Congrats! 2019 Spotlight Awards & Awards of Distinction Honorees

We are proud to share the achievements of an exceptional group of public relations and communications professionals and showcase their outstanding work and contributions to our industry and community.

Participation and membership in PRSA — advancing the profession in line with the standards and ethics of our association and honoring our work that upholds these values — is so important to our practice and the many organizations and communities served by this work. 

2019 Awards of Distinction Recipients

William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award
Sally Ridenour, APR, Chief Content Strategist, Oregon Department of Transportation

The William W. Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award honors an outstanding leader in the field of public relations. For nearly four decades, William W. Marsh was a towering figure in public relations in Oregon. A charter member of the Portland Metro Chapter (which was merged into the PRSA Oregon Chapter in 2017), Marsh served as president in 1963.

About Sally Ridenour, APR
Sally is Chief Content Strategist at the Oregon Department of Transportation. Sally was a founding member of the Oregon Capital Chapter, and has been active in PRSA since 2000. Sally’s many years of service to Oregon public relations professionals includes filling the roles of chapter secretary, VP/professional development, assembly delegate, VP/communications, president-elect and president of the Oregon Capital Chapter, and co-chair of communications and membership in the merged PRSA Oregon chapter. Sally has also served on several committees for the North Pacific District.
Sally regularly presents media training and presentation training to state government employees. As ODOT’s Chief Content Strategist, Sally now teaches usability testing and content strategy to state and local government teams. She has also provided media relations training to the Oregon Girl Scout leadership team, and coaches graduating college seniors on interview techniques. She volunteers with Family Promise, a non-profit helping homeless families find permanent housing. Sally and her ODOT team won a Silver Anvil Award of Excellence for their work in the complete redesign of ODOT’s website.

Ron Schmidt Community Involvement Award
Sheila Hamilton, Communicator, Author, Journalist, Podcast Producer

Ron Schmidt raised our collective awareness consciousness and commitment. For nearly 30 years, Schmidt served as an aide to Oregon Gov. Tom McCall, then as the owner of the state’s biggest and most influential public relations firm. He stood at the center of public policy in business, government and the arts.

About Sheila Hamilton

Sheila is a passionate suicide prevention advocate and a nationally recognized speaker on the subject. Sheila wrote the book All the Things We Never Knew: Chasing the Chaos of Mental Illness in 2017, chronicling her and her daughter’s personal story of living with — and loving — a spouse/father with mental health challenges. The book is also a mental health guide.

In 2019, Sheila launched a weekly podcast Beyond Well that helps people cope with anxiety, depression and procrastination, among other topics. Sheila serves on the board of Girls, Inc. and The Flawless Foundation, a mental health advocacy organization.

Sheila is a long-time journalist well known in the Portland area. She began her career in public broadcasting in the early 1980s, and later reported for Portland’s KATU-TV. Sheila worked for Alpha Broadcasting in the Portland area for more than 17 years, including morning host on KINK FM and afternoon news anchor on KXL. She also was a correspondent for KGW’s evening show Live at 7.
Just last September, Grammy-nominated new artist Lauv chose Sheila to exclusively tell his story of recovery from OCD and depression.

Olga M. Haley Mentorship Award
John C. Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA, University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication Instructor (ret.)

This award, named for the late Olga M. Haley, APR, reflects our chapter’s dedication to supporting members at every stage of their careers and lives. A past chapter president and legendary figure in Portland public relations, Ms. Haley was an exemplary person and professional of honor and integrity. The recipient of this award demonstrates commitment to supporting PRSA and the profession, serving as a mentor, while demonstrating outstanding
public relations.

About John C. Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA
 John has taught public relations at the University of Oregon for the past 33 years — half his life. He was named professional advisor for the University’s Public Relations Student Society of America in 1995, and was recognized in 2011 as a PRSSA champion for his long tenure in that role. He was also named the UO School of Journalism and Communication instructor of the year in 2011.

New Professional Award of Excellence
Eric Johnson, Public Relations Coordinator, Explore Lincoln City

The New Professional Award of Excellence honors a chapter member who has entered the field of public relations within the past five years. The award is presented to a professional who has demonstrated his or her commitment to advancing public relations through career achievements, volunteerism, and the highest standards of professionalism.

About Eric Johnson
Eric is the Public Relations Coordinator for Explore Lincoln City, the city’s destination marketing organization, and a Public Information Officer for the Devil’s Lake Water Improvement District in Lincoln County.

Eric earned an MBA from OSU, and is certified in project management. He has served on the Lincoln City Chamber of Commerce for the past year, and for a couple of years worked as executive director of the Cannon Beach Chamber.

Eric has served on the PRSA Oregon chapter membership committee; helped plan and execute the 2019 Communicators Conference; and led the 2019 new member “Buddy” program. Eric is a nominee to serve as membership director in 2020.

Spotlight Awards

  • 2019 Guide Dogs for the Blind
    Grady Britton – Lisa Martin, Becca Wirta, Etain O’Longaigh
    Campaign, Crisis Communications
  • Radically Transparent Strategy
    Legacy Health and Berg & Associates
    Campaign, Crisis Communications
  • PR – PATOS: Multimedia Multi-Channel approach Supporting the UO Latinx Community
    UO Communications – Tova Stabin and Lesli Larson
    Campaign, DEI/Multicultural PR
  • Play with Pride at Campus Rec
    Portland State University – Brittany Goltry
    Campaign, Event/Observance
  • Green Whiskers’ Eco-friendly Grooming for Portland’s Dirty Dogs
    Amico PR – Kelliann Amico, APR, and Green Whiskers – Greg Robeson
    Campaign, Integrated Communications
  • Manufacturing Study Launch 2018
    Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt and Quinn Thomas
    Campaign, Integrated Communications
  • Unconscious Bias Initiative: Foundation for Culture Change at OHSU
    OHSU Center for Diversity and Inclusion – Tracey Lam, APR
    Campaign, Internal Communications
  • The Olive Oil Promise
    LANE, a Finn Partners Company and International Olive Council
    Campaign, Marketing Business-to-Business
  • ENERGY STAR® with NEEM+ Manufactured Homes Consumer Campaign
    Energy Efficiency Alliance and C+C
    Campaign, Marketing Consumer Product or Service
  • Launching a Passenger Ferry Service to Address Traffic Congestion
    Friends of Frog Ferry and Coates Kokes – Sue Van Brocklin and Lance Heisler
    Campaign, Pro Bono/Public Service
  • Launch of Gun Safety Nonprofit and Efforts to Reduce Gun Violence in Oregon
    State of Safety and Coates Koakes – Sue Van Brocklin, Madeline Luce and Henry Wessinger
    Campaign, Public Affairs
  • My Oregon Future for Oregon Community College Association
    Oregon Community College Association and Quinn Thomas
    Campaign, Public Affairs
  • Heart Health Month Multichannel Campaign
    LANE, A Finn Partners Company and the Marine Stewardship Council
    Campaign, Public Service
  • What Does $1 Billion in Grants Look Like?
    M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust – Colby Reade, APR; Camille Cotton, Conner Peckham, Jennifer Larson-Cody
    Campaign, Reputation/Brand Management
  • #BBQLikeAPro Partner Promotion
    Sunshine Morrison and Linda Riedman
    Campaign, Social Media/Digital Communications
  • Reed’s Crossing: Oregon’s Largest Mixed-Use, Master-Planned Community
    Liaison Public Relations, Amico PR, Newland | Reed’s Crossing
    Tactic, Media/Blogger Relations
  • TOP’s Parrot Food Swings for the Fences: Cover Story or Bust
    TOP’s Parrot Food – Gary Rubin, APR
    Tactic, Media/Blogger Relations
  • Launch of Open Enrollment
    Coates Kokes -Sue Van Brocklin and Kevin Glenn
    Tactic, News Conference
  • The Dean’s Newsletter: Showcasing Achievements
    Lewis & Clark Law School – Judy Asbury, APR
    Tactic, Newsletter
  • Common Ground: Working Together to Help Oregonians Fulfill Their Financial Goals
    Oregon Div. of Financial Regulation – Brad Hilliard, APR; Jessica Knecht, Mark Peterson
    Tactic, Newsletter
  • InsideOregon 2018-19 Print Editions
    UO University Communications – George Evano, Ed Dorsch, Marlitt Dellabough, Melody Ward Leslie
    Tactic, Newsletter
  • Farewell to Clark’s 13th President
    Clark College Foundation – Rhonda Morin, APR
    Tactic, Podcast
  • Game of Seasons: Winter Preparation Educational Video
    Tualatin Valley Water District Communications Dept. – Andrea Watson, APR
    Tactic, PSA

Merit Awards

  • Salem Police Foundation Mobile Command Center
    Salem Police Foundation and VanNatta Public Relations
    Campaign, Community Relations
  • TriMet Hop Fastpass® Multicultural Commercials
    TriMet and Andrew Longeteig
    Campaign, DEI/Multicultural PR
  • The Future of Finance | Insurance | Collaboration
    Oregon DCBS: Division of Financial Regulation and Communications
    Campaign, Event/Observance
  • ProKarma Media Relations
    A.wordsmith for PK
    Campaign, Integrated Communications
  • Levy Restaurants: Building a Relationship with Portland Foodies
    Levy Restaurants and A.wordsmith
    Campaign, Reputation Brand Management
  • Beaverton Restaurant Week – Dine Local, Taste Global
    City of Beaverton and Dianna Ballash
    Campaign, Reputation Brand Management
  • North Coast Brewing Company Brother Thelonious Reintroduction
    Grady Britton: Lisa Martin, Kelsey Williams, Etain O’Longaigh
    Campaign, Reputation Brand Management
  • Kickin’ It In Portland: Showcasing Walkability
    Grady Britton – Lisa Martin, Becca Wirta, Etain O’Longaigh
    Tactic, Direct Mail/Direct Response
  • Unregulated ‘Emotional Support Animals’ at Airports
    Guide Dogs for the Blind and Grady Britton/Lisa Martin
    Tactic, Editorial/Op-Ed
  • Promoting Coconut Bliss’ Monumental New Packaging and Rebrand
    Grady Britton – Lisa Martin, Becca Wirta, Etain O’Longaigh
    Campaign, Marketing Business-to-Business
  • Walmart Holiday Campaign 2018
    Walmart and Quinn Thomas
    Tactic, Media/Blogger Relations
  • Willamette River Check the Rec
    City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services
    Tactic, News Release/Social Media Release
  • Fundamentals of Fall Protection
    Oregon OSHA/DCBS
    Campaign, Public Service
Antique postcard style graphic of Oregon

Candidates for the 2020 PRSA Oregon Board of Directors

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
Matter, Inc.

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
Legacy Health

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., 

Directors:

Professional Development Co-Chair: Heather Back, MBA
Communications and Policy
Metro

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
KinderCare Education

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: Mara Woloshin, MA, APR, Fellow PRSA

In addition to her full-service agency founded in 1991, Mara has taught marketing and public relations at Oregon universities since 1989. A national speaker on issues related to the Boomer generation, Mara is a self-described “student” in the unique lifestyle of America’s aging population. Her inauguration into the needs of aging (and disabled) individuals was jump-started in 2006, when she was engaged as the Oregon and Washington spokesperson for the launching of Medicare Part D, the federal prescription drug plan.

Mara maintains an up-to-date and constantly evolving depth of knowledge in health care, specializing in Medicare and Medicaid marketing compliance and product development. She consults with health plans, hospitals, clinics, and individuals. She is also a volunteer health care advocate and presenter at senior meal centers, low-income housing and for churches, and community centers. She also maintains certification as a Woman Business Enterprise for organizations seeking contracts and funding.

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.

 

October is Global Diversity Awareness Month

 
The public relations industry has continued to evolve with technology and time but now more than ever we must evolve our role as advocates. Global Diversity Awareness Month is a perfect time to reflect, equip and reassess how we can show up as allies that champion diversity through inclusive and equitable communications.
 
The PRSA Oregon Diversity and Inclusion Committee has created Actionable Tips and is hosting a Leadership DEI event on Oct. 28 to help equip members to craft more inclusive communications.

 

PRSA Oregon is Committed to Promoting Diversity and Inclusion

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee has jump-started our chapter’s efforts to build, foster and enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion within our communities. Their work focuses on the idea that the communication field is stronger and more effective when it reflects the broad diversity that exists in the United States. Visit the Committee’s web page to learn more about their work at www.PRSAOregon.com/better-together/
 

The Diversity and Inclusion Committee aims to:

1. Provide members with educational and professional diversity programming.
2. Diversify membership and areas of chapter participation.
3. Share diversity-focused resources for members and visitors.
4. Serve as a liaison to PRSA’s National Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

PRSA Oregon’s Diversity Statement:

PRSA Oregon is committed to building a diverse, inclusive and equitable society. We understand and uphold these values as chapter members, through our work and while serving our communities. We believe this commitment will strengthen the public relations profession and help us thrive as individual practitioners.
 

Meet your 2019 Committee Members

Jaimee L. Fox, M.A., APR, Committee Chair, Director of Advancement
Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA
Nicole Early
Vicki Guinn, M.S.
Tracey Lam, APR
Erin Merz, M.A., APR

Leadership Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Strategies for Equitable Communication

Looking to craft communications that break through cultural barriers? Learn hands-on strategies to make sure your communications keeps pace with the diversity of your audience. Hear from Diversity, Equity and Inclusion industry leaders Joy Fowler, MBA, VP of Diversity & Inclusion Manager at Umpqua Bank and Gail Dundas, MS, APR, Fellow PRSA, Communications Consultant.

Limited seating! Register via PRSA Oregon Eventbrite today!


On Health and Wellness: My one tip to prepare for conferences

by Mark Mohammadpour, APR

The PRSA International Conference (ICON) is October 20-22 in San Diego. Every year I attend, I learn new things, meet new people and leave inspired to play a larger role in advancing the profession and the professional.

The reality of conferences like ICON, however, is that we are sitting a lot, eating (too) well, and forgetting to take care of ourselves. If you want to prioritize your health and wellness during conferences like ICON, I have one tip: spend 15 minutes before your trip to prepare.

Business travel can increase stress. Managing what to pack, finalizing travel logistics, and organizing the meeting schedule are just three examples we see our stress levels rising!

To compound the issue, once we arrive, long days at conferences cause our guard to be let down at night, which can lead to poor eating decisions. We forget that the following morning, our body might not recover right away, we’re already on the back foot and by the time we get home, we feel like we’re back at step one.

Before you leave for your next trip, spend 15 minutes and answer two key questions:

  • How will you prepare for your meals? Spend a few minutes before your trip and research when and where you’re going to eat. 
  • Are you scheduled to have dinner at a specific restaurant? Research the menus online and determine what you want to eat before you arrive, so you do not need to add another decision while you’re traveling.

  • How will you make time to incorporate exercise? The hotel that hosts ICON has a map that includes one-, two- and three-mile walking/running routes, so I am already prepared before I head to San Diego. I also bring a resistance band on my trips, which I use in my room with simple dynamic stretching exercises to loosen up my body before I start my day. These exercises warm up my muscles and makes me feel accomplished and mentally and physically prepared for the day ahead.

If you spend a few minutes preparing for your upcoming business trip, you will be all set mentally and physically for a great time.

I look forward to seeing you at ICON!

About the Author
Mark Mohammadpour, APR is a strategic communications executive, certified personal trainer and health coach. His company, Chasing the Sun, offers health coaching tailored for public relations professionals. Mark will be presenting a workshop at ICON, titled “Living Our Best #PR Life Through Fitness, Health and Wellness.” Visit chasingthesunpdx.com, email him at [email protected], listen to his podcast at anchor.fm/markmoh, or follow him on Instagram or Twitter.

*Photos courtesy Celeste Wechter Photography

*Top photo by Tim Goedhart on Unsplash

Speakers needed for January North Pacific District Conference!

The professional development program topics for the 2020 district conference to be held in San Francisco in January were approved by the board, and organizers are looking for speakers and panelists who can contribute their expertise and perspective to these subjects. If you think this could be you, please complete the speaker submission form.

The submission window will remain open until all vacancies have been filled.

Learn more about the PRSA North Pacific District HERE.

PRSA Oregon honors aspiring PR pre-professionals

For nearly two decades, the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication has called upon our the PRSA Oregon chapter to jury the Jack Ewan Award for Outstanding Public Relations Senior. This year, we were also invited to judge the Liz Cawood Award for Service to UO PRSSA and the Community.

A member of the faculty from 1964 until his retirement in 1985, Ewan is credited with building the UO’s public relations courses into an accredited major. He was responsible for the founding of the first Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter (PRSSA) at the University of Oregon, the first in the Northwest District.

The Jack Ewan Award is presented each year to the outstanding senior member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, University of Oregon Chapter. The award recognizes both achievement and potential in a senior student and is named in honor of Jack Ewan, Professor Emeritus, and founder of the University of Oregon Chapter of PRSSA. The award is sponsored by the Oregon Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

The Liz Cawood Award is also presented each year to a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, University of Oregon Chapter, for outstanding commitment to service to PRSSA and the community at large.  The award is named in honor of Liz Cawood, first UO PRSSA professional advisor and a founding member of the Greater Oregon Chapter of PRSA. The award is sponsored by Cawood.

Liz Cawood, president of Cawood, a communications and PR firm in Eugene and a longtime supporter of the SOJC, worked with Ewan to found the local PRSA chapter as well as the PRSSA chapter at the school. She says she remembers fondly “talking with Ewan about public relations strategies.”

This year’s jury for each award comprised Mary Ann Albright, Compliance Communications Manager at Kaiser Permanente; Kathy Hubbell, APR, Fellow PRSA, President of Adscripts; and Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA, President of Publix Northwest PR – PA.

In this academic year, two excellent candidates were chosen, each receiving a monetary award as part of the esteemed designations. Each displayed excellent academic performance as well as strong goals for their post-graduation lives. The winner was announced at the J-School’s commencement ceremony on June 16.

Lily Gordon was named the 2019 Ewan award winner. Lily was honored for making significant contributions to the UO PRSSA chapter as a member and officer.

She sought out development opportunities not only for herself, but also for her peers. She’s had demonstrable successes in social media PR (gaining national attention for the chapter’s “Ducks Love Dogs” fundraiser) and is keen to embrace emerging technologies. That adaptability will position her to be successful in an evolving profession.

Lily has a clear sense of her values and has been found to be an ambitious and gifted emerging professional. Equity, education, and the environment are important to her. She’s wise enough to understand that she needn’t, as a college senior, know exactly where her career path will ultimately take her. Lily has accomplished a great deal while at UO and has honed her leadership skills through PRSSA. With a great job already lined up for after graduation, Lily has a bright future ahead of her.

Jillian Niedermeyer was named winner of the Liz Cawood award. The judges note not only Jillian’s acceptance into honors programs but active involvement with the PR community on- and off-campus demonstrates an understanding of two key ingredients in a successful career launch: experience and relationships.

She has varied interests and found creative ways to link them professionally – identifying opportunities to combine her passion for events PR with her love of technological innovations. She already has a position secured after graduation at a PR firm that will allow her to explore this intersection more fully.

Jillian has been active on campus, helping to orient fellow transfer students and to plan and execute events for the UO PRSSA chapter. She also immersed herself in Allen Hall Public Relations, where she gained valuable real-world experience and networked with PRSA Oregon chapter members. Additionally, she broadened her horizons by participating in the Semester at Sea program.

Both Lily and Jillian served as Account Executives at Allen Hall Public Relations, the UO PR program’s in-house agency. Congratulations to Lily and Jillian, we can’t wait to see your stars arise!

 

PRSA Oregon’s Newest APR: Amanda Roe

by Allison Bolt

With over 20 years of experience in marketing and communications, Amanda Roe has worked at Fortune 500, Fortune 100, and privately owned companies. After being recruited by Biamp Systems, she spent some time trying to work public relations into her regular duties as a brand marketing manager before making a pitch to the CEO. The company needed a dedicated public relations manager. She got the job and then faced her next hurdle – a deep organizational lack of understanding about the true scope and function of public relations.

Amanda decided to pursue APR accreditation to put weight behind what she says. Working in a highly technical field, she is often surrounded by engineers who value credentials over experience. She wanted to be able to point to formal training as a support for her recommendations.
Another motivating factor for her was the desire to gain new resources and new ways of looking at things. She wanted to make sure that new viewpoints would validate what she was doing and reinforce her gut instincts, but also provide alternatives to consider.

And finally, she was looking for a peer group to connect with. Forming relationships with PR professionals in a variety of roles across a wide range of industries was hugely rewarding for Amanda. “I have lots of experience and relationships with engineers, product managers, and sales teams,” she said, “but I wanted to develop a true public relations circle of peers.”

Happily for her, Amanda was able to reach all of these objectives and more by going through the accreditation process with the PRSA Oregon chapter. “I’m so thankful for how supportive and nurturing they have been through the process,” she said. While she had initially planned to pursue accreditation on her own, she was “gently encouraged” to wait until the prep class would begin the following February, and is glad she did.

Joining the class allowed her to develop the peer group she had hoped for. She also found that having the support of Fellows and the class mentors was valuable every step of the way. She was able to practice her Panel Presentation several times to refine it, and when it came time to take the test, she felt more than comfortable with the material.

As of the time of writing, Amanda has held her APR accreditation for three weeks, and is enjoying putting it to the test. She’s been congratulated by many of her colleagues, who have heard the news through the grapevine. “There’s a certain level of validity that I have now,” she said. “I know that I can hold my own when providing guidance and making strategic recommendations.” While she was always experienced, she’s already found that the APR accreditation has given her thenew level of credibility with her scientifically minded colleagues that she had hoped for.

When asked what advice she has for someone who may be considering working toward their APR, she recommends just talking to someone who’s already gone through it. “Your mind will be made up.” If you’re thinking about how to add value, punch, and validity to what you do, she continues, “I absolutely recommend it.”

From Our President: A Great Start to 2019!

It’s been a productive start to 2019 for PRSA Oregon’s board of directors. I’m excited about the enthusiasm, energy, and great work being done by the chapter’s leaders and committee volunteers.

The PRSA Oregon board just finished its 2019 strategic plan. That plan is a built around a vison of PRSA Oregon as a thriving statewide chapter.  It includes four priorities that will guide our work and investments this year: membership value, engagement, leadership and excellence.

One of the board’s most important priorities as a thriving statewide professional association is to serve our members and support their professional development. We are committed to delivering quality programs, events and activities that are relevant and timely, that serve your professional interests, and provide value for your investment. Especially important is to ensure the chapter’s professional development activities are accessible by members throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Our members want to build professional networks, belong to something larger, and to make a difference.  An old proverb says, ‘you reap what you sow.’ What you give to your career and profession comes back to benefit you. It means being seen and heard and getting involved.

Here are some options to consider:

  • Volunteer for a PRSA committee .
  • Volunteer for our signature Communicator’s Conference on May 3.
  • Make time to attend a PRSA event, meet new professionals, and grow your network.
  • Advance your skills through contributed articles for the chapter newsletter.
  • Share your wisdom and experience through PRSA Oregon’s professional mentoring or APR readiness review.

The chapter offers many ways for you to connect, be involved and make a difference. Take that next step! It will make a difference—to your career, to our chapter, and our professional community.

The board of directors is committed to effective leadership and being good stewards of our chapter resources.  We strive to be the best leaders we can be, to mentor emerging leaders, and to use continuous quality improvement to evaluate and adapt our practices for the best results for our members and the organization.

Join us in advancing your career and helping to make this a great year for PRSA Oregon and the communities we serve.

Be sure to connect with PRSA Oregon on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and PRSAOregon.com.

Warmest regards,

Julie Reed, M.S., APR
President, PRSA Oregon

PRSA Oregon Statement in Response to DoubleTree Portland Incident

PRSA Oregon is the state’s leading professional development association for public relations and communications professionals. We value and are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and being a professional organization that is welcoming to all.

As was widely published, in December 2018, the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland evicted Mr. Jermaine Massey, an African American hotel guest, who was falsely accused of loitering. PRSA Oregon soundly denounces the treatment of Mr. Massey.

PRSA Oregon has a longstanding relationship with the DoubleTree by Hilton Portland Hotel. The hotel has served as an event venue for PRSA Oregon’s professional development events, including our signature Communicators Conference. The recent racially-motivated incident at the hotel raised serious concerns about whether our organizations share the same values, and we advised the Doubletree Hotel of our position and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The DoubleTree has been responsive to Mr. Massey and the community at large. We acknowledge the DoubleTree’s corrective action that included a public apology to Mr. Massey, terminating employment of the staff involved with the incident, and a public statement of commitment to ongoing and specific actions to evaluate and change business and human resource policies and practices to demonstrate a commitment to DEI principles and ensure this situation is never repeated.

PRSA Oregon will continue to be a vigilant proponent of diversity, equity and inclusion — in our practices and with our community and professional peers. We ask you to join us in supporting this important agenda.

Julie Reed, M.S., APR

2019 President, PRSA Oregon