Best Public Information Officer Phoenix 2011 - Cari Gerchick
Vivacious, personable, and brilliant, Cari Gerchick, Maricopa County's primary spokeswoman, makes her job look easy — when it most definitely is not. Having accurate facts at your fingertips when commenting on the business of government in the nation's fourth most populous county is a daunting task, one she does daily with aplomb. Now throw in the fact that she has to field questions about the Board of Supervisors' battles with Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former Maricopa County Attorney Andy Thomas, and you begin to grok the difficulty of her position. Still, Gerchick calls 'em as they should be called, and she has never veered from offering Arpaio or his henchmen a verbal castration, when necessary. Which is why the press generally digs her, because most PIOs master the art of giving bland pronouncements — the blander the better. Gerchick is never shrill, and she chooses her words carefully, but she's not scared of sparring with the idiots who make her day. You know, the simian-like badge-bearers over at Sheriff Joe's cop shop, who must curse the day she came to work for the county and suddenly made life far more interesting for the local Fourth Estate.