Weber Shandwick president Gail Heimann will be honoured with the Individual Achievement SABRE Award in New York on May 2, at the 18th edition of the North American SABRE Awards.

In 2013, Heimann was elevated to president of the Interpublic Group PR firm that she joined 21 years ago. Her rise up the ranks has accompanied a sustained period of business growth at Weber Shandwick, with Heimann emerging as one of the sharpest creative and strategic minds in the business.

In particular, Heimann's role has helped accelerate innovation and activation across the firm’s impressive global practice areas, digital services and analytics operations. She has helped to build brands and burnish reputations for numerous clients, including work with PepsiCo, Unilever, GSK, Mattel, Electrolux, Aetna, General Motors, Microsoft and Verizon, among others.

"Gail Heimann truly embodies the very best the PR industry has to offer. For more than two decades, [she] has been an unstoppable force for change at Weber Shandwick and the PR industry," says Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky, who has worked with Heimann throughout her career at the agency. "Anyone who knows her will attest to her contagious curiosity, inspiring all of us to push the limits for the biggest, boldest, most cataclysmic ideas – for clients but also for the PR sector overall, doing her part to evolve the public relations discipline and expand into the broader marketing services space."

Heimann was a catalyst in Weber Shandwick being named the Holmes Report’s Global Agency of the Year for 2015 and 2014, and the only PR agency on Advertising Age’s A-List in 2014 and 2015 and Standout Agency for 2016. She was president of the Public Relations Jury at the 2012 Cannes Lions and a member of the inaugural jury for the Glass Lion, which celebrates work that breaks through gender bias and stereotypes.

"Gail is a creative catalyst that clients around the world admire and want to work with," ads Polansky. "She’s an invaluable source of ideas that transform businesses and disrupt industries. Equally important, Gail has been a tireless advocate pushing to make the PR industry a more diverse and inclusive environment for the next generation of communications professionals. She has raised the bar, set the standard and moved us all beyond the status quo."

Heimann was named to the Holmes Report’s 2015 North America Innovator 25 list, which celebrates individuals who accelerate innovation and push boundaries within the public relations industry. Last year, she was inducted into PRWeek’s inaugural Hall of Femme, recognizing female trailblazers in communications. Earlier in her career, Gail was an Advertising Age Woman to Watch.

Heimann serves on the Board of Directors of the Lagrant Foundation, whose mission is to increase diversity in the advertising, marketing, and public relations industries.  Under her direction and vision, Weber Shandwick sponsored the ColorComm Conference for the third consecutive year in 2016, which brings together women from across the communications industry to elevate awareness of diversity and inclusion. The firm was also a launch sponsor of ColorComm’s Diverge digital destination, which tracks the latest D&I developments in the advertising, marketing and communications industries.

And in October 2016, the PR Council announced that Heimann would join their board of directors for a three-year term to help strategize how to help the agency industry evolve.