Congratulations to our 2017 Volunteer of the Year, Elisa Williams!

In her day job, Elisa Williams is a communications consultant at Oregon Health & Science University with an extensive background in journalism.This year, she’s been instrumental in communicating PRSA Oregon’s transition from three regional chapters into one.

Her dedication to the transition committee and enthusiasm for PRSA Oregon has earned her the title of Volunteer of the Year. Thank you and congratulations, Elisa!

As a side note, if you are curious about ways to get involved with our Chapter, I highly encourage all of you consider volunteering. Just reach out to service@prsaoregon.org and the service committee will be happy to get you involved.

 

PRSA Oregon Celebrates Banner Year

New 300-Member Chapter Marks Completion of Historic Merger, Hosts Two Signature Events to Close out 2017

Portland, Ore. – The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is in the midst of a major celebration as it caps off a banner year in the state of Oregon. The nonprofit professional organization dedicated to the growth and advancement of the practice of public relations opted to merge Oregon’s three chapters – Portland, Oregon Capitol and Greater Oregon – into a unified, statewide chapter.

“By merging our chapters from three regional groups into one, statewide organization, it becomes much easier for us to connect and network,” said Colby Reade, APR, PRSA Oregon President. “It also opens up vast opportunities for our organization to offer a much wider range of professional development and skill-building resources to our members.”

The merger is the result of several years of deliberation and collaboration by members from all three chapters. The decision appears to be a success as the organization is enjoying a substantial membership increase year-over-year.

Spotlight Awards Announced

Along with the merger of all of the chapters around the state, PRSA Oregon announced the 2017 recipients of the prestigious Awards of Distinction at this year’s Spotlight Awards Ceremony, held on October 20th at the Willamette Valley Country Club. They include:

Professional Award of Excellence

Nicole Early was selected as the 2017 New Professional Award of Excellence which is presented to a “rising star” who has entered the field of public relations in the past 5 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.

North Pacific District PR Practitioner of the year, Paul M. Lund Award for Public Service, Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award

Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow, had a very active fall as she was honored with the PRSA North Pacific District’s 2017 PR Practitioner of the Year, and the national Paul M. Lund Award for Public Service along with the PRSA Oregon Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award.

The Lund Public Service Award honors a PRSA member whose participation as a volunteer in important public activities has increased the common good and reflected credit on the society. The Ron Schmidt Community Involvement award is given to a public relations practitioner who has performed exceptional service to the community, to achieve results that help the greater good.

Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award

Taraneh A. Fultz APR, a current senior field analyst at Cambia Health Solutions, was announced as the winner of the Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award, an award given to a PRSA Oregon Chapter member who demonstrates exceptional mentorship of others as they advance their careers in public relations.

 William W. Match Lifetime Achievement Award

John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA, has been awarded the William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award for 2017. Mitchell, a professor in the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications, was given this award because he has invested significantly in developing public relations as a credible profession, accomplishing landmark professional achievements and furthering the goals of PRSA.

For additional details on the event and winner bios, please visit prsaoregon.org.

Communicator’s Conference

Another key highlight of the year was May’s Communicator’s Conference in Portland, Oregon. Drawing hundreds of attendees from around the Pacific Northwest, a variety of speakers, including the University of Oregon, ODOT, Portland Public Schools and REI the conference offered insights on a variety of topics centered on the theme of “Leading Strategies”.

Founding Board Members of PRSA Oregon:

President: Colby Reade, APR

President-Elect: Julie Williams, APR

Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer: Dave Thompson, APR

Secretary and Chief Operations Officer: Tracey Lam, APR

Leadership Assembly Delegate: Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA

Leadership Assembly Delegate: John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA

Communications Director: Beverly Brooks

Director of Student Affairs: Megan Donaldson

Director of Service: Taylor Long

Director of Events: Olivia MacKenzie

Sponsorship Director: Amy Ruddy

Director of Membership: Siobhan Taylor

Immediate Past President: Mark Mohammadpour, APR

Immediate Past President: Jill Peters, APR

Immediate Past President: Loralyn Spiro, APR

Annual Meeting

A brand new board of directors will be elected during our 2017 Annual Membership Meeting & Elections held on November 8th, via a webinar. In addition to the elections, current and incoming Chapter leadership will review 2017 highlights including the transition to a statewide chapter, 2018 priorities and hear elections results of the incoming board.

About PRSA Oregon:

The PRSA Oregon chapter, which serves approximately 300 public relations professionals in Oregon and Southwest Washington, supports lifelong professional development and honors excellence in public relations. More than one-fifth of chapter members have earned Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), the profession’s only national post-graduate certification program. The Oregon chapter is led by an all-volunteer board of professionals from across the state. Signature events include the annual Spotlight Awards, honoring excellence in public relations, and the Communicator’s Conference, a professional development event held once a year. The Oregon chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is one of 109 PRSA chapters across the country.

College of Fellows

The pinnacle of a professional career

Barbara Kerr, APR, Fellow PRSA, and David Remund, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, are two of the newest members of the PRSA College of Fellows. They are among 15 PRSA members who were approved by the PRSA Board of Directors for acceptance into the organization’s prestigious College of Fellows in 2015.

“Each year, we are honored to review the extensive and impressive careers of candidates for the PRSA College of Fellows, and are reminded of the hard work it takes to achieve excellence and longevity in the public relations profession,” said PRSA 2015 National Chair Kathy Barbour, APR“I thank each and every new Fellow for their dedication to the profession and to the Society.”

These distinguished Chapter members have been inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows:

  • Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA; Vice President, Publix Northwest PR & PA;
  • Kathryn D. Hubbell, APR, MS, Fellow PRSA; Owner, Adscripts, Inc. & Adjunct Professor, Marylhurst University;
  • Barbara Kerr, APR, Fellow PRSA; Chief Communications Officer, Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Ministries Corporation;
  • David L. Remund, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA; Assistant Professor, University of Oregon;
  • Tom Unger, APR, ABC, CTM, Fellow PRSA; Regional Communications Manager, Wells Fargo; and
  • Mara Woloshin, MA, APR, Fellow PRSA; Principal, Woloshin Communications 2.0

Oregon members of the College of Fellows also include Louis Capozzi, APR, Fellow PRSA, adjunct professor at Baruch College in Bend; John Charles Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA, adjunct assistant professor at the University of Oregon in Eugene; and Joette Getse Storm, APR, Fellow PRSA, of Bend.

Founded in 1989, the College of Fellows is a community of less than 350 senior PRSA members who have successfully advanced the public relations profession and distinguished themselves through their leadership in the public relations industry.

In order qualify for admittance into the College of Fellows, the public relations practitioner or educator must have at least 20 years of experience, hold the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential and have demonstrated exceptional capability and accomplishment in the practice or teaching of public relations. College of Fellows members also must exhibit personal and professional qualities that make them role models for other practitioners or educators. Less than two percent of PRSA members are accepted into the College of Fellows.

To learn more, email us at fellows@prsaoregon.org.

APR: Prepare for Luck

Author: Erin Merz, M.A. APR

“I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been
prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been ‘lucky.’”
— Oprah Winfrey

My journey to “lucky” began in 2011 when I managed public relations for Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Conn. I was responsible for media relations, web content, social media and member publications for the state’s largest cultural institution. While my work was a critical part of the aquarium’s overall communication strategy, the position was heavily tactical. Earning my APR allowed me to gain more advanced knowledge, skills and abilities that weren’t constant during my nine-to-five.

Fast forward to 2013. Changes in my personal life spurred a solo cross-country move to Portland. I didn’t have a job lined up and only knew a few people in Oregon. But my work experience and APR designation gave me the confidence I needed during a big — and somewhat risky — life change.

I immediately joined and started volunteering with PRSA Portland (now PRSA Oregon). I quickly formed a network of PR professionals and an informational interview led to a mid-level agency job.

Then in January 2015, I landed my current role managing communications for Portland State Campus Rec. It was exactly what I’d hoped for when I ventured west — a position that combined my personal passion for health and wellness with my career aspirations. It was my shift from tactician to strategist.

How did APR help? Oprah Winfrey said it best. My degrees, decade of work experience and APR fully prepared me for my new opportunity managing a team and serving as the trusted adviser to departmental leadership. And maintaining my APR will ensure that I’m still prepared when luck strikes next.

Erin Merz

 

Erin Merz, M.A., APR, manages communications for Portland State University Campus Rec. She’s been a member and volunteer of PRSA Portland since 2013 and served as COO on the 2016 board. Find her online at erinmerz.com and on Instagram and Twitter @erinmerz.