2023 CN Winter Symposium

The Counselors’ Network Winter Symposium is an annual event that provides high-level professional development designed to encourage productive idea sharing and dialogue among FPRA’s most experienced professionals. The 2023 CN Winter Symposium will be held in Gainesville and will include a welcome reception on Thursday; top-level PR speakers; fun and informative tours; breakfast, lunch and dinner on Friday; and breakfast on Saturday.

As you’ve come to expect from this event, the speakers will share their expertise and lead interactive discussions. We’ll discuss navigating societal issues, hear from Gen Z themselves, explore social listening and delve into artificial intelligence. The speakers on these topics have the experience and qualifications to ensure confidence in their advice and generate high-level discussions. Register now to join your CN colleagues for this unique Winter Symposium experience.

Book your room at Hotel Eleo at the University of Florida

This new contemporary hotel combines minimal design and inviting accommodations right on the UF campus. Check in time is 4 p.m., and checkout time is 11 a.m. Contactless check-in and check-out are available.

CN Winter Symposium room rate:$159/night excluding taxes and fees

Parking:Valet parking is complimetary with the FPRA group rate

Deadline to Book to the Symposium Rate: December 30, 2022

2023 CN Winter Symposium Schedule, Topics & Speakers

Thursday, January 19, 2023

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Welcome Reception at Hotel Eleo

Weather permitting, join your CN colleagues and LeadershipFPRA Class VII attendees for a Welcome Reception outdoors on Hotel Eleo’s beautiful lakeside patio.

Friday, January 20, 2023

7:30-8:30 a.m.
Breakfast at Hotel Eleo

8:30-9 a.m.
Shuttle to Straughn Center

9-11:30 a.m.
Navigating Issues as a Communication Leader

Oscar Suris, president of Edelman New York, will lead a discussion about one of the most common challenges facing today’s Communications leader: providing counsel when societal issues converge with business issues. Oscar, a former in-house CCO and present leader of Edelman’s largest global office, will cover the skills and principles required to navigate these challenges in today’s pandemic-era environment.

Oscar Suris is President of Edelman New York, the largest market operation at the global integrated communications company.

Prior to joining Edelman, Oscar was Executive Managing Director, Crisis and C-Suite Strategies, at Zeno Group. His Corporate Communications experience includes 20 years of providing strategic counsel to Fortune 100 companies, including serving as Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications at Wells Fargo & Company, and senior leadership roles at Ford Motor Company and AutoNation, Inc.

Oscar also is a veteran of the newspaper industry, having served five years as a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, and reporting business news in staff roles for The Miami News and The Orlando Sentinel. He also served as the executive assistant to the Publisher of The Miami Herald Publishing Co.

A Cuban native, Oscar is a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He has been named six times to PRWeek’s “Power List” of the top 50 professionals in public relations

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Lunch at Straughn Center

1-2 p.m.
Tour of James W. “Bill” Heavener Football Training Center

We’ll tour the 142,000 square-foot crown jewel of UF athletics facilities, which serves as a cover model for recruiting efforts and a home away from home for the UF student-athletes. The facility features state-of-the-art weight and training areas and includes a dining hall, lounge area, barber shop, gaming, virtual reality room, basketball court and a resort-style pool area.

2-2:15 p.m.
Shuttle to UF College of Journalism and Communications – Weimer Hall

2:30-3:30 p.m.
The Agency at UF – Who’s Gen Z, Really?

Gen Z makes up 30% of the world’s population, and by 2024, this diverse, ambitious and vocal demographic will be aged from 12 to 27. It is easy to think of them as the Greta Thunberg generation, and that everyone in Gen Z will be following a similar path of activism, but the generation is much more polarized than that. The brands that are investing time and resources in understanding and engaging with these influential consumers are the ones that are winning big.

The Agency at UF is a strategic communications firm within the University of Florida specializing in research-based advertising, public relations and communications to create inspired and informed multi-faceted campaigns. As the first of its kind, The Agency is something between an agency partner, a dedicated freelance team, and a managed, scalable internship program with full-time professional oversight. Led by professionals, staffed by students and inspired by faculty™, The Agency provides work for UF, Fortune 50 & 100 brands, national and international agencies, and small businesses.

3:30-4 p.m.
Tour of UFCJC Immersion Programs

4-5 p.m.
Teaching Social Listening

Social listening has become a vital tool in identifying public relations opportunities and measuring impact. The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications developed the state-of-the-art Social Listening Lab to teach students this valuable skill and prepare them to be leaders in the field. Dr. Myiah Hutchens will give a tour of the lab and walk through the critical elements needed to teach social listening to public relations students.

Myiah Hutchens headshotDr. Myiah Hutchens is the interim chair and an associate professor in the Department of Public Relations at the University of Florida. She has been a professor for 12 years and is currently in her fifth year at UF. Her teaching specialties are quantitative research methods, statistics, and political communication strategies. As a scholar, she is a political communication specialist whose research examines how communication functions in democratic processes – that is, to help or hinder political processes. In particular, she studies what leads people to seek out diverse perspectives – particularly views they disagree with – and how individuals then process that disagreement.

5-5:30 p.m.
Shuttle to Dinner

Mark's Prime Steakhouse & Seafood logo

5:30-7:30 p.m.
Dinner at Mark’s Prime Steakhouse & Seafood

Followed by Shuttle back to Hotel Eleo

Bartender pouring a cocktail

Saturday, January 21, 2023

8:30-9:30 a.m.
CN Business Meeting at Hotel Eleo Meeting Room

9:30-11:30 a.m.
Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work

As artificial intelligence continues to be a part of our day-to-day lives, how can businesses integrate AI into their current processes? Dr. David Reed, who leads the University of Florida’s Artificial Intelligence Academic Initiative Center, will discuss how UF is creating a national model to develop an AI-ready workforce and how the role of artificial intelligence will continue to expand its role in business.

David L. Reed, Ph.D., Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives, University of Florida

11:30 a.m.

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