About PRSA Oregon

Dedicated to serving all communicators at every stage of their career across the state of Oregon and Southwest Washington (including Longview, South of Centralia and West of Yakima), our membership represents businesses of all types, counseling firms and professional service firms, government, associations, hospitals, schools, non-profit organizations and more.

PRSA Oregon strengthens, unifies and advances the public relations profession and the local practitioner through a unique combination of service, advocacy and professional development activities, including educational programs, skills training, networking, information exchange, leadership, training for APR certification, and more. We encourage members to use their membership to be fulfilled, to gain credibility and to grow as they build their strategic communications career. Those who do find immeasurable value through continued career growth and advancement as a result of our programs and networking opportunities.

What members say

There’s a sense of equality that comes with merging the former chapters – everybody is now in the same organization that has a larger pool of colleagues, with more resources and a bigger toolbox to support the mission of the chapter.

Eric Johnson, APR

I always enjoy the Spotlight Awards Ceremony to see what my peers are doing and make connections to learn more about how they created the campaigns.

Sally Ridenour, APR

The value we get from folks in other cities around the region is learning about how they work and connect remotely. Nowadays, we can do our jobs from wherever we are. This is the future of our profession and the business.

Mark Mohammadpour, APR

Let’s build something together.


Our history

The national Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) was chartered in 1947.

On April 9, 1959, PRSA National received a petition to establish a chapter in Portland, Oregon. The petition had been signed by 11 members of the Public Relations Society of America. The proposed chapter would include Oregon and the southern Washington counties stretching from Vancouver to Longview-Kelso, Richland, Pasco and Walla Walla.

Correspondence in the PRSA National archives indicates that the national organization had already received a letter from the Pacific Northwest Chapter, based in Seattle, stating that they had no objection to releasing the Portland-area territory to the proposed chapter.

The petition was immediately scheduled for approval by the PRSA Board of Directors at a meeting in Toronto on April 22, 1959.

In a letter to Robert O. Lee, who would serve as the first chapter president, Lee was advised that the chapter could elect officers immediately following the board’s approval and could begin to function as a chapter. A May 1959 article from The Oregonian references Robert Lee as “president of the Columbia River Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.”

The approval of the new chapter was formalized when Carroll West, national president of PRSA, presented the approved charter at a dinner at the Benson Hotel on Sept. 12, 1959. Local officers were formally installed.

They served through the end of 1960, which was the first full year of operations for a PRSA chapter in Portland.

As the number of communicators in Oregon and Southwest Washington grew, so did the need for local programming and networking. The Greater Oregon chapter was founded in 1990 serving Eugene/Springfield area members and Liz Cawood, APR, served as the first chapter president.

In 2000, the Oregon Capital Chapter was founded serving Salem-area members.

In 2016, a Statewide Governance Committee was formed and led by Portland Metro Immediate Past-President Taraneh Fultz to formally evaluate the opportunities in combining local chapters around Oregon and Southwest Washington after years of related conversations among chapter leaders.

The team comprised members from all three active chapters, including APRs and members of the College of Fellows.

Throughout 2016, the process of merging was expedited and required a rewriting of chapter bylaws to formalize the merger, which were voted on by a majority of combined chapter members and approved by the vast majority of those who voted.

Thus, the impending combination of the three local chapters was announced in fall, 2016, at the Portland Metro Chapter’s annual membership meeting and the chapter officially started doing business as PRSA Oregon on Jan. 1, 2017 led by the first chapter president Colby Reade, APR.

PRSA Greater Oregon Chapter Leadership

Founded in 1990, the PRSA Greater Oregon Chapter originally served the Eugene/Springfield area. Since the statewide merger in 2017, it now serves public relations professionals throughout Oregon and Clark County, Wash., and oversees the governance duties of the state’s other dormant chapters, as per the Society’s direction.

Past Presidents

  • 2020 – Brad Hilliard
  • 2019 – Julie Reed
  • 2018 – Brian S. Terrett
  • 2017 – Colby Reade
  • 2015-2016 – Loralyn Spiro
  • 2014 – Amber Fossen
  • 2013 – Dawn Marie Woodward
  • 2012 – Jenny Ulum
  • 2010-2011 – Niel Laudati
  • 2009 – Lisa Lawton
  • 2008 – Stephanie Stano
  • 2007 – Stephanie Stano/Jan Bohman
  • 2006 – Jan Bohman
  • 2005 – Sue Viggiano
  • 2004 – John Mitchell, APR
  • 2003 – Kathy Madison, APR
  • 2002 – Brian Terrett, APR
  • 2001 – Melinda Kletzok, APR
  • 2000 – Eric Jones, APR
  • 1999 – Phil Weiler, APR
  • 1998 – Dan Steinberg, APR
  • 1997 – Jenny Ulum, APR
  • 1996 – Marty Boyesen, APR
  • 1995 – Bridget Baker, APR
  • 1994 – Marilyn Milne, APR
  • 1993 – Mary Wilbert Smith, APR
  • 1990-1992 – Liz Cawood, APR

Oregon Capital Chapter Leadership

The PRSA Oregon Capital Chapter was founded in 2000 to serve the Salem area. Since the statewide merger in 2017, its members were reassigned to the Greater Oregon Chapter whose board oversees the governance duties of dormant chapter, as per the Society’s direction.

  • 2017-present – PRSA Greater Oregon Board of Directors
  • 2016 – PRSA Portland Metro Chapter Board of Directors
  • 2015 – Nicole Feigion Miller
  • 2013-2014 – K. Susan Appleby
  • 2012 – Harvey Gail, MBA
  • 2011 – Julie Solomon Howard
  • 2010 – Russell J. Yost, APR
  • 2009 – Jill K. Peters
  • 2008 – Sherryll Hoar
  • 2007 – Sally Ridenour, APR
  • 2006 – Carolyn Bolton
  • 2005 – Jeff Aeschliman
  • 2004 – Shannon G. Priem, APR
  • 2003 – Monte R. Turner, APR
  • 2002 – Pat Cooney, APR
  • 2001 – Cary A. Greenwood, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2000 – No record available

PRSA Portland Metro Chapter Leadership

Founded as the Columbia River Chapter in 1960, the PRSA Portland Metro Chapter was the longest running PRSA chapter in Oregon. Since the statewide merger in 2017, its members were reassigned to the Greater Oregon Chapter whose board oversees the governance duties of dormant chapter, as per the Society’s direction.

  • 2017-present – PRSA Greater Oregon Board of Directors
  • 2016 – Mark Mohammadpour, APR
  • 2015 – Taraneh Fultz, APR
  • 2014 – Barbara Kerr, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2013 – Amber Lindsey, APR
  • 2012 – Jenna Cooper, APR
  • 2011 – Dave Thompson, APR
  • 2011 – Sara Wurfel, APR
  • 2010 – Dave Thompson, APR
  • 2009 – Tom Unger, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2008 – Darcie Meihoff, APR
  • 2007 – Madeline Turnock, APR
  • 2006 – Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2005 – Patricia Atkins, APR
  • 2004 – Katlin Smith, APR
  • 2003 – Olga Haley, APR
  • 2002 – Macy Guppy, PhD, APR
  • 2001 – Deb Hedding, APR
  • 2000 – Timm Locke, APR
  • 1999 – Mara Woloshin, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 1998 – Rebecca Brandt, APR
  • 1997 – Chuck Williams, APR
  • 1996 – Gail Dundas, APR
  • 1995 – Patty Farrell, APR
  • 1994 – Sharon VanSickle, APR
  • 1993 – Dan Zenka, APR
  • 1992 – Vicky Hastings, APR
  • 1991 – Martha C. Richmond, APR
  • 1990 – Barry Lacter, APR
  • 1989 – Mary Wilber Smith, APR
  • 1988 – Jim Mitchell, APR
  • 1987 – Vicki Quick, APR
  • 1986 – Susan Stone, APR
  • 1985 – Brian Bell, APR
  • 1984 – William J. Cary, APR
  • 1983 – Lucy Z. Martin, APR
  • 1982 – Dan O. Barnhart, APR
  • 1981 – Rolf D. Glerum, APR
  • 1980 – Jean Bradley, APR
  • 1979 – Steven Loy, APR
  • 1978 – Charles Turner, APR
  • 1977 – Gerard Griffin, APR
  • 1976 – Barbara Peeples, APR
  • 1975 – Tony Bacon, APR
  • 1974 – David Koonce, APR
  • 1973 – John H. Nellor
  • 1972 – John R. Ulrich
  • 1971 – Paul H. Hauser, Jr.
  • 1970 – Myron Jordan
  • 1969 – Harry Turtledove, APR
  • 1968 – James F. Fowler
  • 1967 – Vernor M. Schenck, APR
  • 1966 – Robert Franklin
  • 1965 – James Ferguson
  • 1964 – Robert G. Swan
  • 1963 – William W. Marsh, APR
  • 1962 – John S. Pihas
  • 1961 – Harold M. Gowing
  • 1960 – Robert O. Lee
  • 1959 – Robert O. Lee (May-December)