Communications professional Gail Ortiz received the prestigious Paul B. Clark award from the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) at its recent annual conference in Sacramento. Ortiz was honored with this top award for her outstanding service to the public, her profession and the CAPIO organization.
“The prestigious Paul B. Clark award is an acknowledgement of Gail’s dedication to civic engagement, professional commitment, as well as her devotion to mentoring others and building relations among professional colleagues, community members and the media,” commented City Manager Ken Pulskamp. “Gail has contributed to the success of many City award-winning programs and campaigns that have made a difference in the lives of Santa Clarita residents and is incredibly deserving of this award.”
The annual Paul B. Clark award is the highest award bestowed by the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO) to its most distinguished members. Honoring the memory of esteemed founding member and colleague Paul B. Clark, the award bearing his name is given to an individual who demonstrates exceptional leadership in the communications field.
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As the first public information officer for the City, Ortiz has worked for the last 21 years to build the communications division up in to the award-winning division it is today. She has helped the City of Santa Clarita achieve regional and national media attention with creative programs, media and special events, including the “Hairdresser’s Luncheon,” “Milk and Cookies with the Mayor,” the “Healthy Santa Clarita” program, and the “Extreme Neighborhood Makeover” program.
As technology has changed the world of public relations, Gail has been at the forefront of emerging technologies in order to communicate with the Santa Clarita community. The City was one of the first in the state to adopt social media, including a City Facebook page, Twitter accounts and an online blog called Santa Clarita City Briefs.
Ortiz started the Santa Clarita Valley Public Information Officers’ group, a 10-year long organization comprised of local professionals who meet quarterly to address regional issues of crisis communications, intergovernmental relations and mutual assistance. Ortiz is also actively involved in her community and serves as the Vice President for the local Domestic Violence Center, where she has been on the board for seven years. During her tenure at the Domestic Violence Center, she co-created “Boys Night Out,” an annual event that raises thousands of dollars for the center as well as awareness among community men for issues related to domestic violence.
In addition, she serves on the advisory board for the Santa Clarita Valley Family Promise, a new organization that will provide shelter and services to homeless families. Previously, she has served on the board for the Child and Family Center of the Santa Clarita Valley for eight years.
During the last 21 years, Ortiz worked diligently to support the CAPIO organization, serving both on committees and the board of directors. The quality of Ortiz’s work has been recognized by CAPIO through its Excellence in Communication Awards.
The California Association of Public Information Officials provides members with professional growth; opportunities to share enhance and learn valuable skill sets; and access to government information and services. Members represent counties, cities, special districts, the state of California and other agencies.