Give a brief explanation of your job.
My department holds responsibility for the utility’s internal and external communications, including marketing and advertising, media and public relations, employee outreach, special events and corporate philanthropy. KUA serves 67,000 electric customers in Osceola County.
How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join?
I joined FPRA in 1995 as a way to foster my professional development and career growth. Since then, I have built a network with literally hundreds of public relations practitioners across the state. Membership in FPRA has allowed me to advocate for the profession, mentor students, earn recognition through its Golden Image Awards and Image Awards programs and serve in numerous leadership roles to support the association.
My year as FPRA State President was all about innovation and enhancing member services. During that year, we increased membership, we honored a record number of professionals for accreditation and certification, we increased the number of entries in our Golden Image Awards program and we waved goodbye to three-ring entry binders and welcomed a new electronic submission process. Over those 12 months as president, I traveled 6,080 miles and visited all 15 FPRA professional chapters—some several times—as well as two of our student chapters. It was an amazing experience!
What’s your favorite FPRA event?
My favorite FPRA event is undoubtedly Annual Conference. The conference is a tremendous opportunity to network with FPRA members and hear from speakers and thought leaders from across the country. The conference is a terrific way to expand your thinking through new perspectives, useful insights and timely case studies. The return on investment is solid and the value can’t be matched.
Tell us an exciting achievement.
Serving as FPRA State President was certainly an exciting achievement and a highlight of my career. I look forward to my next big adventure when I take over as chairman of the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce in 2017. It’s a much larger board than FPRA (85 total) and comes with more diversity and responsibility.
What was your very first job?
My first job was as a stock boy at an automotive repair garage in Satellite Beach, Fla.,at age 15. I received,opened and unpacked automotive parts, sortednew tires, organized vehicle batteries, made coffee in the customer lobby, cleaned bathrooms, swept parking lots, etc.Once I was old enough to obtain my driver’s license,I served as valet and delivered repaired vehicles to the customer’s home or business. I held that job until I graduated from high school. My biggest take away from that experience was the importance of always recognizing the contributions of your frontline employees.
Share a fun fact that people may not know about you.
Before my wife Laura and I were even dating we had the opportunity to visit the Dirty Dancing movie set in Lake Lure, North Carolina. It was so cool to walk around the small studio where Johnny Castle taught Frances “Baby” Houseman to dance,to see Johnny’s cabin and the staff cabins, to walk across the log where they practiced balancing, to walk up the stairs where Baby carried the watermelon and to stand on the stage where the “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” closing scene was shot. It remains one of my all-time favorite movies.
Laura and I have seven children, ages 21 to 2, and they keep life fun and very active!