HomeNorth AmericaNewsroomJon Iwata, 35-Year IBM Veteran and Founding Executive Director of Yale School of Management's Data & Trust Alliance, to be Awarded the Harold Burson Award at PRSA-NY 2023 Big Apple Awards
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Jon Iwata, 35-Year IBM Veteran and Founding Executive Director of Yale School of Management's Data & Trust Alliance, to be Awarded the Harold Burson Award at PRSA-NY 2023 Big Apple AwardsNovember 2, 2023

NEW YORK, Nov. 2, 2023 - The New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA-NY) has announced that Jon Iwata, IBM marketing and communications veteran and founding executive director of the Yale School of Management Data & Trust Alliance, is the 2023 recipient of the Harold Burson Award, sponsored by BCW. Iwata will receive the honor at the 2023 Big Apple Awards gala at Tao Downtown in New York City on November 15.

The Harold Burson Award is PRSA-NY's first and only individual award dedicated to a non-agency practitioner for excellence in communications. The award recognizes a communications pioneer who demonstrates a best-in-class approach to communicating with precision, conviction and transparency; who has a track record of working to eliminate mis-, dis- and mal-information; who has demonstrated innovative or outstanding contributions to the communications industry as a whole; and who demonstrates an unwavering commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

"I have known Jon Iwata for nearly 20 years and believe he truly embodies everything that Harold Burson stood for in communications, notably that actions must be the foundation for everything you choose to say," said Corey duBrowa, Global CEO, BCW. "I had the benefit of working alongside Jon during his time at IBM as well as his time chairing the Arthur Page Society Board and, like Harold, I see him as one of the greatest practitioners and leaders to ever work in this field. I am so proud that my friend and mentor Jon has been named the 2023 Harold Burson Award recipient."

Iwata is being recognized for his groundbreaking career and exemplary ability to influence change and shape brand purpose and identity through communications. During a distinguished 35-year career at IBM, Iwata served as Senior Vice President, Chief Brand Officer, and leader of the company's global marketing, communications, and citizenship organization. He reported to three IBM CEOs across two decades of significant transformation. He was chairman of IBM's corporate strategy committee and established the company's values and policy committee. According to Interbrand, IBM became the second most valuable brand in the world during Iwata's tenure.

Iwata is also Founding Executive Director of the Data & Trust Alliance, a not-for-profit organization that brings together leading businesses to develop and adopt responsible data and AI practices. Its first initiative, announced in 2021, was the development of algorithmic anti-bias safeguards for workforce practices, adopted by its member companies including American Express, CVS Health, GM, Humana, Mastercard, Meta, Nike and Walmart.

"Jon's commitment to expanding the communications role and using technology to combat bias in the workplace, makes him the ideal choice for this honor in Harold's memory," said Carmella Glover, president of PRSA-NY.

A co-inventor of a U.S. patent for a nanotechnology and process for atomic-scale semiconductors, Iwata is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; a director of the Ladies Professional Golf Association and chair of its nominating and governance committee; and serves on the advisory board of Responsible Innovation Labs. Iwata is an inductee of the B2B Hall of Fame, the Marketing Hall of Fame and the CMO Club Hall of Fame. He was named a Brand Genius by Adweek. In 2023 he was awarded the Larry Foster Award for Integrity in Public Communications by the Page Center at Penn State University. He holds a BA from the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at San Jose State University.

The New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America established the Big Apple Awards program in 1988 to encourage excellence in public relations. The program has evolved to keep pace with a rapidly changing industry and continues to celebrate the exciting and innovative successes of talented professionals working in the heart of the communications universe. Today, a Big Apple Award is known as one of the highest honors bestowed in public relations, and in recognition, submissions will be open to the work of PR practitioners across the US from this year forward. Learn more here.

The New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is the best-established and influential group of public relations professionals in the New York area. Operating for 75 years, the New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is one of the oldest, largest, and most prominent public relations Chapters in the country. Located in the media capital of the world, PRSANY offers to its members top-level career development and education, networking, mentoring, and award programs. PRSA-NY serves communications decision-makers at agencies, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and public and private institutions. For more information about PRSA-NY's upcoming events, mentorship program, jobs boards, volunteer opportunities, and membership details, go to prsany.org.

About BCW
BCW is the global communications agency built to move people. BCW partners with clients in the B2B, consumer, corporate, crisis management, healthcare, public affairs, purpose and technology sectors to set strategic direction for all communications and create powerful and unexpected ideas that earn attention. BCW uses earned media, paid media, creative technology, data, AI and an expanding suite of innovative capabilities to move people with power and precision to move its clients forward. BCW is a part of WPP (NYSE: WPP), a creative transformation company. For more information, visit www.bcw-global.com.