Vernon Stewart is an accomplished public relations professional known for his expertise in devising and implementing highly effective communication strategies that drive transparency, efficiency, and awareness. With a wealth of experience in the field, Vernon excels at providing strategic counsel and guidance to organizations across various sectors.
Currently serving as the Executive Director of Communication for El Paso County, CO, Vernon has held significant roles in his career. He has previously served as the Chief Communications Officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs at the Gulf Coast VA Healthcare System and the Kansas City VA Medical Center. He also served as the Communications Manager and spokesman for the Honorable Mayor Ashton Hayward III and the City of Pensacola, FL. Throughout his career, Vernon has crafted impactful messages and developed comprehensive communication plans that fostered strong connections with diverse audiences in various levels of private, nonprofit, and government sectors.
With a bachelor's degree in Communications and a master's degree in Public Administration from the University of West Florida, Vernon continually expands his knowledge and skills in communications and public relations.
Vernon's leadership qualities were honed during his service as a United States Marine, where he was assigned to the 9th Communications Battalion at Camp Pendleton, CA. He later deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom with Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 1 as part of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
His community and professional circles have recognized Vernon's contributions and achievements. He received the 2017 Pensacola Area Commitment to Excellence "Emerging Business Leader" award and was named a 2017 Rising Star by INweekly News. In addition, the Mayor of Biloxi, MS, proclaimed April 28th, 2022, as Vernon Stewart Day in recognition of his community service and work with the City of Biloxi.
Vernon is an active member of various professional associations, including the City-County Communications & Marketing Association (3CMA), National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC), Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), El Pomar Foundation - Elevating Leadership Development Black Advisory Council, and the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Southern Colorado. He has also served on boards and commissions for organizations such as the American Cancer Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, Veterans Code Initiative, Florida Municipal Communicators Association, and the Marine Corps League. Vernon has completed leadership programs, including Leadership Pensacola and the Elevating Leadership Development Strategic Leadership Training, and holds certifications in Leadership Communication and Nonprofit Management.