Member Profile: Nadia Vanderhoof

September 9, 2014













What is your title and company name?
Public Relations Specialist
Orange County Government’s Communications Division

Give a brief explanation of your job.
I implement public engagement initiatives and external communications on behalf of Orange County Government, an organization with an annual budget of more than $3.3 billion, with 80 divisions and 7,445 employees. I am responsible for the management of Orange County’s online newsroom, the OCFL News App, the development of persuasive public engagement messages, official county photography, news articles, columns, e-newsletters, social media, creative branding ideas, web content and other internal and external outreach materials consistent with Orange County’s brand, values and culture. I encourage you to download the OCFL News app to stay connected and informed with Orange County! (Android | Apple)

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
With a background in business reporting and print journalism, I joined FPRA Orlando in July 2014 to learn more about PR best practices from my fellow colleagues in communications. I work with some of the most seasoned PR veterans in our region, including Ann Marie Varga and Lisa Nason who are actively involved in FPRA Orlando, and they really know and understand public relations and communications inside and out. They have always spoken very highly of the caliber of the organization. Networking and brainstorming with the best of the best of the industry is one of my goals.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
Although I haven’t attended the Orlando Area Chapter Image Awards, it’s certainly one of the most talked about and widely attended ceremonies in our industry. I look forward to attending this fantastic event in the future.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
Our team just found out that our 2014 State of the County Social Media Ambassadors Campaign made the final round in Ragan’s PR Daily’s Digital Awards 2014. Our campaign is one of seven finalists in the category of Best Community Engagement. The initiative was one of the most successful digital outreach initiatives in Orange County’s history and achieved nearly one million (956,387) total online impressions on Orange County’s official social media pages. Other FPRA members who were part of the campaign include Orange County Communications Manager Ann Marie Varga, APR, Kat Dos Santos and Laura Kern, APR who is one of our Social Media Ambassadors and part of Orange County’s Technology and Social Media Workgroup.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
My father has worked for the United Nations since I was born and I attended a British middle school and high school while overseas. I still say some words with a British accent or use British terminology. For aluminum, I say “alu-min-euum”  and I always pronounce the “h”  in herbs. My husband helped me lose the term “car park” so I always say “parking lot” now.

Contact info:
Orange County Government
201 S. Rosalind Ave. 3rd Floor
Orlando, FL. 32801
Office: 407.836.5464
Mobile: 407.616.7316

Quotes Corner

September 9, 2014

Shaloni Prine







A Reflection of My Experience with Quotes

By: Shaloni Prine
VP of Student Outreach

I know it’s cliché, but time really goes by fast. It seems like yesterday that I was a student studying public relations at the University of Central Florida and was a member of Quotes, the PR Club at UCF.  Looking back on that time, Quotes enhanced my student experience. It offered programming that connected me with some of Central Florida’s most skilled public relations professionals and it allowed me to learn industry best practices. The friendships that I formed and the networking that I did were priceless. Most importantly, coupled with my bachelor’s degree, Quotes provided me with the tools necessary to land a job out of college.

One of my best experiences as a Quotes member was the opportunity to attend FPRA’s State Conference in Sarasota in 2008. My classmates and I were each given a chance to take advantage of incredible professional development, and I am confident that the lessons that we learned prepared us to be successful in our careers. Luckily, I have managed to stay in touch with most of these individuals as our paths cross often in the field. Majority of us all work in the PR industry and we are in mid-level positions across the country. We stay connected and help each other when we can. As a result, I have a strong professional network with people that I can rely on and that motivate me to be my best. For me, this is what Quotes is all about.

As the VP of Student Outreach, it is my hope to continue the tradition of providing exceptional member benefits to students. Over the next year, I look forward to working with my fellow VP of Student Outreach, Lindsay Hudock, and the Quotes leadership to find innovative ways to enhance programming, connect students with seasoned PR professionals, expand their network and prepare them for a career in public relations. The best thing about Quotes is that it is an introductory membership to one of Central Florida’s best professional development organizations, and I am excited about sharing this opportunity with the community’s future PR leaders.

2014 Board Installation & Award Recognition

September 8, 2014




By: Gabriel Soltren
Orange County Library System




Cynthia Lambert



Immediate Past President Cynthia Lambert, APR addressed members of the Orlando Area Chapter of FPRA at the 2014 Board Installation & Award Recognition event held at Artisan’s Table Restaurant in Downtown Orlando.


Cynthia congratulated members for their wonderful job and for becoming the second largest FPRA chapter in membership.She thanked the officers, board of directors and family members for their many hours of dedication. “The unsung heroes are the families. Take time to thank them for their support.”

Dan Ward



Cynthia congratulated Dan Ward, APR, CPRC, for earning the Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC) credential and congratulated him for his 20 years at Curley & Pynn.



The CPRC credential recognizes professional growth and achievement of senior members who have earned the APR designation and have a minimum of 10 years of professional practice in public relations.


She also recognized award winners including Nicole Huie, the 2014 Bob Davis Award winner. “She is a faithful supporter. Her work is done while no one is around.”



The award is presented annually to an individual for his or her “behind the scenes” volunteer efforts that go largely unnoticed by chapter members and are not recognized by other awards programs. The award is named in honor of Bob Davis, Ph.D., ABC, APR, CPRC, a former professor and mentor from the University of Central Florida who gave tirelessly to FPRA and the profession for three decades.



Alayna Curry was named as the 2014 FPRA-Orlando Member of the Year. “She plays a vital role in getting communications out to our members,” Cynthia said. “She spoke to our student chapter and found a solution to save us money.”


The Member of the Year Award recognizes one member of the Orlando Area Chapter who has made a significant contribution to the Association through outstanding leadership, demonstrated enthusiasm, extraordinary involvement and loyal support.

Special guest Laura Byrnes, APR, Florida Public Relations Association Executive Committee Member, spoke about leadership and encouraged members to learn about the history of the Orlando Area Chapter dating back to the founders of the Orange Blossom Chapter in 1956. Laura inducted the 22 incoming Board of Directors and encouraged them to anticipate, and not wait to be asked to participate. She herself benefited early in her career from holding FPRA leadership positions. “An introvert by nature,” she said, she was forced into being an extrovert by her profession.



Laura presided over the induction ceremony for new president Kerry Martin, APR. After thanking her colleagues, Martin shared a few thoughts and encouraged members to participate in events during the upcoming year. “We will strive to meet and exceed your expectations.”


For a list of current board members, click here.

Quotes Corner

August 7, 2014


Summer Break: A college prof heads to work instead of the beach

By: Joan McCain
Program coordinator of the Ad/PR program at UCF

With my oldest child starting college this summer, I decided to not teach a summer course for the first time since 2006 to spend as much time as possible before she started classes during summer session. I decided that in February, and over March’s Spring Break I took a dozen students on a tour of advertising agencies and PR firms in Chicago. I have done the same tour in New York and San Francisco every Spring Break since 2009.

Those tours remind me how much I loved working in an ad agency myself, and I decided to take that nostalgia and use it for, what I called, a “professional sabbatical.” The first agency I thought of calling was Fry Hammond Barr, in downtown Orlando. In my professional life before UCF, the company I worked for hired FHB as its agency, and I recruited and hired Sandra Gerlt, FHB’s associate creative director, to teach Advertising Copywriting as an adjunct.

I called Sandra and asked if I could be an intern in the creative department, writing ad copy three days a week over the summer.

The timing was perfect, as a recent Ad/PR alum, Cesar Vallejo, who had been hired as a copywriter, had gotten accepted into the Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP) program, which is a 10-week summer internship program sponsored by the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As), and he would be working in Austin, Texas all summer. I could take his place.

So, I started three weeks before Cesar left for his internship to get trained. I went to FHB Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and wrote radio spots, print collateral, digital ads, and print ads for Stein Mart and Nemours Children’s Hospital. I spent 12 weeks as an intern.

I wanted to use this experience to see what has changed and learn new industry practices that I could bring to the classroom. And what has surprised me is how little has really changed. Yes, there are new digital tools for doing things like time sheets and file storage, and Facebook ads now require copywriters to write in Excel in a rigid character count (man, was that a culture shock). But the idea generation, the project management, the relationships between agency and client–none of that has really changed. It’s like riding a bike.

I am extremely grateful to FHB for giving me this opportunity and allowing me to work with its incredibly talented team. And this experience showed me how being an intern is an incredibly learning experience—no matter how old you are.



Member PRofile: Megan Mills

August 6, 2014

Magan Mills

What is your title and company name?
Communications Director
Greater Orlando American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

Give a brief explanation of your job.
I handle all communications functions of the American Heart Association in Orlando, Volusia/Flagler and Brevard. I’m also the state lead for media advocacy efforts working closely with our team in Tallahassee. In a broad sense, I manage, plan, direct, control and implement a strategic communications program, with an emphasis on health communications, media advocacy and public relations support for fundraising events, programs and initiatives.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I’ve attended various FPRA events and seminars sporadically for about five years, but am a proud member of less than two months.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
I always look forward to the FPRA Media Roundtable/Mashup event. Even if you attend each year, there’s always something new to learn in the fast-changing world of media relations. Plus, it usually helps spark a good story idea!

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
At my previous job at an agency, I had the opportunity to work with a few celebrities and networks I thought were so cool at the time. Now working in the non-profit realm, it changes your scope a little. We featured a family as our mission moment at the Orlando Heart Ball this past March. I got to know the family as we worked together on media and pre-publicity, but most importantly got to know Skylar, six-year-old heart transplant survivor. Helping Skylar’s mom articulate their story and how they’ve been affected by the works for the AHA, then seeing the crowd respond overwhelmingly with donations, support and kind words  — that trumped any star-struck high I thought of as an “achievement” at the agency.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
My guilty pleasures are crime shows and rap music.

Contact info:

Fall APR Workshops

July 31, 2014

APR Workshops Start Monday, September 8

If you’ve ever thought about becoming accredited, now is the perfect time to take that dream and make it a reality. By becoming an APR, you can take your career to the next level. The APR credential is a mark of distinction for public relations professionals who demonstrate their commitment to the profession and to its ethical practice. Candidates earn accreditation based on broad knowledge, strategic perspective and sound professional judgment.

Fall workshops begin Monday, September 8 with a free information session for prospective candidates to learn more about becoming an APR. Please join us.

When: Monday, September 8 at 6:30 pm

Where: Orlando Health Strategic Communications Office
45 W. Crystal Lake, Suite 201, Orlando, FL 32801 (Located in the SODO shopping complex)

Follow signs to Orlando Orthopedic Outpatient Surgical Center and take stairs or elevator to the second floor. The Orlando Health Strategic Communications office is located around the corner to the right when exiting off the elevators or directly across the hall when exiting the stairs.

*Free parking offered in the Crystal Lake parking garage
Are you ready for the APR?
This one-hour orientation is an overview of the APR process and covers these topics:

  • APR Overview
  • Study Guide
  • Knowledge | Skills | Abilities (KSAs)
  • Application Process

About the APR Workshops
The Orlando chapters of PRSA and FPRA will be hosting a free eight-week series of APR workshops on Monday evenings from September 8 – October 27 at the Orlando Health Strategic Communications office. The sessions are from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and led by seasoned APR facilitators who guide discussions on topics that will be covered on the APR computer-based exam. The workshops are not required “classes” but rather a professional development networking group of mentors prepared to help you succeed.

Visit the official Web site of the Universal Accreditation Board: for the Candidate’s Process Chart for the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations and the Application.

To learn more, contact:
PRSA APR Coach Mandy Taylor, APR: 407-758-2581,
FPRA APR Coach Sheridan Becht, APR, CPRC: 407-780-4497,

FPRA Orlando Chapter Awards

July 7, 2014

Call for Nominations: Member of the Year and Bob Davis Award

The FPRA Orlando Area Chapter is now accepting nominations for its two annual awards: Member of the Year and the Bob Davis Award.

The Member of the Year Award recognizes one member of the Orlando Area Chapter who has made a significant contribution to the Association through outstanding leadership, demonstrated enthusiasm, extraordinary involvement and loyal support.

The Bob Davis Award is named in honor of Dr. Bob Davis, Ph.D., ABC, APR, CPRC, retired professor from the University of Central Florida who gave tirelessly to our chapter and FPRA for over three decades. This award honors an individual who has worked behind the scenes in the past year to support FPRA. It’s our way of recognizing an “unsung hero.”

Candidates must be nominated by someone in the profession. Please include a written narrative of no more than 500 words detailing why the person should be recognized, the accomplishments/contributions that illustrate why the candidate warrants consideration, and the inclusion of committee work and/or other FPRA involvement. Nominees must be active FPRA members in good standing. Individuals may not endorse more than one candidate per award.

Nominations for members of our Board of Directors are appropriate.

Nominations should be sent to Orlando Area Chapter President Cynthia Lambert, APR at no later than Thursday, August 14.



Member of the Year – Sara Channing
Bob Davis Award – Laura Kern, APR

Members of the Year – Cassie Roach and Brian Craven
Bob Davis Award – Susan Ennis, APR, CPRC

Member of the Year – Stefanie Macfarlane, APR
Bob Davis Award – Jennifer Gammage

Member of the Year – Doreen Overstreet, APR
Bob Davis Award – Rachael Gmerek

Member of the Year – Jamie Floer, APR
Bob Davis Award – Tami Karaba

Member of the Year – Keith Salwoski
Bob Davis Award – Amanda Forbes, APR

Member of the Year – Chris Gent, APR, CPRC
Bob Davis Award – Cynthia Lambert, APR

Member of the Year – Bob O’Malley, APR
Bob Davis Award – Rachel Kingston

Member of the Year – Bonnie McGuire
Bob Davis Award – Sheridan Becht, APR, CPRC

Member of the Year – Brie Turek
Bob Davis Award – Chris Gent, APR, CPRC

Member of the Year – Jeni Hatter
Bob Davis Award – Trent Flood, APR

Member of the Year – Bill Randolph
Bob Davis Award – Doreen Perez


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