Contributed by PRSA Oregon partner Allen Hall PR,
University of Oregon
A new year always marks a new beginning, an ambition for growth, and an opportunity for change. For us at the PRSA Oregon chapter, a new year also marks the start of a new term for our board of directors.
In 2020, we welcome our new president, Brad Hilliard, for his fourth year serving as a member on the board of directors. Having worked in the field of public relations for a span of 11 years, Hilliard has some notable career highlights, as well as personal plans for leading our chapter in another year of success.
A Passion for Public Relations
Hilliard took an early interest in public relations while attending Middle Tennessee State University, located in his home state, to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in mass communication. After taking an Intro to Public Relations course, the rest was history. His newfound interest led to three separate internships, all of which he completed while earning his degree. The knowledge and experience gained through both coursework and various internships allowed him to land his first paying public relations job at State Farm, where he worked for 17 years.
It was during his time at State Farm that he also met his wife, a Texas native, who joined him on a multi-state move around the U.S. for both of their careers from Michigan to Colorado.
The Power of PRSA
When Hillard was presented with the opportunity to move to Phoenix, Arizona, he found himself looking for a new job—knowing that he and his wife always wanted to end up in the Pacific Northwest. He utilized his resources by reaching out to the PRSA community to begin his job hunt. A friend of Hilliard, who was also a fellow PRSA member, introduced him to Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services’ communications director. Soon after setting up an informational interview, he was presented with the opportunity to begin his career with the department.
“It was an ideal opportunity, and proof that the PRSA community you build will be there when you need it most,” Hilliard said.
Hilliard currently lives in Salem, Oregon, where he serves as the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services’ public information officer. Although he has only been with the department for two years, he has helped prepare the state’s insurance commissioner to testify before the Federal Ways and Means Committee and introduced one of the nation’s first prescription drug price transparency programs.
Given the significant change that came with three chapters combining into one, Hilliard is hopeful about continuing the success that has come from this ambitious merge. The largest goal of 2020 is for the board of directors to “Hit their SPOT”:
“As a volunteer board, we will keep our work simple but impactful. We will continue to find ways to efficiently complete our most important tasks.
We will be precise. This means focusing on exactly what our members need and expect.
We will be organized. We will clearly state our intentions, continue to improve our processes, and leave the chapter, like this year’s board is doing for us, in a better place than we received it.
Finally, we will be timely. We will help the chapter thrive by providing timely professional development, networking, and advancement opportunities for all our members.”
He continues, “This organization has meant a lot to me and I am honored to give back. We will take all that we have learned and built in recent years to continue building a great chapter for all of our members in 2020. I am excited to go on this journey and hope that our professionals and students are ready to, like former President Barbara Kerr said, not just join, join in.”
To our 2019 Board of Directors, thank you for a year of service and dedication to our chapter.
To our new 2020 Board of Directors, we welcome your service at the start of another decade of helping our PRSA Oregon chapter succeed.