Marquis Who's Who Presents Lifetime Achievement Award for Communications to Joel Strasser

  • <strong>Joel Strasser</strong>
    BRICK, NJ, February 02, 2018 -- Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Joel Strasser with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.

An accomplished professional technology communicator, Mr. Strasser celebrates many years' experience in his professional field, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field, particularly his personal involvement with the marketing introductions of some of the industry's first iconic new consumer electronics products. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiles are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

By combining both engineering and journalism training into his education at the City College of New York, and earlier at the Bronx High School of Science in New York City, Mr. Strasser was able to meld these two dissimilar disciplines into a rewarding career during which he pioneered in helping to create technology communications as a new branch of public relations, as well as to personally introduce several of the world's first iconic consumer electronics products.

As a professional communicator desirous of making a difference, Mr. Strasser feels that he has. "I doubt that there are many who haven't in some way been touched or influenced by some of the things I've either introduced or been involved with," he said.

Entering his field as a news editor for Electronic Design magazine in 1962, Mr. Strasser worked for such organizations as McGraw-Hill's Electronics magazine as Space Electronics editor, as New York bureau chief for Space Aeronautics magazine, and Hill & Knowlton, Inc., then the world's largest public relations firm for 16 years as vice president. While on Electronics magazine, he participated in satellite experiments with NASA, and was credited with transmitting the first color photograph by communications satellite using the Relay II orbiting vehicle, which was subsequently featured on the magazine's front cover. While at H&K, he also authored a weekly science column for the North American Newspaper Alliance and its associated news feature syndicate.

He also worked for Shandwick Dorf & Stanton Technology as managing director and senior vice president, for People's Choice TV Corporation as director of corporate communications, Digital Broadcast Corporation as vice president of marketing and communications, Worldwide Corporate Network (WCN) as director and executive producer, and as a vice president at Zlokower Company Public Relations in New York City. In addition, he upheld his role as principal at Strasser & Associates several times in the last two decades.

After serving as a writer and journalist covering the US space program, for a good part of his adult life, Mr. Strasser was personally involved in the high-tech public relations and marketing activity that resulted in the public introduction during the 1970s and 1980s of many of the world's iconic technology consumer electronics firsts. These included the world's first pocket calculator, the industry's first consumer videodisc systems, one of the first consumer portable CP/M personal computers, and the industry's first consumer video tape recorder/playback unit in the United States. He was also recognized for a nine-state effort to implement the industry's first wide scale commercialization program for solar energy consumer installations in the USA. In addition, he helped introduce the world's first handheld audio-photo-video recording/playback device.

Though he was not involved in its hands-on introduction, he recalls that "I did have the pleasure of walking down Manhattan's Sixth Avenue with a Motorola PR man who let me have one of the first cell phone telephone conversations on what was then just a breadboard concept of the first cellular telephone with individual electronic components mounted on a hand-carried piece of wood. Mr. Strasser also worked with the first New York Times reporter to write his story on a personal computer, as well as a Time magazine science editor who brought the first computer into the Time-Life building. Mr. Strasser was also personally responsible for the installation of the very first computer into the PRSA headquarters in New York City.

When Mercury Astronaut M. Scott Carpenter left NASA's astronaut service to retire into private life, and decided to continue his aquanaut interests and explore opportunities in private industry, Mr. Strasser was selected to run the introductory New York press conference for Carpenter, and his business partner, Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands. That event created and launched Sea Sciences, Inc., a venture capital firm involved in undersea research and planetary health activities.

As an active leader and practitioner in the public relations profession, Mr. Strasser led the move to create a national special-interest section on Technology for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and served for two years as the Founding Chairman of PRSA's Technology Section, while most probably "inventing" the professional specialty of High-Tech Public Relations. The national Technology Section of PRSA was created in 1985 and continues more than 50 years later to this day with more than 300-plus active members across the country and around the world. As for inventing a significant segment of his life's work, he subsequently posted this factoid on the Global History Network of IEEE, the professional engineering society's historical repository.

Mr. Strasser also recalls that "when out-of-state PR colleagues attempted to move the national headquarters office of the Public Relations Society of America out of New York City, long recognized as the communications capital of the world, as New York City PRSA president at the time, he called upon New York's Mayor Ed Koch to step in to help the organization counter the effort. Through the Mayor's Office of Economic Development, the group was able to locate lower cost office space in Manhattan to clinch the deal. At a subsequent general meeting of the New York City chapter, Mayor Koch famously told members, "If you ever leave New York, I'll never speak to you again."

But, technology was not the only place Mr. Strasser tried to make a difference. Back in the seventies, on separate occasions during the first Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, he invited and arranged for both Jordanian and Egyptian ambassadors to fly from Washington to visit his Jewish congregation in Rockland County, north of New York City, for speaking appearances that notably marked the first opportunity for Arab diplomats to speak before a Jewish congregation in the United States. On each occasion, they joined the Strassers for dinner at their home, and were subsequently escorted by local or state police to their temple in Spring Valley, NY. After each diplomat spoke to their congregants, they were then escorted back to the state line until they were safely en route back to Washington. In both cases, the unusual speaking appearances were generally considered key opportunities for the diplomats to gauge the receptivity of elements of the American Jewish population to adoption of the new peace agreement by two of Israel's closes Arab neighbors.

Shortly after his graduation from college, Mr. Strasser fell victim to errant flu shots from his first publishing company job, and came down with a case of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which left him paralyzed for about a year, and hard of hearing for the rest of his life. Despite his handicap, Mr. Strasser was generally able to eventually function professionally, and most recently, with his obvious hearing aids, he served as the elected New Jersey State President of the Hearing Loss Association of America's New Jersey State Association, where he tried to arrange and secure accessibility accommodations for others throughout the state of New Jersey who are similarly hearing disabled. In addition, Mr. Strasser still finds time to moderate an interview format television program carried by his local Comcast cable company to viewers in his New Jersey local community near the Jersey Shore.

Paying it forward to the next generation, Mr. Strasser also taught at Marymount College (Tarrytown), New York University, and at L'Ecole Francaise des Attaches de Presse.

As part of his public relations activities, he has also spent time as an organizer at several business conferences both here and abroad, as both a session organizer and presenter at various professional groups, held in New York, London and the former West Berlin, Germany. A co-author of "New Technology and Public Relations," Mr. Strasser has also authored a number of articles in professional journals and business publications.

His recognitions from the Public Relations Society of America include a Silver Anvil Award for his pioneering work in commercializing solar energy installations, as well as the John W. Hill Award for distinguished service to his profession and the general public. He has been cited in multiple editions of Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the East, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in Finance and Business, and Who's Who in Media and Communications.

In 2014, Mr. Strasser was presented with two gold Hermes awards from the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals, the first of which recognized Mr. Strasser's publicity campaign that produced major press coverage for all eight winners of college scholarships over a two-year period. The second award was presented for a long a series of monthly editorial columns and numerous articles on related technologies and hearing health issues, which were all published in the "Monthly Communicator," the official NJ state publication of the Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, of New Jersey's Division of Human Services. Mr. Strasser also received two gold MarCom awards in 2013, and an APEX Award of Excellence in 2003, for introducing a whole new category of consumer electronics products.

Mr. Strasser is a Life Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, a Fellow in the Public Relations Society of America, an Associate Fellow in the American Society of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a long-time member of the National Association of Science Writers.

Note: Photo available on request to jjas888@aol.com

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Since 1899, when A. N. Marquis printed the first edition of Who's Who in America, Marquis Who's Who has chronicled the lives of the most accomplished individuals and innovators from every significant field of endeavor, including politics, business, medicine, law, education, art, religion and entertainment. Today, Who's Who in America remains an essential biographical source for thousands of researchers, journalists, librarians and executive search firms around the world. Marquis publications may be visited at the official Marquis Who's Who website at www.marquiswhoswho.com.


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