Conference Scholarship – Apply by June 26

June 8, 2015

Apply to win a scholarship to this year’s annual conference, PR Now: Stronger. Smarter. Faster., to be held at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate on August 9-12. Since this professional development event is once again right here in our backyard, 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 Kerry Martin, APR at by June 26, 2014.  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.

Quotes Corner: Knights and Squires

June 2, 2015













Knights and Squires Program Begins with a Bang 

By: Jacqueline Kooser
Quotes President

While mingling with UCF Ad/PR alumni in New York City this past spring, FPRA board member Shaloni Prine approached students about a new mentoring program that would be piloting this spring. The Knights and Squires program brings together a handful of communications students with professionals in the field. For three months, pairs of mentors and students are required to meet three times, as well as communicate effectively about obstacles, achievements and ideas for their future. Mentors and students came together to meet for the first time on April 8 at a breakfast. Once pairs were revealed, participants were able to discuss their plans for the summer and get to know each other one-on-one.

As someone who recently changed her major, I was very eager to be paired with a mentor who I had heard great things about. Jamie Floer, APR, CPRC has been my mentor for the past two months. When I learned that she would be guiding me through this program, I was nothing short of ecstatic. When telling her my goals for the summer and my opportunities that needed decision making, she gave me professional feedback and advice. Seeing her in action at professional events such as the FPRA Image Awards and the latest FPRA breakfast has been a learning experience within itself, for she always greets me with networking advice and asks how things are going.

The Knights and Squires program isn’t just a way to make connections and expand your network, it’s a way for professionals to give back to the UCF community, and for students to further their knowledge of the field before graduation. I have been lucky enough to keep in touch with those I traveled to NYC with who are a part of the mentorship program, and it’s nice to know that we can all agree that this program has been an amazing opportunity. I am eager to see how the program grows through the semesters to come, and I can’t wait to hear from future students the benefits they find through what UCF Alumni has to offer them.

Special thanks to Shaloni Prine for introducing students to the Knights and Squires program. We are very thankful for all that you do for the community!

Member PRofile: Susan Vernon-Devlin

June 2, 2015













What is your title and company name?
Vice President of Public Relations
Massey Communications

Give a brief explanation of your job.
My job involves managing a small PR team; we’re a boutique agency that concentrates on marketing and branding. The agency provides advertising, design and PR services. I manage a book of 5-10 clients, for whom we provide traditional PR services: press releases, pitches, speech writing and talking points, creative connections for speaking engagements and expert positioning. We also provide social media management, event planning and website content management. My specialty is crisis communications; those clients usually come to my attention via referrals from current and past clients. Crisis communications involves skilled media relations, selecting and training a presentable spokesperson, monitoring every social and web platform, setting up lines of communication and working with various governmental agencies, legal entities and the community to reach a resolution that is acceptable to all involved.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I have been a member of FPRA for about a year. I joined the organization because members of several chapters lent their support to me on projects and in particular when I was managing the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman crisis in Sanford in 2012 and 2013. I’ve had the opportunity to share my experiences and expertise with FPRA through several speaking engagements and wanted to have an opportunity to learn from its members.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
The Media Mashup and other half day seminars are my favorite FPRA events. The annual conference is a bounty of learning, but since I’ve only attended one so far, I’ll have to attend more before it can take the spot of favorite.

What position will you hold on our board next year?
I’ll be serving as Assistant VP of Membership alongside Julie Hall.

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
My most exciting achievement personally is having travelled to 38 of the 50 United States. I hope to get to all 50 before my time is up. I’ve also traveled to England, France and Italy, as well as to the two countries that border the US, Mexico and Canada. You might say having been given my first passport at age four months instilled in me the desire to travel. Professionally, I’m not sure I’ve had that ultimate exciting achievement yet, but I’ve come pretty close.

What was your first job?
My first job was at a Burger King. I was the drive-thru cashier, I had the 3-9 p.m. shift. It was boring because more people came into the restaurant than drove through, and I hated smelling like hamburgers at the end of the night. I quit after the restaurant was held up one afternoon right before my shift started.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
In my life I have lived in 13 different houses/apartments.

Contact Info:
407-421-0244 cell
Twitter: @PRpro12


Chapter Rewind: May Breakfast

June 2, 2015









Purpose and Profit: Work Together to Solve Social Problems
By: Gabriel Soltren

Shawn Seipler, Chief Executive Officer of Clean the World, was the guest speaker at our May chapter breakfast.

Seipler left his job as Vice President at Channel Intelligence after learning that 9,000 children die every day from diseases that could be reduced by washing their hands. While staying at a hotel he asked an employee, “What happens to the soap after I’m done using it?” He learned that more than one million bars of soap were being thrown away every day in the United States. If you take all that soap, you can save kids that are dying from pneumonia and other diseases. The idea started a global social enterprise.

In 2009, Seipler recruited his Puerto Rican relatives and started recycling soap in his one car garage. They sent soap to earthquake victims in Haiti and the effort was featured on Fox News Orlando, Fox News in New York and nationally on CBS News.

Clean the World became the first benefit corporation in Florida. According to Siepler, Clean the World has a profit motive and a heart motive. B-corporations are required by law to pursue profits and philanthropic missions. In 2015, Clean the World had 50 employees in Orlando, Las Vegas and Hong Kong. Fifty-five percent of their employees were minorities and they had distributed more than 25 million bars of soap in 99 countries.

Clean the World helps improve sanitary conditions in several ways. People use the soap for personal hygiene and also to wash their clothes. In Nepal, after the 2015 earthquake, doctors needed soap to wash their hands after treating patients. Clean the World provided them with soap until their supplies arrived.

Hotels provide used bars of soap for recycling. “Many of the housekeepers in hotels are from countries that we are helping,” Siepler said. One third of housekeepers in Florida are reportedly from Haiti. They applauded the effort.

Soap makers are also partnering with Clean the World. For example, a Unilever manager noticed that the manufacturer was discarding good soap made with the wrong color or wrong fragrance. The manager suggested donating the soap to Clean the World. They donated the soap and Clean the World provided a report showing how their donation was used. Click here to read “Unilever Donates Soap by the Truckload.” A Clean the World video was one of the most viewed Associated Press stories in 2015. “Recycling Used Bars of Soap to Save Lives” had more than one million views in less than 60 days.