GPC's Barbara Obrentz Named National "Communicator of the Year"

03/23/2011
Contact: Rebeca Rakoczy
Phone: 678-891-2691
Fax: 678-891-2966   
Author: Rebecca Rakoczy   

For Immediate Release

Barbara Obrentz, director of marketing and chief public information officer for Georgia Perimeter College, has been named the 2011 National Communicator of the Year by the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. NCMPR encompasses more than 650 colleges in the U.S., Canada and other countries.

Obrentz was named the nation’s top communicator during NCMPR’s national conference in Philadelphia March 13-16. The Communicator of the Year Award honors a two-year college marketing professional who has demonstrated leadership and ability in college communications.

In November, Obrentz also received the NCMPR-Southeast Communicator of the Year award which is awarded annually in each of NCMPR’s seven districts during its Southeastern District Conference. As one of seven district recipients, Obrentz automatically qualified to compete for the national award.

“Barbara is an extraordinary communicator who is dedicated to telling her college's story,” said Heather McDorman, NCMPR president. “It is her fearlessness to overcome obstacles, as well as an impressive list of meaningful achievements, that make her an outstanding selection as the 2011 NCMPR Communicator of the Year. I have no doubt that her colleagues at Georgia Perimeter College are extremely proud of her.”

In her role as director of marketing and chief public information officer, Obrentz’s many projects at Georgia Perimeter include coordinating the college’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Birthday Celebration; a presidential inauguration and a visit by President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. Carter was the keynote speaker and cut the ribbon for the opening of the college’s Atlanta Center for Civic Engagement and Service Learning in 2010.

Obrentz has also helped develop a new five-year strategic plan for the college – a project initiated by GPC President Dr. Anthony Tricoli, that ended up with four major goals: to strengthen student success; to foster a culture of teamwork, leadership, quality service and continuous improvement; to enhance the economic, social and cultural vitality of the college’s communities; and to expand access and enrollment capacity. Working with the college’s enrollment services management team, Obrentz’s marketing efforts helped increase enrollment by more than 7,000 students.

Outside of college life, Obrentz has a long history of community service. Most notable is her work with a group of African refugees known as the “Lost Boys of Sudan.” As executive director of the Lost Boys Foundation (and before she was hired by GPC), Obrentz worked tirelessly to raise money for college scholarships for these boys. In 2003 the organization presented GPC with one of its largest scholarship donations ever – more than $40,000, as the Lost Boys’ story appeared on national TV, including the Oprah Winfrey Show, 60 Minutes, Nightline and CNN International, and in news publications, including The New York Times, Washington Post, People and Essence magazines.

“GPC applauds and appreciates Barbara’s passion and commitment to the college,” said GPC President Dr. Anthony Tricoli. “We are all very proud of her.”

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Georgia Perimeter College, the third largest institution of the University System of Georgia, serves more than 25,000 students through four campuses and several sites in metro Atlanta. For additional information, visit www.gpc.edu