2020 Leadership Celebration Recap

2020 Leadership Celebration Recap

2020 Leadership Celebration
Friday, August 28, 2020 | 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Top Takeaways:
  • Year in Review from 2019-2020 Chapter President Amanda Handley, APR
  • Communicator of the Year: Kelly Corder, APR
  • Member of the Year: Jennifer Krell Davis, JD (2019-2020 Director of Communications)
  • Stanley Tait Award: Sandi Poreda, APR (2013-2014 President of the Capital Chapter)
  • 2020-2021 Board Installation by FPRA President Alyson Lundell, APR, CPRC
  • Remarks from 2020-2021 Chapter President Drew Piers, APR
  • The Wisdom & Wit of Dr. Jay Rayburn

Amanda Handley, APR, welcomed virtual attendees to the 2020 Leadership Celebration. She congratulated and thanked the Board for their hard work over the 2019-2020 year. Amanda is especially proud of the Board’s work to accomplish the move to online “everything” beginning in March. She said the year was “wonderfully rewarding” and a positive experience because of the incredible—all volunteer—board.

Year in Review

Providing a year-end review, Amanda noted that 166 individuals, representing 79 organizations, attended the Chapter’s 10 programs this year. Zoe Linafelt, Director of Programming, was recognized for her work to make this happen. Amanda also recognized Britney Smith, Director of Membership, for helping to make the Capital Chapter the largest in the state. Holly Brooks, Treasurer, was highlighted for the keeping the Chapter financially stable.

Kelly Corder, APR, who participated from Washington, D.C., where she was coordinating a March on Washington, was named 2020 Communicator of the Year. Kelly thanked Amanda and said the recognition was an honor.

FPRA President Alyson Lundell, APR, CPRC, hosted the Golden Image Awards the evening before and was recognized for directing a seamless, beautiful and engaging event. The Capital Chapter received two honors at the event: the Student Engagement Award and the Furthering the Profession Award. Amanda said that Carla Brown Lucas, Director of Student Relations, and others were instrumental to the Chapter’s success in these areas.

Amanda concluded by recognizing Cathy Schroeder (Immediate Past President) as her #1 cheerleader; Drew Piers (President-Elect) for his kindness; Holly Brooks (Treasurer) for her incredible patience; Lizzy Kelley, APR, (Director of Accreditation) for her teaching abilities; Shonda Knight (Director of Awards & Recognition) for her creativity; Jennifer Krell Davis, JD (Director of Communications) for her many skills including event promotion and cooking; and Zoe Linafelt (Director of Programming) for being the “knower of all things.”

Alyson Lundell, APR, CPRC, then recognized Heidi Otway, APR, CPRC, for heading the Diversification Committee and for joining the FPRA Executive Committee.

Installation of 2020-2021 Board

Alyson swore in the new Chapter Board:

  • Drew Piers, APR, President
  • Amanda Handley, APR, Immediate Past President
  • Zoe Linafelt, President-Elect
  • Holly Brooks, Treasurer
  • Lauren Helm, Secretary
  • Kelly Corder, APR, Director of Accreditation
  • Valencia Scott, Director of Awards and Recognition
  • Vanessa Vidacs, Director of Communications
  • Scott Schroeder, APR, CPRC, Director of Membership
  • Cathy Schroeder, Director of Programming
  • Caroline Serda, Director of Student Relations

Past Chapter Presidents in attendance were then recognized:

  • Rick Oppenheim, APR, CPRC (1987-1988)
  • Warren Jones (1988-1989)
  • Janet Dennis, APR, CPRC (1990-1991)
  • Jay Rayburn, APR, CPRC (1992-1993)
  • Rachel Smith, APR, CPRC (1998-1999)
  • Melanie Mowry Etters, APR, CPRC (2001-2002)
  • Terrie Ard, APR, CPRC (2008-2009)
  • Heidi Otway, APR, CPRC (2009-2010)
  • Amanda Wood, APR (2011-2012)
  • Sandi Poreda, APR (2013-2014)
  • Nanette Schimpf, APR, CPRC (2015-2016
  • Jay Morgan-Schleuning, APR, CPRC (2016-2017)
  • Cathy Schroeder (2018-2019)

Jennifer Krell Davis was named 2020 Member of the Year for her tireless work for the chapter including coordinating a very successful virtual Image Awards event.

Sandi Poreda, APR, received the 2020 Stanley Tait Award. Sandi is a 13-year member of FPRA and has judged many Image Award competitions, sat on APR panels, bolstered the student chapter, and has stayed involved in the Chapter after her presidential term. She is now an adjunct professor at FSU, helping to build the next generation of PR professionals, as well as a creator of political campaigns for clients.

President’s Remarks

Drew said the Chapter is in a good position and is 110 members strong.  He said that FPRA’s job is to provide value and support to members and to accomplish this during the next year, the Chapter will focus on professional development, networking, and student development. On September 10, Sean Greenwood, Director of PR, Ben & Jerry’s, will be the first speaker of the new term, and on September 18, Adrian Parker, Global VP of Marketing, Patron Tequila, is scheduled to speak.

The Wisdom & Wit of Dr. Jay Rayburn

Dr. Jay Rayburn, introduced by Drew, has 45 years of experience teaching more than 25,000 students at the University of Miami and at FSU. Dr. Rayburn is enjoying a well-deserved retirement in Tallahassee.

Dr. Rayburn relayed highlights of his career and his 35 years as an FPRA member. He became a member in 1984 when he started at FSU, and, at the time, did not realize what it would mean to his career. In 1986, he attended his first conference – a game-changer because he was introduced to Rick Oppenheim. In 1991, Dr. Rayburn became President-Elect and in 1992, during his term, he founded the Counselors’ Network to keep senior members involved. Then in 1994, he served at the State President. He’s attended both the FPRA 50th and 75th Anniversary commemorations. His goal is to make the 100th Anniversary when he’ll be 91 years old! Dr. Rayburn is proud of the many former students who have served as Chapter Presidents—he named over a dozen.

Looking to the profession’s future, Dr. Rayburn said, “We did the same thing in 1985 that we do today, we just do it differently.” He spoke of the advent of computers, cell phones, and the many applications that have come and gone and some that have stuck.

What’s next? Dr. Rayburn has no idea, but he suggests that professionals learn “big data” analytics to target micro publics and AI. He said it is an exciting time for PR professionals, but he is grateful that his time is ending because, “I’m tired!”

He ended with: “It’s been a great ride! Thank you!”

– Cindy Muir, Director of the Office of Consumer Assistance & Outreach, Florida Public Service Commission (Member Since 2011)