PSAid Meet the Judges

Meet the Judges

Beth Balsam, President and CEO, U.S. Hill and Knowlton Strategies

Beth is an award-winning strategic communications leader with vast experience in consumer branding, lifestyle marketing, issues management and corporate social responsibility, as well as a reputation for being an excellent counselor, team-builder and connector. For the last 11 years, Beth was a managing director at Citizen Relations with the responsibility of managing the firm’s global relationship with Procter & Gamble. She previously served as general manager of the firm’s New York office. Prior to Citizen, Balsam was a senior vice president at FleishmanHillard, where she spent eight years working with P&G, Hasbro and other consumer brands. Previous to that, she served in-house at Revlon.

Beth has been instrumental in creating or enhancing campaigns that have won every marketing industry award, including Pampers/UNICEF One Pack = One Vaccine, Scrabble’s 50th Anniversary, and a recent Cannes Award for the Trust Your Power campaign featuring Derrick Coleman for Duracell.


TIP: Award winning marketing always makes best use of color, space and graphics.


Regine Webster, Vice President, Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Regine is Vice President of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP), where she was a Founding Executive Director. CDP helps donors make more thoughtful disaster-related giving decisions and maximize the impact of their donations. Regine has nearly two decades of experience in the relief and development fields, working with non-profit and other organizations to improve the lives of people all over the world. Highlights include her service in the Global Health and Global Development divisions of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. While there, Regine led the Foundation’s Emergency Relief portfolio, developing and executing $50 million in grants to address crises in South Asia, Sudan, Iran, the Caribbean, and other areas. Regine was also a consultant to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, co-leading development of the Foundation’s response to Hurricane Katrina and the Pakistan earthquake in 2005, and writing and later revising the Hilton Foundation’s disaster response strategy. Regine holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Boston College and a master’s in Foreign Policy from Georgetown University.


TIP:I like to be engaged on a personal level and feel like I know (or could know) the people in the story.


Sheryl Johnson-Ross,A ssociate Professor and Strategic Communications Sequence Coordinator,Howard University

In the Department of Strategic, Legal and Management Communication at Howard University, Sheryl teaches advertising, research and related media courses and has an eclectic background as an advertising practitioner with over 25 years of experience. She began her career in radio in the Washington D.C. market; writing commercials, selling syndicated radio programs and working for top rated stations including NBC and ABC-owned stations. In New York, she worked at Ogilvy and Mather in Network TV Buying and performed special projects for ABC Network Sales and CBS Network marketing departments. She has also enjoyed a successful 14 year career at The Washington Post. Sheryl’s additional experience includes local radio and television advertising sales and public television grant writing. Her research interests include diversity in the advertising industry, African-American representation in the media and advertising ethics.


TIP: It needs to be attention grabbing – I want to connect with the ad when I see it.


Lori J. Bertman, CEO Pennington Foundation

Lori is the president and CEO of the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, the largest family foundation in Southern Louisiana. Widely recognized as a noted expert and innovative thought leader in the field of disaster philanthropy, she is co-founder and board chair of the Washington-based Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the first organization that devotes its resources full-time to advising donors in making more impactful disaster giving. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Lori organized local and national philanthropic entities to raise over $40 million to contribute to recovery efforts. Lori and the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation began the CSIS-Pennington Family Foundation Series on Community Resilience with support from Walmart. The series brought together experts across all sectors to discuss community resilience, and culminated in the submission of a Congressional white paper, which provided a call to action for specific legislative and infrastructure recommendations to improve community resilience. In 2013, Lori was invited to become a contributor to and The Huffington Post, specializing in disaster philanthropy and trends in the philanthropic sector.


TIP:I like PSAs that are clever, witty and relatable.


Juanita Rilling, Director, USAID Center for International Disaster Information

Juanita joined the Center for International Disaster Information (CIDI) after a combined 32 year career in the US Agency for International Development’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the US Senate. Prior to her civil service, Juanita was a freelance illustrator for the Washington Post and other publications. Her tenure in OFDA includes 6 years as a Disaster Operations Specialist, when she endured a number of formative experiences with inappropriate material donations. Juanita is highly motivated to lead CIDI’s work in steering public generosity to the greatest benefit of people in need around the world.


TIP: I like clever, upbeat, engaging messaging and graphics. Check out prior winners on . Wait - that’s two tips! #Baller