We are pleased to present you with our slate of candidates for the 2023 PRSA Oregon Board of Directors.
If you are a PRSA Oregon member, you can vote beginning Nov. 8 until 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 25.
Rhonda Morin, APR, MLS
Rhonda Morin, APR, MLS, is a public relations, communications and marketing professional with 25 years of experience researching, planning, implementing and measuring compelling public relations solutions for diverse audiences.
She has won numerous awards in her career including two bronze Anvil commendations from the Public Relations Society of America, Spotlight and merit awards from PRSA Oregon/Southwest Washington and several accolades from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education District 8.
Her specialties are problem-solving with teams, writing and deploying comprehensive marketing plans, producing podcasts and videos, online and print content, campaign fundraising planning and messaging, and brand reputation management.
Morin is the current executive director of communications and marketing for Clark College Foundation, a post she had held since 2011. She also serves as a member of the executive management team for the self-governed and independently financed nonprofit. A member of PRSA since 2016, she has served on the DEI committee at the chapter level for several years.
Prior to moving to Oregon, she worked in a similar capacity for Thomas College in Maine and in corporate communications for Maine Public Broadcasting. She earned a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Maine and a master’s of liberal studies in women’s studies from Eastern Michigan University. She’s a licensed emergency medical technician and holds a certificate in exercise, core and posture conditioning from Clark College.
An avid outdoorswoman, she and her husband enjoy camping and exploring, while paddling lakes and rivers. Morin is also a competitive cyclist who has earned numerous state championship titles and a national bronze medal in cyclocross. Find her on LinkedIn or visit http://www.rhondamorin.com.
Statement of Candidacy
As the chapter president, I will work to increase diversity within the membership and bring an increased focus on inclusion. Having a diversity of viewpoints, experiences and exchanges will continue to elevate our profession and strengthen our chapter. As we reemerge from a global pandemic, now is the perfect time to reconnect with you—our current membership—to ensure the chapter is providing skills, tools and networking opportunities that you value. I will emphasize my engagement with professionals who are not yet members, particularly from underrepresented communities. When members see and hear from people who look and sound like them, then they are more likely to join in and stay engaged. Let’s continue to evolve the chapter so that it prides itself on including all PR professionals and the talents and inspirations they bring to the table.
Stacy Moe-Kean, APR
Stacy Moe-Kean, APR, is a native Oregonian and University of Oregon alumna. She has spent her career in nonprofit communications. She currently serves as the marketing director at The Contingent, a nonprofit organization dedicated to mobilizing community to serve children and families impacted by foster care and to empower diverse talent to excel as young professionals.
Stacy was the recipient of the 2016 Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award. She served on the PRSA Oregon (then Portland Metro) PRSA Board in 2005-2007 and served as the Communicators Conference co-chair in 2005. Stacy has volunteered as an APR coach since 2016.
Statement of Candidacy
PRSA Oregon Chapter has deeply impacted my professional development and connected me with a caring and collaborative community of amazing professionals. I hope to continue this chapter’s strength in offering meaningful professional development for PR professionals at every stage in their career. It’s been a privilege to be involved in a variety of roles over the years.
As one of our past presidents said, “Don’t just join. Join in.” I hope to work with chapter members to give PR professionals opportunities to join in and to experience the connection and collaboration that can deeply impact their careers and expand their network by relevant professional development and clearly demonstrating the value of PRSA Oregon membership.
Joshua Romero, APR
Joshua is passionate about engaging and empowering employees as the Employee Experience and Engagement Program manager at the City of Bend, one of the fastest growing mid-sized cities in the nation. Prior to this new role, Joshua served as the assistant communications director for the city.
Joshua’s 14-year public relations and communications career spans agency, higher education, public health, medical device and local government.
Early in his career, he was Membership Co-chair for the national PRSA New Professionals Committee. In 2021, he served as PRSA Oregon Communications Co-director. He’s currently the chapter’s Secretary.
Joshua has been internationally recognized as a Council for the Advancement Support of Education Simpson-Scarborough Scholar and has won regional and national awards for his writing and editing.
He is an advocate for integrating diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging practices into communications. He is on the Oregon Community Foundation Statewide Advisory Council for the Latino Partnership Program. He served on the board of United Way of Central Oregon where he chaired the Community Impact Committee and was a founding member of the DEI Advisory Group. Prior to that, Joshua served on the Latino Community Association Advocacy Committee, Bend 2020 Civic Equity Project Advisory Board and Inclusive Innovation Initiative.
Joshua is a FEMA-certified Advanced Public Information Officer and holds a certificate in diversity, equity and inclusion from Stanford Graduate School of Business. He’s also certified in Employee Experience and Engagement from Emer Local Government Leaders.
Statement of Candidacy
I’m excited to help represent “East of the Cascades” communications pros on the PRSA Oregon Board and share the diversity of my lived and professional experiences with the chapter’s members and leadership.
Carol Fenstermacher, APR
Carol Fenstermacher, APR, is the owner of FenstermacherPR, specializing in communication audits and ballot measures for public school districts. She retired in 2021, as the Chief Communications Officer for the Centennial School District in Portland, Oregon. Prior to Centennial, she worked in the Evergreen School District in Vancouver, WA, as the Director of Community Relations. Carol also worked for the City of Portland as a communications specialist, the Portland Rose Festival Association as the Community Relations Director and United Way of the Columbia-Willamette as the Assistant Vice President of Communication and Marketing. She started working on a local newspaper her senior year in college and reported on sports and business.
Carol received her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2004.
She has served on the board of several professional associations, including:
> 2018 – 19 National President and Northwest Regional Vice President and member of the Executive Board, National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA)
> Past National President of Women in Communications, Inc. (WICI) and past president of the Portland Professional Chapter of WICI
> Past Board Member, Oregon School Public Relations Association (OSPRA)
> Past Board Member, Washington School Public Relations Association (WSPRA)
> Past Board Member, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) – Portland Metro Chapter
In addition, Carol has served on a wide variety of non-profit boards, including Evergreen Habitat for Humanity, DePaul Treatment Centers, Oregon Repertory Singers, the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), and KBPS Public Radio.
Statement of Candidacy
Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to volunteer for a variety of organizations and serve on many of their boards. I have come to realize a role that is crucial in almost every organization is that of the treasurer. I have witnessed the problems an association can experience when there are not strong fiscal policies and procedures in place, and I have seen organizations with sound fiscal practices that allow them to thrive and better serve their members. I would like to serve as the Treasurer to build on the work that previous boards have done to make our association fiscally strong – while continuing to research additional best practices that may benefit PRSA. I believe in giving back to the profession that has given me so much throughout my career – and one way to do that is by serving on the PRSA Oregon board.
Vicki Guinn, a native Oregonian, serves as a public relations strategist for Legacy Health, a local health care organization responsible for media relations, community engagement, strategic communications, issues management, and crisis management.
She held similar positions in public health and other health care organizations. Guinn paused her PR career to work in learning and organizational development for several years, where she coached directors and teams on communication.
Guinn served as a part-time communication instructor at a local community college. She has extensive experience in corporate diversity, equity, and inclusion work, including anti-racism initiatives, and has taught inclusive communications.
She holds a BS in broadcast communication from Oregon State University and an MS in communication theory from the University of Portland. She currently serves on the PRSA Oregon Board, the Oregon State University Alumni marketing board, and the Young Audiences of Oregon and SW Washington.
Leadership Assembly Delegates
Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA
Directors at Large
Meghan Gardner has had 20 years of PR and digital agency experience, including overseeing Portland operations and teams for two national PR agencies. She plays a leadership role in client communications strategy, including oversight of pre-IPO, crisis and internal communications, and media relations programs. She is adept at managing and coaching successful, motivated, and productive teams. Meghan is also skilled at client relationship development and revenue growth. She holds a BA, magna cum laude, from Williams College.
Meghan is a senior vice president with Mission North.
Ian Rollins, APR
Ian Rollins has a passion for health care communications, having spent the last 15 years in this field – 14 years at Samaritan Health Services in Albany/Corvallis and this past year with Providence Health & Services on their internal communications team.
Originally from La Habra, California, Ian earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. He spent the first 10 years of his career in newspaper reporting, moving from a small weekly paper to the daily Albany Democrat-Herald in the mid-Willamette Valley.
From there, he transitioned into health care marketing and public relations with Samaritan, the leading health care provider in the Albany/Corvallis area with five hospitals and multiple primary and specialty care clinics. During his time with Samaritan, he led and participated in numerous internal initiatives, including a transformation of Samaritan’s internal newsletter from print to an online news feed; as well as external initiatives including the organization’s annual community benefit report and COVID-19 vaccine communications. He earned his Accreditation in Public Relations certification in 2020.
Ian joined Providence following his family’s move to Newberg. With Providence, Ian writes content for the entire Providence workforce across seven states, as well as external content for the organization’s community benefit, patient assistance and environmental stewardship teams.
Away from work, Ian enjoys spending time with his wife Heather and son Joshua, doing outdoor activities and getting their new home set up in Newberg. He has also enjoyed participating in church ministries over the years, including a summer camp for foster kids and local community service ministries.
Statement of Candidacy
My goal is to give back to Oregon PRSA and the profession, and to do everything I can to bring more professionals into the organization. I have learned a lot from the conferences and seminars that PRSA has organized. Most of all, I owe a lot to Patti Atkins, Dave Thompson and the other APR coaches who assisted me in attaining my APR. I know this is a volunteer organization that can only do this invaluable work if people get involved, and I want to answer the call.
Patti Atkins, APR
As a seasoned communications professional, Patti provides an invaluable resource to clients as a manager, strategic planner and critical thinker.
Patti has decades of hands-on experience in public relations, marketing, internal communications, relationship management and advertising. Patti is an expert at handling external communication issues and initiating and sustaining positive relationships with both traditional and social media reporters and contacts. She served as the regional public relations manager for Providence Health & Services and director of marketing and communications for Providence Seaside Hospital. She has also served in communications management positions at Regence BlueCross BlueShield, LifeEra and Mentor Graphics.
Her education includes a bachelor’s degree and graduate course work in organizational communications. In 2005 she was accredited by the Public Relations Society of America and is a past president of the Portland Metro PRSA chapter board. Patti’s extensive volunteer experience includes teaching and mentoring individuals through the PRSA accreditation process.
Additionally, she volunteers her services to the ALS Association of Oregon and SW Washington, organizing and promoting events. She learned about the ALS Association when her husband was diagnosed with the disease. She lives in Tualatin, Oregon, and has two grown children, and three grandchildren. Two of her grandsons live in Canby, Oregon and a granddaughter lives in Zurich, Switzerland. They are all redheads.
Christine Pickering, MBA, APR
Christine Pickering is the communications executive and a principal for HC2 Strategies, Inc., a team of influential public health and health system trailblazers that inspires health leaders to reimagine a healthier world and advance equitable, mission-driven systems of care.
Christine previously served as system vice president of communications for Adventist Health, a $5 billion health system in four Western states. In that role, she led and coached 23 communicators in setting strategic direction, establishing and tracking KPIs and overseeing crisis communications. She also served in regional and market positions for Adventist Health, leading communications for four hospital acquisitions and two successful community ballot initiatives, among other projects.
Before joining Adventist Health, Christine worked as assistant section editor, copy editor and reporter for The Fresno Bee and as a business communications assistant professor at Feather River College in Chester, California.
Christine holds an MBA from Western Governors University and a BA in Journalism/Mass Communications from California State University, Fresno. She also served as a volunteer state-level examiner for the National Malcolm Baldrige Quality Award Program for three years and received training in The Moth Corporate Storytelling. She volunteers at Open House Ministries, a homeless shelter for families in Vancouver, Washington.
Statement of Candidacy
As a senior communications executive, I am seeking the board position of professional development co-director because I love helping others grow and because our high calling as communicators demands continuous learning.
PR professionals have an incredible opportunity to bring communities together in trying times and help people reimagine their world. That opportunity requires us to bring our best to work every day and to always look for new and better ways to tell those stories that transform lives.
Bringing our best comes from constantly learning, trying new tools and developing new skills. We must stay alert and educated. I have enjoyed the professional development opportunities at PRSA Oregon, and I would love the chance to build on those in the coming year.
Bryan Rachal, APR
Bryan Rachal is a communications professional with more than 15+ years of experience in the industry. He earned his APR in 2016 and currently serves as the Director of Communications for the City of Camas, Washington. In this role, Rachal serves as a spokesperson for the city and works closely with city leaders to develop cohesive communications strategies. Before moving to the PNW, Rachal served as the Deputy Director of Communications for the City of Boulder, Colorado.
During his career, Rachal served as the Director of University Communications for the University of North Alabama. There he managed a team of award-winning professionals in the Office of Communications and Marketing, helping to rebrand the institution. A storyteller at heart, Rachal has also worked as a reporter for the NPR affiliate, KUAF, in Northwest Arkansas, and as a reporter and news producer for ABC and NBC affiliates in Colorado and Arkansas. Rachal’s credentials include a B.A. in journalism from the School of Journalism and Strategic Media at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
Statement of Candidacy
I’m interested in this position for several reasons. First and foremost, I believe my skillset will be a valuable addition to PRSA Oregon.
I’ve developed multi-platform communication and marketing strategies that have produced increased follower numbers across varying platforms. I’m extremely well-versed in digital marketing tactics and strategies, as well as producing engaging content. I’m also familiar with more traditional media, having served as editor for a bi- annual publication.
As an APR since 2016, I’ve helped lead teams of communications professionals to develop communications strategies that helped engage the public, while also supporting each group’s brand. In that time, we have been able to reach various groups and increase engagement and participation. Many of those groups included underrepresented groups.
Finally, I think it’s important to get more individuals involved with PRSA Oregon and PRSA, in general. We work in a unique field, it’s important to have a group of colleagues to provide tips and tricks to make life easier – but it’s also important to sometimes simply have someone listen and understand. PRSA has been that for me, and I’d like to provide that opportunity to someone else!
Jonathan Yost, who generally goes by Yost as he finds himself often confused with other Johns, Jons, and Jonathans, has over 16 years of experience in communications, with a colorful background that includes music festivals, Tribal and state government, teaching strategic communications at the university level, and running public relations campaigns for the largest casino on the West Coast. In 2021, he left Southern California to join the Oregon Public Employee Retirement System, an agency of the State of Oregon.
While earning his degree in music business, Yost wrote music-centric articles and photographed concerts for a variety of outlets, including AOL’s Spinner, Discovery Channel’s PlanetGreen, Sunsetstrip.com, and Vice Magazine. Earning his accreditations in both Public Information Officer and Advanced Public Information Officer from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), he often joined PIOs across San Bernardino County as part of the Office of Emergency Services communications team. During this time, he began teaching in the Strategic Communications program at California State University, San Bernardino, a Hispanic Serving Institution. His classes include leading CoyotePR, an award-winning student-run PR agency, Crisis Communications, PR Writing, and Strategic Communications Campaigns.
Yost lives in Eugene with his wife Cal, his three-year-old son Oliver, and rambunctious beagle, Turbo. He is an advocate of being out of cell range, exploring new hiking trails as Oliver examines as many sticks and rocks as possible, but still enjoys getting his concert fix, often taking his camera with him to keep his concert photography skills properly honed. Yost is a voracious defender of the Oxford comma. His personal brand seems to come down to two guiding principles: “nachos are a perfect, self-sustained representation of the food pyramid”, and “be as helpful as you can.” The latter’s formative effect on his own career and those of many peers and students led to him winning the PRSA-Inland Empire Spirit of PR award in 2020.
Statement of Candidacy
A former board member of PRSA’s Inland Empire chapter of California, the professional advisor for PRSSA’s Cal Poly Pomona (his alma mater), and the faculty advisor for PRSSA Cal State San Bernardino, Yost has a true passion for the communications industry, and hopes to apply this passion towards helping seasoned PR pros shore up their skills. while guiding emerging PR pros as they navigate the beginning of their careers.
Erik Robinson, APR
Since 2016, I have served as a senior media relations specialist for Oregon Health & Science University. I translate often-complex science for a lay audience while also preparing subject matter experts for media interviews. You can see a bit more of my work experience here: https://news.ohsu.edu/authors/author/erikrobinson.
From 2011 to 2016, I worked as a communications officer and outreach specialist for a marine conservation initiative operated by The Pew Charitable Trusts based in Portland.
Prior to that, I spent 20 years as journalist writing for community newspapers across the Pacific Northwest. I’m a lifelong Northwest resident born and raised on the Oregon coast.
Statement of Candidacy
I benefited tremendously from the voluntary coaching offered by the PRSA’s Oregon chapter in achieving my accreditation in public relations in 2015. I stand in debt in particular to Chuck Williams, APR, who hired me as a public relations intern for Good Samaritan Hospital right out of college and reconnected with me decades later when I transitioned out of journalism. His passing this summer prompted me to consider the importance of paying forward the debt that I owe. I would be honored to serve in a position that mobilizes volunteers who are the lifeblood of this organization.
Sylke Neal-Finnegan, APR
Sylke Neal-Finnegan, APR, is vice president of marketing and communications for the Washington County Visitors Association, a destination marketing organization that promotes Oregon’s Washington County as “Tualatin Valley.”
Her 26-year public relations career, which started in Las Vegas, NV, has been in the tourism industry, working in both destination marketing, as well as overseeing PR efforts for a hotel/casino.
Sylke holds a BA in Communications Studies from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has been a member of PRSA since 1999 and earned her APR in 2002. She previously served on PRSA’s Portland Metro chapter board of directors and on committees.
Statement of Candidacy
I am thrilled to be volunteering to be the chapter’s first PRSSA Coordinator. Throughout my career, it has been my goal to give back to tomorrow’s PR practitioners by offering mentorship, friendship and advice, and am looking forward to working with students who are entering our profession.
John Charles Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA
Retired senior instructor of public relations in the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (1986-2019). Currently a public relations consultant, author and professional advisor to the UO Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Retired in 2008 after 24 years in public relations at Eugene Water & Electric Board, where I managed public relations strategies for the utility’s communications with customers, general public and news media. Prior to EWEB: public relations director at McKenzie-Willamette Hospital in Springfield; writer/editor for the U.S. Forest Service in Seattle, Washington; and reporter, photojournalist and editor. I received my undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Oregon, and completed graduate studies in journalism from the UO and marketing communications from Washington State University. A member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) since 1992, I received my Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2000 and remain the professional advisor for UO PRSSA. I was inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows in 2012. I received the PRSA Oregon William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 and the PRSA Oregon Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award in 2019. I currently serve on the PRSA National Advisory Board for PRSSA.
Statement of Candidacy
As a founding member of both the PRSA Oregon Chapter (2019) and the PRSA Greater Oregon Chapter (1992), I continue to serve as the professional advisor for the University of Oregon chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America and on the PRSA National Advisory Board for PRSA. I am seeking this position as part of my ongoing commitment to the PRSA College of Fellows and the PRSA Oregon Chapter to mentor public relations students and young professionals.