Member PRofile: Mark Schlueb

March 16, 2017
Mark Schlueb

Mark Schlueb
Sr. Communications Coordinator
University of Central Florida

Give a brief explanation of your job. 
I’m lucky enough to be part of UCF’s News & Information team, a group of pros much smarter than me who I learn from every day. I love working at UCF — it’s such a dynamic place that there’s always something going on. I write stories about cool faculty, from archaeologists to nanoscientists, and students who are so accomplished they make me feel like a slacker when I think back to my own college days. Our team pitches our stories to local and national media, and we handle a huge volume of inquiries from reporters, too.

How long have you been a part of FPRA?
I joined FPRA in 2015 because that’s when I left my longtime job as a newspaper reporter for a career in public relations, and I knew I had a lot to learn. There’s a wealth of knowledge among FPRA’s membership that enables newbies like me to learn from people with decades of experience.

Why did you join?
I joined FPRA in 2015 because that’s when I left my longtime job as a newspaper reporter for a career in public relations, and I knew I had a lot to learn. There’s a wealth of knowledge among FPRA’s membership that enables newbies like me to learn from people with decades of experience.

Favorite FPRA event:
I’ve enjoyed every FPRA event I’ve attended, from the media mashups with PRSA to presentations by PR pros from around Florida. But so far, the 2016 state convention was the most valuable. With sessions on everything from crisis communication to video production to social media, there was plenty to learn. The happy hours weren’t bad, either.

Tell us about an exciting achievement.
I married my best friend and have raised two awesome sons. Also, mayors of two cities have proclaimed “Mark Schlueb Days.” Totally undeserved, but feel free to celebrate.

What was your first job?
My first job was at a Taco Bell in my hometown of Titusville. I saved enough money to buy a beat up Mustang and can still roll a perfect burrito with my eyes closed.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
When people learn I’m the youngest of 10 children, they always ask, “What was it like growing up with nine brothers and sisters?” Loud. It was really loud.

Contact Information:, 407-823-0221 or @MarkSchlueb


Chapter Rewind: February Breakfast – Taking on Tallahassee

March 16, 2017

Chris Carmody, Alayna Curry, APR and Robert Stuart at the Taking on Tallahassee presentation at the Wayne M. Densch Discovery Center at Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens.

Chapter Rewind | By Gabriel Soltren

Economic Development is hot right now. Chris Carmody and Robert Stuart with GrayRobinson spoke about government priorities in Tallahassee. During the Taking on Tallahassee presentation, they explained that 116 million people visited Florida in 2016. However, some in state government want to cut marketing efforts and trim the role of Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida.

Robert Stuart with GrayRobinson explained how to play by the rules when communicating with legislators in Tallahassee.

Are legislators using social media and technology? Yes. They are increasingly posting videos as an alternative to writing press releases. For example, the governor and the house of representatives posted opposing videos to drum up support for and against Florida’s economic development agencies. A new rule banned lobbyist from texting elected officials while working on the chamber floor. Now there is a simple yet effective phone app from Lobbytools that lets lobbyist know when a legislator is available for texting.

Lawmakers are working on legislation dealing with police body cameras, red light cameras, health care issues and medical marijuana.

At the end of the day, there is no substitute for meeting with your representative. “Politicians are always trying to contact constituents,” said Stuart. “Call your local representative’s office and ask them how they want to be contacted.” Carmody and Stuart suggested that constituents stay in touch with their representatives. Legislators are always thinking about re-election and value what voters have to say.

Click here for more event photographs.

Intern Pursuit

March 11, 2017
Karina Saad

Karina Saad

This is how I see it

Whether you have been an intern, supervised one, or both, you might agree with me that no two internship experiences are the same. This is why I have decided to share my perspective as an intern. My journey is one that has been so enriching that it deserves to be told and to have an audience.

This is how I see it: we live in a very competitive world, where standing out and finding opportunities to show what we are made of are scarce. This last word, “scarce,” has hope in it, as no matter how hard it might be to enter the professional world, there is always a door that opens. This internship was that door for me.

My journey started when I was attending one of the monthly meetings that Quotes, the PR club at UCF, organizes. Our guest speaker was Jennifer Bisbee; after listening to her I knew I had to introduce myself. She talked about the day-to-day life of a public relations professional and made it sound as amazing as it was challenging. I knew I had to intern with her organization, Bisbee and Company.

Do you remember the first time you ever visited a museum? I do. I felt like no matter where I decided to turn my head, I would encounter a piece that would make me learn something new, leave me speechless and inspire me. This internship has made me feel the same way.

Bisbee and Company is like a big art museum, and each project I have been able to be part of is like a piece influenced by many hands. Each one tells a story and each one teaches something different. I have had the opportunity to observe and learn from every experience.

No matter how astonishing a museum might be, if the visitor doesn’t have the right attitude, then its value is not appreciated. The visit is meaningless. This also applies to my internship. I feel like no matter how great of an opportunity it might be, if I don’t give my best and try as hard as I can to meet the expectations of those who believe in me, then I’m wasting my opportunity.

Every good museum has knowledgeable guides and information centers so visitors don’t get lost. With this internship, even when it might be daunting to take action on projects that I’ve never done before, I have not felt overwhelmed because of the guidance, patience and goodwill of the team with whom I have worked.

Like that museum I once visited, Bisbee and Company has exposed me to a whole new world full of opportunities and knowledge. Now I must summon the best version of myself to contribute my own “works of art” – to boldly put forward my unique ideas and perspective.


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 ( 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

Ashlee Winn

Ashlee Winn
Director of Membership

Member PRofile: Rachel Calderon

January 19, 2017

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: