Canale Communications team celebrates their awards
The Canale Communications team celebrates their awards.

Life sciences public relations firm Canale Communications received 14 awards, including a Best of Show distinction, at the recent 2019 Edward L. Bernays Mark of Excellence awards program presented by the Public Relations Society of America’s San Diego-Imperial Counties chapter. A total of 73 awards were presented Nov. 7 at the Andaz San Diego Hyatt Hotel.

Mixte Communications received 10 awards, including a Best of Show and Special Award for PR Team of the Year. Another top winner of the evening was public affairs firm Southwest Strategies with nine awards.

Four special awards were presented, including:

  • Deborah Baker PR Professional of the Year Award — Denise Vedder, San Diego County Water Authority
  • Eva Irving Community Service Award — Jean Walcher, J. Walcher Communications
  • 2019 Professional of the Year Award — Cambria Fuqua, Canale Communications
  • Otto Bos Hall of Fame Award — Marlee J. Ehrenfeld, MIG

Bronze Best of Show awards went to Canale Communications in the blog category, Nuffer Smith Tucker in the collateral category and NV5 and the East County Advanced Water Purification Program in the creative tactics category. One Silver Best of Show award went to Mixte Communications and the Museum of Photographic Arts in an events and observances category.

A complete list of winners is available online at

The awards are named after Edward L. Bernays, the man who launched the field of public relations in the 1920s.

Mixte Communications Launches New Company Focusing on Immigrants

Karim Bouris (left), Angela Rivera and Jamie Hampton

Mixte Communications, a San Diego public relations agency, announced it has launched a new social enterprise PR agency to provide paid, training jobs for refugees and immigrants. The new company, called Tracks Public Relations, will bring diversity to the PR profession, said Jamie Hampton, founder and CEO of Mixte and Tracks.

“For years, the public relations industry has discussed its lack of diversity, but we’ve made little progress in welcoming new voices,” said Hampton. “Without an inclusive workforce, the industry of public relations simply cannot offer the creativity and services needed to help companies sync with communities across America. As the messengers for brands, products or services, it’s not just a good thing to do, it’s just good business.”

Hampton said the idea for Tracks was discussed during a 2017 Mixte’s strategic planning meeting. She said staff members suggested that Mixte reinvest profits for the incubation of Tracks, which began last year. Tracks employees include Karim Bouris, director of workplace strategies, and Angela Rivera, director of people and creative.

“Everyone should have an equal opportunity to pursue a thriving livelihood for themselves and their family,” said Rivera. “But opportunity is not created equal, especially in the public relations industry, which is 83 percent white. That doesn’t send a message to someone like me that you’re welcome in this industry. We’re changing that.”

MIT Enterprise Forum Hosts 5G Disruption Panel

Cheryl Goodman

The MIT Enterprise Forum San Diego, a networking group for tech-minded business leaders, technologists, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and service providers, will host a panel discussion on 5G from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20. at the law offices of Knobbe Martens, 12790 El Camino Real. Admission is free for members, $65 per person for nonmembers.

Panel members will include Cheryl Goodman, director of corporate communications for Sony Electronics; Abhijit Kudrimoti, senior manager of product planning at Verizon; Sudeepto Roy, VP of engineering at Qualcomm Technology Licensing; and Chad Sweet, CEO of ModalAI. The moderator will be Mary Beth McCabe, academic program director for marketing at National University.

Enterprise Forum officials said the panel will discuss 5G as a disruptor of traditional industries and a boon to new technology in the United States. Goodman also will provide an update on Sony’s work on 5G, flying cars, robotics and STEM-focused education.

5G stands for 5th generation wireless system and promises a tenfold increase in speed from the current 4G. For example, a full HD movie can be downloaded with 5G in a matter of seconds. 5G technology is expected to enable a myriad of new applications and use cases, including connected smart devices, autonomous vehicles, smart cities and connected factories.

The Enterprise Forum, established in 1987, is a chapter of the Cambridge, MA-based global MIT Enterprise Forum, founded in 1978.

Local Media SD Radio Announces Date for SoCal Taco Fest in 2020

Local Media San Diego, operator of three Mexican-licensed FM radio stations in San Diego, has announced next year’s SoCal Taco Fest will be held Saturday, May 16, at Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego.

Headlining the musical entertainment will be recording artist Flo Rida, who has sold more than 100 million records worldwide. His hits include “Low,” “Right Round,” “Good Feeling” and “My House.”

The event, a day of tacos and concerts, will feature food from taco restaurants throughout Southern California plus Lucha Libre wrestling, Chihuahua dog races and a beauty pageant. Proceeds will benefit Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego.

The broadcaster operates XHRM-FM Magic 92.5, XHTZ-FM Z-90.3 and XTRA-FM 91X.

Rick Griffin

Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.