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

Member PRofile: Cristina Calvet-Harrold

March 9, 2015















What is your title and company name?
President, CCH marketing + public relations

Give a brief explanation of your job.
In addition to leading our business development efforts, I oversee media relations and strategic direction for the majority of our clients. Thankfully, I’ve surrounded myself with a great team who can take a great strategy and run with it to produce measurable results.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I joined FPRA 2 years ago. I enjoy the networking and fellowship provided through my membership.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
I really enjoy Media Mashup. I appreciate the opportunity it affords my team to learn more about the local media and how best to work with them.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
I’m very proud of the awards I have won, including the Don Quijote Award, Orlando Business Journal Women Who Mean Business and UCF Notable Knights. However, I’d have to say that my greatest achievement is growing my business at least 25% each year since we opened in 2007 despite some challenging economic circumstances.

What was your first job?
In high school I was a Disney cast member. Believe it or not, I used to work in food service at the Pirates of the Caribbean ride!

Tell us something people may not know about you.
I love to travel, and so far I have been to 34 different countries (and counting).

Contact Info:
407-228-1901 ext 3

Member PRofile: Gabriel Soltren

February 12, 2015















What is your title and company name?
Technology Trainer
Orange County Library System

Give a brief explanation of your job.
Orange County residents and non-residents can learn new skills quickly by taking their choice of many technology courses available at the library. I am an instructor and trainer with experience teaching several of the subjects. Beginners and experts alike can benefit from the training. From Microsoft Office programs, to the accounting software QuickBooks, to video production classes, I’ve taught it. The courses can help anyone improve their skills and their ability to get ahead.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
As a former community outreach coordinator, I joined the Florida Public Relations Association Orlando Area Chapter last year to learn from other professionals and to improve my skills. The workshops provided me with a wealth of information. Presenters gave us examples of best practices in public relations. So far, FPRA membership has exceeded my expectations. For example, during the “ER for PR” professional development workshop, we learned from Alissa Gutierrez, director of marketing and communications at the Florida Chapter of the ALS Association, about the viral “Ice Bucket Challenge” video campaign. The campaign was probably the biggest viral fundraising story of 2014. Gutierrez shared some of the lessons that she learned and helped her organization locally during the national campaign.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
FPRA Orlando’s breakfast meetings were great. For example, IKEA Orlando marketing specialist, Kendra Ferguson, shared at a meeting that on Tuesdays children eat for free at their store. Ferguson explained that the company’s reason for providing free food was to help people that cannot always afford groceries.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
I was recently selected to participate in a behind the scenes look at City government. As part of the 2015 City of Orlando Mayor’s City Academy, my goal is to become a better informed and a more involved citizen while learning more about local government.

What was your first job?
My first full-time job was working as a casual employee at the U.S. Post Office in Winter Park at Christmas time. Every now and then, we would get a letter addressed to the “North Pole” for Santa Claus. Temporary jobs sometimes lead to more opportunities. I was asked to stay longer and the extra income helped me to pay for my first new car.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
Last year, I worked on a reality television show. The production is back for another season and is currently filming in Orlando. Click here to learn more about the program.

Contact info:

Quotes Corner

February 9, 2015

By: Jacqueline Kooser
UCF Ad/PR Major

Quotes, the PR Club at UCF, is gearing up for another great year of professional development. First off, the executive board would like to extend a sincere thank you for hosting us at FPRA events, participating in Intern Pursuit and for staying connected to our members. We really do appreciate it and would not have had such a successful semester without all of your support. Second, we have some fresh new ideas for 2015 that we would love for you to be a part of.

With the help of our advisor, Lindsay Hudock, and the never ending perseverance of our president, Thevenin Campton, the board members of Quotes have teamed up with the rest of the Nicholson School’s communication majors to form the first ever communications fraternity at UCF: Zeta Phi Eta. Our rush week will be held from Feb. 3 until Feb. 7, and we hope to bring at least 20 young and aspiring professionals to your attention stemming from various backgrounds of writing and rhetoric, human communication, journalism, radio television and more. If anyone has any suggestions, advice and or ideas to contribute to our new community, feel free to reach out and let us know.

Quotes is setting up spring semester agency tours and scheduling guest speakers for our bi-weekly Thursday meetings. Each meeting is held at 4:30 p.m. in the Nicholson School at UCF’s main campus. We are eager to expose our members to every aspect of the public relations field possible, so feel free to email to reserve your opportunity to speak at one of our meetings.

Although 2015 is the start of a new year, it is also the end of one chapter and the beginning of another for two of our board members. In May, Thevenin Campton and Xenecia Farrell will be graduating from UCF. We hope to make this the best semester yet for them, and hope to see them off into the start of their careers. Also, the upmost congratulations are extended to our Director of Events, Xenecia Farrell, for becoming a MAIP finalist. We can’t wait to see where this opportunity takes you! Our Director of Membership and Director of Communications, Rosie Cappos and Jacqueline Kooser, will be traveling to the big apple come spring break, in order to tour some of the finest PR and Advertising firms.


This is going to be a great year with lots of room for our members to grow. We look forward to participating in FPRA events throughout the semester and getting to know more of Orlando’s best PR professionals.


Chapter Rewind: January Backstage Pass

February 6, 2015



By: Mary Ann Horne

January’s Backstage Pass event at the Orlando Citrus Bowl offered unique views of the 79-year-old venue. FPRA Orlando members learned about the stadium’s history and its recent reconstruction from Orlando Venues Marketing Division Manager Kirk Wingerson before taking an eye-opening tour.

Wingerson explained how the stadium — home to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl game and other events –- got much more than a facelift during its $207 million rebirth. The project involved 90 percent new construction, a rebranding with Orlando in its name and a fresh marketing campaign around the “Get Into It!” slogan.

The stadium’s re-launch was accompanied by a giant media, social media and public relations effort. Wingerson discussed the considerations that went into such a high-profile project, including keeping the neighborhood informed, working with various government and community groups, and laying out a vision for the facility’s future. In addition, he said, the reconstruction was on a “highly accelerated schedule” to get the venue ready for this year’s bowl games.

“We were game-ready,” Wingerson said, by New Year’s Day 2015. That doesn’t mean the job was complete. In fact, he said, the reconstruction effort continues – as evidenced by workers still on the property the day FPRA visited.

The presentation –- scheduled one year to the day after the stadium reconstruction began — was held in the East Club area, which offered a stunning view of the field. (FPRA Orlando has the distinction of being the first local organization to meet there.) Afterward, Wingerson led the tour, which included stops in the press box, media room, locker rooms and a stroll to the 50-yard line for photos.

Chapter Rewind: December Charity Event

December 30, 2014

By: Gabriel Soltren

Raul Romero is not from the United States, but that did not stop him from passing a National Board test and getting his U.S. Citizenship. Romero spoke with FPRA Orlando members as they worked to develop a public relations plan for the Adult Literacy League (ALL) in Orlando. As a dentist with more than 30 years experience in a Spanish speaking country, he found it difficult to pass the National Board exam in the English language for his profession. “The school helped me a lot and it is still helping me,” said Romero. “It also helped me to obtain citizenship.”










Members of FPRA Orlando met at the ALL on Dec. 16 for a hands-on public relations workshop. Workshop organizer, Laura Kern, APR, introduced Gina Berko Solomon, director of education with the ALL. She shared that there are more than 900 active students in the Orange, Osceola and Seminole county coverage area and about 60 students waiting for volunteer tutors. “Our capacity for marketing is about zero,” said Jennifer Grozio, development director. She asked for help with creating a plan that volunteers could follow. About 300 instructional volunteers provide 37 classes held mostly at local libraries in the three-county area.











Chris Gent, APR, CPRC and Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC worked on a corporate partnership building plan for the ALL. The proposed plan would enlist the support of organizations that need literate workers and that have access to potential volunteers.











María Isabel Sanquírico,  Jeannette Rivera-Lyles and Jennifer Grozio developed public relations and volunteer recruitment strategies. The strategy would re-introduce the organization to members of key Hispanic organizations in Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. More than 60 percent of the students served by the ALL are English language learners.











FPRA Orlando members Katarina dos Santos, Amanda Higaldo and Michael McCarthy worked on a social media strategy. The social media strategy included setting up Google Alerts and provided sample postings such as, “What was the first book you ever read?” Chad Binette and Kacie Boniberger worked on a media relations strategy, which included identifying and pitching human interest stories about the ALL students and volunteers. For example, a student recently won an employee of the year award at the University of Central Florida.











FPRA groups reunited at the end of separate brainstorming sessions and shared the ideas developed during the workshop. The ideas developed will be used to create a public relations plan for the ALL to use year-round.


Member PRofile: Jaeann Ashton

December 4, 2014

Jaeann Ashton headshot













What is your title and company name?
Marketing Communications Manager
Day Communications, Inc.

Give a brief explanation of your job.
I provide marketing and communication solutions for clients which includes project management, copywriting, social media management and tracking, event coordination and execution, market research, media buys and community outreach. Clients include the Central Florida Expressway Authority, Bike/Walk Central Florida, Best Foot Forward and the Florida Greenways & Trails Foundation.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I am a new member, but was a member through Quotes at UCF from 2000-2003. I joined FPRA to connect (and re-connect!) with industry leaders and stay current on PR trends. Even when not a member, I found myself visiting the FPRA website to find out the latest news or check the Job Bank.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
As a UCF Advertising/Public Relations student, I was a recipient of a Roast & Toast scholarship and then went on to serve on the committee that coordinated the event to help raise scholarship funds – so that event will always be special to me.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
My greatest achievement will always be becoming a mom – it’s something I always knew I wanted to do. My baby girl is 19 months old and the light of my life. I strive for work/life balance every day but am proud that I still push myself to achieve professional goals – one of which is to become APR certified.

What was your first job?
Working the concession stand at my brother’s Little League baseball fields. I enjoyed interacting with the kids and their parents, and the free Diet Coke! Smelling like a French fry every night? Not as much fun.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
In my next life I want to be a photographer! I have a slight obsession with taking pictures and documenting significant life events via scrapbooks and photo albums. But I’m afraid if I did it professionally it wouldn’t be fun anymore.

Contact info:


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