Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Upward named 2004 Communicator of the Year
Geoff Upward, Oakland University’s director of communications and marketing, has been named the International Association of Business Communicators/Detroit 2004 Communicator of the Year.
The annual award, which was presented at the IABC/Detroit Renaissance Awards banquet on June 15, recognizes a communications professional for outstanding contributions to business communication through the practice and encouragement of professionalism and integrity in communications excellence. During the banquet, OU also won art and design honors for its special publication, “Pushing the Boundaries,” and for “OU Magazine.”
“Geoff Upward is the consummate professional and a key member of the Oakland University management team,” said OU President Gary Russi. “His leadership and professionalism have contributed greatly to our mission, as we’ve seen steady growth in size and stature in the last 10 years. The entire university community takes great pride in the fact that IABC has honored Geoff with this prestigious award.”
A Birmingham resident, Upward joined Oakland University in 1984 as director of publications. Previously, he worked for Michigan Bell, Greenfield Village and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He’s also authored and edited several books, including two by Hall of Fame sportscaster Ernie Harwell.
“Geoff is a talented communicator, a great editor and one of the nicest guys I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. He has great ideas, a keen eye for detail, and a sharp and creative mind,” Harwell said in support of Upward’s nomination for the award. “I can think of no finer example of integrity, talent and professionalism in his field than Geoff Upward.”
A lifelong soccer fan since his days as an All-MIAA forward at Albion College, Upward served for several years as co-chair of the Marriott Soccer Classic youth tournament, which brought some 2,000 players to OU’s campus each year. He also has been a youth soccer coach with the Birmingham-Bloomfield and Varder soccer clubs and a YMCA basketball coach.
“I have had the distinct benefit of working with many talented and dedicated colleagues in the pursuit of worthy goals over the years, from public relations offices to youth soccer fields,” Upward said. “The value of teamwork cannot be overstated.”
Upward has a B.A. in history from Albion College and an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.
Other awards received by OU’s Communications and Marketing Department at the IABC/Detroit Renaissance Awards banquet include:
Best of Show in the art and design category and an Award of Excellence for art and design for a special print communication for the publication, “Pushing the Boundaries.” “Pushing the Boundaries” also received an Award of Honor in the print communications category for a four-color special print communication.
Award of Excellence in the category of art and design for a magazine for the publication, “OU Magazine.” “OU Magazine” also received an Award of Honor in the category of print communications for a four-color magazine.