Author: Julie Williams, APR, MA
PRSA Oregon Merger in Full Swing
If you’ve ever worked at a startup or started a family, you know that the first year is mostly about learning and making decisions to build a foundation for the future.
As of Jan. 1, 2017, the three local PRSA chapters in Oregon and Southwest Washington merged to form the PRSA Oregon Chapter, known nationally as the “Greater Oregon Chapter,” for the time being. Now we are busy creating a new and truly unified 501c6 nonprofit organization that serves the needs of all its members.
Steering Decisions and Direction
To get work under way, a 12-member Transition Steering Committee was appointed to develop an action plan. Led by 2018 PRSA Oregon President-Elect Julie Williams (me!), the committee includes board members with oversight of transition-related activities along with representatives who have institutional knowledge. Most important, this group also reflects the diversity of the combined chapters’ membership, both in terms of geography and the stages of their careers. A number of volunteers have also stepped up to help. (If you want to get involved, drop a line to [email protected].)
The Transition Steering Committee includes:
- Treasurer Dave Thompson, APR, who oversees chapter finances and accounting;
- Secretary Tracey Lam, APR, who handles operations, including policies and procedures;
- Communications Director Beverly Brooks, who is in charge of rebranding and communications channels;
- Web Strategist David Pan, who is guiding the new website; and,
- Membership Director Siobhan Taylor, who leads member outreach including the upcoming Becoming PRSA Oregon listening tour.
Joining them on the team are the three chapters’ Immediate-Past Presidents, Jill Peters, Loralyn Spiro and Mark Mohammadpour, APR; John Mitchell, APR, Fellow, as a representative from last year’s Statewide Governance Committee (and 2017 Assembly Delegate); University of Oregon PRSSA President Maritza Rendon; and Student Affairs Director Megan Donaldson (2016 New Professional Award of Excellence recipient) to represent the transition from college to the profession.
First Quarter Momentum
In January and February, the team began rebranding our social channels, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as this newsletter. It outlined an interim Policies & Procedures manual, designed a listening tour to hear from current members (kicking off March 14 in Portland), started building the new website (hopefully fully launched by the Communicators Conference in May) and initiated 2016 tax preparation (for three organizations – yikes!). And that’s just a few of the many projects in progress that are important to the 2017 board’s overarching goals of streamlining operations, supporting recent college graduates and retaining our members.
Ensuring a smooth transition is also a priority for the board, but we’re realistic that some unexpected stuff will likely come up. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we get organized and hope to hear from you in person at a listening tour event.
Stay in the Loop
We promise to keep you up to date on progress through the newsletter and blog. And, we encourage you to keep us in the loop! Please email us at [email protected] with questions or any kinks you discover. We may take a few days to respond while we determine who can help, but we so appreciate the extra eyes and ears!
Julie Williams, APR, MA
PRSA Oregon President-Elect
Transition Steering Committee Chair
Outreach Task Force Co-Chair