THREE YEARS ago, the Israel Public Relations Association, seeking to upgrade the standards of its members and to encourage a new generation to join its ranks, introduced the Roaring Lion award - a silver lion's head sculpted by one of its veteran members, Moshe Dayan. This year's prizes included Gitam, Porter Novelli receiving Campaign of the Year award for its Israel Teachers' Union Educational Reform campaign. Praising ISPRA chairperson, Ruth Sheetrit, for being the largest of the 28 sponsors of the gala event at the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv, Orna Gurel, the managing director of Gitam, Porter Novelli, said she had given a platform to excellence and creativity. In fact, it was GPN's day. The company was also awarded the prize in the Public Struggle category for the same campaign and first prize in the Community Relations category for A Safe Internet Day - a campaign conducted with and for Microsoft. Other prize winners were: Crisis Management: Laniado Ganor for its cooking gas campaign on behalf of Kiryat Ata Gasworks; Awareness: the door knock campaign for a mobile mammography unit by Nava Inbar, the spokeswoman for the Israel Cancer Association; Special Events: the opening of the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum campaign by the Yad Vashem Public Relations team; Hi-Tech: the I-Make Jam That's All campaign by Amiram Fleisher for Solgood Communications; Tourism: Tourism to Turkey by Tzimet Communications on behalf of the Turkish Tourist Office; and Health and Medicine: Ziso Communications, for a campaign on cosmetic surgery on behalf of The Israel Society of Plastic Surgeons. An honorable mention was given to the public relations department of Coca Cola Israel for its Star 2005 campaign to promote Coca Cola in the Arab sector. In addition, final year university students were encouraged to submit projects for adjudication. The winner was Ohed Ivri, a student of politics and government at Ben-Gurion University who prepared a project on political consultancy. WHILE IT was exciting for the winners to be applauded by their peers, the most emotional moment, was when veteran public relations man David Eshkol was named Honorary Life President of ISPRA, the organization that he helped to found more than four decades ago. One of the first people to rise to his feet to give Eshkol a standing ovation was another Israeli PR veteran Moshe Trevaks, after which the whole auditorium stood to honor Eshkol MAMA OFF, which specializes in chicken-based products has appointed Dea Gersh, 34, as its marketing manager. Gersh, who for the past four years was marketing manager for Olivia and for six years before that deputy manager for marketing and sales at Rapid Billboard Advertising, is a Bar Ilan University graduate with a BA in communications and political science. She is completing an MBA course. LEUMI CEO Galia Maor was among the visitors to a competition and display of projects by young entrepreneurs and made no secret of the fact that she was highly impressed by their initiative. She reminded them that if their ventures turned out to be profitable and they were considering opening up business bank accounts, that they should take one particular bank into consideration. POALIM CAPITAL Markets is expanding its Privaty Equity Funds division and expects to reach $1 billion within a year. The person responsible for achieving that goal is Ami Samuels, 47, the recently appointed PEF senior manager. Samuels, who earned his MBA at Yale University, has a strong working background in banking, venture capital and hi-tech investments. He was a managing partner in Star Ventures and a vice president of Satlynx. He also worked for Lehman Brothers in New York and was its representative in Tel Aviv for 10 years. BANK IGUD has announced the appointment of Alon Bakshi to head its recently established Premium Private Banking Center. Bakshi, 39, has a first degree in economics and an MBA from Ben-Gurion University. He has been with Bank Igud for the past 15 years, serving in a variety of managerial positions including that of general manager of the Herzliya Pituah branch of the bank. The Premium Private Banking Center that caters to clients in the high finances bracket is located in Ramat Gan. AFTER Approximately 18 months as chairman of the executive board of Bank Adanim, a subsidiary of Mizrahi-Tefahot, Hanoch Rosenblum, the former deputy manager of Bank Mizrahi, is stepping down. Rosenblum, who has spent 32 years working in various managerial positions within the group, will remain on the bank's board of directors. He will be replaced as chairman by Shimon Gal, who heads the comptrollers, planning and operational group of Mizrahi-Tefahot. HEADING FOR New York as the representative of Israel's Taxation Authority is Yigal Saar, 47, replacing Yarden Yoffe, who is vacating the post. Saar will be responsible for strengthening cooperation between the Taxation Authority, the Ministry for Industry and Trade and various American financial agencies. He also will initiate and overseas bilateral agreements between the US and Israel in exchanges of know-how and matters of taxation. Saar is a veteran employee of the Taxation Authority working in different departments to gain a broad range of knowledge and experience. WHILE THE former chief of Channel Two Moti Sklar took over on Sunday as director-general of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, Avi Nir of Keshet, Yohanan Tsangan of Reshet and Channel 10's Mudi Friedman, who together comprise the forum of Channel Two and Ten franchisees, asked to have an external efficiency expert appointed to put Channel Two back on its financial feet. All of them are having to tighten their belts, and unless someone can turn around their combined fortunes, the future for both franchisees and viewers looks grim. Sklar who intends to make the IBA competitive, did not bring a magic formula with him when he left Channel Two The IBA has been financially ailing for years, so it will be interesting to see what he can achieve at the IBA that he was unable to do at Channel Two. THE ADAMA and Presko companies have entered into a joint venture to develop a new range of frozen vegetarian schnitzels, burgers and kebabs made from organically grown vegetable products and distributed under the Adama brand name. The initial investment in the new product line is NIS 500,000. Kobi Edri, Adama's principal shareholder and CEO announced the deal last week. Adama will market the new products in Israel, while Presko owned by the Pushkarna family, will market them in Europe. Anticipated exports in the first season of production are estimated to be in the range of â‚¬100,000. Presko general manager Haim Greenberg welcomed the venture as an opportunity for Presko to enter the organic food market. E & M COMPUTING Ltd. has appointed Yaacov Gila as manager of infrastructural products. Gila, 44, will be responsible for business development and for the sale of Microsoft solutions and the management of Symantec and Netapp products. Gila comes to E & M from Hewlett-Packard where he was manager of the support and advisory group for Microsoft products. Before that he was project manager and solutions architect for Microsoft infrastructure. THE NEW manager of the 300-bed Sharon Hospital in Petah Tikva - an affiliate of the Rabin Medical Center - is Dr. Yarden Mushkat who replaces Dr. Eitan Wertheim who has been named head of the medical division of hospitals operating under the banner of Clalit Health Services. For five years prior to his new appointment, Mushkat was deputy manager of the Meir Hospital. He is a graduate of the Haifa Technion's School for Medicine.