The 2020 slate of candidates for the PRSA Oregon board of directors are an accomplished and diverse group of public relations professionals, committed to support the organization’s mission “to advance the art and science of public relations in the public interest by supporting our members and community.” The PRSA Oregon Chapter is one of the most active in the nation serving nearly 300 professional communicators in Oregon and SW Washington.
Officers and Executive Committee:
President: Brad Hilliard, APR
Public Information Officer
Department of Consumer and Business Services
Brad Hilliard is the Public Information Officer for the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, the state’s largest consumer protection agency where he manages communications for the state insurance commissioner and regulator of financial products and services. His public relations career spans 11 years, serving as a public affairs specialist, government relations manager, media relations manager, and public information officer.
He received a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Middle Tennessee State University in 2000. He reached his goal of living in the Pacific Northwest when he moved from Colorado to Oregon in 2009.
President-Elect: Judy Asbury, APR
Assistant Dean, Communications and External Relations
Lewis & Clark Law School
Judy Asbury oversees all law school communications and manages the development team at Lewis & Clark Law School. Working closely with the Dean of the law school, Asbury creates communications designed to enhance the school’s reputation, and inspire its alumni to engage and support the school.
Prior to moving to Portland in 2016, Asbury founded the award-winning communications agency Smith Asbury Inc. in the greater Los Angeles area and managed its success for 20+ years. Asbury and her firm were recognized for strategic counsel and creative campaigns for a variety of clients in higher education, healthcare, financial, law, business, and nonprofits.
In 2012, Asbury focused on serving higher educational institutions, notably for Caltech and the University of La Verne.
Secretary: Meghan Gardner, MA
Vice President, PR
As head of the Portland office for Matter, Meghan brings both an eye for detail and clarity of strategic vision to every client program. Her media relations, C-suite communications counsel, and messaging strategy skills have delivered exceptional results for brands from Netflix and Nordstrom to Avid Technologies, Acme Packets (now part of Oracle), Eli Lilly and Company, and the Business Roundtable. Here in Oregon, she oversees a team of 15 servicing clients in a variety of industries, including B2B technology, information security, financial services, manufacturing, food and beverage, consumer services, and marketing technology.
Meghan’s career spans two decades, two continents, and both U.S. coasts. Her yoga mat comes with her everywhere she goes. And at last count, Meghan owned five library cards. She lives in Southeast Portland with her husband, daughter, and wirehaired pointing griffon (a very fine name for a very goofy dog).
Treasurer: Taraneh Fultz, APR
Integrated Marketing Programs Manager
Cambia Health Solutions
Taraneh Fultz, APR, is a fifth generation San Franciscan (and Giants fan) who loves PR, hates the snow and makes the best baklava – ever.
Currently, she serves as integrated marketing programs manager at Cambia Health Solutions. Previous positions with the organization include field marketing analyst and senior field marketing analyst. Taraneh also chairs Cambia’s employee resource group for female employees, the Women’s Employee Leadership Lab (WELL). Her contributions have resulted in features in Portland Monthly and awards from Forbes, the Portland Business Alliance and Mogul.
Taraneh is accredited in public relations by the Universal Accreditation Board, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations from the University of Oregon and a certificate in project management from Portland State University. In 2007, she was awarded the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Portland Metro Chapter’s New Professional of the Year, and a decade later, she received the PRSA Oregon Chapter’s Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award. She has held board positions with PRSA and the American Marketing Association, including as (the first millennial) board chair of PRSA’s Portland Metro Chapter and PRSA’s North Pacific District.
Taraneh lives in Southeast Portland with her family and is a founding member of the Ambassador Board of Albertina Kerr, Oregon’s oldest non-profit. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @taranehfultz.
Immediate Past President: Julie Reed, M.S., APR
Community Benefit Strategist
Julie Reed is a communications strategist and leader with experience working with government, healthcare and non-profit organizations. Reed serves as a Community Benefit Strategist for Legacy Health, Oregon’s largest locally owned nonprofit health system where she manages development and implementation strategies for community health improvement. Previously she served as Public and Community Relations Consultant for Legacy Health where she managed communications and public relations projects, media relations and served as Legacy’s public information officer. Reed previously worked for Metro as a business strategy and public affairs manager. She serves on Franklin High School’s Parent Teacher Student Advisory Council and previously served on the boards of Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce and Children First for Oregon.
A native Oregonian, Reed holds a master’s degree in leadership from Capella University, a bachelor’s degree in communications, and is accredited in public relations from Public Relations Society of America.,
Professional Development Co-Chair: Heather Back, MBA
Communications and Policy
Heather Back is a get-it-done gal with experience in cause marketing, corporate social responsibility, stakeholder engagement, and corporate communications in for-profit, nonprofit and government settings. She manages communications and policy development for Metro’s Visitor Venues — the Oregon Convention Center, Portland Centers for the Arts, Portland Expo Center and the Oregon Zoo – building awareness of their significant economic return for the region from hosting conventions, exhibits and events that draw visitors and tourism dollars into the community. Back assists with development of strategic business opportunities, government and community affairs as well as media and public
relations efforts. Travel and tourism is a deep passion of hers, having also been a publisher for visitor bureaus for Portland Monthly and San Diego Magazines. Her experience and passion provides the public-private partnership background needed to ensure the Metro portfolio of venues thrive in supporting conservation, business incubation, and cultural richness to Oregon while also bringing vast economic benefits and job opportunities to the region.
Professional Development Co-Chair: Kyra Phelps
Marketing and Events Coordinator
Humane Society for Southwest Washington (HSSW)
Along with her love for animals, Kyra’s passions include making a difference in the community through marketing and fundraising. She coordinates and plans the HSSW’s main fundraising events, Walk/Run for the Animals and their annual Dinner/Auction. She has five years of marketing and communication experience, including social media, email marketing, graphic design, online fundraising, event planning, and creating promotional plans. Kyra is excited to bring these skills to PRSA Oregon’s chapter.
Kyra is a graduate of Eastern Washington University with a MS in Communication Studies and BA in Visual Communication Design. She and her husband recently relocated back to Vancouver after spending a few years in Georgia, where she worked at another humane society as the marketing manager. In her spare time, Kyra loves to travel and spend time with her family and friends.
Membership Co-Chair: Shawn Patrick Floss
Corporate Communications Manager
As Simon Sinek says, “start with why.” Part of Shawn’s focus as a corporate communications manager for KinderCare Education is explaining the why for executive leadership and sharing internal messaging with nearly 36,000 employees nationwide. Shawn’s passion for the craft takes him across the country each year as he works closely with the executive national board for PRSA’s Employee Communications section.
You can usually find him running long distances through Portland streets or hiking and golfing throughout Oregon.
Membership Co-Chair: Eric Johnson
Public Relations Coordinator,
Explore Lincoln City
As the PR Coordinator for Explore Lincoln City, Eric has written successful pitches that have been featured in USA Today, Smithsonian.com, Men's Journal and Forbes. Eric has spent his career in the destination marketing industry and is a Travel Oregon award-winning professional.
Born and raised on the Oregon Coast, Eric is proud to call Lincoln City home for the
last 5 years. Eric has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and an MBA from Oregon
State University. When he is not busy spreading the good word of Lincoln City, Eric
is also the Public Information Officer for the Devil’s Lake Water Improvement District, where his PR expertise has contributed to improving the lake’s health. Eric is a PRSA-Oregon member in good standing and is currently pursuing his Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). On his rare days off, Eric enjoys running, hiking, reading and enjoying a micro-brew with friends and family.
Communications Co-Chair: Gina Williams, MS
Communications Strategist, Freelance Journalist
Carpe Verbum/Carpe Lumen Communications
Gina Williams is a Portland-based marketing communications strategist, publicist and freelance journalist. She owns Carpe Verbum/Carpe Lumen Communications. Her clients include a creative focus camera lens manufacturer, the Siena International Photography Festival in Siena, Italy, and others. As a journalist, she focuses on photography and photographers internationally, as well as arts, culture and travel.
Williams holds a master’s degree in strategic communication from the University of Oregon and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. She has served as PRSA Oregon board secretary and volunteer as Co-Chair and website support for the PRSA Oregon Communications Committee.
Communications Co-Chair: Christine Tully, MA
Senior Content Producer
Oregon Health and Science University Foundation
Christine Tully is a storyteller with a mission, and seeks out, crafts and shares the incredible stories of OHSU and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. She brings five years of writing and communications experience, including feature writing, social media, email marketing, project management and photography.
Previously, she worked at AAA Oregon/Idaho as the digital marketing specialist. Over one year
ago, she moved to Portland from her hometown of Spokane, Washington, where she worked as the publications editor and content specialist at Eastern Washington University.
She recently earned her master’s degree in strategic communication from Washington State University. In her spare time, she loves to hike, explore Portland, and spend time with family and friends.
Advancement Co-Chair: Jaimee L. Fox, MA, APR
HR Communications Manager, Multnomah County Health Department
Board of Directors, PRSA Oregon
Fox’s professional experience ranges from community service and public speaking to government and the nonprofit sector. As a versatile PR professional, Fox has progressive experience developing strategies that drive objectives and align with company values.
A native Oregonian, Fox received her bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in political science and global studies from Washington State University and a master’s degree in public relations from Michigan State University.
Advancement Co-Chair: Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA
Dianne is a longtime PRSA devotee. In 2017, she was awarded the National Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Paul Lund Award for Public Service; the PRSA North Pacific District Practitioner of the Year and the PRSA Oregon Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award. She’s an experienced leader with a history of working in public relations, public affairs and communications and skilled in corporate communications, executive coaching, crisis management, nonprofit organizations, media advocacy, and social media strategy. She holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Oregon and certificate in E-Commerce and Marketing from Portland State University.
Regional Co-Chair: Jolene Kelly
Public Information Officer
Marion County, Oregon
Jolene Kelley has worked in local government for more than 20 years and currently serves as the Public Information Officer for the Marion County Board of Commissioners in Salem, Oregon. Her government experience includes office administration, public works, and public safety including serving as a 9-1-1 director.
As a one person shop, Jolene currently manages countywide communications efforts including media relations, social media, employee communications, public outreach, and constituent services. During her career with Marion County, Jolene has overseen the implementation of an annual report, website redesign, countywide e-newsletter program, and a customer relationship management system. She has been a member of PRSA since 2013 and is working toward her public relations accreditation. Jolene and her husband have three grown children and share their home with four rescue dogs and two rescue cats. They all agree the Chihuahua is in charge.
Regional Co-Chair: Elizabeth (Liz) Candello, Ph.D.
Integrated Strategic Communication
Edward R. Murrow College of Communication
Washington State University
Elizabeth Candello, Ph.D., Arizona State University, is a clinical assistant professor at The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication in Vancouver, WA. She has nearly a decade of experience in the communication and technology industries in the Seattle, Austin and Phoenix media markets, working with various clients, including Microsoft, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington Dairy Initiative and the Western Climate Initiative. Her research examines how organizations use relationships to influence health behaviors and how knowledge is produced and co-created among low-income populations. Her work includes the examination of social support and collaboration within organizations; cultural identification and minority representations; and service use among those who live below the federal poverty level. She is the founder of Aisle10.org, an organization that provides non-food items to those eligible for SNAP.
Assembly Delegate: Dave Thompson, APR
Former Public Information Officer and Supervisor (Retired)
Oregon Department of Transportation
Dave Thompson, APR spent 20 years as a TV News reporter/producer/anchor and then 20 more as a public relations executive and spokesperson for a variety of companies and industries, including Director of Corporate Communications for a pre-IPO angel-invested startup and Public Information Officer and supervisor for the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Dave specializes in strategic planning, crisis communications planning and media interview coaching. Dave has presented his series of classes on how to be interviewed to hundreds of people, including four PRSA, IABC or IAP2 chapters, three national conferences and half a dozen government agencies. Dave has provided media training to Oregon’s state executive leadership training program for most of the past decade. Dave has also co-taught FEMA’s G-290/291 Basic PIO three-day course to about 1,000 government communicators over the last ten years.
Assembly Delegate: Lise Harwin, APR
Employee Communications Manager
Port of Portland & Portland International Airport
For 17 years, Lise Harwin made a career in media relations — pitching organizational stories ranging from life-saving at a Level 1 trauma hospital to life-affirming at the American Red Cross to life-changing in higher education. Now she’s turned her corporate raconteuring and social media savvy inward, transitioning to employee engagement and communication for the Port of Portland and PDX, America’s Best Airport. Lise most recently served as VP of Communications for PRSA’s Employee Communications section and has presented several times at the section’s annual Connect conference.