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Posted on: March 29, 2022

Chesterfield Wins VEMA’s Adam Ward Public Information Excellence Award

Chesterfield Communications and Media VEMA Award 2022

Communications and Media

March 29, 2022

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, VA — Chesterfield County’s Communications and Media Department has been named the recipient of the 2022 Adam Ward Public Information Excellence Award by the Virginia Emergency Management Association (VEMA).

The Adam Ward Public Information Excellence Award is presented to an individual or organization in recognition of their outstanding efforts to educate and inform the public about life-saving actions before, during, or after a disaster. This award recognizes the importance of creating clear and actionable information that helps the public make informed decisions and the importance of public information in emergency management.

The honor is named in memory of Adam Ward, who embodied the term excellence in his position as a photojournalist for WDBJ 7 News in Roanoke. Through his personality and professionalism, Ward symbolized so much to so many who followed his coverage. His desire to help others made him the perfect combination to report and empathize with the communities he served. 

Ward and a fellow employee, Allison Parker, were tragically murdered on August 26, 2015 while reporting live regarding upcoming events in the Smith Mountain Lake area of Moneta. He and coworker Melissa Gaona were the recipients of the “Media Excellence award” in 2014, leading the VEMA board to rename the award after Ward prior to the 2015 Symposium. 

“Information is everything before, during, and after an emergency or disaster,” said Jessica Robison, Emergency Management Coordinator for Chesterfield County, who nominated Communications and Media for the honor. “Good, clear, actionable messaging is crucial for a successful response. Communications and Media is always willing to assist Emergency Management no matter what time of day or night. We have been through a very active two years between the pandemic and several weather events that required a response. Communications and Media has always ensured timely information to keep residents informed during times of emergency and has promoted Emergency Management in the community even when there was no crisis in unique and creative ways. We are so grateful for the partnership we share.”  

“Our collaboration with the Emergency Management team has had a tremendous impact on making sure timely, accurate and helpful information is shared with the residents of Chesterfield,” said Communications and Media Director Susan S. Pollard. “To be nominated for this award by Chesterfield’s emergency management team and recognized by the statewide association is truly an honor.”

The Department of Communications and Media provides comprehensive communications services to more than 40 departments, combining video/TV production, print, social media and other mediums in order to share the many stories of Chesterfield. 

 The VEMA is a statewide organization that promotes and supports the twin goals of saving lives and protecting property during the times of emergencies and disasters in Virginia. 

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