Washington Women in Public Relations has named Amy DeMaria, senior VP of communications at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, as its 2017 PR Woman of the Year.

DeMaria’s award was presented at the 28th annual Washington PR Woman of the Year award luncheon on Nov. 17 at the Fairmont Hotel in Georgetown.

Washington Women in PR Woman of the Year awards luncheon
L-R: Kathy Baird, Amy DeMaria, Samantha Villegas

Through her work with CFF, DeMaria has helped to position the organization as a leader in drug discovery and development for rare diseases. Her team's efforts contributed to the success of the Foundation's $200 million major giving campaign.

DeMaria previously led communications at Georgetown University Medical Center, served as an account executive at Porter Novelli, and was briefing coordinator to Donna Shalala, HHS secretary during the Clinton administration.

Kathy Baird, managing director of content and social, North America, Ogilvy & Mather; and Samantha Villegas, president, SaVi PR, were other finalists for the award.

The Woman of the Year luncheon was established by WWPR in 1990 as a way to foster camaraderie among women in public relations and honor the most talented women in the field.

The event also highlights the organization’s commitment to serving the surrounding community with proceeds from the annual raffle going to WWPR’s pro bono client.

This year’s raffle proceeds went to support 2017 pro bono client Bright Beginnings, Inc., a nonprofit that operates child and family development centers for homeless children.