The Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) is delighted to announce that the Florida Panthers and the Calgary Flames are the recipients of the Dick Dillman Award, given each season to the top public relations department in each conference.
This is Florida’s first Dillman award, and it’s no coincidence that it coincides with the arrival of Chris Wojcik, who left the Arizona Coyotes and joined the Panthers this season. Kudos to Chris and his staff – media relations coordinator Michael Lewis, Director of Digital Media Addie Biedenback and public relations coordinator Chrissy Parente – for their diligence and cooperation.
The runner-up in the Eastern Conference is a team consistently in the mix for the award, the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers PR department – led by senior director Zack Hill and his stellar staff, director of public relations Joe Siville and manager of broadcasting and media services Brian Smith – won the Dillman twice in the past five years.
Calgary, a finalist last season, is the Western Conference winner and is the first Canadian team to win the Dillman in the post-lockout era. The committee recognized the hard work of Flames VP of communication Peter Hanlon and his staff on a daily basis in a demanding market with its own set of challenges specific to Canadian-based teams. Hanlon’s department includes director of communications Sean Kelso, public relations coordinator Greger Buer and communications assistant Kelsey McCay.
The finalist in the West was last year’s winner, the Dallas Stars. Many thanks to the tireless Tom Holy, VP of communications and his efficient staff, media relations manager Ben Fromstein, corporate communications manager Joe Calvillo and media relations intern Kailey Gamble.
“These teams continue to set an impressive standard of excellence and we are very pleased to honor them,” said Lisa Dillman, daughter of Dick Dillman. “The committee and the membership would like to thank them for their cooperation and hard work. My father always recognized the importance of a good working relationship between the teams and the media and this award in his name means a lot to our family.”
The committee is chaired by Lisa Dillman and includes PHWA president Scott Burnside, PHWA executive vice president Craig Custance, PHWA executive vice president Mark Spector, Joe McDonald, Kevin McGran, Mike Zeisberger, Frank Seravalli, Mike Russo, PHWA treasurer Tracey Myers, Pat Leonard, Eric Duhatschek and Sarah McLellan.