Yankees' Zillo Honored with 2014 Robert O. Fishel Award for Public Relations Excellence

San Diego - Jason Zillo, Executive Director of Communications & Media Relations for the New York Yankees, has been named the recipient of the 2014 Robert O. Fishel Award for Public Relations Excellence, presented this evening during the Baseball Winter Meetings.

The Robert O. Fishel Award, named after the longtime baseball executive, goes to the "active, non-uniformed representative of Major League Baseball whose ethics, character, dedication, service, professionalism and humanitarianism best represent the standards propounded by Robert O. Fishel." Fishel, an executive with the Cleveland Indians, the St. Louis Browns, the Yankees and the American League Office, was the inaugural winner of the Award in 1981.

Zillo is concluding his 19th season with the Yankees, including his eighth as the head of the franchise's media relations. Since 2007, he has served as the team's primary media liaison and spokesman while providing PR counsel to the organization's top executives, general manager, players and field staff. During his time with the club, Zillo has worked seven World Series and 16 Postseasons, and he oversaw the Yankees' communications efforts for the 2008 All-Star Game. The Midsummer Classic was staged during the year-long commemoration of the historic ballpark's final season, prior to the 2009 opening of new Yankee Stadium. In the last two years, Zillo played a key role in the league-wide celebrations of retiring All-Star icons Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter, whose Major League careers have spanned nearly all of Zillo's tenure with the Yankees. Zillo, who has provided communications support for a wide variety of national and non-baseball events at both Yankee Stadiums, implemented the Yankees' first comprehensive media training program for all Major and Minor League players and field staff in 2007.

In 2009, Zillo created and developed the award-winning HOPE Week (Helping Others Persevere & Excel), an annual organization-wide outreach effort designed to shine a light on inspiring groups and individuals in the community. Facilitated by Zillo's department, HOPE Week features the participation of the Yankees' 25-man roster, coaching staff and front office in various community events centered around inspiring stories. The Yankees received the President's Volunteer Service Award for their efforts, and President Barack Obama publicly recognized HOPE Week during the Club's championship visit to the White House in April 2010. 

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Zillo is a 1995 graduate of Ohio University. He resides in New York City with his wife, Sadye, and their daughter, Lola.

Fishel Award nominees are submitted by the 30 Major League Clubs and league officials. The nominees are voted upon by active past winners, MLB officials and the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

The previous winners of the Fishel Award are:

 

1981 - Robert O. Fishel, American League

1982 - Robert W. Brown, Baltimore Orioles

1983 - Larry Shenk, Philadelphia Phillies

1984 - Arthur E. (Red) Patterson, California Angels

1985 - Jim Ferguson, Cincinnati Reds

1986 - Fred Claire, Los Angeles Dodgers

1987 - Jim Toomey, St. Louis Cardinals

1988 - Tom Mee, Minnesota Twins

1989 - Donald Davidson, Houston Astros

1990 - Ned Colletti, Chicago Cubs

1991 - Phyllis K. Merhige, American League

1992 - Richard Griffin, Montreal Expos

1993 - John Blake, Texas Rangers

1994 - Katy Feeney, National League

1995 - Howard Starkman, Toronto Blue Jays

1996 - Bill Guilfoile, National Baseball Hall of Fame

1997 - Dick Bresciani, Boston Red Sox

1998 - Jay Horwitz, New York Mets

1999 - Bob DiBiasio, Cleveland Indians

2000 - Tim Mead, Anaheim Angels

2001 - Rob Matwick, Houston Astros

2002 - Mike Swanson, Arizona Diamondbacks

2003 - Rick Vaughn, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

2004 - Jeff Idelson, National Baseball Hall of Fame

2005 - Randy Adamack, Seattle Mariners

2006 - Rob Butcher, Cincinnati Reds

2007 - Richard Levin, Major League Baseball

2008 - Scott Reifert, Chicago White Sox

2009 - Patrick Courtney, Major League Baseball

2010 - Jay Alves, Colorado Rockies

2011 - Jim Trdinich, Pittsburgh Pirates

2012 - Staci Slaughter, San Francisco Giants

2013 - Tim Hevly, Seattle Mariners