Meet the 2018 PRSA Oregon Leadership

2017 was an historic year of becoming PRSA Oregon – connecting with and understanding our community so that we can offer more robust programming and regional networking that best serves members across Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Representative Leaders with Geographic Diversity

In accordance with chapter bylaws the 20-person Nominating Committee assembled an outstanding slate of candidates from across the region to lead the future of PRSA Oregon.

This slate represents our members from all over the region, including Aloha, Beaverton, Corvallis, Eugene, Gearhart, Gresham, Lake Oswego, Portland, and Salem, various industries, including nonprofit organizations and foundations, healthcare, government, higher education and PR agencies, eight APRs, five past presidents and one Fellow PRSA, as well as members at every stage of their career from new to seasoned pros.  

Here is the leadership team who will steer PRSA Oregon throughout 2018 as we move from transition to transformation when elected by the chapter membership.

The objective of each role is listed after each position nominee and followed by a statement about what’s important to them next year.

Executive Committee

President & Executive Committee Chair (Officer) Brian Terrett, APR (Portland)

To successfully motivate and lead the PRSA Oregon Chapter and its Board of Directors in fulfilling its stated purpose: advancing the profession of public relations and strengthening and maintaining the highest standards of ethical conduct by all members.

“Somewhere in the state there’s PR pros who feel completely isolated. What I want by the end of next year is I want them to feel supported and feel like they belong to a organization that can address whatever needs they have.”

Secretary/President-Elect & Nominating Committee Co-Chair (Officer) – See FAQ #2 below

To lead all internal operations of the Chapter in order to gather the insight and skills necessary to succeed to the office of President in the next fiscal year; and to keep records of Chapter materials, including a written record of all board meetings, chapter activities, board motions and policy decisions.

Interim Secretary (Officer) Tracey Lam, APR (East Portland)

To lead all internal operations of the Chapter; and to keep records of Chapter materials, including a written record of all board meetings, chapter activities, board motions and policy decisions.

“I’m excited to continue the work of the 2017 board and transition team to develop an even stronger and cohesive operation for our members.”

Treasurer (Officer) Siobhan Taylor (Lake Oswego)

To successfully forecast, budget and monitor the PRSA Oregon revenues and expenses to ensure that the chapter remains viable.

“The most important challenge I will have is being the wise steward our resources in the manner of our current Treasurer Dave Thompson. Dave’s done the heavy lifting, it will be my responsibility to ensure our continued accountability.”

Immediate Past President Colby Reade, APR (Aloha)

To serve as an informational resource to the chapter President and Board of Directors of the PRSA Portland Metro Chapter. The Past President is an ex-officio member of the Board. As Assembly Delegate, to interact with the PRSA Oregon Chapter Board of Directors regarding voting issues at the National Assembly and to make voting recommendations to the chapter Board.

“2017 was a monumental year for PRSA Oregon as we transitioned from three chapters to one. With the initial phase of our transition complete, 2018 will be a critical year. I look forward to helping the board cement new traditions, identify the most efficient ways to connect with members and provide whole new opportunities for professional development.”

Assembly Delegates

To provide leadership and support as well as guidance to the PRSA Oregon Chapter Board of Directors for operational decisions. Our delegate role also includes representation and making make voting recommendations regarding national governance issues at the PRSA Leadership Assembly.

Assembly Delegate #1 – Gail Dundas, APR (Gearhard)

“Having served PRSA as an Assembly Delegate many times in the past, I look forward to stepping back into the arena to ensure equal representation locally and nationally.”

Assembly Delegate #2 Dianne Danowski-Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA (Beaverton)

“Oregon’s PRSA presence is one of the strongest among PRSA chapters around the country. We’ll continue to provide strong and skilled leadership at the national level and strengthen our reputation as a key voice in local, regional and national governance.”

Assembly Delegate #3Julie Manning, APR (Corvallis)

“After 32 years in the profession and as a long-time member of PRSA, I would look forward to reflecting the views of our chapter as an Assembly delegate.”

Directors-at-Large & Committee Chairs

Events DirectorVictoria Wagner (Portland)

To oversee planning of cost-effective and engaging chapter events that align with Chapter goals and strategic plans.

“I’m humbled by the opportunity to create events that will encourage participation from members statewide. My focus is overcoming the challenge of diverse locations and ensuring every member can participate and be involved.”

Membership DirectorSally Ridenour, APR (Salem)

To successfully lead the PRSA Oregon Chapter’s membership retention and growth through a focus on member services, recruitment and relationship building.

“I’m excited to get to know PRSA members, especially new members or soon-to-be new members across the state. With our new statewide chapter, this is a great opportunity to turn the old song ‘Make new friends and keep the old, one is silver and the other gold…’ into reality.”

Service Director & Nominating Committee Co-Chair Casey Boatman (Eugene)

To successfully staff the PRSA Oregon Chapter’s volunteer service needs through a focus on recruiting and retaining an engaged volunteer work force through meaningful service.

“I’ll use my Service Director role to encourage service with PRSA Oregon to talented PR and communication professionals over the next year. An engaged membership is key to the growth and success of our Chapter.”

Advocacy DirectorErin Merz, APR (Portland)

To contribute to public discourse on issues that affect the profession directly and those that impact free and open communications within our community.

“I’m excited to elevate PRSA Oregon’s aptitude for advocacy. In particular affirming our role as a trusted, valued resource and partner in the business community.”

Sponsorship Director Michael Lewellen, APR, ABC (Portland)

To assist the chapter President in all activities necessary to successfully lead the PRSA Oregon Chapter through a focus on attracting and retaining chapter sponsors.

“I look forward to connecting other organizations and corporations with our chapter’s vast network of members, along with the broader communications community, to find mutually beneficial ways to support awareness, resources and engagement.”

Communications DirectorJudy Asbury, APR (Portland)

To successfully lead the PRSA Oregon Chapter’s communication efforts to keep members, prospective members, community members, partners, sponsors, and the media informed of and engaged in Chapter activities and influence.  

“I am excited by our key challenge: to create a web of communications that keep PRSA members throughout the region informed, engaged and feeling part of the chapter, no matter where they live.”

2018 Slate FAQ

  1. How were these candidates selected?

The Nominating Committee was chaired by both President-Elect Julie Williams, APR, and Service Director Taylor Long to best utilize our volunteer talent. The 20-person Nominating Committee was composed of the entire 2017 board and eight members at large giving broader visibility to the process and casting a wider net.

We used a new process for the Nominating Committee this year to “draft” members, aligning the strengths and resources each member has to offer with roles that directly support their professional development goals. All nominees met the qualifications for the role per the job description. We drafted all chapter leadership nominees, as well as all committee roles, from our members talent pool, adding even more value to your membership.

  1. Why is the Secretary/President-Elect role vacant? Why are those roles combined now? And, when will there be a candidate for this position?

The Nominating Committee completed a rigorous search for this role including outreach to six members who were considered qualified candidates, none of which were able to serve at this time.

The roles were combined because the Secretary role has evolved to be point-person on chapter operations, which aligns perfectly to best prepare the President-Elect for the presidency. The two job functions can be completed without adverse effects on the chapter or significant increase in the amount of time required from the Officer. Read the full job description here.

We hope to finalize this role within the new year, so that the board can vote and elect this role per our bylaws as soon as possible. Due to the new status and broader scope of our organization, finding the right fit is critical. We are continuing to explore options and welcome candidates to apply. Until we have a candidate, Tracey Lam, APR, will serve as Interim Secretary, carrying on her 2017 role and transition efforts developing our Policies & Procedures.

  1. How can I vote?

As a member of PRSA Oregon, please cast your vote by completing the electronic ballot.

  1. When does voting end?

Voting will close on Nov. 7, 2017.

  1. When will the results be announced?

The elected slate will be announced on Nov. 8 at the 2017 Annual Membership Meeting & Elections, held virtually via webinar to ensure accessibility to all members. Register directly for the webinar here.

PRSA Oregon Shines at 2017 PRSAIcon

PRSA Oregon showed its “Revolutionary Leadership” at this year’s PRSA International Conference (#PRSAIcon), Chapter Leadership Rally (#PRSArally) and National Assembly (#PRSAdelegates) held in Boston, Mass., Oct. 6-10.

Ten PRSA Oregon members attended, two received industry awards, three advocated for members’ rights at Assembly and one networked with chapters from around the country at Rally, showing leadership within the organization, the industry and society. View a photo album on Facebook.

Here’s a recap of the highlights (in order of date):

Leadership & Networking at Rally – Oct. 6

President-Elect Julie Williams, APR, MA, joined representatives from nearly all 100 chapters, including the North Pacific District’s (NPD) 15 chapters from California to Alaska. During the Leadership Rally orientation for chapter leaders, Oregon chapter’s lessons learned from the chapter merger, new models for succession planning, career planning guide and membership engagement were in high demand. Chapter leaders, especially from larger 250-400 member chapters, sought Oregon’s materials, expertise and partnership. Julie made connections for the chapter with national board members and chairs, regional and district leads, along with leaders from Reno, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, Oklahoma City, Illinois, West Palm Beach, Minnesota chapters and more.

Oregon PRSSA Presence – Oct. 6-10

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has 25 chapters at colleges in the North Pacific District. The PRSSA conference was held concurrently, Oct. 6-10, and attended by six board members from the University of Oregon’s (U of O) chapter, led by PRSSA President and Oregon chapter committee member Lily Gordon. President-Elect Julie Williams, along with the students’ adjunct professors John Mitchell and Kelli Matthews, enjoyed seeing the Boston sights with the students and making introductions to PR pros across the country during #PRSAIcon networking events.

Elections & Voting Results at Assembly – Oct. 7

About 300 Assembly Delegates from 100 chapters around the country gathered on Saturday, Oct. 7, to discuss and vote on amendments to the national bylaws as well as hear results of the 2018 Board of Director elections, including Brad Hilliard, APR, serving as Assembly Delegate At-Large next year. Oregon sent President-Elect Julie Williams and two other seasoned delegates.

There was heated debate prior to and during Assembly about Amendments 1703 and 1704, including testimony from PRSA Oregon delegates, Dianne Danowski-Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA and John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA.

The result: upholding all district seats on the National board and rescinding 1704 by the board of directors (fairly unprecedented according to longtime delegates) to many cheers by delegates.

  • Amendment 1701 – APPROVED: Documents the Requirement for District Bylaws to Comply with National Bylaws was approved
  • Amendment 1702A – APPROVED (as amended): Change the term “public relations” to “public relations and communications” was approved
  • Amendment 1703 – NOT APPROVED: Eliminate requirement for District Representation Among Directors on the National Board
  • Amendment 1704 – TABLED: Allow the Board of Directors to Amend Bylaws

Industry Award Honorees – Oct. 8-9

During the PRSAIcon Opening Ceremony on Sunday and the Networking Luncheon on Monday, longtime PRSA members from Oregon were two of four practitioners recognized as industry leaders before thousands of peers and surrounded by their loved ones.

Louis (Lou) Capozzi, APR, Fellow PRSA, received PRSA’s Gold Anvil Award for Lifetime Achievement in Public Relations. Lou is semi-retired in Bend, teaches at U of O and credited the formative relationships that have shaped his career during his acceptance speech.

In addition to this year’s awards from our chapter for service and from the district for practitioner of the year, Dianne Danowski-Smith, received PRSA’s Paul M. Lund Award for Public Service. Dianne spoke about her cancer survival journey’s inspiration for starting a new nonprofit organization to help other patients, all while running her own PR firm in Portland and serving on the Oregon chapter board.

PRSAIcon Professional Development Opportunities – Oct. 8-10

PRSA Oregon member Ann Wylie presented on how to write for mobile reading and members* Lou Capozzi, Dianne Danowski-Smith, Kathy Hubbell, APR, Fellow PRSA, Barbara Kerr, APR, Fellow PRSA, Kelli Matthews, John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA, Sally Ridenour, APR, Tom Unger, APR, ABC, Fellow PRSA, and Julie Williams, attended many of the PRSAIcon keynote sessions and nearly hundred sessions related to the six tracks of industry trending topics: big data & measurement, integrated marketing communications, leadership & management, reputation management, tools & techniques and special interests.

Attendees noted that the sessions were informative, especially the case studies and new tools, though not overwhelmingly “revolutionary.”

Mark Your Calendars – 2018, 2019

Per the last couple years, Leadership Rally, Assembly and PRSAIcon will continue to be consolidated into one event next year and hosted in early October, 2018. The conference will be held in Austin, Texas, and even more exciting for the North Pacific District – it will be in San Diego, Calif. in 2019. As of publication, there was not information available on the PRSA website.

Tip: Travel, accommodations and conference registration are about $3,000. So, start saving up or budgeting for Austin and/or San Diego now!

*Attendance list is to our knowledge. We’d love to hear if anybody else from the chapter was in Boston that we missed.

PRSA Oregon Leadership Announcement

As many of you know, 2017 has been an incredibly busy, but also very successful year. CommCon 2017 was very well received, we piloted several new programs to serve our members, membership is up Year Over Year and we have successfully completed our merger to be one, statewide chapter.

All of that being said, we do have one more significant transition to come: President-Elect Julie Williams has decided to step down from the 2018 presidency at the conclusion of her 2017 president-elect term, so we will be voting in a new nominee as President during the Nov. 8 elections. Julie provides some context around this decision below and announced this news recently live on Facebook. Watch the post from Oct. 13 on our Facebook page.

I want to personally thank you for your continued support of PRSA Oregon. If I can answer any questions or provide any additional clarity, please do not hesitate to reach out.

– Colby Reade, APR, 2017 President, president@prsaoregon.org

Note from Julie Williams, APR

As Colby notes, I will transition out of my role once the new board of directors is officially elected by the Annual Meeting & Elections on Nov. 8. This summer, I joined a small business accelerator program and started launching a new strategy retreat, amongst other products now in the works. As the business expands, I need to focus my passions there. Having to step back is a sad reality for me, though I am extremely confident about where our community is at and where it’s going. This year’s board and Transition Steering Committee has engaged members across the region and we have worked hard to set a strong foundation for the new, merged chapter. It was very clear during Leadership Rally in Boston last week that our chapter (and our district) continues to be a leader amongst our peer chapters with innovative models for engagement, service, and leadership. PRSA Oregon will continue to flourish next year – moving from transition to transformation – especially with our talented and well-trained volunteers who are coming on to lead in 2018. As an engaged member since 2010 and APR since 2014, I will continue to be one of our biggest fans! I hope you will join me in continuing to champion PRSA Oregon and support our new incoming president.

– Julie Williams, APR, 2017 President-Elect, president-elect@prsaoregon.org

Note from Brian Terrett, APR

When I arrived in Portland from Eugene in 2009, I was excited to get to know the members of the PRSA Portland Metro chapter. I joined the PRSA Greater Oregon chapter in 1997 and achieved my APR in 2001. I served in many roles on the chapter leadership team, which culminated with me having the honor of serving as chapter president. PRSA has been an important part of my professional life, providing me with an opportunity to grow my knowledge and skills and develop relationships with professionals around the country. I have been looking for a way to serve again, so when I was asked if I would serve as president of the newly formed statewide chapter, I quickly said yes. I am honored to help carry on the work of consolidation that began under the leadership of Mark, Colby and Julie. For those of you who don’t know me, I am currently the Director of Public & Community Relations for Legacy Health. Prior to this, I worked for PeaceHealth’s Oregon Region, US West and the City of Eugene. I have an MBA and a BA in Journalism. Again, I am honored to serve and look forward to meeting as many of you as possible over the common year.

– Brian S. Terrett, APR, 2018 President Nominee

Please Save-the-Date and join us online for our 2017 Virtual Annual Meeting & Elections on Nov. 8, 2017 at 6 p.m. PST via webinar. More information on registration and webinar access will be provided soon.

 

Taraneh Fultz, APR, Named 2017 Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award Winner

Based on exceptional nominations, the Oregon chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is proud to announce Taraneh A. Fultz APR, as the winner of the Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award.

Inspired by the legendary Olga M. Haley, a public relations professional known for her role as mentor and career guide, this award is given to a PRSA Oregon Chapter member who demonstrates exceptional mentorship and supportiveness of others as they advance their careers in public relations.

“Taraneh Fultz is an incredible mentor because she is an incredible cheerleader,” said Colby Reade, APR, PRSA Oregon President. “In the many years of service to PRSA Oregon, it has been my pleasure to know her, Taraneh never stops rooting for the people around her. Particularly for new professionals, she is constantly looking for ways to help her colleagues develop and grow by offering her wisdom and guidance.”

A current senior field analyst at Cambia Health Solutions, Fultz has over ten years of experience in the public relations field, working in a variety of marketing and communications positions. Her passion for strategic planning is only enhanced by her hunger for a challenge and strong desire to see herself, and those around her, succeed.

“In a world of 140-character tweets and bite-sized content, Taraneh has always taken the time and patience to go deep with her colleagues. She focuses on helping other professionals grow by investing her own time in providing context, background and careful direction to ensure her colleagues are positioned to succeed. Our chapter and our industry are far stronger today because of her contributions,” said Reade.

Fultz will be formally presented with the award at the PRSA Oregon Spotlight Award ceremony on October 20 at the Willamette Valley Country Club. For ceremony and ticket information, please visit prsaoregon.org.

Annual Meeting & Elections

Save the Date!

After a successful merger year, it’s time to elect the 12-member PRSA Oregon Chapter Board of Directors for 2018. Please save-the-date for our 2017 annual meeting held on Nov. 8, 2017, at 6 p.m. from the comfort of your own home or office. You’ll get a chance to hear from current and incoming Chapter leadership about 2017 highlights and our financial status, about 2018 priorities and plans and vote on the incoming board. There will be time for Q&A with the new leadership! Slate will be announced by 10/25 at the latest. More event details and how to register to come.

 

Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow, recipient of three huge PRSA honors!

At this year’s PRSA Oregon Spotlight Awards, we will be celebrating creative, award winning practitioners. Register here for tickets to this year’s Spotlight Awards.

Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow, is named PRSA North Pacific District’s 2017 PR Practitioner of the Year, receives PRSA’s Paul M. Lund Award for Public Service and the PRSA Oregon Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award

As a 20-plus year, award-winning public relations practitioner, Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA, turned her thoughts to the principles of engagement and empowerment she learned in her practice of public relations, to support others struggling with cancer.

Practitioner of the Year

PRSA’s North Pacific District named Smith PR Practitioner of the Year. Smith created an Oregon event called Answer2Cancer. Her remarkable work was performed while she was recovering from surgery and weak from chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Drawing on her connections, she secured sponsorships, built a consortium of support and helped host the day-long event in Portland. She ultimately raised enough funds so the event could be at no cost to cancer patients, their families and friends. As she managed the social strategy for the event, she rolled out the social channels and literally overnight, went global.

Paul M. Lund Award for Public Service

This week in Boston during the PRSA 2017 International Conference, Smith received the Paul M. Lund Public Service Award, which honors a PRSA member whose participation as a volunteer in important public activities has increased the common good and reflected credit on the society.

 

“It sounds cliché, but if you look up ‘community-minded’ in the dictionary, you will see a picture of Dianne,” said Colby Reade, APR, PRSA Oregon President. “I have never met anyone who invests so much of herself into growing and developing those around her. Dianne has tirelessly worked as a mentor to countless young professionals (myself included), helping to grow the next generation of public relations practitioners. Within our organization, she always has her hand raised to contribute to the discussion at a regional and national level. She never stops.”

Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award

Smith also received the PRSA Oregon Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award for 2017. This honor is awarded to a public relations practitioner who has performed exceptional service to the community, generously giving their time, talent and efforts to achieve results that help the greater good.

“There is no way to track the magnitude of Smith’s impact on our community, across the state and really around the nation. Our industry, our city and our region are far stronger because of her contributions and we are incredibly fortunate to count her as a member of PRSA Oregon,” adds Reade.

Smith serves on the 2017 board of directors for PRSA Oregon as a leadership assembly delegate, served as the 2006 president of the Portland Metro chapter and as 2004 chair of PRSA’s North Pacific District. In 2012, she was inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows.

Smith is also the recipient of the 2009 PRSA Portland Metro Chapter William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award and PRSA Portland Metro Chapter Spotlight Awards for her work on both an advocacy campaign that educated Oregonians about the availability of affordable prescriptions, as well as extensive citywide campaign to promote community policing in an around Portland.

Nicole Early Named 2017 PRSA Oregon New Professional Award of Excellence Winner

The Oregon Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is proud to announce that Nicole Early has been selected as the 2017 New Professional Award of Excellence recipient.

Presented to a “rising star” in the industry in Oregon, the New Professional Award of Excellence honors a chapter member who has entered the field of public relations within the past five years. The award is presented to a professional who has demonstrated his or her commitment to advancing public relations through career achievements, volunteerism, and the highest standards of professionalism.

A recent graduate of the University of Florida, Early has already made a significant impact on the professional community in the first years of her career. She currently serves as an Account Manager for Pac/West where she works tirelessly to drive communications on behalf of community-focused organizations and healthcare and education clients.

Outside of her day job, Early is very active in the community. A regular volunteer for PRSA Oregon, she has been instrumental in developing key resources for several chapter events and publications. An active member of her community since college, Early is constantly looking for opportunities to grow while also helping those around her to develop and thrive.

“Nicole Early is a real gift to our chapter,” said Colby Reade, APR, PRSA Oregon President. “In her day job, she sets the standard for how we hope every young professional will approach their role. She is hungry to learn, she focuses on crafting her work to a gold standard and she is never afraid of tackling a new challenge.

“But no matter how hectic the day-to-day gets, she always makes time for her community. She has invested significant time in helping our chapter develop and roll out resources specifically designed to aid young professionals as they grow in their careers and is always willing to lend her voice to the discussion of how we can grow as a chapter. And this is on top of the work she is already doing with several other community organizations. We are so proud to count her among our members.”

Early will be presented with the award at the 2017 Spotlight Awards on October 20 at the Willamette Valley Country Club.

For event details and ticket information, please visit prsaoregon.org.

 

Transition Steering Committee Report: September

Rethinking the 2018 programming schedule

programming planning 2018

Julie Williams, APR, leads the Transition Steering Committee as it compiles feedback from Eugene-, Portland- and Salem-area members into a proposed 2018 programming calendar.

Membership participation was encouraged and documented during the Listening Tour follow-up sessions in Eugene, Portland and Salem.  At our September Transition Steering Committee meeting, we reviewed members’ ideas about where, when and what programs would best meet their needs.

About 25 members participated in the brainstorming activity.  While that’s a small percentage of overall membership, they did represent many locations, industries, stages of career and background. And, their strategic thinking was fascinating! So many questions and valid concerns.

We factored in rationale about cost, travel, distance, time, priorities, resources, volunteer capacity, communication fatigue and more as we compiled the feedback into a proposed programming schedule for the 2018 PRSA Oregon Chapter board’s consideration.

Many thanks everyone who contributed to the process!

Along with completing the proposed calendar, which was identified as a priority output for 2017, September was highly productive:

  • The service draft shifted into its second phase and began filling committee positions, thanks to my Nominating Committee Co-ChairTaylor Long. We worked together to write new versions of all of the 37 job descriptions;
  • New chapter policies and procedures and a first-ever code of conduct are in the works, thanks to Secretary Tracey Lam;
  • Members received a summary of Listening Tour feedback in a mailer thanks to the membership committee which helped with distribution;
  • And with the in-person follow up portion of the Listening Tour  now concluded, as of the membership brunch in Eugene on Sept. 16, big props to Membership Director and Outreach Co-Chair Siobhan Taylor and the membership team.

Can’t wait to #suitup and come together as a chapter at the Oct. 20 Spotlight Awards!

Given everything we’ve accomplished together, it will be especially satisfying to celebrate this year.

Yours in Service,
Julie

Julie Williams, APR, MA
2018 PRSA Oregon President-Elect
Transition Steering Committee Chair
Outreach Task Force Co-Chair

John Mitchell Named 2017 William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Distinction marks more than three decades of service to the public relations community in Oregon

Following a rigorous judging process, the Oregon chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is proud to announce that John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA, has been awarded the William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award for 2017.

Named for one of the foremost figures in the history of the profession in the state of Oregon, this award is given to a PRSA Oregon Chapter member who has invested significantly in developing public relations as a credible profession, accomplishing landmark professional achievements and furthering the goals of PRSA.

A lifetime Duck, Mitchell has served the public relations community as an instructor at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications for more than 30 years. For much of that time, he has invested additional time outside of his regular class load to serve as an advisor to student-run organizations such as the PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America).

In addition to his teaching, Mitchell established an exceptional reputation in the public works sector, supporting strategic communications for the Eugene Water and Electric Board. At his retirement from EWEB, Mitchell held the distinction of serving as the longest tenured communications team member in the organization’s 100-year history.

Mitchell has also been a dynamic force for change and development within PRSA as an organization. He has served as a senior leader within the governance of the PRSAGreater Oregon Chapter for many years, including regular board service (the PRSAPortland, PRSA Oregon Capitol and PRSA Greater Oregon chapters merged under the PRSA Oregon umbrella earlier this year). He has also helped raise the voice of Oregon’s PR community to a regional level while serving as the North Pacific District Chair, and the national level where has represented the state as a delegate at the organization’s National Assembly.

“The William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award is really the pinnacle for the members of our chapter,” said Colby Reade, APR, PRSA Oregon President. “If you look back at the history of this award and some of the names that have been recognized, you can see that this honor is only presented to those in our profession who show up every day, focus on setting an ideal example for how a communications professional should operate, but also look for ways they can grow the profession, help their peers and aid young professionals in their growth.

“John Mitchell epitomizes what this award stands for. He has worked tirelessly for decades to advance the image of what a stellar public relations professional should be and has modeled that for countless students who have come through his classroom. Our chapter, our profession and our community are far stronger today because of his contributions and we are proud to have him as a member.”

Mitchell will be formally presented with the honor at the PRSA Oregon Spotlight Award ceremony on October 20 at the Willamette Valley Country Club. For ceremony and ticket information, please visit PRSA Oregon.

Change is in the air!

We’re wrapping up transition activities going from 3 chapters to 1 this year very soon. That means we are archiving site content this month and then redirecting the former chapter’s sites to our new site as of Oct. 31.

Old sites and pages may still show up in your search, but you’ll be redirected to prsaoregon.org.

Email webmaster@prsaoregon.org if you have any questions.