Media Mashup

July 3, 2017


Trina Singian – United States Tennis Association – @USTA

Trina Singian is the Director of Corporate Communications for the United States Tennis Association (USTA), leading the communications for Community Tennis and the USTA National Campus. In this role, Singian is responsible for driving awareness for USTA’s national grassroots tennis initiatives and launching and managing the public relations strategy for the USTA National Campus, the new Home of American Tennis. Additionally, she manages the publicity strategy for US Open’s celebrity, food, fashion and green initiatives.

During her tenure, Singian has directed the communications efforts for the USTA’s 17 Sections to ensure consistency in messaging from the national to local level for key programs. Previously, she led the marketing, communications, sponsorship and membership at USTA’s Florida Section.

LUNCH KEYNOTE | Orlando Economic Partnership

Jennifer Wakefield, APR – Orlando Economic Partnership – @jenwakefield – @ORLpartnership

As Vice President of Marketing & Communications, Jennifer manages the strategic marketing and communications efforts of the Orlando Economic Partnership, including providing counsel to the organization’s executives and board officers. She also is managing the new regional business branding initiative.

Jennifer has 15 years of experience in marketing and communications and holds her accreditation of public relations (APR). Results of her media relations work have appeared in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business 2.0, CNET, BNET,, USA Today, and more, as well as regional, national, international media outlets and industry trade publications.

Prior to her work at the Orlando Economic Partnership, Jennifer worked as the public relations manager for METROPLAN ORLANDO where she was responsible for media relations, marketing and public involvement. She has received numerous local, state, national and international awards for her work. She serves on the marketing committee for Visit Orlando, and is involved with the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Orlando) and the American Marketing Association.

[Keynote Panel of Obassadors with Jen Wakefield]


  1. Brendan O’Connor – Bungalower – @bungalower

Brendan Bunting O’Connor is the editor-in-chief of and the Social Justice Art Project Manager for local non-profit, ArtReach Orlando. O’Connor moved to Orlando in 2008 from Canada to earn a degree in Environmental and Growth Management Studies at Rollins College. He is an entrepreneur, artist, and consummate lover of Orlando.

  1. Whitney Gonzalez – &Barr @citywhit

Whitney is a writer who has found her niche in social media and digital marketing. With six years of brand social media experience under her belt, having previously worked with organizations, including Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Sony PlayStation and Orange County Government, she has the aptitude to create engaging online communities and to identify passionate brand influencers. Currently, Whitney leads social media strategy at &Barr, supporting programs for the YMCA of Central Florida and the University Club of Orlando.

  1. Jon Busdeker – The Collective – @jonbusdeker

Jon Busdeker is a former multimedia reporter at the Orlando Sentinel, WESH-TV, The Huntsville Times and the Lynchburg News & Advance. After more than a decade working in the news business, Busdeker is now a freelance writer and videographer. He is also the co-founder of The Collective, a new group made up of Central Florida’s most passionate nonprofits leaders and social change agents. He contributes to and co-hosts the radio show, “Bungalower and The Bus,” which airs on Real Radio 104.1.

  1. Jen Vargas – Central FL Top 5 – @jenvargas

As the producer and host of the Enzian Film Slam, Jen oversees filmmaker outreach, programming and hosting duties for this monthly local filmmaker screening series at Enzian Theater. Aside from film, Jen has over ten years of social media and blogging experience, serving as managing editor of @CentralFLTop5 and contributing content to various other social media platforms. An active and passionate Orlandoan, Jen was selected by the Orlando Sentinel as one of their 100 most influential people in government, politics, and culture.

  • Pump Up the Pitch
    Interested in hearing how to revamp your press releases, and craft attention-grabbing pitches? In this session, learn how to find new angles for recurring news items or events, and tips on how to use hard-hitting numbers to track the rate of return on a PR pro’s efforts. Additionally, our panel of experts will reference recent events and case studies to explore ethics in PR, marketing and publicity. Panelists will include broadcast media members, as well as former print reporters now in the PR industry.
  • Media Training for the C-Suite
    Often-times when a member of the media is knocking on your organization’s door, they’re asking for an interview with the CEO, or other non-PR representatives of your company. But before your boss steps in front of the mic, it’s always a good idea to provide a little media training. Joel Staley is an expert in training c-suite executives, government leaders, celebrities, professional athletes and brand spokespersons to deliver effective media interviews, public speeches and sales presentations. Join us for this interactive breakout where you’ll learn how to prepare the top-dogs in your organization to respond to media inquiries.
  • PR Pro to Video Pro
    Now more than ever, PR pros are having to wear many different hats — and one of those hats is “video producer”. In this interactive session, hear from Jenny DeWitt, Social Media Manager for the University of Central Florida, on how to take your video content to the next level. Learn about the basics of video scripting for short and long-form content, gear that improves shooting video footage on your cell phone, and much more.
  • Back to [Media] Basic
    Geared toward newer PR professionals and students, this panel of seasoned pros will provide insight on how to foster relationships with journalists, make an effective pitch, and how to organize and coordinate a successful press conference. Panelists will include former and current media members who will illustrate the professional relationship between PR pros and journalists.
  • Speed Networking Roundtable
    Back by popular demand! Grab plenty of business cards, and get to know some of the movers and shakers in Central Florida’s media scene in our Speed Networking Roundtable. We’ll have representation from local print, broadcast, and online media.

    • LaFontaine Oliver – WMFE
    • Paula Machado – InfoMas
    • Aaron Sanders – WESH 2 news
    • Michelle Burdo – Media Trainer
    • Joe Ruble – WDBO
    • Ginger Gadsden – WKMG anchor
    • Emilee Speck – WKMG digital
    • Jen Vargas – Central FL Top 5
    • Barry Glenn – Orlando Magazine
    • Scott Fais – Central Florida News 13
    • Jon Busdeker – The Collective

2017-2018 Board Slate

June 20, 2017
  • PRESIDENT: Lindsay Hudock
  • PRESIDENT-ELECT: Jeff Grainger, APR
  • SECRETARY: Susan Vernon-Devlin
  • TREASURER: Kacie Escobar
  • ASSISTANT TREASURER: Katarina Dos Santos
  • VP MEMBERSHIP: Kelda Senior
  • VP STUDENT OUTREACH: Jonathan Gabriel
  • VP IMAGE AWARDS: Brittany Baron
  • VP IMAGE AWARDS : Judith Pariseau
    Gabriel Soltren (web)
    Julie Hall, APR (email)
    Jacqueline Kooser (social media)
  • VP OF SPONSORSHIPS: Kayla Stanley, APR

Chapter Rewind: Publix: Community Relations and Customer Service

June 19, 2017

by Gabriel Soltren

Publix: Community Relations & Customer Service

Brian West and Alayna Curry, APR at the Publix Aprons Cooking School in Orlando.

From the start, the founder of Publix believed in treating people like “kings and queens.” Publix founder George W. Jenkins, also known as Mr. George, once took out a loan to buy stock options for employees because he believed his associates should have ownership in the business. At the June breakfast held at the Publix Aprons Cooking School, Brian West, media and community relations manager, explained that the name of the store was inspired a long, long time ago by the Publix Theaters in Florida. Their founder loved the name of the theater and opened the first Publix store when he was 23 years old. He later funded a charitable foundation with company stock.

According to Brian, part of his public relations role is to share the positive contributions that Publix has made in our community. He shared how the foundation provided millions in grants and how associates volunteered through the Publix Serves community service program. For example, associates gave the gift of time and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. In 2016, Publix gave $5 million to the Feeding America Network. Food donations of fruits and vegetables have provided for more than 200 million free meals to needy persons since 2009. Visit for more information.

Brian West at the Orlando – Dr. Phillips Cooking School in Orlando.

Are you looking for a fun night out in Orlando? There are more Publix Aprons Cooking Schools in Orlando than in any other city in Florida. Bill recommended the demonstration cooking classes. At the school, you can have a cook’s night out, learn a new recipe and enjoy a delicious meal.

Click here for more photographs.

Member PRofile: Mandy J. Kimmer, APR, CPRC

June 13, 2017

Mandy J. Kimmer, APR, CPRC
Public Relations Information Officer, Community Relations & Marketing, Orange County Parks and Recreation

Give a brief explanation of your job. 
As public information officer for Orange County Parks and Recreation (the original theme parks of central Florida!), I promote various special events – such as Mayor Teresa Jacobs’ Jazz in the Park and Fish4Fun, maintain 130 web pages, write weekly internal and monthly external e-newsletters, handle social media, reply to news and public inquiries, and work with the Mayor and County Commissioners for ground breakings, ribbon cuttings and grand openings (I’ve done about 35 total). Additionally, I founded the LGBTQ Pride & Allies of Orange County, and serve on the executive committee of Orange County Government’s United Way campaign (which raised $574,000 last year) and as the County’s team captain for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

How long have you been a part of FPRA? Why did you join? #myFPRA
In 1983 I attended my first FPRA seminar, “Public Relations on a Shoestring,” in Orlando. In 1991 I became a member of the Central West Coast Chapter, where I earned my APR (1993) and CPRC (1994) designations, and later worked my way up the ladder to president of the Tampa Bay Chapter 1998-1999. I’ve been in the Orlando Chapter since 2007.

Professional development and connections have been the key to my success in this field for 34 years: writing, media relations, crisis communications, web site content and social media, as well as knowing other pros to team up with or consult when I need to solve a problem or develop an idea.

What was your favorite FPRA event?
In my office from the 1998 state FPRA meeting is a photo of me flanked by the two greatest mentors a girl could ever have: the late Edie Anson, APR, and Ginnie Duffey Troyer, APR, CPRC.

Tell us about an exciting achievement.
In 2014 my BFF Karen Castelloes (a retired Orange County teacher) and I co-founded and now co-chair the Jefferson R. Voss Education Fund for the Zebra Coalition – a network of organizations which provide services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all youth (LGBT+) ages 13 – 24. Our fundraising efforts have endowed a scholarship for LGBTQ students and allies at UCF from which we have awarded $4,000 in the first two years; a generous donor also provided funds for GED, vocational training and other colleges.

What was your first job?
My first job was working for a retail warehouse; my first real PR position was assistant director of Central Florida Health Fair in Orlando.

Tell us something people may not know about you.
I’m a five-year breast cancer survivor. I’m the proud mom of two sons: Matthew is a U.S. Marine, stationed in North Carolina for Cobra helicopter mechanics, and Andrew just completed his second year at USF – Tampa for mechanical engineering. I play flute, piano, tennis and golf!

Contact Information: /, cell/text 407-405-4579, @PRmandy

Chapter Rewind: Sip and Savor

June 13, 2017

By Jacqueline Kooser

The FPRA Orlando Area Chapter hosts an annual scholarship fundraiser each spring for students studying communication, public relations, and related fields. This May, members came together with student scholarship recipients in order to raise money and celebrate the public relations field here in Central Florida. Once the business day had ended, East End Market flocked with FPRA fun, from food by La Femme Du Fromage to an amazing silent auction featuring items from Rifle Paper Co., Orlando City Soccer Club, and more. As members enjoyed the variety of food and drinks, students were able to network with public relations professionals, learn more about the organization, and mingle amongst each other as well.

After the fun (yet competitive) raffle took place, chapter president Alayna Curry, APR presented this year’s scholarship winners to all of the attendees. Congratulations to Tiffany Boodhoo, Noelle Cheaib, Megan DeMisa, Turner Elliot and Arlene Roque, for taking home well deserved scholarships! After this successful Sip & Savor, the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter is proud to announce that over $1,500 was raised for the Bob Davis Scholarship! Thank you again to all of those who attended, donated, and participated in making this year’s Sip & Savor a huge success.

Click here for more Sip and Savor 2017 photographs.

Quotes Corner

June 13, 2017

Madi Crites, VP of Membership, Quotes UCF

Life’s weird. One minute you’re getting stickers for spelling your name right, the next you’re worried about getting a date to the prom and before you know it, you’re supposed to choose a college and a major, which will ultimately dictate the rest of your adult life.

No pressure.

My entire life I felt like I was really good at a lot of things, but I was never great at any one specific thing – I was a “Jack of all trades, master of none”, if you will. This left me feeling like I lacked purpose, like no matter what I did, there was someone else who could do it better because that was their thing. I didn’t have a thing.

I spent two years at a junior college to get my AA degree. Graduating as an “undeclared” major, I felt even more defeated, as my purpose was nowhere in sight. The size of UCF – and the culture shock I felt – didn’t help much either. Everyone seemed so driven, so focused and so purposeful in their actions. I came away from orientation overwhelmed by information and opportunities, but one major had caught my ear: Communications.

I knew I was a strong communicator, and I had no other fathomable headings as far as a major went, so I thought, why not? After diving into the intro classes, I had the Ad-PR fever. I was beginning to feel a sense of belonging, realizing that all of the people in my lectures were just as clueless as me if not more so. Soon everything in the lectures just clicked. I understood and had applied to my personal life most of the things we were learning.

Through countless lectures by the outstanding Professor Hudock and Professor McCain (that honestly felt more like pep rallies and TED Talks) it became clear to me that you can’t simply be one-dimensional. What a limited way to live! To succeed in this field, you must to be capable of juggling skill sets, be able to connect with different groups, demographics, classes and people in one-on-one settings, and most of all, do so in a timely fashion. I have never felt prouder to be a “Jack.”

I have no idea if this is what I want to do for the rest of my life, but I do know that this is an awesome beginning. This degree will open doors for me, and even if I end up taking a different route, the connections I’m making and the things I’m learning are helping me to become the person I want to become.

Your (slightly) bewildered Knight.

2017 Conference Scholarship

June 8, 2017

Conference Scholarship – Apply by July 1

2017 Annual ConferenceApply to win a scholarship to this year’s annual conference, PR It’s Personal: Research – Relate – Respond, to be held at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Orlando from August 6-9. 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 $765 or the hotel accommodations. To apply, please email your responses to the questions below to Alayna Curry, APR at by July 1, 2017.  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 $765 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 $139/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.