KUA’s Chris Gent Installed as Kissimmee Chamber Chairman

February 14, 2017
Chris Gent, APR, CPRC

Chris Gent, APR, CPRC

KUA’s Chris Gent Installed as Kissimmee Chamber Chairman

KISSIMMEE, Fla., January 30, 2017 – At its 92nd annual meeting held on Jan. 28, the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce installed Chris Gent, vice president of corporate communications for Kissimmee Utility Authority, as its 2017 chairman. Gent will serve until Dec. 31, 2017.

Gent succeeds Sharon Smoley, state director of government affairs for Charter Communications, who served as chairman in 2016.

The Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce is a private, non-profit, membership-driven organization comprised of approximately 900 business enterprises, civic organizations, educational institutions and individuals. It is the largest chamber of commerce in Central Florida.

Gent has served on the Chamber board since 2010. He also serves on the boards of the Chamber Foundation, Community Vision, Kissimmee Main Street, Florida Hospital Kissimmee Community Advisory Board, Florida Public Relations Association Counselors’ Network, and the Florida Public Relations Education Foundation.

At the utility, Gent holds responsibility for internal and external corporate communications, including marketing and advertising, media and public relations, employee communications, special events and organizational philanthropy. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Central Florida and master’s degree in strategic public relations from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Founded in 1901, KUA (http://kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 70,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.


Chapter Rewind: January Backstage Pass, Orlando City Soccer Club’s New Stadium

February 14, 2017

Orlando City Soccer StadiumBy: Jacqueline Kooser

On January 26th, the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter gathered in the heart of Downtown Orlando to take a hard hat tour of the new Orlando City Soccer Club (OCS) stadium. As members buckled into their helmets and zippered up their safety vests, OCS Senior Director of Communications, Jackie Ramos, shared insightful information about all of the public relations efforts that have not only gone into the construction of this stadium, but the overall success of the OCS organization as a whole.

From working with her team to make a media event out of every fan experience, to having conversations with current local media outlets to ensure that they are included in big news – the OCS communications team has been hard at work for the past few years in order to get them to where they are now.

Walking into the new stadium with the construction crew started off by heading up a few levels to show us the field. The first thing members saw as they gazed out over the turf was the ‘ORLANDO’ text covering the wall of purple seats on the opposite side. Behind it, the skyline of the City Beautiful. It all came together – the lights, the big screen, the crazy crowd section and the skyline – it was like a painting of what Orlando stands for – community. As we toured the offices, future restrooms and eating areas, the construction crew’s pride for their hard work beamed through their smiles.

As they took our members down to the field, to be face to face with the turf, I couldn’t help but think how awesome it was to be getting this back stage experience from a team that was so genuinely proud to show their hard work to us. While down on the field, we were able to take a look at section 12. This section has been color coded in rainbow order in honor of the 49 lives taken from our city this past June. Seeing the seats with the #OrlandoUnited text on each chair made me realize that this stadium, the construction crew, and all the communication efforts put into it, isn’t just for our city’s soccer team. It’s for the people, the city, that has helped bring this organization to reach their goals: becoming an MLS team with a home of their own.

After the tour, members headed to the Broken Cauldron for food and drinks. We talked about work, the tour, our lives outside of the office – we connected, just like our city continues to do over and over again, whether it is over tragedy or triumph.

January’s event wasn’t just about public relations – it was about being together, supporting our city and supporting one another. Thanks for the experience, Orlando!


Quotes Corner

February 14, 2017
Taylar Freitag

Taylar Freitag
President, Quotes UCF

By Taylar Freitag
Quotes President

Intern Pursuit is March 20! Sign up here.

With a new year comes a new executive board (featured below). I have high hopes for the team that Lindsay Hudock and Elyssa Wiener put together.

So far we’ve had a successful meet and greet event at Pop Parlour in which we recruited 10 new members and were able to mingle, bounce around ideas for events with our new recruits and eat gourmet popsicles. I had a popsicle with goat cheese in it and surprisingly, it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever tasted.

Earlier this month, we had lunch with FPRA professionals at Smokey Bones and toured Big Vision, the company at which our previous president Elyssa works, and Consensus Communications, which was recommended to us by Jonathan Gabriel – yes, you probably know him. I am going to go out on a limb and say the tours were a massive success and the best we’ve ever had!

It is important that the team and I deliver experiences that no other club on campus can replicate. We want this club to help students better understand what it means to be a public relations professional. We do this by going on multiple tours each semester to showcase the wide variety of opportunities each student has. We also want to network and get to know people on a real and personal level. My fellow officers and I intend to learn as much as we can about as many members as we can so that we are better able to focus our tours and speakers on topics we feel our members would be interested in. In the end, we hope that when our members look back on their career at UCF, they find that Quotes played a vital role in their post-graduate success.

I look forward to all the opportunities afforded to us this year and, of course, to getting to know the Orlando chapter of FPRA. I hope to see you all at the next event!

Daniel Abou Diab

Daniel Abou Diab
Vice President

Alyssa Harrell

Alyssa Harrell
Director of Events

Karina Saad

Karina Saad
Webmaster

Ashlee Winn

Ashlee Winn
Director of Membership


Member PRofile: Rachel Calderon

January 19, 2017
rachel-calderon

Rachel Calderon
Marketing & Communications Manager
Central Florida Foundation

Give a brief explanation of your job. 
My role at the Foundation includes anything and everything that has to do with our marketing and communication goals and strategies. This includes telling the story of our grant-making, fund holders, and initiatives. The Foundation does so many things across Central Florida that are usually “behind the scenes.” I’m working to change that so more of the community has an idea of how we help improve the quality of life here. I am a one person team, but work with some amazing external teams that help support our PR and communication plans.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join? #myFPRA
I have been a member of FPRA for one year. I joined to connect with other people in the field and learn as much as I can about PR and communications.

Tell us an exciting achievement.
Over the last couple of years at the Foundation I have worked to better connect all of our board members to our social media, communications, and PR efforts. This was something that didn’t exist before and it has proven to pay off. Outside of work I’m mom to Christian (3) and Claudia (1). They certainly keep me on my toes and help me to see the world in a whole new light.

What was your first job?
My first job ever was working at Old Navy in high school…I thought I was so cool! My first job out of college was right here with Central Florida Foundation working on our Nonprofit Search tool.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
I am originally from South Carolina and I met my husband in the airport in Nicaragua. (It’s a good story over a drink!)

Contact Information:
rcalderon@cffound.org


Chapter Rewind: Holiday Charity Event Helping Hands for the Holidays

January 19, 2017

charity-event-hubbard-houseAs a way to give back this holiday season, FPRA members helped make the Hubbard House look nice for Christmas by decorating and cleaning. The Hubbard House is home to dozens of out-of-town families whose loved ones are in the hospital at Orlando Health.

Thank you to all of our members who gave their time for such a great cause!

charity-event-hubbard-house-a

Click here to see more pictures from the event.


Quotes Corner

January 19, 2017
Jonathan Gabriel

Jonathan Gabriel
Vice President of Student Outreach

What Quotes Means to Me
By Jonathan Gabriel

It’s 2017, and with the beginning of a new year comes anticipation of times to come and reflections on times gone by. I’ve been fortunate to serve as FPRA’s VP of Student Outreach, and in that role I get to work with and mentor a very special group of students – Quotes, the PR club at UCF.

It’s immensely rewarding, this position. You greet the students warmly as they wander nervously into their first FPRA networking event. You listen as they tell you about their hopes and fears for the future. Advise them on what skills to build. See the gratitude light up their face when you help them tweak their resumes. Watch as they stride confidently into Pegasus Ballroom and take on Intern Pursuit. Celebrate with them when they land their dream internship. And then, after many twists and turns in the journey, look on with pride and a twinge of sadness as they graduate and make their way towards fulfilling their dreams.

It’s January now. A new board is starting. They’re young – eager to get started planning the meetings, the agency visits.

Spring. A new year. A new board, and the renewal of my commitment.

Let’s get to work.


Member PRofile: Roy Reid, APR, CPRC

December 17, 2016
Roy Reid, APR, CPRC

Roy W. Reid, APR, CPRC Executive Director of Communications |Florida Division Adventist Health System | Public Affairs

Give a brief explanation of your job. 
My role is to provide strategic communication counsel and support to the leadership in our hospital system. Primarily I work with the Chief Strategy Officer and the Strategy Work Group to develop communication programs that support the strategic plan for AHS.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join? #myFPRA
I have been a member for most of my career that goes back to the late 1980s. FPRA is a place that I find so much support and so many opportunities to grow and learn.

What’s your favorite FPRA event?
As of this year, I would have to say that the Leadership FPRA program is my new favorite. Just one session into the program and I have already gleaned more value than I expected. The opportunity to work with peers from across the state and dig into topics that are not usually part of the standard agenda is so helpful in growing into new roles and opportunities.

Tell us an exciting achievement.
I have to say that being recognized as the PR Professional of the Year by the Orlando Chapter of FPRA in 2015 is among the highest recognitions in my career. I am equally proud to share recognition with the people on the list of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Business Trust by the group Trust Across America/Trust Around the World over the past five years.

What was your first job?
I started my career as an Account Executive with Carlman Booker Public Relations (CBR) after an internship with AT&T.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
I have a passion for teaching and training in marital arts and I have fourth degree black belt in Taekwondo.