathway to Health L.A. Review,” Central California Conference
Honorable Mention — Darcy Force and David Pollock, “Welcome Home,” Southwestern Adventist University
Best Brochure or Print Ad:
Best in Class — Larissa Church, Cliff Rusch, Haley Wesley, Rachel Wuerstlin and Dana Negron, “Viewbook,” Pacific Union College
Honorable Mention — Jessie Johnson, Kristi Byrkit, Ariel Warren and Michael Prewitt, “Resource Catalog,” It Is Written
Best Marketing Campaign
Best in Class — Miguel Quirarte, James Worland and Brittany Costello, “August Tanner,” Themiggs.com
Honorable Mention (tie) — Judy Leach and Israel Olaore, “The Thrift Store at Good Neighbor House: Meet the New Neighbors,” Kettering Adventist HealthCare
Honorable Mention (tie) — Costin Jordache, “Pathway to Health L.A. Marketing,” Central California Conference
Best Media Relations Kit
Best in Class — Frenita Fullwood, Anna Bartlett, Elizabeth Camps, Regina Reeves and Alisa Luby, “Safety Sabbath,” Adventist Risk Management
Honorable Mention — Michelle Rai, Kenneth McKelvie and Jayson Paw, “Mana Comics Social Media Pitch,” Pacific Union College
New Media
Best App:
Best in Class — Kenn Dixon, “We Are Southwest,” Southwest Region Conference
Honorable Mention — Jessie Johnson, Andrew Jones, Michael Prewitt and Vince Cantrell, “It Is Written”
Best E-Newsletter/Blog:
Best in Class — Frenita Fullwood, Elizabeth Camps, Anna Bartlett, Regina Reeves, Deena Wagner and David Fournier, “Solutions,” Adventist Risk Management
Honorable Mention — Larissa Church, Haley Wesley and Dana Negron, “Admissions,” Pacific Union College
Best Use of Social Media:
Best in Class — Jenni Glass, Lauren Davis, Denise Herdemann, Ali Reiner and Shelby Seibold, “Know Your Numbers,” Adventist Health
Honorable Mention — Heather Grbic, “ADRA Canada,” ADRA Canada
Print Media
Best Print Newsletter:
Best in Class — Carrie Purkeypile and Heather Bergren, “The Volunteer, 2nd Quarter,” Maranatha Volunteers International
Honorable Mention — Sharmilla Reid, “Global Impact, Spring,” ADRA Canada
Best Magazine:
Best in Class — Debbie Michel, Diane Myers, Dave Sherwin, color photography students and editorial design students, “Envision Magazine, Fall 2016,” Andrews University
Honorable Mention — Leigh Hall, “Health Connection, Winter 2016,” Kettering Adventist HealthCare
Best Feature:
Best in Class — Julie Z. Lee, “Finding Freedom in Cuba,” Maranatha Volunteers International
Honorable Mention — Jessica Beans and Breana Haughton, “International Medical Missionary Feature,” Kettering College
Student Awards
Best Student Newspaper:
Best in Class — Rosana Hughes, Eloise Ravell, Cassie Matchim, “Southern Accent,” Southern Adventist University
Honorable Mention — Tara Hattendorf, et. al, “Campus Chronicle,” Pacific Union College
Best Student Design Project:
Best in Class (tie) — Stefani Leeper, et. al, “Who Are We?” Feb. 2016, Mid-America Outlook magazine
Best in Class (tie) — “Issue #8,” Fall 2016, Envision Magazine, Andrews University
Best Student Feature Writing:
Best in Class — Felecia Datus, “Make Me a Servant,” Envision Magazine, Fall 2016, Andrews University
Honorable Mention — Kyrzia Abacan, “Lighthouses on the Hill,” Envision Magazine, Fall 2016, Andrews University
Best Student Photograph:
Honorable Mention — Jeffrey Emillen and Amy Beissiegel, Envision Magazine, Fall 2016, Andrews University
Best Student Video Project:
Best in Class — Nina Vallado, “Papi,” Andrews University
Honorable Mention — Jonathan Salvador, “Investigative Journalism,” Pacific Union College
Best Student PR/Marketing Project:
Best in Class — Sarah Lee, Ariana Casiano, Natasha Carrasco and Ian Gustafson, “Brasswood Baker,” Pacific Union College
Honorable Mention — Lexie Carter, “Studio 4109 Marketing Strategy,” Southern Adventist University
Best Student Broadcast Project (Podcast, TV, Radio):
Best in Class — Armondi Stokes-Hicks, “Jessie Williams’ Story,” podcast, Southern Adventist University
Student of the Year Award:
Jessica Anzai, Class of 2016, Southern Adventist University
“For your unique combination of creative talent; warm, welcoming personality; and genuine concern for underserved people.”
Young Professional Award:
Brittany Winkfield, Communication Director, Central States Conference; Editor, Back To Basics digital magazine
“A self-motivated, creative and visionary individual who collaborates well with others — all while being a devoted Christian, loving wife and mother.”
Reger Smith Cutting Edge Award:
Voice of Prophecy, “Shadow Empire”
“For producing a high quality, captivating and incredibly versatile evangelistic tool that can reach many different audiences.”
Award of Excellence:
Adventist World Radio, “Refugees in Dunkirk”
“For presenting a deeply emotional topic with compassion and dignity.”
Lifetime Achievement Award:
Rita Waterman, Retired, Assistant VP for Communication, Adventist Health
“A founding member and past president of SAC, she builds bridges, serves her church, and is a strong advocate for growing talent within Adventist Health.”

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