2015-2016 Board Slate

May 12, 2015

We are pleased to propose the following members for chapter leadership positions in the upcoming board year:

  • PRESIDENT: Laura Kern, APR
  • PRESIDENT-ELECT: Alayna Curry
  • SECRETARY: Kacie Boniberger
  • TREASURER: Lauren George, APR
  • ASSISTANT TREASURER: Vianka McConville
  • VP MEMBERSHIP: Julie Hall
  • ASSISTANT VP MEMBERSHIP: Susan Vernon-Devlin
  • VP STUDENT OUTREACH: Lindsay Hudock
  • VP ACCREDITATION: Jeff Marshall, APR
  • VP PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT & MEDIA MASHUP: Heather Smith, APR & Maria Isabel Sanquirico
  • VP SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISERS: Cristina Calvet-Harrold & Thevenin Campton
  • VP IMAGE AWARDS: Judy Froelich & Judith Pariseau
    • Shaloni Prine (web)
    • Gabriel Soltren (email)
    • Mary Ann Horne (social media)
    • Lauren Neuman (media)

We’ve also added committee positions to our board. These are non-voting members, but will assist our team throughout the year.

  • PROGRAMMING: Sara Brady
Additional nominations may be made by written petition signed by at least 15 percent of the qualified voting members of the Orlando Area Chapter and filed with the secretary, Skye Guthrie, prior to the last day of May. Any additional nominations will be published in the June newsletter. If no additional nominations are made, these members will become the elected chapter board and will be installed at the August breakfast program.

Quotes Corner: Home Away from Home

May 11, 2015













Home Away from Home: Quotes in the Capitol
By: Barbara Lopaciuk
Quotes Director of Recruitment 

It is 7:15 a.m. on a Monday morning and a group of seven Nicholson School students and myself are on our way to Tallahassee. We spent the four-hour commute listening to music and discussing our excitement. Our group arrives at noon and Quotes faculty advisor Lindsay Hudock greets us. We gather and revise our itinerary for the day. Finally, we have begun this amazing three-day adventure.

Our group begins the day by touring Zimmerman Agency, followed by a tour at BowStern. Each tour was comprised of insightful information, from overarching communication strategies to company rituals. This was my chance to gain knowledge about what these companies search for in a potential employee. More importantly, some tactics that are utilized, in order to set their companies apart from competing firms.

Tuesday is here. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this my entire life. Today is the day that my interest within Public Affairs will be validated. We begin our morning at Sachs Media Group. We are presented information from a few team members in regards to past and current campaigns, as well as further insight how Sachs Media Group plays a role during legislative session. After, we meet the City of Tallahassee communication team. Over lunch, each team member showcased a project they created. I am in awe. These projects have been especially prepared for us, the UCF group. We are lucky individuals!

After lunch, my excitement picks up a second wind. I am walking on a cobblestone road headed to the Capitol. I snap a quick “selfie” with the building in the background and here comes the butterflies. I clear security and wait for the elevator to arrive with my chin held high, and my shoulders back. We enter a conference room where the Seminole County Chamber of Commerce gives us a warm welcome. Legislators enter and leave as they can, giving our group the opportunity to ask prompting questions about bills that will be proposed to the floor. The Tuesday excursion doesn’t stop here. We are led to the Florida Senate. I am astonished. We enter the doors and my eyes begin to water. A feeling of relief overcomes me. This is where I belong; I know it. Senator Andy Gardiner enters the floor and I can’t believe I am witnessing such an interesting public figure speak with such a mellow yet powerful voice.

Wednesday has arrived and I am grateful, but it is bittersweet. I don’t want to leave Tallahassee. I want to begin my life here now. Just when I thought this voyage was over, a new opportunity has been presented. I can’t believe it; I am going to tour the Supreme Court. Me: a young college student.

When leaving Tallahassee, I am sitting in the front seat of the car, gazing out the window. I am smiling, ear-to-ear. Tallahassee is where I want to begin my career in Public Affairs. I know I have a long road ahead and there may be various halts in the path, but traffic clears. I will crush those obstacles and graduate from the University of Central Florida to begin my professional life surrounded by influential people, in a powerful city. Until 2016 Tallahassee, you were a sweet treat.

Member PRofile: Judith Pariseau

May 11, 2015













What is your title and company name?
Vice President of Public Relations
Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, Inc.

Give a brief explanation of your job.
I am responsible for overseeing all of the marketing and public relations for Goodwill. We have 27 stores, 25 donation centers, 9 job centers and myriad of other programs and services. I work with a great team of professionals both internally in my own department and externally with Linda Costa Communications Group.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I used to be a member years ago and just recently rejoined. I find the networking and educational opportunities invaluable to me.  There is a wealth of information to be garnered from the meetings.

What position will you hold on our board next year?
I’ll be serving as Co-Chair of the Image Awards event alongside Judy Froelich.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
Personal – My two beautiful children and wonderful husband. Professional – Achieving a fundraising goal of over $4 million dollars for a children’s hospital in New England.

What was your first job?
Selling wigs in a millenary shop.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
I love to shop, but what people don’t know is I enjoy shopping at Home Depot or Lowes. It’s fun to look at all the gadgets!

Contact Info:
Office: 407-235-1563
Cell: 321-229-7799


Chapter Rewind: March Breakfast

April 8, 2015











Chapter Rewind: March Breakfast
Crisis Communications with Sara Brady

When it comes to crisis communications, Sara Brady is truly a pro. In fact, she was our 2012 Central Florida PR Pro of the Year. As the president of her own agency, Sara works tirelessly to fix, clean and put out fires all over the county. She’s like our very own Olivia Pope.

At our March breakfast Sara shared tips for how to deal with your client, your boss and the media when a crisis arises. First and foremost, good PR people need to understand the news business. You can’t outsmart the media if you don’t understand how they work. You should always be one step ahead. Crisis managers must be critical thinkers, empathetic, non-judgmental and realistic. Most of all, you have to trust your gut, even when your counsel isn’t well liked or received.

As the crisis manager, you need to know all the facts and identify your objectives. It’s what the client wants, not what the media wants. Everything comes down the five Ws – Who, What, Where, When and Why. Who was involved? What were the events that transpired? Where did it happen? When did it occur? Usually the hardest answer to get out of someone is the why. It’s not easy, but you must always tell the client the truth. It may not be what they want to hear, but it’s what they need to hear. The consequences are very real.

When everyone’s hair is on fire, your job is to be the voice of calm, reason and hope. Not everything is a crisis. Sometimes you have to stop talking and get your client to stop talking too. The issue may not be worth dealing with in the media.

Overall, crisis management is about leadership. It’s about being an authentic team player, stepping up to the challenge, juggling multiple issues and often sacrificing your time, sleep and energy. Whens things get overwhelming for you or your client, remember that a deep breath and some fresh air really helps put things in perspective. Stay calm!

For more great tips and tweets, follow @SaraBradyPR and check out her blog.

Quotes Corner: Spring Break in the Big Apple

April 8, 2015













Spring Break in the Big Apple
By: Jacqueline Kooser
Quotes Director of Communication

While most of my classmates packed their bikinis and sun screen, I was getting my gloves and heavy jackets ready to take on the city that never sleeps for my senior year spring break. Ad Club advisor Joan Mccain organizes a trip each year for Quotes and Ad Club members in order to experience big city agency life. After launching my blog this past fall and interviewing several bloggers based in NYC, I thought it would be awesome to experience the city as an adult for a few days and see what kind of feedback I would receive from professionals in the area about relocating to a big city after graduation.

The #KnightsInNewYork landed at LaGuardia a chilly Saturday afternoon and headed to the alumni mixer, where students were able to connect and mingle with UCF alumni that had successfully made the move to the big city. I found this to be the most beneficial part of the trip since interacting with people who took the same classes and interned in the same area as me is somewhat comforting when dealing with graduation tunnel vision. Sunday was spent exploring the city’s most popular areas such as Central Park, Little Italy, Brooklyn Bridge and more. Monday and Tuesday were spent touring some of the biggest and baddest advertising agencies in the city. We started off at BBDO and McCANN, getting the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of their overall visions, goals and wants for incoming employees. Meeting with HR reps and account executives was very interesting and insightful.

Tuesday morning we were up early and to tour Ogilvy & Mather, where we connected with UCF Ad/PR alum Brandon Maxwell. He gave us an incredible tour of the office space and coordinated four presentations, not only with an HR rep, but an employee from each department. We learned about what a day looks like for creative, a digital researcher, an account executive and a copywriter. After snapping our group photo we were off to McGarry Bowen. There we got an inside look at recent trending campaigns that the agency had put together and learned about the history of the agency and the value they have in strong employees.

On Wednesday morning I ended my trip by visiting the 9/11 Memorial Site. When riding the subway back to our hotel, I had a very happy thought enter my mind: “A year ago, I wouldn’t have ever traveled to a big city with people I didn’t know, and I definitely wouldn’t have done so in order to grow professionally.” As another academic year comes to an end, I find myself viewing opportunities such as the trip to NYC as a real gift. Being a part of the FPRA student chapter has helped me transform into the young lady I have wanted to be since I was in high school, and I can’t wait to apply all that I have learned in my future career and the next few months leading up to graduation. I hope to work towards opening many more great gifts before graduation in December 2015, and I am lucky to say that I have a wonderful network here in Central Florida that I am striving to make proud.

Member PRofile: Lauren George, APR

April 7, 2015

Lauren George













What is your title and company name?
Senior Account Executive
Costa Communications Group

Give a brief explanation of your job.
I’m a bit of a hybrid with a decade of experience in journalism, media relations, community relations, and internal and external communications. As a senior account executive at Costa Communications Group, I provide professional and strategic public relations counsel to a wide variety of clients – ranging from nonprofit and higher education to healthcare and law firms. In addition, I generate impactful media coverage for my clients.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I’ve been an FPRA member for four years. I joined the organization because of the excellent networking opportunities and endless support for professional development, and I’m thankful to be part of such a stellar group of public relations professionals. Since joining, I’ve served on the local board as vice president of professional development and vice president of membership.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
Too many to choose from. I like the diversity – from monthly breakfasts to media roundtables to state conferences. I leave each event with takeaways that can immediately be applied to my job.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
I’ve been fortunate to have several exciting achievements throughout my career. I’d have to say the highlight thus far, though, is when I earned my APR in 2012. It required a tremendous amount of hard work and late nights, but it was definitely worth the investment. While becoming accredited was a proud accomplishment, the process itself was truly valuable because it broadened my knowledge base and taught me so many lessons on how to do my job better.

What was your first job?
My first job out of college was at WTSP Channel 10 in Tampa. I was hired as a graphic artist and also wrote stories for the evening news broadcasts.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
I was a competitive gymnast for several years and competed across the country. The sport taught me many life lessons, including dedication, teamwork, setting and reaching goals and, most importantly, always doing your best.

Contact Info:

Chapter Rewind: February Breakfast

March 12, 2015

Javon Scott








FPRA Orlando’s February Breakfast: A Student’s Perspective
By: Javon Scott, UCF Student

Being new to the city of Orlando and to the University of Central Florida, I was beyond elated to attend my very first FPRA Orlando event. Getting the opportunity to network and meet professionals in the field I’ve dreamed of for years is something I’ll never forget! The morning of, I ran around my house in search of something to wear so I could make great connections and a great first impression. I was a nervous wreck seeing everyone walk in. I practiced saying, “Hello, my name is Javon” maybe five times. One would think I was preparing for a job interview.

The breakfast brought out Prismatic’s Stephanie Darden, who gave a wonderful presentation on her “baby,” ProjectDTO. The project takes on the challenge of redefining what Downtown Orlando actually is. Darden and her team conducted many surveys via social media outlets (Twitter, Instagram, etc.) to see what “Orlandians” really enjoy or dislike about Downtown. With some wanting more family orientated activities and some wanting more nightlife events, ProjectDTO covered all bases to make the changes that people want. For someone like myself who recently just moved here, I’ve seen nothing wrong with Downtown, but the response was huge. Homelessness was something that really stuck out to me, as Ms. Darden pointed out that many didn’t like how high the homeless population was in Downtown. This offers a great opportunity to help the homeless population together and change the community’s perception on the issue.

As Ms. Darden presented her project, I took a step back mentally to actually analyze where I was. For my first visit, I felt like a young professional being greeted with open arms of people who share the same passion as myself. I realized at this moment that all the practicing and rehearsal I did before entering the event was beneficial, but not necessary. I felt as if I was surrounded by a group of peers I’ve known for years! The professionals in attendance loved the fact that, as students, were eager to learn more outside of the classroom and ask questions about their everyday life in the workplace. Getting to take a selfie with the president-elect of FPRA Orlando, Laura Kern, APR, was probably my favorite part of the experience, especially because it got over one hundred likes on Instagram. I highly recommend that any student studying Public Relations at UCF attend an FPRA breakfast. It’ll be an eye opening experience and one step closer to your dream job!

Javon Scott 2


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