Sandy Young Honored with PRSA San Diego Deborah Baker PR Professional of the Year Award

Sandy Young, vice-president of J. Walcher Communications (JWC), a top San Diego public relations and marketing agency, has been named the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter Deborah Baker PR Professional of the Year” at its 2023 Edward L. Bernays Mark of Excellence Awards.

The award honors one person each year who has achieved an outstanding public relations accomplishment in strategic planning, product or service introduction, issues management, advocacy or crisis.

Nominated by JWC President Jean Walcher, Young was recognized for her advocacy work on behalf of firm client the San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN). The work started five years ago after it was discovered that hundreds of people who were legally seeking asylum were being left on the streets of downtown San Diego with absolutely no resources by the federal government.

After the SDRRN mobilized and set up a shelter, travel center and a slew of other services to help the migrants, many of whom had family, friends and sponsors waiting for them in cities across the U.S., the international media descended on San Diego. Young led media relations efforts that have resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars for the organization, while also helping protect the identities of asylum seekers, many who were fleeing their countries in fear of their lives. She did this all while ensuing stories were told that gave the humanitarian tragedy a human face and dignity.

“It’s also Sandy’s grasp of the issues; its nuances and never-ending changing policy that she learns quickly and enables her to be a strong strategic partner to our clients,” said Walcher.

Young has been with JWC for 14.5 years and was also cited for her work on Jewish Family Service’s Safe Parking Program and Monarch School’s efforts to support unhoused youth in San Diego.