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Special Achievement Awards

This year's contest will be open for entries February 1 — March 1.

Contest information on this website, including this page, will be updated with 2019 information by February 1.


Communicator of the Year Award and
Scott Pengelly Lifetime Achievement Award

These awards recognize individuals who have helped build public trust in government by effectively presenting accurate, timely and meaningful information. The awards may also recognize an individual whose work has gone well above and beyond the normal duties and responsibilities of his or her position. The recognition could stem from a single event during the year, from work done over the course of the year, or from a career-long body of work and achievement culminating in the award year.

  • Communicator of the Year Award
    Someone who has excelled in communicating for a government entity in 2016 or 2017.
  • Scott Pengelly Lifetime Achievement Award
    Someone who has been in a government communications role for the majority of their career and has documented successes during that time.

Awards are presented at the Northern Lights Awards Ceremony, held each year in May.

Awardees are chosen from the submitted nominations by the MAGC board. MAGC reserves the right to award more than one nominee in either category, and to refrain from granting either award, in any given year.

Eligibility Criteria

The individual must have communicated the messages, conveyed the information or completed the work for a government entity during the preceding calendar year. The nomination may be centered on one project, a body of work during the year (Communicator of the Year Award) or work during a career (Lifetime Achievement Award).

Recipients must have generated substantive media coverage or public recognition for their government employer.

Recipients need not work in a “communications" field. Mayors, city managers, sheriffs, agency executives, and people in other occupations are eligible for nomination.

Recipients must have been in compliance with the MAGC Code of Ethics in performing government duties with truth, accuracy, fairness, responsibility and accountability to the public.

Recipients need not be MAGC members. Current MAGC board members are ineligible to receive these awards.

How to Submit a Nomination

Nominations opened Friday, February 23.

Deadline for nominations: 8 p.m. Friday, April 6, 2018. 

To nominate a person for either award

  1. Visit
  2. Create an account if you haven't done so already.
  3. Click "Start entry."
  4. Select "Category 9: Special Achievement Awards," and then "Communicator of the Year Award" or "Lifetime Achievement Award." 
  5. Provide the requested information. 

You will be asked to provide the following. 

  • A short explanation (maximum of 500 words) telling the reasons you are nominating this person for an award.
  • A summary of the nominee’s work history, education and other background. A copy of the nominee's resume will suffice. 
  • Any supplemental material you would like the selection committee to consider. This might include news articles that provide information about the individual's accomplishments or other materials that demonstrate the individual's achievement. Supplementary materials will need to be uploaded as PDF, Word, PowerPoint, or video files.
  • We encourage you (but don't require you) to provide 2 or 3 letters of recommendation in support of your nominee. These can be written by anyone familiar with the nominee's strengths and work history. Letters of recommendation may be included in your supplemental material. 

Any current MAGC member in good standing may submit a nomination.