Member PRofile: Jonathan Gabriel

July 13, 2016
Jonathan Gabriel

Jonathan Gabriel
Coordinator, Digital Marketing & Social Media, University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Give a brief explanation of your job. 

My position is tasked with formulating and implementing social media strategy for the UCF College of Medicine at Lake Nona. I create and post visual content – imagery, graphics, video – and monitor and respond to conversations happening around the college, UCF Health and the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences. I am also involved in designing flyers and other publications, updating the website, and writing and editing stories for news.

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

This is my first official year as part of FPRA! I just joined this spring, though I’ve been to some previous events prior to becoming a member. I wanted to be a part of this organization in order to network with other communications professionals and really develop those strong relationships in the community.

What was your favorite FPRA event?

I would say the Media Mashup. There’s always really interesting panel discussions and speakers covering the gamut of media, and this year is no different! Folks from Uber, PlayList Live, the Orlando Sentinel and iHeart Radio will be there, just to name a few.

Tell us about an exciting achievement.

I was recently promoted to a new position at the College of Medicine, so that’s pretty exciting! I’m looking forward to taking on new challenges and growing as a professional. In addition, I’ve been experimenting with Slack, a popular team messaging app, to build a community of higher education folks in public relations and social media. I started the community this past December, and we currently have over 140 participants from colleges across the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium and Australia.

What was your very first job?

My very first job involved working as a bagger at Old Time Pottery. Although it didn’t pay a lot, I picked up some valuable lessons in customer service and being able to communicate with people and make their day just a bit brighter than it was before.

Share a fun fact that people may not know about you.

I used to karaoke – I’ve done Metallica and Billy Idol before! I also love binge watching shows on Netflix when I have time – House of Cards and Daredevil are two of my favorites.

Contact Info:
Twitter: @jongabriel

Chapter Rewind: June Breakfast – Tornado Takeaways: Lessons in Crisis Communications

July 13, 2016
Jason Bartolone, Alayna Curry, APR, Julie Hall, APR, and Drew Winchester at AAA Heathrow.

Jason Bartolone, Alayna Curry, APR, Julie Hall, APR, and Drew Winchester at AAA Heathrow.

Tornado Takeaways: Lessons in Crisis Communications

Chapter Rewind | By: Gabriel Soltren

Sarasota County’s Jason Bartolone and Drew Winchester managed communications during a tornado crisis in 2016 that produced 132 tons of debris and a visit by the governor.

As former journalists, Jason and Drew answered questions from CNN, Weather Channel, Telemundo, Huffington Post and others. At one point, Jason was being interviewed on CNN while Drew spoke with Good Morning America.

Drew Winchester, Media Relations, Sarasota County and former journalist provided crisis communications takeaways.

Drew Winchester, Media Relations, Sarasota County and former journalist provided crisis communications takeaways.

Drew told Florida Public Relations Association Orlando members that there was a misconception that Sarasota County’s older community did not use social media. However, it became obvious that they did. During the crisis, Sarasota County government reached 1.1 million people on Twitter.

Social media became the primary means of communication with reporters. Local government provided news updates on Twitter. They also provided behind-the-scenes photographs on social media. To save time, they published a statement giving reporters permission to use photographs posted on social media.

Drew Winchester, Media Relations, Sarasota County and former journalist provided crisis communications takeaways.

Jason Bartolone, Media Relations, Sarasota County and former journalist provided crisis communications takeaways.

“Media interest was greater on the second day,” Bartolone said. They shared second and third day stories with their media partners about life saving efforts and debris cleanup efforts by emergency responders.

The pair participated in annual county hurricane preparedness training and knew what had to be done. You must have a plan in place but, during a crisis, plans change. For example, they replaced most traditional media releases with incremental posts on Twitter. “Social media is the future of communications,” said Bartolone. “All the local reporters were on it.” They said that reporters retweeted and broadcast their messages.

Click here for more photographs from the June 2016 FPRA Orlando Breakfast meeting at AAA Heathrow.
FPRA 2016 June Breakfast

Call for Nominations: 2016 Chapter Awards

July 13, 2016

Call for Nominations: 2016 Chapter Awards

The FPRA Orlando Area Chapter is now accepting nominations for its two annual awards. The Member of the Year Award recognizes one member who has made a significant contribution to the Association through leadership, enthusiasm, involvement and support.

The Bob Davis Award is named in honor of the late 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.

Candidates must be nominated by someone in the profession. Please include a brief 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 Laura Kern, APR at no later than Monday, Aug. 1.


Member of the Year – Jeff Grainger, APR
Bob Davis Award – Julie Hall, APR

Member of the Year – Alayna Curry
Bob Davis Award – Nicole Huie

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

Member PRofile: Kelda Senior

June 12, 2016
Kelda Senior

Kelda Senior
Public Information Coordinator Quest Corporation of America

Give a brief explanation of your job. 
I oversee public information for over 15 construction projects for the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the Central Florida Expressway Authority (CFX): I develop community awareness plans for projects in the construction phase, identifying potential impacts to the public as a result of construction; Build alliances and corporate partnerships; Coordinate resolution of issues, visiting project sites, residential and business properties to address concerns;  and produce project informational fliers, fact sheets, traffic alerts and website updates for active construction projects.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I’ve been a member of FPRA for two years. I joined FPRA because of the organization’s reputation of supporting public relations professionals. The networking and professional development opportunities were reasons for my decision to join and become an active member of FPRA.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
This year’s Image Awards was a stellar event. It was inspiring to see other communication professionals recognized for their hard work, creativity and dedication to what they do.

Tell us about an exciting achievement.
Being recognized by Lake Business Magazine in their 2015 “30 Under 30” issue.

What was your very first job?
I worked at Old Navy for two years during high school.

Share a fun fact that people may not know about you.
During graduate school, I spent some time in Seoul, South Korea, where I learned about some of Korea’s innovative approaches to local government challenges. Although I never acquired a taste for the popular Korean dish, kimchi, I discovered my love for another traditional Korean dish, bibimbap.

Contact info:
phone: 904-703-1578
Twitter: @keldasenior

Chapter Rewind: February Breakfast – Building a Better McDonald’s

June 12, 2016
Jamie Floer, APR, Laura Kern, APR, Joe Chabus, APR, Alayna Curry, APR, and Dipika Joshi.

Jamie Floer, APR, Laura Kern, APR, Joe Chabus, APR, Alayna Curry, APR, and Dipika Joshi.

Chapter Rewind | By: Gabriel Soltren

During the May Breakfast meeting, Joe Chabus, APR, Director of Communications McDonald’s USA Florida Region, spoke to FPRA Orlando members about his role in communications at McDonald’s. His role consists of internal communications, brand-building publicity, reputation management, meeting & events, and leadership communications. McDonald’s has 35,000 restaurants including 900 in Florida. “One in 8 Americans has worked in a McDonald’s restaurant,” Chabus said.

Chabus explained that in 2004 McDonald’s started putting sliced apples in Happy Meals. In the article “A clever tweak to how apples are sold is making everyone eat more of them,” Washington Post Reporter Roberto A. Ferdman wrote about McDonald’s role in the increase of apple consumption in schools. School nutritionists noticed that sliced apples were easier to eat than whole apples. Research provided evidence to support that kids ate 70 percent more apples when sliced. Since McDonald’s started serving apples, more than 2 billion apple packets have been consumed by kids.

Joe Chabus, APR, introduced Dipika Joshi, Media Relations Manager with the Dalton Agency. Dipika spoke about the role of the agency in the implementation of McDonald’s strategies. The agency focuses on local media, merchandizing, events & marketing, public relations, crisis management and social media.

Chabus described how All Day Breakfast started with testing in San Diego. Check out the article “All Day Breakfast was the Secret Weapon that McDonald’s Needed.

Click here for more photographs of the February Breakfast at the world’s largest entertainment McDonald’s in Orlando, Florida.

Conference Scholarship – Apply by July 1

June 12, 2016

Apply to win a scholarship to this year’s annual conference, Lead, Listen, Engage, Act, Deliver., to be held at the beautiful Innisbrook Golf & Spa Resort in Palm Harbor, Florida, from August 7-10. This is a great opportunity to attend!

The FPRA Orlando Area Chapter will award up two scholarships to local chapter members for either the conference registration fee of $725 or the hotel accommodations. To apply, please email your responses to the questions below to Laura Kern, APR at by July 1, 2016.  Please limit your answers to 75 words or less for each question and be sure to include all information outlined below:

  • Name:
  • Company:
  • Title:
  • Years in public relations:
  • How long have you been a member of FPRA?
  • In what ways have you been involved with FPRA? (Committees, events attended, positions held, etc.)
  • How will the conference scholarship benefit your career and current job?
  • What do you hope to learn by attending conference, and how do you intend to incorporate it in your daily position?
  • What is your greatest need, a conference scholarship or a hotel accommodations scholarship?

To be eligible, you must be an active member in good standing with the Orlando Area Chapter. Your chapter involvement and financial need will be considered.  Please note that the scholarship covers the $725 conference registration fee and excludes lodging, food outside of meals included in the regular conference registration and all other related expenses. A hotel-only scholarship would include a reimbursement amount for three nights at the conference room block rate of $129/night including applicable taxes and fees.

All scholarship winners will be required to participate on the conference blogging team and to write a short article for PRoclaimer discussing what they learned and how it enhances their profession.

Member PRofile: Kerry Martin, APR

May 12, 2016
Kerry Martin APR

Kerry Martin, APR
Communications Manager
Aquatic Design & Engineering

Give a brief explanation of your job. 

Our firm designs and engineers large scale fountains, resort pools, interactive water features and other specialty aquatic projects, which is quite a specific niche in the development industry. In my role, I communicate with members of that industry through specialty publications, and our own channels including our newsletter, blog and website.

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

When I joined FPRA in 2008, I had the good fortune of working at Curley and Pynn, where it was encouraged to get involved in the association for professional and leadership development. I am so grateful for having supportive employers who invest in their people through organizations like FPRA.

Tell us about an exciting achievement.

Having my daughter early last year was life-changing in so many ways, and it’s been fun to see all the other professional women in FPRA in the same boat. I think sharing in that personal milestone has made it even more special.

What was your favorite FPRA event?

I always love the FPRA Backstage Pass events, and one of my favorites was getting to go behind the scenes of the construction site that was the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

What was your first job?

I started with Curley & Pynn right after college, and I owe everything of what I learned and accomplished in my career to the team, especially Roger.

Tell us something people may not know about you.

I think I have a photographic memory when it comes to Seinfeld episodes. Had I only attained the same skill for useful knowledge…

Contact Info:

Kerry Martin, APR –


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