Awards and Recognition

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Best in Class, Point-of-Sale Campaign

Candy Hearts Refer-A-Friend Campaign

Credit Union National Association (CUNA), April 2021

This clever Valentine's Day promotion included candy heart giveaways at point-of-sale to encourage customer interaction. Colorful graphics for posters and social media posts accompanied a reward for membership referrals. The result was a notable increase in customer engagement and credit union membership. 


First Place, Market Segment Content

Marketing Association of Credit Unions, May 2018

The 20-Something’s Guide to Savvy Credit Card Ownership was recognized nationally for its well-targeted, well-written campaign. It included a fresh taking on writing about credit cards. This guide, a free download from Hanscom FCU’s website, educates young adults – many either new or leery of credit cards – how a credit card can be integrated into a strong financial plan and be used to strengthen a credit score. Included in this campaign is a guide, an email lead-generation workflow, and a series of promotional posts.


Diamond Award, Video

Credit Union National Association (CUNA), March 2016

"Hanscom FCU Credit Score and Review" 

I affectionately refer to this as the "When Sally Met Hanscom" video. I wrote the script for this animation. From the CUNA website: "The most prestigious annual credit union industry competition, the Diamond Awards recognize and reward creative excellence and outstanding results in credit union marketing."


First Place, Human Interest Feature Story

New England Newspaper and Press Association, February 2015

"What Makes Joey Tic?" [baystateparent Magazine, February 2014] 

This personal essay discusses the stress, determination, and ultimate happy outcome as my family worked to find the cause of my son's early childhood tics. I am touched by the dozens of readers around the country who reached out to me after this piece was published to share their parenting stories as they, too, struggled with a mystifying developmental issue. 


Gold Award, Service Feature Story

Parenting Media Association, February 2015

"A Loss for Words: Many Young Readers Slowed by Dyslexia" [baystateparent Magazine, October 2014]

As part of baystateparent's Special Needs issue, this piece discusses the challenges of raising a child with dyslexia as well as offering resources to assist families. From the judges: "The reader gets an inside look into a complex issue. The author does a good job of providing expert opinion and first hand experiences of parents currently dealing wth the issue. The story is also well written and easy to follow."


Gold Award, Special Section within a Publication, MaryJo Kurtz, Editor

Parenting Media Association, February 2015

"Special Needs" [baystateparent Magazine, October 2014]

From the judges: "Topics covered here have currency for parents and others whose lives intersect special-needs children. A good example is the relocation of Asperger’s syndrome on the autism spectrum; another is a new effort to train caregivers as education advocates for foster children."


Silver Award, News Feature

Parenting Media Association, February 2015

"Just Don't Hit Send" [baystateparent Magazine, May 2014]

From the judges:  "The proliferation of cell phones among the nation’s young people presents a set of challenges parents have never before had to deal with. 'Sexting' is among the more serious and vexing of those problems but one we must discuss with our children. This article shows us how to do it."


Silver Award, Special Section within a Publication, MaryJo Kurtz, Editor

Parenting Media Association, February 2015

"Think Big" [baystateparent Magazine, January 2014]

From the judges: "This section covers a lot of ground with stories that emphasize real parents juggling college and other challenges, as well as practical guides to educational resources. Articles are easy to scan, and information seems well suited to a wide, diverse audience."


Silver Award, Personal Essay

Parenting Media Association, February 2015

"What Makes Joey Tic?" [baystateparent Magazine, February 2014]

From the judges: "A mother’s journey toward understanding her son's unusual behaviors demonstrates how trust, dedication and hope can unearth the answers. Although not every journey has a happy ending, this one does, and the beautifully crafted details that carry us through her journey are memorable."


Bronze Award, Profile Feature Story

Parenting Media Association, February 2015

"A Future for Tucker" [baystateparent Magazine, May 2014]

From the judges:  "Many stories have been written about the pain of having a child with Down Syndrome. What makes this story unusual is the realistic hope that there is for this child. On a deeper level, it is the story of parents who love their child unconditionally and have encouraged him to forge a life for himself. Their success and their son’s optimism leave a warm and hopeful feeling." 


Bronze Award, Overall Writing, baystateparent Magazine, MaryJo Kurtz, Editor

Parenting Media Association, February 2015

From the judges:  "Content of this sort lends itself to first-person storytelling, and baystateparent readers are treated to excellent examples of the genre."


Gold Award, Best Essay

Magazine Association of the Southeast, 2010

"A Lesson About Race" [Atlanta Parent, 2009]

From the judges: "How do you talk about a topic as huge as race? MaryJo Kurtz shows us how a first-person essay that is ostensibly about a wholly different topic — a mother’s understandable anxiety about taking her small son for a blood test — can address far broader topics. Kurtz lets her four-year-old boy do much of the talking and it is largely through him and his observations that we learn something profound about the meaning of race. This is a poignant and engaging look at the topic and the author deserves credit for remaining genuinely modest."