Nanci Ryder, founding partner of B|W|R Public Relations, will receive the Presidents Award at the International Cinematographers Guild’s 54th Annual Publicists Awards Luncheon to be held at the Beverly Hills Hotel on February 24, 2017.

“Nanci is my definition of a hero,” said Steven Poster, president of the Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600. “In the midst of a remarkable career representing some of Hollywood’s top stars, she learns that she has ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease. But instead of feeling sorry for herself, she has led efforts and raised money to help others suffering from this debilitating sickness.”

In a career spanning more than 30 years, Ryder has represented some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Renée Zellweger, Michael J. Fox, and Reese Witherspoon, and during the formative years, such rising stars as Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker and scores of other top Hollywood talent. She mentored many young publicists, many of whom have since established their own practices. By the time B|W|R was sold to WPP in 1999, she’d helped build it into one of the industry’s largest, independently owned public relations firms.

Diagnosed with bulbar onset of ALS in 2014, she has lost the ability to speak and walk, but remains committed to fight for a cure. Her “Team Nanci,” comprised of industry peers, friends and colleagues, has raised more than $433,000 for the ALS Association and its Golden West Chapter. The organization honored her efforts in 2016 by presenting her with a Heroes Award, one of many honors she’s received for her charitable efforts. She’s also been an outspoken advocate of breast cancer support following her own diagnosis in 2000.

The Publicists Guild, once its own IATSE local, merged into the Cinematographer’s Guild in 2002.