Frank Potter Cowan Crisis Communications Leader Award


2017 Frank Potter Cowan Crisis Communications Leader Award Recipient 
Frank Potter Cowan

The Frank Potter Cowan Crisis Communications Leader award recognizes a Public Information Professional (or Team) who demonstrated extraordinary success in leading a team during a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or a reputational crisis.

Background Information

The Inaugural Frank Potter Cowan Crisis Communications Leader Award was awarded to Frank Cowan at the 2017 Award of Excellence Gala in San Diego.  CAPIO developed this award to recognize the men and women who lead teams during a crisis.  Frank Potter Cowan has been instrumental in developing training courses for communicators who are faced with an unexpected emergency.  In 1984 he developed the California Specialized Training Institute, CSTI, which is offered through the State of California Office of Emergency Services.  He personally worked as a Crisis PIO during three major earthquakes in California, two major urban/wildland fires, a statewide flood, an oil spill off the Ventura coast and a biker rally in Hollister.  Real life lessons learned during those disasters were integrated into the training.  Throughout his career Frank Potter Cowan has mentored PIOs who have faced the stress of being under pressure during an unexpected emergency and has always been generous in mentoring former students and colleagues during times of crisis. 

Nomination Information  - Nominations details for the 2018 Award Program will be shared in the fall

Nominations will be open to individuals or a team of people.  Further details on qualifications will be shared in October when nominations open.

Award Honors

The award winner will be honored at the CAPIO Annual Conference. In addition, CAPIO will send a news release and supporting photograph(s) to the award winner’s employer and to local media following the announcement.

Nomination Deadline & Contact Information

Nominations submitted to the CAPIO office via the entry area below or via regular mail or email.  Please enter your nomination below. Nominations for the 2018 Award will be due by March 8, 2018 at 5 p.m.  If you have questions, call us at 1-844-CAPIO55 or email 

The Frank Potter Cowan Crisis Communications Leader Award nomination form will open in January for the 2018 Awards