Becoming PRSA Oregon

The national Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) was chartered in 1947.

On April 9, 1959, PRSA National received a petition to establish a chapter in Portland, Oregon. The petition had been signed by 11 members of the Public Relations Society of America. The proposed chapter would include Oregon and the southern Washington counties stretching from Vancouver to Longview-Kelso, Richland, Pasco and Walla Walla.

Correspondence in the PRSA National archives indicates that the national organization had already received a letter from the Pacific Northwest Chapter, based in Seattle, stating that they had no objection to releasing the Portland-area territory to the proposed chapter.

The petition was immediately scheduled for approval by the PRSA Board of Directors at a meeting in Toronto on April 22, 1959.

In a letter to Robert O. Lee, who would serve as the first chapter president, Lee was advised that the chapter could elect officers immediately following the board’s approval and could begin to function as a chapter. A May 1959 article from The Oregonian references Robert Lee as “president of the Columbia River Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.”

The approval of the new chapter was formalized when Carroll West, national president of PRSA, presented the approved charter at a dinner at the Benson Hotel on Sept. 12, 1959. Local officers were formally installed.

They served through the end of 1960, which was the first full year of operations for a PRSA chapter in Portland.

As the number of communicators in Oregon and Southwest Washington grew, so did the need for local programming and networking. The Greater Oregon chapter was founded in 1990 serving Eugene/Springfield area members and Liz Cawood, APR, served as the first chapter president.

In 2000, the Oregon Capital Chapter was founded serving Salem-area members.

In 2016, a Statewide Governance Committee was formed and led by Portland Metro Immediate Past-President Taraneh Fultz to formally evaluate the opportunities in combining local chapters around Oregon and Southwest Washington after years of related conversations among chapter leaders.

The team comprised members from all three active chapters, including APRs and members of the College of Fellows.

Throughout 2016, the process of merging was expedited and required a rewriting of chapter bylaws to formalize the merger, which were voted on by a majority of combined chapter members and approved by the vast majority of those who voted.

Thus, the impending combination of the three local chapters was announced in fall, 2016, at the Portland Metro Chapter’s annual membership meeting and the chapter officially started doing business as PRSA Oregon on Jan. 1, 2017 led by the first chapter president Colby Reade, APR.

Past PRSA Greater Oregon Chapter Leadership

Founded in 1990, the PRSA Greater Oregon Chapter served the Eugene/Springfield area.

Past Presidents

  • 2016 – Loralyn Spiro
  • 2015 –
  • 2014 – Amber Fossen
  • 2013 – Dawn Marie Woodward
  • 2012 – Jenny Ulum
  • 2010-2011 – Niel Laudati
  • 2009 – Lisa Lawton
  • 2008 – Stephanie Stano
  • 2007 – Stephanie Stano/Jan Bohman
  • 2006 – Jan Bohman
  • 2005 – Sue Viggiano
  • 2004 – John Mitchell, APR
  • 2003 – Kathy Madison, APR
  • 2002 – Brian Terrett, APR
  • 2001 – Melinda Kletzok, APR
  • 2000 – Eric Jones, APR
  • 1999 – Phil Weiler, APR
  • 1998 – Dan Steinberg, APR
  • 1997 – Jenny Ulum, APR
  • 1996 – Marty Boyesen, APR
  • 1995 – Bridget Baker, APR
  • 1994 – Marilyn Milne, APR
  • 1993 – Mary Wilbert Smith, APR
  • 1990-1992 – Liz Cawood, APR

2016 Board of Directors

  • President – Loralyn Spiro
  • Past President -Amber Lynn Fossen
  • Secretary – Kathy Madison
  • Treasurer – James E. Barlow
  • Director At Large – Michael S. Dunne
  • Director At Large – Kim M. Mast
  • Director At Large – John Charles Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Director At Large – Dawn Marie Woodward

Past Oregon Capital Chapter Leadership

The PRSA Oregon Capital Chapter was founded in 2000 to serve the Salem area.

Past Presidents

  • Stay tuned – we are compiling this information.

2016 Board of Directors

  • Stay tuned – we are compiling this information.

Past PRSA Portland Metro Chapter Leadership

Founded as the Columbia River Chapter in 1960, the PRSA Portland Metro Chapter was the longest running PRSA chapter in Oregon.

  • 2016 – Mark Mohammadpour, APR
  • 2015 – Taraneh Fultz, APR
  • 2014 – Barbara Kerr, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2013 – Amber Lindsey, APR
  • 2012 – Jenna Cooper, APR
  • 2011 – Dave Thompson, APR
  • 2011 – Sara Wurfel, APR
  • 2010 – Dave Thompson, APR
  • 2009 – Tom Unger, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2008 – Darcie Meihoff, APR
  • 2007 – Madeline Turnock, APR
  • 2006 – Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2005 – Patricia Atkins, APR
  • 2004 – Katlin Smith, APR
  • 2003 – Olga Haley, APR
  • 2002 – Macy Guppy, PhD, APR
  • 2001 – Deb Hedding, APR
  • 2000 – Timm Locke, APR
  • 1999 – Mara Woloshin, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 1998 – Rebecca Brandt, APR
  • 1997 – Chuck Williams, APR
  • 1996 – Gail Dundas, APR
  • 1995 – Patty Farrell, APR
  • 1994 – Sharon VanSickle, APR
  • 1993 – Dan Zenka, APR
  • 1992 – Vicky Hastings, APR
  • 1991 – Martha C. Richmond, APR
  • 1990 – Barry Lacter, APR
  • 1989 – Mary Wilber Smith, APR
  • 1988 – Jim Mitchell, APR
  • 1987 – Vicki Quick, APR
  • 1986 – Susan Stone, APR
  • 1985 – Brian Bell, APR
  • 1984 – William J. Cary, APR
  • 1983 – Lucy Z. Martin, APR
  • 1982 – Dan O. Barnhart, APR
  • 1981 – Rolf D. Glerum, APR
  • 1980 – Jean Bradley, APR
  • 1979 – Steven Loy, APR
  • 1978 – Charles Turner, APR
  • 1977 – Gerard Griffin, APR
  • 1976 – Barbara Peeples, APR
  • 1975 – Tony Bacon, APR
  • 1974 – David Koonce, APR
  • 1973 – John H. Nellor
  • 1972 – John R. Ulrich
  • 1971 – Paul H. Hauser, Jr.
  • 1970 – Myron Jordan
  • 1969 – Harry Turtledove, APR
  • 1968 – James F. Fowler
  • 1967 – Vernor M. Schenck, APR
  • 1966 – Robert Franklin
  • 1965 – James Ferguson
  • 1964 – Robert G. Swan
  • 1963 – William W. Marsh, APR
  • 1962 – John S. Pihas
  • 1961 – Harold M. Gowing
  • 1960 – Robert O. Lee
  • 1959 – Robert O. Lee (May-December)

2016 Chapter Leadership

  • President, Chief Executive Officer and Leadership Assembly Delegate – Mark Mohammadpour, APR
  • President-Elect, Leadership Assembly Delegate and Chief Development Officer – Colby Reade, APR
  • Immediate Past President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer – Taraneh Fultz, APR
  • Secretary and Chief Operations Officer – Erin Merz, M.A., APR
  • VP Public Relations and Chief Communications Officer – Noelani Baker
  • VP Member Relations and Chief Relationship Officer – Jean Kempe-Ware, APR
  • Chief Advocacy Officer – Tracey Lam, APR
  • Leadership Assembly Delegate – Madeline Turnock, APR
  • Director, Career Development – Kathy Hubbell, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Director, Development – Beverly Brooks
  • Director, Events – Becca Sterbenz
  • Director, Recognition – Prapat “Jojoe” Nujoy
  • Director, Service – Julie Williams, APR

Former PRSA Portland Metro Chapter Board of Directors from 2004 through 2015 listed here.