Quotes Corner

October 11, 2017

Alyssa Harrell
Quotes, the PR Club at UCF

You’re Invited to Intern Pursuit
By Alyssa Harrell, Quotes UCF

Mark your calendars for Oct. 19 for one of the best opportunities to find an amazing intern! Quotes, the PR Club at UCF, invites you to attend our bi-annual premier internship event. Intern Pursuit is an excellent opportunity to meet talented and motivated students who are seeking an internship!

This event is held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the Pegasus Ballroom of the Student Union on UCF’s main campus. Intern Pursuit is the largest internship fair unique to communication students. With over 200 students in attendance each semester this event offers a great chance to connect with students. Our goal is to help students combine what they have learned in their classes with what they learn from professionals like you.

If you are interested in being an employer at this event please fill out an application here

If you have any questions please feel free to email me at quotesevents@gmail.com

I look forward to sharing our best and brightest with you! #IPUCF

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Chapter Rewind | The Importance of Political Communication

October 11, 2017

By Julie Hall, APR

Andy Gardiner, former Florida Senate president and current senior vice president of External Affairs and Community Relations at Orlando Health and FPRA Orlando Area Chapter President Lindsay Hudock.

Last month, the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter enjoyed a fascinating discussion with Andy Gardiner, former Florida Senate president and current senior vice president of External Affairs and Community Relations at Orlando Health. Andy provided his thoughts on the importance of political PR and how the communications landscape has drastically changed over his more than 17 years in politics.

Gone are the days when political candidates relied solely on the editorial boards of daily newspapers and direct mail to get their message out during a campaign. Today, thanks to social media, the speed of communication is much faster. Candidates have more control to get their message out first in the channel of their choosing. This creates more opportunities for candidates to tailor their political communications, strategically targeting their constituents and the most influential members of their voting “base.” Andy predicts the power of social media will only intensify in future political races at the state and federal level.

After Andy’s presentation, former FPRA state president Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC, installed the Orlando Area Chapter board members who had yet to take their official positions on the 2017-2018 board.

Julie Hall, APR
Vice President of Communications

Katarina Dos Santos
Assistant Treasurer

Caroline Tanner
Assistant VP of Membership

Jeff Grainger, APR (right)
President-Elect

A special thanks to our sponsor, Studio 17 Television, for helping make this presentation possible!

Studio 17 Television founder Walter Phuego


Member PRofile: Caroline Tanner

October 11, 2017

Caroline Tanner
Senior Director of Events and Communications
Easterseals Florida

Give a brief explanation of your job. 

Easterseals is a non-profit serving children and adults with disabilities in 40 of the 67 counties in Florida. Services provided include inclusive child development centers, vocational training, adult day training, military respite care, a recreational camp for all abilities and education opportunities for young adults. In my role, I am responsible for statewide PR and marketing for all our programs as well as leading a team of event managers in planning fundraising events in Tampa, Orlando, West Palm Beach and Naples.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?  #myFPRA

I have been in FPRA for 10 years, eight years as a member of the Central West Coast Chapter and now into my second year as a member of the Orlando chapter. I joined FPRA because I knew nothing about marketing and PR as I had studied sociology and wanted to learn all I could to grow in the profession.

What was your favorite FPRA event?

Conference, Image Awards and the scholarship fundraiser

Tell us about an exciting achievement.

I have always loved being an FPRA member so one of my biggest accomplishments was serving as Chapter President of the Central West Coast Chapter of FPRA.

What was your first job?

My first job in PR was for Easterseals Southwest Florida, in Sarasota, as the Community Relations Director.

Tell us something people may not know about you.

I have lived in six countries and five states.

Contact information: CTanner@fl.easterseals.com


Quotes Corner

September 14, 2017

Sebastian Hernandez
Quotes, the PR Club at UCF

It’s a new year for Quotes, the student public relations chapter at UCF! Meet the new board here.

New Quotes member Sebastian Hernandez had this reflection to share:

“Life’s purpose is to live…” Brendon Burchard.

I started to bloom as a student when Dr. Manzueta, a mentor, friend and past professor, shone a light on unseen paths in the communication field.

My life before college was pretty average: never really good at sports, not the best in school, and not the most outgoing as a kid. But once my college career started, the influence of Dr. Manzueta and my family allowed me to discover my talents. And once college began, I had one goal in mind. A 4.0. That’s something I never really had in life. Goals. But I was driven to do more than just getting good grades. I wanted to truly learn, not only in the classroom but outside of it. Not only learn theories, but learn about people, because I can learn from every single experience and person I come across.

Everyone you meet will tell you your college years will fly by. That was exactly the case during freshman year, and during the last couple of weeks at Seminole State College, I realized my contribution to this world – my voice, and what I had to say. This built a new spark inside of me and I grew in awe of what I and many others consider a lost art. Communication.

As I excitedly tore open my UCF acceptance letter, I knew from the moment I was accepted I had to do something in the Nicholson School of Communication. I researched the majors and realized that my passions towards relationships drove me to one major only – advertising and public relations.

As my excitement grew over the summer, I realized that I couldn’t just focus on getting good grades again. I had to build relationships and keep learning. That’s why I decided to join Quotes. An unexpected feeling creeped in while at Quotes’ first social of the semester, a feeling of being home. And home isn’t where you are from but where you feel your true self.

As the Quotes social kickoff came to an end, I learned about the opportunities the organizations had to offer, such as networking and internships. And as the semester begins, I believe that Quotes will educate me in ways that a classroom setting will never be able to. Going on tours, seeing different agencies, listening to different speakers and networking will open untraveled paths in the field of public relations.

The like-minded people at Quotes gave me a sneak peek into what I want to do after graduation: building relationships, maintaining them and most of all, living my life’s purpose – communicating.


Chapter Rewind | Board Recognition & Installation Breakfast

September 14, 2017

By Alayna Curry, APR

2017-2018 FPRA Orlando Area Chapter Board of Directors

What a year! Last month, our chapter gathered at The COOP in Winter Park for our annual board recognition and installation breakfast. As outgoing chapter president, I kicked off the meeting with some of our major accomplishments for the year. Each member of the board played a crucial role in the great success we had and I’m thrilled that 15 of those people are sticking around for another year of leadership.

Next, we recognized the winners of our two annual awards, Member of the Year and the Bob Davis Award. This year’s Member of the Year is Kayla Stanley, APR. Kayla recently received her accreditation in public relations (APR) and immediately jumped back in to help others going through the process as well. Her company, Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA), is a huge supporter of our local chapter, sponsoring a number of our events over the last year. Her team also took home one of the top three awards at the state’s Golden Image Awards in August. I’m excited that Kayla has joined the 2017-2018 board, demonstrating that she’s a true leader and an extraordinary member.

Kayla Torpey, APR
Member of the Year

Our Bob Davis Award winner is Megan Paquin, APR. This award is given to someone who works tirelessly behind the scenes, and Megan did just that. She joined the board in a brand new role last year as VP of Sponsorships, working closely with several members of the board to help streamline the sponsorship process. Her efforts brought in more than $6,300 for our chapter! Megan wasn’t able to be at our breakfast, so two board members and I surprised her with the award in front of her peers later that morning at her office.

Megan Paquin, APR
Bob Davis Award

While all great things must come to an end, a new year of excitement begins again! Former state president Terri Behling, APR, CPRC installed the 2017-2018 board, which includes six new faces as well as our new chapter president, Lindsay Hudock.

Former state president Terri Behling, APR, CPRC installs our new chapter president, Lindsay Hudock

During her closing remarks, Lindsay challenged us with these wise words: Be the kind of leader that people want to follow. She’s worked hard to put together a strong team that I know will do an excellent job leading our chapter. It’s pretty neat that six of Lindsay’s former PR students from UCF are serving on the board this year. Clearly, Lindsay is the kind of leader that people want to follow!

Our board already has some great plans for the chapter this year! Stay tuned. You don’t want to miss it.


Member PRofile: Marilyn Vaca

September 14, 2017

Marilyn Vaca
Director of Marketing and Client Engagement
Uproar PR

Give a brief explanation of your job. 

Create marketing strategies to support and grow the agency, networking, connecting new business with PR teams, brainstorm ideas for client outreach, create workflows, systems and processes.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?  #myFPRA

One year in FPRA. I had just left the news business and wanted to connect with PR professionals in Orlando. FPRA was recommended to me and I’m so happy to have met so many wonderful people in FPRA.

What was your favorite FPRA event?

Image Awards…a lovely way to honor and award amazing work by local PR teams and businesses.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).

Personal: Skydiving from 18,000 feet over the Space Coast. Professional: Winning best newscast Emmys two years in a row.

What was your first job?

Working at a water park in Kansas City called Oceans of Fun at the kiddie pool watching the kids.

Tell us something people may not know about you.

This is my third time living in Orlando. The news business kept moving me and I kept coming back ☺. Another fun fact: I brought in the new year, 2017, at the Hogmanay Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. I highly recommend everyone do it once. It’s spectacular!

Contact information:

mvaca@uproarpr.com or 407-840-0059


Member PRofile: Alyson Lundell, APR, CPRC

August 15, 2017

Alyson Lundell, APR, CPRC
Senior Director, Public Relations
Universal Orlando Resort

Give a brief explanation of your job. 

I help lead the team at Universal Orlando, who works tirelessly every day to help media and influencers understand why they MUST cover our destination. Through creative planning and tactical execution, we show how Universal Orlando immerses our guests in EPIC storytelling allowing them to swing above the streets with Spider-Man, soar above Hogwarts castle with Harry Potter or break into dance with the adorable Minions. I also help oversee our efforts around outrageous annual events, including the nation’s best Halloween event, Halloween Horror Nights.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?  #myFPRA

I have been a member of FPRA for more than 17 years. I was excited to join as a professional member upon graduating from college because I already knew the incredible benefits that being a part of this association would bring to me and my career. The professional development opportunities alone continue to help me grow as a professional, but the leadership opportunities both at the chapter and Executive Committee level have helped me grow as a leader within my company and for my team. If I’ve learned anything from my time in FPRA it’s that you have to put yourself out there and get involved in order to truly reap the benefits FPRA has to offer – and you’ll make lifelong friendships in the process.

What was your favorite FPRA event?

My favorite FPRA event, by far, is our annual conference each August. The forum that is created for networking, career development and creative thinking is unlike any other convention I have attended. This year’s incredible line up of speakers proves how invaluable those four days can be. That coupled with the professional comradery and family environment is what brings me back year after year. If you have not attended an annual conference, you truly have not seen how amazing our Association is.

Tell us about an exciting achievement.

I’m most proud of my personal achievement of being the mother of two incredible boys, (Cooper (6) and Holden (4). They are truly my little monsters. However, from a professional standpoint, the work I was able to do with our amazing team as we launched The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade back in 2010 remains my all-time career high! The shared passion for the brand and the new levels of immersive story telling we accomplished not only in this new theme park experience, but also in our communications efforts surrounding the launch of the area was, hands down, the most challenging yet rewarding work I have ever been a part of in my career.

What was your first job?

My first job was working for my parent’s in their small PR agency in Winter Haven, FL. Their agency held the FPRA State Office account and my dad served as the Executive Director for the Association. This was my first look inside our incredible group and allowed me to meet so many members, assist with their needs and be a part of the Golden Image Award Entry processing that the State Office handles each year. This was back in the day of three-ring binder entries with paper copies and samples of work. As I would process the entries, I would see the amazing work people in our profession across the state were doing each year. This stayed with me as I went into college at Florida State University and I was finally convinced by one of my mentors, Jay Rayburn, APR, CPRC, to go with what was in my blood and become a PR professional myself.

Tell us something people may not know about you.

I think many would be surprised to know that I started as an active member of the Dick Pope Polk County Chapter where I served as chapter President back in 2003. Outside of FPRA, I love scuba diving, although I don’t do it nearly as often as I would like, and I have a bit of a shoe obsession!

Contact information:

You can follow Alyson on Twitter @AlysonUOR or email at alyson.lundell@universalorlando.com.