UCF Quotes welcomes 2012 Executive Board

May 3, 2012

Quotes, the FPRA Student Chapter of the University of Central Florida, welcomes the 2012 Executive Board: 

Nathalie Almonte, President

Natalie Almonte

Nathalie Almonte is majoring in Interdisciplinary Studies and pursuing two minors in business and communications. She is currently serving as president-elect of Quotes, the PR Club. Nathalie is recognized as a student leader, ambitious and passionate about getting students involved and connected to local PR professionals. Prior to becoming president-elect, Almonte served on the 2011-2012 board as outreach coordinator to build a closer relationship with the members and FPRA. As outreach coordinator, she was responsible for reaching out to student members and connecting them with all the PR professionals in Orlando area. She is thrilled and honored to begin serving the Quotes executive board as their president and is excited to begin a new chapter for the organization.




Katarina Dos Santos, President-elect

Katarina Dos Santos

Katarina Dos Santos is junior at the University of Central Florida studying Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Marketing and World Comparative Studies. She will be interning at Edelman in Orlando this summer and is an active student leader on campus. She spends her time involved with multiple organizations on campus and is the Assistant Student Director on the Campus Activities Board. Katarina’s passion for leadership and drive to succeed in the public relations industry has led her to become President Elect for Quotes.




Kacie Boniberger, Vice President of membership and events

Kacie Boniberger

Kacie Boniberger is pursuing a degree in advertising and public relations, and has a minor in music. Will be the new intern for the City of Orlando, and previously held the position of marketing coordinator for Dining Services at the University of Central Florida. As a result of these opportunities, she has gained extensive event planning and promotional experience. Her skills lie in composing content for marketing materials, developing and maintaining community partnerships, and strategic social media communication. She serves on the Pegasus Palooza executive board as marketing coordinator. She collaborates in a seven-member team to create and order promotional materials, market the UCF’s official welcome week through social media, introduce social and educational programs to incoming students, and develop content for marketing materials. Boniberger is active on campus in the Quotes student chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association, as a sister of Kappa Alpha Theta and in the Burnett Honors College. She is eager to graduate in May of 2013, when she will begin pursuing a career in the public relations field.



Devin Shoemaker, Communications Director

Devin Shoemaker

Devin Shoemaker is an Ad/PR major with a double minor in Marketing and Leadership Studies at the University of Central Florida. She is actively involved in the UCF community with Quotes/FPRA and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honors society. She loves public relations and is excited to start her career in the field as soon as possible. She is ecstatic to be a member of the Quotes Executive Board and is ready to have an exciting year full of new experiences!

Ivan Hernandez, Program Coordinator

Ivan Hernandez

Ivan Hernandez is currently a student at the University of Central Florida seeking a degree in Advertising and Public Relations, with a minor in Theatre Studies, Ivan hopes to one day make his presence known in the entertainment and special events world. Born and raised in Miami, FL, Ivan grew up with a heavy Latin American background that he says is fully responsible for making him the person he is today. Along with work and school, Ivan spends his time volunteering and raising money for various organizations including the Trevor Project, Hope and Health Center, Zebra Coalition, Autism Speaks, and Habitat for Humanity. He also likes to spend his time with his fellow brothers of Delta Lambda Phi. 

PR Pros always know their facts! Trivia night a success

May 3, 2012

By Cassie Roach

More than 40 FPRA members and non-members came together on May 2nd to support the MERGE scholarship fundraising series by testing their knowledge with a game of trivia.  MERGE Trivia Night raised over $400 in scholarship funds for the UCF Nicholson School of Communication’s Scholarship and the Organizational Communication Program of the Hamilton Hold School of Rollins College.

While everyone walked away a little smarter, only the highest scoring team was able to claim the top prize of a $75 American Express gift card and a $25 Hard Rock Café gift card. After a $10 donation was made, all attendees were able to enjoy a complimentary draft beer, compliments of Caddy Shanks Virtual Golf and Sports Pub, while searching through their brains for the correct trivia question answer.  Combined with a $1,000 scholarship fund donation from event sponsor, Bright House Networks, this MERGE Trivia Night event raised over $1,400.

FPRA extends our sincere appreciation to our sponsor, Bright House Networks and event host, Caddy Shanks Virtual Golf and Sports Pub for making this opportunity possible.  Look for upcoming information on the next MERGE networking and scholarship fundraising event at facebook.com/FPRAorlando. Check out the event photos!

FPRA Orlando Area Chapter Announces 2012-2013 Board of Directors

May 2, 2012

Please join in welcoming the upcoming 2012-2013 Board of Directors for FPRA-OAC:

President – Allie Vatcher
President Elect – Cynthia Lambert, APR
Immediate Past President – Amanda Forbes Mestdagh, APR
Secretary – Alayna Rivera
Treasurer – Laura Kern
Assistant Treasurer – Kerry Martin, APR
Vice President of Membership – Sara Channing
Assistant Vice President of Membership – Elizabeth Baranik
Vice President Accreditation – Michael Lawrence, APR
Vice Presidents of Professional Development – Lauren Hyer
Vice Presidents of Professional Development – Julie Primrose
Vice Presidents of Scholarship Fundraiser – Cassie Roach
Vice Presidents of Scholarship Fundraiser – Brian Craven
Vice Presidents of Image Awards – Megan Licata
Vice Presidents of Image Awards – Lorena Streeter
Vice President of Media Relations – Steve Triggs, APR
Vice President of Publications – Nancy DeVault
Vice President of Interactive Media – Chris Gent, APR, CPRC
Assistant Vice President of Interactive Media – Nicole Huie
Vice President of Outreach (Roundtables) – Kat Kennedy, APR

From Coy to Confident: An Inside Look from PR Professionals at the Graduating Senior Roundtable

May 2, 2012

By: Stephanie Sheppard, Director of Communication, Quotes, the PR Club at UCF

Although notoriously known for bad luck, this day conquered its fallacy for a dozen graduating seniors from UCF’s Nicholson School of Communication. On Friday, April 13 the second annual Graduating Senior Roundtable at the FAIRWINDS UCF Alumni Center was held to foster a relationship between local FPRA professionals and UCF students searching for advice on how to secure an entry level job right out of college.

Coordinated by Gabrielle Davis, Vice President of Outreach for FPRA-OAC, the event enabled the group of timid, eager and anxious students to freely ask industry specific questions about job search, resumes, cover letters, portfolios, interviews and personal branding via social networks.

Two professionals sat at three tables which hosted its own topic of discussion for fifteen minutes. The first table I visited began with job search techniques lead by FPRA’s Immediate Past President, Wendy Jo Moyer, APR, and Megan Licata, FPRA Assistant Treasurer. Both advised invaluable job search techniques and resume tips to reveal your competitive edge. Each exemplified an interesting stage of both a young and more experienced PR professional by sharing their personal success stories and how each secured their previous positions.

From job search strategy to resume writing, I listened more confidently to the next round of PR professionals, Nancy DeVault, Vice President of Publications and Cynthia Lambert, APR, Secretary, who offered words of wisdom when utilizing social networks to connect with industry professionals. While having a LinkedIn profile was the top recommendations for new graduates entering the workforce, DeVault and Lambert emphasized the importance of professional demeanor not only on all social networks, but also in all business environments.

Feeling a bit more self-assured and motivated to position ourselves to enter the workforce, I visited the last, but certainly not the least table of the discussion. Alayna Rivera, Vice President of Image Awards and Nancy Kinnally from the Florida Bar Foundation prepared us with tips and techniques to write cover letters. They explained that a cover letter is your chance to personalize and embody yourself as a professional, to show why you are a top candidate for the position and a perfect fit for the company in which you are applying to work.

After just an hour, I suddenly felt more prepared and motivated to graduate, search for that first entry-level job experience and embark on a career path. With the help from FPRA, the dozen students who attended the event left with priceless tips, tricks and strategies to confidently secure jobs upon graduation.

Member News

April 25, 2012
Join FPRA-OAC in celebrating the following professional and personal accomplishments of fellow members:  
Gabrielle Davis is now a Junior Copywriter  at exp Global Inc. In her new role, Gabrielle serves as the junior copywriter to help market the global engineering firm through brochures, project sheets, the company’s website and other projects. She continues to serve on the FPRA-OAC Board as Vice President of Outreach.  
Nancy DeVault is now Owner of DeVault Communications, LLC. Nancy splits her time as a PR Consultant, staff writer for Florida MD Magazine and contributor to Orlando Family Magazine. Formerly, DeVault held several positions at area radio and television outlets, before serving as the Director of Communications for the American Heart Association – leading local and regional chapter efforts. She continues to serve on the FPRA-OAC Board as Vice President of Publications.  

Laura Kern
is now Associate Director of Marketing & Communications at Metro Orlando EDC. She is responsible for managing social media, developing various communication and marketing materials and media relations. Kern has extensive experience in strategic communications planning, corporate branding, social media strategy, event planning, internal communications strategies, multimedia asset development, business development, advertising and media relations. Prior to joining the EDC, Kern had worked with Orlando area organizations including Florida Hospital East Orlando and Broad and Cassel, corporate law firm. She also spent a few years in Los Angeles, Calif. where she worked with destination marketing organizations, utility companies, universities and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. She continues to serve on the FPRA-OAC Board as Treasurer. And congratulations to Laura on her recent marriage.
Congratulations to FPRA-OAC Chapter President Amanda Forbes on her recent marriage.
Submit member news to PRoclaimer.

May Chapter Breakfast

April 25, 2012

May 24, 2012: Chapter Breakfast at The University Club

8:00 a.m. registration & breakfast / 8:30 a.m. program featuring Attorney Jason Gordon on legal aspects of PR

Registration at www.fpra-orlando.com


Ever wondered about the many legal questions PR practitioners face? Ever wondered whether you should have written contracts and if so what terms you should include?  Has your organization’s lawyers told you not to release certain information to the media or the public? If so, Miami attorney Jason Gordon will answer all these questions and more at our next breakfast meeting on May 24.  Mr. Gordon’s presentation will provide you with important legal information you need to successfully practice public relations and to stay away from legal troubles.

Mr. Gordon, a South Florida native and alumnus of the University of Miami and the University of Florida Levin College of Law, is an attorney with Heller Waldman P.L. in Miami.  Mr. Gordon brings years of legal experience dealing with business and commercial litigation and on issues involving public relations practitioners. Topics Mr. Gordon will address during his presentation will include:

1.         Common terms in contracts for PR work which can lead to trouble, including unclear terms;

2.         Terms that should be included in contracts;

3.         Protecting the PR professional’s work, including rights to use and avoiding responsibility for incorrect information or statements to the public; and

4.         Media law and issues to consider when dealing with the media.

So come join us on May 24 for a robust discussion on topics of great important to PR practitioners.

Wanna Blog?

April 25, 2012

We need you! FPRA is looking for a team of member volunteers to help blog this year’s FPRA 74th Annual Conference in St. Augustine.

In 2011, a volunteer blog team came together to provide real-time blog coverage of FPRA’s 73rd Annual Conference in Naples. The blog enjoyed tremendous success, boasting 75 articles and 1,227 photos, while drawing 2,516 unique visitors and 7,111 total page views during the 3½ day conference.

This year’s conference blog will again feature session recaps, photos and interviews, as well as informative posts that provide an insider’s look at the conference.

Are you interested? All you need is a laptop computer and the ability to write. Don’t worry about the blogging part… they’ll train you how the blogging software works and get you set up with a Wi-Fi account at the hotel.

If you are interested, please contact Vivian Myrtetus, APR at vmyrtetus@gmail.com or 850-508-2654.

Member Profile: Steve Triggs, APR

April 25, 2012

Years in FPRA:  2 Years. I’ve been a member of PRSA since 2008

Favorite FPRA Event:  I enjoy the Professional Development Breakfasts

Favorite Benefit of FPRA Membership: Sharing strategy

Explanation of your job: I am the Manager of the Communications Division for Orange County Government (since 2001), which is in the Office of Public Engagement and Citizen Advocacy. My current duties include coordinating news media coverage for the Mayor and Orange County Government, speech writing, internal and external communications, along with overseeing two government television channels, a graphic design unit and a print shop/copy center.

Exciting Achievement: During emergencies, I will serve as the Chief Public Information Officer for Orange County. I did serve as the lead PIO for Orange County during the 2004 hurricanes.

Other: I joined the county in 2001 after a 19-year career as a television reporter at WFTV Channel 9, Orlando’s ABC affiliate.  I’ve won several awards during my 23-years in radio and television news in Tampa and Orlando.

I am a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut where I earned a B.A. in theater arts. I also studied communications law at the University of South Florida in Tampa. I earned a certificate of accreditation in public relations (APR) in 2009.

Contact info:

Steve Triggs, APR

Communications Division Manager, Orange County, FL Government

201 S. Rosalind Avenue

Orlando, FL 32801


Reflection on “Uncovering the Best of PR”

April 24, 2012

By: Brian Craven, Director-Public Affairs & Communications, Bright House Networks and FPRA Orlando Area Chapter Board Member

Uncovering the Best of PR is a great name for the 2012 Image Awards event because it describes both the past and the present. Great talent in Public Relations is something that each public relations professional appreciates, whether it comes from the tried-and-true practices of good writing and good communicating or from completely new abilities to communicate that Social Media now makes possible. Creativity is always the best discovery in our field, because it brings eyes and minds to PR messages through a powerful, evolving change that we control each time we put pen to paper, or tweet.

Bright House Networks is proud to sponsor the Image Awards each year because they provide us with an affirmation of best practices, and excite us with innovation as we seek new ways to reach our diverse audiences and communities with meaningful messages. As the state’s largest FPRA chapter in one of the most vibrant metropolitan areas in the nation, we have a special ability—and responsibility—to continue making history by harnessing the immense power of words and images in an increasingly multimedia world.

Our daily responsibility as communication stewards also means we must nurture the future of our craft by mentoring and assisting the next generation of public relations professionals as they complete their learning and take their places. Education is a primary giving mission of Bright House Networks, and we are committed to supporting the FPRA Orlando Chapter’s scholarship fund that benefits communications students at the University of Central Florida and Rollins College. Each time we set aside money and resources for students, we are making the best possible investment both in their individual futures, and in the collective future of all public relations professionals.

2012 Image Award Recap and Winner List

April 24, 2012

The FPRA Orlando Area Chapter Image Awards gala was held on April 18th at the Orlando Science Center. The themed evening recognized outstanding PR work in Central Florida and  honored the 2012 Central Florida PR Professional of the Year, Sara Brady!


OPENING VIDEO: The video used to introduce Sara Brady has been uploaded to our YouTube Channel.

EVENT PHOTOS: Photos of the event, taken by photographer Lee Gonzalez, have been uploaded to our Flickr account.

DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS: To download a high-resolution version of any of the individual photos, simply click the desired thumbnail, click “Actions” above the left hand corner of the photo, and choose “View All Sizes” to gain access to a variety of image sizes. The size labeled “original” is the highest resolution image and best suited for printing. To download it, simply click the “Download the Original size of this photo” above the size choices.

Thanks again to FPRA Image Award sponsors, to our local judges, to our master of ceremonies, to our Image Awards Committee and to our fabulous event co-chairs, Kerry Martin and Alayna Rivera.

Don’t forget…

Golden Image Awards Entries

are due by 5pm on Friday, May 18.

Download the entry form here: http://www.fpra.org/Libraries/2012_Golden_Image/2012_Call_For_Entries.sflb.ashx