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On Sept. 27, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Phoenix Chapter awarded Matthew Arvay the coveted 2018 Phoenix Award during the organization’s Copper Anvil Awards, the annual event honoring the Valley’s best works in public relations and other aspects of communications. The Phoenix Award recognizes a business or community leader, outside of the public relations, marketing and advertising industries, for supporting and elevating the best practices of public relations. Past awardees include Valley notables, such as Jerry Colangelo, Derrick Hall and Kimberly Lanning.
Arvay is the city of Phoenix’s chief information officer (CIO), who oversees the Information Technology Services (ITS) Department. Previously the CIO of the city of Virginia Beach, Arvay was hired by Phoenix to lead the 200+ employees of the department in January 2017. He made it his priority to hire a communications manager dedicated to ITS to help change its culture and the customers’ perception of its employees.
“It was important for the IT team to be represented in a positive light,” said Arvay. “We have talented and highly skilled technologists, who never receive the recognition they deserve because no one truly understands the importance of their jobs.”
That is why Arvay successfully hired a public relations professional in 2017, a first in the history of the department. The communications manager position now assists with internal communications, strategically communicating high profile tech projects to elected officials and city residents, and more importantly, helping the public understand the value of what may seem to be a non-significant tech project or improvement.
“I am very honored to be given this award by some of the well-respected and top-notch communications professionals in the Valley,” he said. “The job of a communications professional is not for the faint of heart, and I respect their creativity, their knowledge of different communication channels and their understanding of how to best convey a message.”
Arvay has served in executive IT leadership positions for more than 17 years, with continued success in meeting a broad range of top-level objectives. He has been recognized numerous times for his leadership, innovation and in making notable differences for various organizations. Arvay also serves on the board of many local organizations leveraging technology to improve the lives of Arizona residents.