2013 Annual Conference Scholarship – Apply Now!

May 9, 2013

Apply to win a scholarship to this year’s Annual Conference, 75 Years of Multifaceted Strategies, to be held at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort and Golf Club in St. Petersburg on August 4-7.Annual Conference

The Orlando Area Chapter of FPRA will award up two scholarships to local chapter members. Each scholarship will cover the conference registration fee of $695.  To apply, please respond to the questions below and email your responses to Allie Vatcher at avatcher@valenciacollege.edu by July 1, 2013.  Please limit your answers to 50 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?

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 $695 conference registration fee and excludes lodging, food outside of meals included in the regular conference registration, reception and all other related expenses. 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 News – May 2013

May 9, 2013

Congratulations to Laura S. Kern, APR, for earning her Accreditation in Public Relations! Laura is the associate director of marketing and communications at the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission and serves as treasurer on the FPRA Orlando Area chapter board.

Brad Kuhn

FPRA-OAC is pleased to welcome the following new chapter members: Lauren Bradley, Director of Public Relations, Rollins College; Brad Kuhn, Founder/CEO, Brad Kuhn and Associates; Cassandra Lafser, Public Information Officer, City of Orlando; Nancy Rodlun, Public Relations and Information Officer, Orange County Environmental Protection Division.

kerry martin

The FPRA Rising Leader Class of 2013 is comprised of young professionals representing their perspective local chapters, including Orlando Area Chapter’s Kerry Martin, APR. As part of the Class, Kerry is a nominee for the Joe Curley Rising Leader Award which honors up-and-coming individual FPRA members for their personal dedication and demonstration of emerging leadership traits. Good luck Kerry!


Kacie Boniberger is the recipient of the FPRA-OAC Member Scholarship. This month, Kacie graduated from UCF and the scholarship will allow her to transition from a student membership to a professional membership. During her chapter involvement as a student, she served as the VP of Communications on the board of directors for Quotes (UCF’s PR club).


Alayna Rivera is joining the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority as a Community/Government Relations professional.

Congratulations to Shaloni Prine and her husband Robbie on the arrival of their daughter, Emma Rose.

Mike Lawrence
Michael Lawrence, APR was recently honored as Community Service Volunteer of the Year by the UCF Alumni Association. Congrats, Mike!
Kudos to Chris Gent, APR, CPRC for achieving 20 years of service at Kissimmee Utility Authority.

Proposed Slate of Officers for Incoming Chapter Board

May 9, 2013

The FPRA-OAC nominating committee is pleased to announce the slate of officers for the 2013-2014 Board of Directors:

President – Cynthia Lambert, APR

President-Elect – Kerry Martin, APR

Immediate Past President – Allie Vatcher

Secretary – Amanda Forbes Mestdagh, APR

Treasurer – Nicole Huie

Asst. Treasurer – Julie Primrose

VP Membership – Lauren Hyer, APR

Asst VP Membership – Michael Lawrence, APR

VP Accreditation – Lisa Nason, APR

VP Student Outreach – Sara Channing

VPs Professional Development – Lorena Streeter and Cassie Roach

VPs Scholarship Fundraisers – Brian Craven and Margaret Donaldson

VPs Image Awards – Megan Licata, APR and Vianka McConville

VP Media Relations – Cassandra Lafser

VPs Technology – Laura Kern, APR and Alayna Rivera

Additional nominations may be made by written petition signed by at least 15 percent of the qualified voting members of the chapter. Please send additional nominations to Amanda Forbes Mestdagh, APR (amestdagh@fhbnet.com) by May 31.

Stars of PR Get Deserved Recognition at 2013 FPRA OAC Image Awards

April 19, 2013

By Brian Craven, Director-Public Affairs & Communications, Bright House Networks and FPRA OAC Board Member

There’s an inherent irony in the “Stars of PR” theme for the 2013 FPRA Orlando Area Chapter Image Awards held at Loft 55 on April 11, 2013. Public Relations professionals are usually too busy working hard at making their clients look like stars to be in the limelight themselves. The best communicators most often operate unseen as they craft core messages, suggest appropriate themes and settings for announcements, and facilitate effective communications outreach through traditional and Social Media. Success is measured in Tweets, column inches, Facebook posts, TV and radio mentions, which don’t really seem very glamorous as PR professionals scramble to bring them all into play. But that’s exactly what makes the 2013 “Stars of PR” Image Awards theme so appropriate. It’s time to appreciate the “star power” of our fellow PR professionals for what it is—a true ability to make others look good and get their messages across, all while working in the background. That’s more than just being a best supporting actor—it’s like being the scriptwriter, producer, director, and promoter, all rolled into one! As the 2013 Image Awards Sponsor, Bright House Networks is proud to help shine the spotlight on the unsung heroes of PR who daily bring us the snap, crackle and pop of modern life on screens large and small. Congratulations to all the winners—you deserve your moment of fame!