A Message from the President

January 11, 2019

Jeff Grainger, APR

Happy New Year to everyone in the FPRA family.

Looking back at 2018, I am thankful to each and every one of you. I think one of the great things about an organization like ours is that we can turn to each other in times of challenge and triumph. I feel like we faced a lot of both this past year, both personally and as an association. I also feel like we’ve come together and are better for everything we faced together last year.

Last year our state president challenged us to find balance. It’s something we all struggled to find, but I hope you all had success doing so. This year, we’re challenged to be Smart, Engaged and Fun. It seems like an easier challenge, but I want to add my resolution to start now and not put off incorporating those three elements into our work and our lives. FPRA is here to help…


One of the most valuable things I’ve done for my professional development is earn my accreditation. If you haven’t earned your APR or your CPRC, don’t put it off. The spring APR sessions will be starting soon. Get with Mandy Kimmer, APR, CPRC today and see how you can take that first step toward accreditation.

If you already have your accreditation, or it isn’t in the cards for you right now, think about something new you can learn this year. Through monthly programming, webinars and conferences FPRA has lots of ways to support getting smarter in 2019.


We have lots of ways for you to have fun as well. Each monthly program features chances to catch up with old and new friends. We had a lot of fun in December with our annual service project, and there’s more planned for the future. Keep an eye on our social media channels for some more informal events coming in 2019. Sometimes it’s fun to just hang out with our PR friends in an informal setting to talk shop or not. Our annual backstage pass event is always a lot of fun too, so keep an eye out for that.

Most of us love our work or we wouldn’t be doing it. That’s part of having fun too, so don’t let the first part of the year go by without enjoying what you do.


I changed up the order because I wanted to emphasize the importance of being engaged. It’s cliché to say you get out of an organization what you put in, but I really believe it’s true. If you haven’t been to a monthly program in a while, resolve to come see us in 2019. We’ve tried to make it easier by letting you know in advance when the January, February and March programs will be.

If it’s been a few years since you entered an Image award, resolve to enter at least one this year. There is a lot of great work recognized every year, but I’m confident that there’s even more that isn’t.

Your FPRA board is doing a lot of great work putting together programs and services for you, so why not resolve to chip in this year and join a committee. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll put you in touch with a board member who could use your unique skills.

I’ve suggested a lot of resolutions here. If you can tackle them all, great. If it’s more your style to pick one, focus on it and then move on to another, do that. Whatever you decide, I encourage you to not stagnate in 2019. Get smarter, get more engaged and have more fun. Let FPRA help you with all three.

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year,


Quotes Corner

January 11, 2019

Here’s to New Beginnings

By Jonathan Gabriel, FPRA Orlando Vice President, Student Outreach

Jonathan Gabriel

It’s January, and for the first time in two years, we have a brand-new Quotes student executive board to work with. I don’t know them – their abilities, hopes and fears – at least not yet. For most of these students, it’s their first time taking on a leadership role in the club. The springtime is ripe with possibility.

Quotes has a busy few months ahead.  In February, they’ll be touring Orlando City Hall and learning about how local government PR pros effectively communicate with external media and internal partners. Later, they’ll learn how to submit a winning Image Award application and getting ready for Intern Pursuit. And while many students are getting ready for summer break, Quotes will be heading down to Miami to network with professionals there.

These students are eager and motivated to succeed. They could be sitting at home, but instead they made a conscious decision to better themselves. And that decision should be rewarded.

I’m fond of the phrase, “don’t pull the ladder up behind you.” As a professional, it is imperative upon me to influence and mentor the younger people coming up behind me. It gives me a great deal of fulfillment. In helping these students, I help myself as well. I become a better communicator. I help to identify rising talent. I leave the world a little bit better than I found it.

And what’s more – I am able to serve as a conduit for them to the wider professional world.

I’d like to ask for your help in “extending the ladder” to these students. How can you get involved?

  • Ask me about opportunities to speak to Quotes members, either at one of their meetings or as part of a tour of your organization. You can contact me at jonathan.gabriel@ucf.edu.
  • Talk to one student at an FPRA event. If you can’t locate one, come find me or one of my fellow board members and we can connect you. It just takes five minutes: tell the student what you do. Ask where their professional interests lie and give them your business card. Networking can be daunting at first for many students. By granting a student a few moments of your time, you’ve increased their confidence and helped them start to build their network. And you might have found your next intern.

Join me this year in the work of bettering the lives of these young people. Even the smallest amount of support can make a world of difference.

Member PRofile: Lauren Bowes

January 11, 2019

Lauren Bowes
Sr. Communications Specialist, External at Hilton Grand Vacations

Give a brief explanation of your job.
I am part of the External Communications team at Hilton Grand Vacations. Our role within the organization is to assist various business partners with crafting messaging for owners and guests, managing the corporate website and conducting media relations and crises communications on behalf of the company.

How long have you been a member of FPRA and why did you join?
I joined FPRA last summer when I started at Hilton Grand Vacations as a way to continue my education in our ever-evolving industry.

What has been your favorite FPRA event so far?
I haven’t had the chance to attend an event yet, but I am so looking forward to what’s in store for 2019!

Tell us about an exciting achievement (personal or professional).
I just completed my master’s degree in December.

What was your first job?
Account Executive at Bitner/Hennessy Public Relations

Fun fact:
I’m an avid traveler and plan at least one international trip every year. I visited Dublin and Amsterdam in 2018 and will be travelling to Prague and Vienna in April.

Contact Information: