Craig O’Neill Honored with first ever Lifetime Achievement Award

The Arkansas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) honored Craig O’Neill, News Anchor at KTHV – Channel 11, with the Diamond Award and Kearney Dietz, APR with the chapter’s first ever Lifetime Achievement Award on February 15 at the Little Rock Club.

In the photo from L to R is Kearney Kietz, Ben Combs, Craig O'Neill

In the photo from L to R is Kearney Kietz, Ben Combs, Craig O’Neill

O’Neill received the Diamond Award, the highest-honor external award presented to an individual who, in the opinion of the Arkansas PRSA’s Past Presidents Council, made significant contributions resulting in the enhancement of the image of Arkansas or who has performed outstanding service to the state in which the principles of public relations played a part.

This year marks O’Neill’s 50th year in broadcasting. Outside of the broadcast world, O’Neill has dedicated his personal time giving back to the state he loves. Over his career, he has emceed 366 dances (including one at the White House for Hillary Clinton’s birthday), 42 roasts, 28 telethons, and two womanless beauty pageants. His commitment to public service has led him to volunteer his time as emcee for 9,000 fundraisers, raising more than $40 million for local Arkansas nonprofits.

Dietz received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his varied career in organization management, banking, public relations and marketing, and commercial real estate, which spanned nearly five decades. He retired in 2012 after spending 23 years as president of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities. He is a former chair of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities State Executives and was a presiding officer of the Foundation for Independent Higher Education. Both organizations are headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Active in state and community affairs, Dietz is a former member of the board of directors of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce. He is a past president of the Mid-South Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) as well as past president of the Arkansas Chapter of PRSA. He is also a past president of the Little Rock unit of the American Cancer Society, the Arkansas Arthritis Foundation, the Downtown Little Rock Kiwanis Club, and the Little Rock University Alumni Association. Dietz was elected to the Little Rock School Board in the early 1970s and has been a part of the leadership of the United Way, YMCA, and his church, Pulaski Heights United Methodist. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from UA Little Rock in 1990 and the Ira Brumley Award for Religious Education from Hendrix College in 2002.

The Arkansas Chapter of PRSA is dedicated to developing and enriching the professional lives of Arkansas public relations practitioners. The chapter seeks to build understanding and support for public relations throughout the business community and within the academic community for future practitioners.