Archive for Member News

Rising Leader Nominees



Congratulations to the nominees for the 2015 Joe Curley Rising Leader Award, who will all be recognized at annual conference in August! Here is the final group of members of this year’s class!


EGrayEstella V. Gray, Southwest Florida Water Management District.
Tampa Bay Chapter

From her chapter’s nomination in her words: “I am a fearless advocate for FPRA.”




CSmithCarin Campbell Smith, FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute
Treasure Coast Chapter

From her chapter’s nomination in her words: ”I enjoy being a part of this organization that has given me so much professionally. I feel a responsibility to give back and play an active role in moving the chapter forward and making it even better.” 



SStrongStefany Strong, Volusia County Health Department
Volusia-Flagler Chapter

From her chapter’s nomination in her words: I am serving as Immediate Past President of the Volusia Flagler Chapter of FPRA. It is an honor to be associated with such great public relations professionals.”

Rising Leader Nominees


Congratulations to the nominees for the 2015 Joe Curley Rising Leader Award, who will all be recognized at annual conference in August! Here is the second group of members of this year’s class – the remaining members will be featured in July!


EMcClainElaine DeIorio McClain, Marion County Board of County Commissioners
Ocala Chapter

From her chapter’s nomination: “In her budding career in public relations and FPRA membership, Elaine has demonstrated the highest commitment to the profession with her keen judgment, strategic approach and attention to cost-effectiveness.”




Julie Hall, AAA
Orlando Chapter

From her chapter’s nomination: “She is a go-getter, an engaged board member and an absolute pleasure to work with – a mix of qualities that gives her incredible potential in our Association.”




BWelkBrandi Welk, Council on Aging of West FL, Inc
Pensacola Chapter

From her chapter’s nomination: “In her second year as a professional member, Brandi joined the board and quickly took an active role as VP-Networking. She has scheduled numerous events and promoted them on the chapter’s Facebook page and Twitter. She attended Annual Conference and has represented the chapter at a State board meeting.”



TWhitakerTiffany Whitaker, Pushing the Envelope
Southwest Florida Chapter

From her chapter’s nomination in her words: “I am committed to representing and growing our industry through my involvement in FPRA and the community as well as serving the company I work for and my clients.”



BCrisafulliRebecca Crisafulli, McBride Marketing Group
Space Coast Chapter

From her chapter’s nomination in her words: “Leadership is a personal passion and FPRA has provided me with opportunities to lead at all levels.”

Rising Leader Nominees



Congratulations to the nominees for the 2015 Joe Curley Rising Leader Award, who will all be recognized at annual conference in August! Here are the first five members of this year’s class – additional members to be featured throughout June and July!


SStricklinStefanie Stricklin, Salter Mitchell
Capital Chapter
From her Chapter’s nomination: “For all the time and energy she invests in our chapter, Stefanie is one of those quiet professionals who doesn’t call attention to herself. She may be modest but Stefanie is nothing short of an FPRA rock star and shining example of the future of our profession.”



   Jeremy Piper, Realize BradentonJPiper
Central West Coast Chapter
From his Chapter’s nomination: “We believe Jeremy Piper is truly a rising star in our  community, in public relations and in our local chapter.”





AKinmanAlisha Kinman, Hippodrome Theatre
Gainesville Chapter
From her Chapter’s nomination: “Her dedication to the chapter, the association and the profession is evident in her active involvement…She is a dedicated professional…”




Elizabeth Austin, City of InvernessEAustin
Nature Coast Chapter
From her Chapter’s nomination in Elizabeth’s words: “My membership reinforces what I’ve learned in my graduate studies, and keeps it relevant to what’s happening today in the profession. All of this together, makes me faster—FPRA keeps me quick on my feet for the ever-changing communications landscape.”



KCarterKelli Carter, Visit South Walton
Northwest Chapter
From her Chapter’s nomination: “Kelli Carter is an advocate for FPRA and demonstrates the highest ethical standards. She has poured her heart and soul into FPRA…”

Presenting the 2015-2016 Slate of Officers

The following slate of officers for the Florida Public Relations Association will be voted on by the general membership during FPRA’s Annual Business Meeting scheduled for Monday, Aug. 10 at 8:30 a.m. at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate.

President – Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC (Orlando Area)  
President-Elect – Terri Behling, APR, CPRC (Central West Coast)
Immediate Past President – Rachel Smith, APR, CPRC (Capital)
VP Accreditation/Certification – Ryan Gerds, APR, CPRC (Gainesville)
VP Annual Conference – Julie Frey, APR, CPRC (Gainesville)
VP Chapter Services – Gordon Paulus, APR (Pensacola)
VP Communications & PR – Allison Campbell, APR, CPRC (Ocala)   
VP Finance – Jay Wilson, APR, CPRC (Tampa Bay)
VP Golden Image – Amelia Bell, APR (Gainesville)
VP Membership – Mary Dorn, APR (Volusia/Flagler)
VP Planning & Research – Ginger Broslat (Ocala)
VP Professional Development – Alyson Lundell (Orlando Area)
VP Student Services – Chad McLeod, APR (Tampa Bay)
VP Technology – Devon Chestnut, APR (Gainesville)
*Counselors’ Network Chair – Lisa Malone, APR, CPRC (Space Coast)
FPRE Foundation Chair – Suzanne Sparling, APR, CPRC (Space Coast)

*Elected by Counselors’ Network



Congratulations to the following public relations professionals who earned their APR or CPRC.

Accreditation is offered through the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) to members of participating organizations, including FPRA. Though five years of public relations practice was previously required, ALL members are eligible regardless of years of experience. However, the objective, multiple-choice, computer exam does test a variety of knowledge, skills and abilities, so members interested in seeking accreditation need to be prepared in a variety of skill areas.

Earning professional public relations accreditation and receiving the designation of Accreditation in Public Relations (APR):

Jeff Marshall
Jeff Marshall, APR
Senior Communications Coordinator
Central Florida Expressway Authority
Orlando Area Chapter



L Trudell
Laureen J. Trudell, APR
Senior Director of Marketing and Communications
Orlando Economic Development Commission
Orlando Area Chapter




Certification is a unique, second tier credential offered exclusively to FPRA members. Candidates must have previously earned their APR and have ten or more years experience in the field of public relations. Though it is a second tier credential, it is not APR 2.0. This exam is a subjective exam that requires candidates to draw from their experience to solve problems and present solutions. Earning the CPRC credential involves passing a written exam (16 essay questions) and an oral exam (presentation of a public relations program or project).

Earning professional certification in public relations and receiving the designation of Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC) from the Florida Public Relations Association:


MUG2-L Byrnes 1-7-15
Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Communications Manager
Careersource Citrus Levy Marion
Ocala Chapter



Allison Campbell, APR, CPRC
Public Relations Director
Jenkins Auto Group
Ocala Chapter



Lisa Varner, APR, CPRC
Customer Relations Manager
Jenkins Acura/Jenkins Mazda
Ocala Chapter



For more information on Accreditation and Certification, as well as any available chapter or State Association rebates, please contact your local Accreditation and Certification Chair or Lanette Hart, APR, CPRC, VP Accreditation/Certification at

Congratulations to Immediate Past President Chris Gent, APR, CPRC!

Osceola Business Awards

Congratulations to immediate past president Chris Gent, APR, CPRC, who was one of three finalists for Osceola County’s 2014 Business Person of the Year Award. The award honors the achievements of an individual in Osceola County who exemplifies exceptional leadership within his or her business and beyond, and who has given of his/her time and expertise in making a better community. Chris serves as vice president of corporate communications for Kissimmee Utility Authority, Florida’s sixth largest municipally-owned electric utility.