By: Judy Froehlich
Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC, says that one of the best things to ever happen to him professionally was being told to get involved in FPRA leadership. Forty years ago, Pynn sat in the office of his first boss, the late Don McAllister, APR, explaining how he wasn’t getting much out of his FPRA membership. He had gone to some of the meetings and noticed many of the members were printers, sales people and people that just wanted to talk to the PR practitioners. Pynn remembers his boss looking over his glasses at him and saying, “Pynn, membership in FPRA isn’t an option. You are required to represent this firm (McAllister-Barker Associates) in the organization. And if you don’t like the way the chapter looks, fix it.”
Forty years later, Roger Pynn is absolutely honored to be the most recent president-elect of the state association. Back then, Pynn joined with several of the friends he’d made in the chapter to take on the challenge of revamping the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter after being motivated by his boss to make a difference. After a few months, he was nominated to be president of the chapter. Joe Curley, APR, CPRC, was elected chapter secretary, promising he’d create a chapter newsletter and agreeing that the next year they would switch roles.
Pynn explained that he and Curley made a great team. They knew how to work well together and get things done. Ten years later, Curley was head of public relations at Martin Marietta, now Lockheed Martin, while Pynn was head of public relations at Westinghouse Power Generation. After five years of working in their positions, they were both faced with the decision of accepting a promotion and moving out of state. Instead of picking up and starting over in a new place, the two started their own company in Orlando.
Curley & Pynn (branded as The Strategic Firm®) is a leading public relations and marketing communications firm that provides public relations counsel and marketing communications management to corporate clients. Pynn says the firm has been a blessing. They have been able to work with companies in many sectors, including economic development, higher education, theme parks and many more amazing clients. While Curley retired 8 years ago, Pynn says he isn’t going anywhere and is actively working with the firm’s next generation.
After 40 years of service with FPRA and growing his own successful firm, Pynn was approached to take on the role of president-elect of FPRA for next year. At first Pynn laughed, and then realized they were serious. While initially thinking they should go with someone younger, he decided how honored and excited he would be to represent the organization that has provided so much for his career and delivered so many friendships and opportunities.
“This organization provides opportunities for people to grow and mature. I used to think FPRA was all about networking, and that is one of the great benefits of belonging to FPRA. I also thought it was all about professional development. It does give you great programming opportunities, classes and networking. But I am convinced that FPRA is really about leadership. It gives you an opportunity to learn about becoming a leader. How to lead people, how to lead projects, etc. It positions members to be leaders in their community, not just in their profession,” said Pynn.
Asked his vision as president, Pynn explained for now his job is to be a really good first lieutenant for Rachel Smith, APR, CPRC, the existing state president of FPRA. After that, we’ll have to wait and see.