News Flash


Posted on: September 14, 2023

Gaston County Communications Office Wins National Awards

3CMA Savvy Award

ORLANDO, FLA. – The Gaston County Communications Office won a first-ever top national award this month from the City-County Communications and Marketing Association (3CMA) at the organization’s annual conference in Orlando.

The so-called “Savvy Award” was in the multi-use photography category, and was part of the Office’s Curators, Cats and Canines program. Digital Media Specialist Joshua Braswell helped start the program, which is a partnership between the Communications Office, the Gaston County Museum of Art and History and the Animal Care and Enforcement Shelter. 

Braswell works with museum curator Alyson Wiedrich and ACE staff members to set up photo shoots each month with an adoptable animal from ACE at the museum. The animal is often then dressed in a theme tied to activities or exhibits happening at the museum. Of particular note, the program has seen a 100 percent success rate in that all of the animals featured have gone on to be adopted. 

One contest judge said of the photographs, “I enjoyed that each photo shows the animal’s personality … (they) are beautifully composed and edited.”

Also, for the second year in a row, Gaston County received a Silver Circle Award (2nd place) for its Annual Report Card. A collaboration between the Office of Budget & Strategy and the Communications Office, the annual report highlights not only the financial information about the county, but the accomplishments of its 30 different department over the past 12 months.

Budget Analyst Elizabeth McGee was the lead designer on the project, with writing and graphics assistance from Braswell and Communications Director Adam Gaub. 

Finally, the Communications Office took home a 3rd place award for its weekly podcast, Savvy Citizen. The podcast launched in 2020, and has surpassed more than 150 episodes with nearly 10,000 downloads. 

One of the major additions to the podcast is the use of more field episodes featuring episodes like missing person search training, a tour of Gastonia’s new social district and a behind-the-scenes look at a historical mill building’s reimaging by a local distillery. The podcast is hosted by McGee, Gaub, Budget and Strategy Director Janet Schafer and Deputy Communications Director Dandria Bradley. Braswell serves as executive producer and editor and Digital Media Specialist Gavin Stewart is editor and field reporter.

Judges called the podcast “engaging and informative” along with “an amazing way to tell the stories of Gaston County and bring the citizens together one story at a time.”



Facebook Twitter Email