January 2020 President’s Message
New year greetings, PRSA Richmond! I am honored and delighted to serve as your chapter president this year. As an independent practitioner and PRSA member since 2003, I am grateful to PRSA, which has connected me to you.
2020. Another decade. I often reflect on my professional path and how I got here. Where were you at the start of past decades? Mine go back “a few.” All significant in shaping who I am today.
1990. Recently graduated and with a B.A. in hand, I was working my first job in Washington, D.C., as an admin in The Nature Conservancy’s publications department. Shout-out to TNC editor, Sue Dodge, who hired me. I got lucky. I pursued my interest in writing for a cause-related organization that I still believe in today. Note to young professionals: Get your foot in the door with an employer whose ideals match yours. See where it takes you!
2000. I was in Richmond working at Martin PR (part of The Martin Agency). Shout-out to Tom Morris, APR, who hired me off-the-street, he said because I could write. I got lucky. Under Tom’s tutelage, as well as from agency bosses Joe Slay, APR, and Jon Newman, I learned the ropes of agency account management, client relations and media relations. Note to aspiring PR professionals: Find mentors. Learn from them.
2010. I was an “indie” practitioner putting “virtual office” to the test: Living my dream in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The closest PRSA chapter was 5 hours away. I kept my national membership, benefiting from the Independent Practitioners Alliance. I found like-minded PR professionals and creatives in my community, where I became a ringleader of hosting PR networking events, mirroring PRSA chapters. Shout-out to Sara Hunt, who in 2012 lured me onto a committee when I moved back here and re-joined the chapter. I got lucky. This led me to a board position the following year. Note to all PR practitioners: Keep your PRSA membership, no matter where your path may divert you. It can prove invaluable.
2020. Much can happen in 10 years. What’s in store for you? If someone had told me 10, 20, 30 years ago that I would become a chapter president, I would have said, “No Way.” Not for lack of interest, but because I didn’t believe I’d be in a position for this leadership. No matter where you are on your path, I hope you will reflect, and believe, in all that can transpire in one decade.
Looking ahead to 2020, my theme is aptly “The Rolling 20s.” Our chapter has forged strong growth and improvement across professional development, awards, accreditation, ethics, membership, public service, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, our special sections, and more. Let’s roll these into the 20s and see where they take our chapter!
As always, I welcome your thoughts, ideas and suggestions. If this is your year to volunteer for a committee, let me know. We’ll be sure to match your interests with your skills. I’ll look forward to hearing from you!
In closing, I wish each of you a healthy, safe and successful year. I’ll be seeing you around the chapter soon!
2020 PRSA Richmond chapter president