QuickStart 2017

Are you taking on a leadership position in your PRSA chapter in 2018? If so, mark your calendars for the annual QuickStart Leadership Conference, being held on Saturday, Sept. 30, in Columbus, Ohio at the Fahlgren Mortine offices in Easton Town Center.

For more information, click here.

Elevating the Profession
Location: Fahlgren Mortine ▪ 4030 Easton Station, Suite 300 ▪ Columbus, OH
Hotel: Courtyard Columbus Easton ▪ 3900 Morse Crossing ▪ Columbus, OH

FRIDAY, September 29
• 1 to 5 p.m.—ECD board meeting @ Fahlgren Mortine offices (ECD Board members only)

• 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
o Happy Hour: PRSA ECD QuickStart, hosted by PRSA Central Ohio (Everyone!)
 Bar Louie at Easton
 NOTE:  Heavy appetizers provided; all attendees on own for beverages

SATURDAY, September 30
o 7:30 to 8 a.m. Good morning! Continental breakfast open

o Welcome and Introductions
o Andrea Clark, APR, chair elect, ECD

o PRSA East Central District Overview
o Gretchen Fri, APR, chair, ECD

o PRSA National update and overview
o Jill Alexander, Fellow PRSA, PRSA Regional Representative

o Strategic Planning and Chapter Operations – Erin Rolfes, APR, Cincinnati

o The Evolution of PR, Jane Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA, Immediate Past Chair, PRSA

o Recruiting & Retaining Members PANEL DISCUSSION (over lunch)
PRSA ECD Facilitator: Andrea Clark, APR, President Elect-ECD
 Emily Kibling, Hoosier
 Erin Maggied, Central Ohio
 Ed Stevens, NW PA

o “Great Programming = A Strong Chapter”
 Holly Prather, Bluegrass – via Skype

o Leveraging Social to Engage Members & Elevate the Profession
 Tim Long, Pittsburg
 Angela Bennett, Akron

o Diversity & Ethics – Tom O’Connell, Detroit

o “Show Me the Money” – Chapter Sponsorships & Fundraising Roundtable Discussion, moderated by Jennifer Flowers-Kolf, APR, PRSA East Central District Board Member (Detroit chapter member)



Tri-Play Offer

2017 Fall “Triple Play” Offer

New members who join PRSA at the $255 membership level by November 30 receive a complimentary Chapter membership**, a complimentary Section membership**, and the waived $65 initiation fee.

**RESTRICTIONS: If joining Counselors Academy, dues are $100 ($95 discount).  Chapter dues are covered up to $100. This offer is not available for Associate member types ($200 or less annual dues) and is not available to current or renewing members. Please click here for details.

Timeframe: Through November 30, 2017

Cost: $255

Promo Code: FALL17


2017 ICON

PRSA 2017 International Conference
Oct. 8–10, 2017 | Boston, MA
International Conference offers practical insight and networking for public relations professionals of all career levels, sectors and work environments. Demonstrating value with actionable best practices is what drives the PRSA community and is the focus of this annual event.



The PRSA Board of Directors elected 11 practitioners for the College of Fellows Class of 2017, two of whom are from the East Central District.

Please welcome these new Fellows from the East Central District:
Barbara Paynter, APR, Fellow PRSA, President, Paynter Communications LLC, Greater Cleveland Chapter
Sonja Popp-Stahly, APR, Fellow PRSA, Manager, Global Employee Communications, Eli Lilly and Company, Hoosier Chapter

Other new Fellows are:
Loring Barnes, APR, Fellow PRSA, CCO/Managing Principal, Clarity
Joseph A. Brennan, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, Vice President of Communications and Marketing and Clinical Professor of Business, University at Albany – SUNY
Dotti Gallagher, APR, Fellow PRSA, Principal, Dotti Gallagher Consulting
Kevin Gaydosh, APR, Fellow PRSA, Director of Public Relations/Strategic Planner, O’Brien et al Advertising
Janelle Guthrie, APR, Fellow PRSA, Communications Director, Washington Employment Security Department
David Hakensen, APR, Fellow PRSA, Senior Vice President, FleishmanHillard
Nancy J. Sterling, APR, Fellow PRSA, Senior Vice President, Strategic Communications, ML Strategies, LLC
Kaye D. Sweetser, Ph.D., APR+M, Fellow PRSA, Professor, San Diego State University
Mary Beth West, APR, Fellow PRSA, Principal, Mary Beth West Communications, Inc.

They will be inducted on Oct. 7, 2017 in Boston during ICON.


In Memoriam

W. Thomas “Tom” Duke, APR, Fellow PRSA, the East Central District’s 2013 Platinum Award recipient, passed away on Sunday, June 18 in Akron, Ohio. He was 84.

A graduate of Kent State University with a degree in journalism, Tom also completed the Advanced Management Program in Business from The Ohio State University. He began his public relations career in 1955 as an advertising and publicity assistant at the Ohio Edison Company in Akron.

Tom was a man of “firsts.” He established the first community relations program for the Cooper-Bessemer Corporation and was the first Community and Public Affairs Manager at B.F. Goodrich before moving to the agency side, establishing the first public relations function for the Urda Company. After moving to Greenville, S.C. in the mid-1990s, Tom was the first Director of Public Relations at Jackson-Dawson Marketing Solutions (now Jackson Marketing, Motorsports & Events). He built a successful division that won the Michelin account, and he later served the agency as Senior Public Relations Counselor.

Following his retirement in 2007, he returned to Akron and went back to work, opening his own consulting practice and working as Director-Communications for Akron SCORE, an organization mostly comprised of retired senior managers and executives that consults with existing and start-up businesses to help create jobs and improve the economy.

His leadership in PRSA was exemplary. He was the founding president of the Akron Area Chapter in 1968 and 1969, having spun it off from the Cleveland Chapter. After he returned to Akron, he served as president again in 2010. He also was president of the South Carolina Chapter. In recognition of his service, Akron made him a life member in 1994 and South Carolina followed suit in 2005.

In 2003, Tom was named the Distinguished Public Relations Practitioner in South Carolina and the chapter renamed the award for him in 2007. He received the Lighthouse Award from the Cleveland Chapter for lifetime achievement in 2012 and the East Central PRSA District lifetime achievement award in 2013. He was a member of the PRSA National Board of Ethics and Professional Standards and served his Kent State alma mater as a member of the Professional Advisory Board for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Kelly J. Wilson, APR, South Carolina Chapter president, who was the first recipient of the Tom Duke Award, said Tom “truly epitomized everything the award is designed to recognize, and it was an appropriate and enduring tribute to his service not only to our state and our chapter, but also to the public relations profession as a whole.”

Mary Eaddy, APR, Fellow PRSA, recalled that “Tom’s exemplary commitment to professional ethics set a high standard for all. He was an excellent communicator devoted to advancing the public relations profession.

One of Tom’s classmates in 1998 and past PRSA Chair, Gerry Corbett, APR, Fellow PRSA, said he was “a consummate professional and a shining example of paying it forward and giving back to the profession. His sage advice will be missed and also remembered for the wisdom it imparted to colleagues and aspiring pros.”

Tom served as a GoodFellow for Bill Gay, APR, Fellow PRSA, in 2014. “I never had the opportunity to meet him in person, but nevertheless he had a major impact on my career. Through his solid advice and encouragement, he helped me shape what began as a raw outline of a College of Fellows application into a package that resulted in my induction to the College. I will be forever grateful for his assistance.”

Rhoda Weiss, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA and past PRSA Chair remembers Tom as a “passionate advocate for advancing our profession and our professionals. When I was national chair, we would talk regularly about his ideas for making PRSA of more value to our members. He loved being involved with PRSA on every level, attending conferences, mentoring others, leading chapters, serving nationally and demonstrating enormous pride in all we do. He will be greatly missed.”

He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Juanita, five children, six grandchildren and other relatives and friends. The family suggests memorials be made to the Tom and Juanita Duke Endowed Scholarship in Public Relations, c/o Kent State University Foundation, Inc., P.O Box 5190, Kent, Ohio 44242-0001.

Condolences may be sent to Juanita Duke, 4169 Tomahawk Trace, Copley, Ohio 44321-2797.


PRSA’s CEO to Deliver State of the Industry in Cleveland

PRSA Cleveland Welcomes PRSA National CEO Joe Truncale for a “State of the Industry” Outlook

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Greater Cleveland Chapter is proud to welcome PRSA National CEO Joe Truncale to the city. The two-day event will feature a PRSA networking event at Progressive Field on April 26 and a “State of the Industry” breakfast on April 27.

“We are honored to welcome Joe to Cleveland,” said Lorraine Schuchart, president of PRSA Greater Cleveland. “We are excited to hear his perspective on our profession, and welcome him back to our city in traditional Cleveland fashion, with a ball game and food.”

The networking event begins April 26 at 5 p.m. in the Press Room, and attendees are encouraged to arrive on time for a casual conversation and meet and greet with Truncale. Afterward, attendees who have purchased game tickets will move to the Club Lounge Seats to watch the Indians take on the Houston Astros.

Local public relations professionals and students are invited the next morning for a “State of the Industry” breakfast with Truncale. During the April 27 breakfast, Truncale will provide commentary on the changing demands on the profession, ethical issues and the importance of sharpening skill sets and competencies.

“My comments will focus on what I call ‘The Portfolio Professional’ and how commitment to continuous learning contributes to and even correlates with enduring career success,” he said. “I’ve been to Cleveland many times, including to two Browns/Giants games – the Giants won both – and I recall buying shirts at Higbee’s Department Store! I look forward to this return visit to catch a Tribe game and to hear about the efforts of the Cleveland and Akron PRSA chapters.”

The “State of the Industry” breakfast is sponsored by West Virginia University’s online Integrated Marketing Communications master’s degree program. Chad Mezera, assistant dean of online programs, will be present to discuss the program and the upcoming INTEGRATE Conference.

Tickets can be purchased at https://prsaapril2017.eventbrite.com. For more information, go to PRSACleveland.org/events.



And the Winners Are…

We’re excited to announce the recipients of 2016 East Central District Diamond Awards!

The East Central District of the Public Relations Society of America called for shining examples of public relations campaigns and tactics for its 39th annual Diamond Awards competition…and that’s what we got!

The Diamond Awards are presented to public relations practitioners who have successfully addressed a communication challenge with exemplary skill, creativity and resourcefulness.  The Diamond Awards are open to any public relations professional who is a member of the 17 chapters of PRSA East Central District, or any nonmember whose place of business is within the district’s boundaries. The East Central District covers the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

We thank the PRSA-Central Michigan Chapter for leading the Diamond Awards process. 

And now, the 2016 winners are:


Platinum Award Winner – 2016

Please join us in recognizing our 2016 Platinum Award recipient Joe W. Gollehon, APR, Fellow PRSA.  The award,  the East Central District’s top individual recognition, was presented in November by 2016 ECD Secretary MJ Clark, APR, Fellow PRSA. During that meeting, we was recognized with the PRSA-West Virginia Chapter Lifetime Achievement Award.


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