FPRA Blog Team-01

2016 Blog Team

FPRA Blog Team-01


Devon Chestnut, APR, CPRC Ocala Chapter

Devon is the communications manager for Cox Communication’s Southeast Region, consisting of operations in Florida, Georgia and Louisiana. She is responsible for the development and deployment of internal communications for an employee base of over 1,800. In addition, Devon manages community outreach efforts for the Ocala, FL area and supports social media development and implementation for the Florida and Georgia operations. Devon serves on the executive board of directors for the Boys & Girls Club of Alachua County and Leadership Ocala/Marion Board of Regents. In 2011, she was named one of Gainesville’s Forty Under 40. An FPRA member since 2007, she is a past president of the FPRA Gainesville Chapter. Devon is currently the vice president of technology for FPRA and will continue to serve FPRA in this same role for 2015-2016.


Kevin Coulson, APR Gainesville Chapter


Chris Gent, APR,CPRC Orlando Area Chapter

Chris is vice president of corporate communications for Kissimmee Utility Authority, Florida’s sixth largest municipally-owned electric utility. He holds responsibility for the utility’s internal and external communications, including marketing and advertising, media and public relations, employee outreach, special events and corporate philanthropy. An FPRA member since 1994, Chris has served 12 years on the FPRA State Board of Directors, including 10 years on the Executive Committee and as FPRA State President in 2014. Chris spearheaded the FPRA conference blog in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011.



Amanda Handley Capital Chapter

Amanda Handley is a communications strategist at BowStern Marketing Communications, an integrated firm headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida. Her background in writing and strategic communications lends itself to effective messaging for clients of all kinds. Amanda has worked on fully integrated campaigns for clients ranging from local transit systems to national associations and international fitness centers. From building excitement via social media conversation to scoring media coverage in markets across the U.S., Amanda is experienced in developing engaging messaging across all digital and traditional public relations platforms.


Sarah Hansen Space Coast

Sarah Hansen, Account Executive for Strategic Ink Public Relations, manages daily social media, traditional PR and blogging (among other tasks) for various clients. She is also currently the incoming President Elect for FPRA’s Space Coast Chapter. Sarah’s attention to detail and creative thinking blossomed in a variety of writing and editing classes at the University of Central Florida where she earned her bachelors degree in English. In her free time, Sarah enjoys writing for her own blog, photography and fulfilling her dream to travel around the world one country at a time.

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Jason Medina Tampa Bay Chapter

Jason Medina works at U.S. Central Command, where he develops communication plans for U.S. military operations in the Middle East. Prior to joining the CENTCOM, Jason did public relations at Hill & Knowlton’s office in Tampa, where he specialized in state policy, crisis communications and social media. Jason started his career as a public affairs officer in the U.S. Air Force in 1997, after graduating from the University of Florida. While in uniform, he managed and implemented employee communications, media relations, community outreach and crisis management programs for complex and diversified organizations. Since making his home in Tampa in 2007, he has been active in the community, playing leadership roles in the Florida Public Relations Association, Tampa Bay Public Leadership Institute, Economic Club (formerly Exchange Club) of Tampa, Tiger Bay Club of Tampa Bay and the 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee for the Republican National Convention.

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Paul Ramey, APR Gainesville Chapter

Paul Ramey, APR, is assistant director in charge of marketing and public relations at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville. He is a past president of FPRA’s Gainesville Chapter, has served in multiple positions on the FPRA Executive Committee, including VP of Technology and VP of Annual Conference, and was named state FPRA Member of the Year in 2008. His team at the Florida Museum also received the Dick Pope Grand All Golden Image Award in 2012, the only Gainesville organization to receive the honor. Ramey has more than 25 years of communications experience, including work in print, radio, online and social media in the fields of healthcare, K-12 public education and science and natural history research.


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Brandi Gomez Pensacola Chapter

Brandi Gomez is the Marketing Communications Director at Council on Aging of West Florida. She also serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Coming of Age Magazine and Executive Producer/Host of Coming of Age TV. Gomez is responsible for the creation and implementation of comprehensive communication programs designed to build and strengthen the agency’s reputation as a leader in services for the elderly. She is involved in the local community as a member of Leadership Pensacola’s Class of 2017, a board member of Association of Fundraising Professionals, member of the Pensacola Young Professionals, and board member of the Florida Public Relations Education Foundation at the state level.

In 2016, Gomez was selected as one of InWeekly’s 2016 Rising Stars. She also received a Judges’ Award for her work on Council on Aging’s Corporate Sponsorship Packet. In 2015, she received an a Grand All Image Award for her work on the Rat Race 5K, was awarded the 2015 FPRA Member of the Year for the Pensacola Chapter, and was honored as a member of the 2015 Joe Curley Rising Leader Class. In 2013, Gomez received an award of distinction from the Florida Public Relations Association for her team’s work on the rebranding campaign for Friends of the West Florida Public Library. Gomez graduated from the University of West Florida with a bachelor’s degree in communications, specializing in public relations.



Mary Dorn, APR Volusia/ Flagler Chapter

Mary Dorn, APR, is a veteran in the field of public relations communications and marketing strategy, specializing in digital communications for mobile users. Her clients range from corporate to political, in keeping with her background in government communications, corporate marketing and journalism.

Dorn is outgoing V.P. Membership on FPRA’s Executive Committee, was FPRA’s 2010 “Member of the Year” and past president and 12-year board member of the Volusia/Flagler Chapter. FPRA recognized me as 2010 “Member of the Year” on a statewide level and is past recipient of various awards by state and national government communications associations.



Brittany Jackson Tampa Bay Chapter

As a senior communications coordinator with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, Brittany manages the organization’s internal communications program which serves nearly 600 employees across four service offices.

Brittany began her PR career as a nonprofit communications consultant through a contract with the Florida Department of Health. Other work experience includes stints with the United States Agency for International Development, the City of Tampa, the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce and an international economic development NGO based in Kampala, Uganda.

Brittany graduated from Syracuse University with a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and a Master of Science in Public Relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Additionally, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University in Hampton, VA.

May 22, 2014.

Erin Knothe Dick Pope/Polk County Chapter

Erin is a Marketing Specialist for MIDFLORIDA Credit Union, the fourth largest credit union in the state. She is responsible for developing creative marketing and public relations strategies, coordinating sponsorship and community events, and supporting communication efforts for internal audiences. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Advertising & Public Relations from Florida Southern College. Erin received her chapter’s Rising Leader award in 2015 and will serve as the chapter’s President Elect for 2016-2017.

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Susan Vernon-Devlin Orlando Area Chapter

Susan is a solo communications strategist; she launched her company Creative Public Relations, LLC, in January 2016.She was born on the island of Tobago in the Caribbean and has had a passport since she was four-months-old. That passport has come in handy as she’s traveled to six countries and 10 island-nations, plus 38 of the 50 United States.

Her bucket list includes travelling to all 50 states, and also to Australia and Africa.The signature block on her first passport stated “bearer unable to write”. She’s made up for that with published by-lined articles appearing in several magazines and newspapers. Her blogs dealing with crisis communications have been trending.

She has also produced and scripted television for Discovery TV, Travel Channel and several networks. She’s a sought-after speaker and instructor on crisis communications having served as a consultant in that arena on several high-profile cases.

Susan is also active in the community. She serves as the Vice President of The Board
of Trustees for the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens in Winter Park. She is also Vice President of Town & Gown Council at UCF and the Assistant VP of membership for FPRA’s Orlando chapter. You can connect with Susan on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Alayna Curry, APR Orlando Area Chapter

Alayna Curry, APR is the Community Outreach Specialist for the Central Florida Expressway Authority. As the public liaison for the agency, she helps educate Central Floridians on E-PASS and the benefits of local expressways in the community. Currently, Alayna is serving as the president-elect of the Orlando chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association. She is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Central Florida with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations, and a licensed Zumba fitness instructor after hours.

Haley Lori Ms

Lori Hagey
Central West Coast Chapter


Vickie Pleus, APR, CPRC
Orlando Area Chapter

Lauren Holloway
Video Blogger (The Storyteller Agency)

Alex DeIorio
Student Blogger


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