The 2012 FPRA Blog Team met at 2 p.m. today to review the conference schedule and go over blogging assignments. Be sure to check the blog often for an insider’s look at this year’s Annual Conference. You can also follow our blogging team on Twitter here.
TEAM LEADER: VIVIAN MYRTETUS, APR (@vivskivs) has nearly 20 years of experience in corporate and government communications and has led strategic efforts for companies in the technology, transportation, legal and health care industries. She has been a member of FPRA since 2003 and is the outgoing vice president of technology on the Executive Board. Vivian also served as president of the Capital Chapter and has been very active in FPRA for years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communications from San Francisco State University.
LAUREN ANTISTA (@lantista) is the external relations officer of the Florida State University College of Social Work in Tallahassee, Fla. She manages the public relations, marketing, social media, website and design for the College, and works extensively with other organizations within the greater University. She recently served as a committee member of the FSU Brand Task Force and Social Media Pod. Lauren has been an active member of the Capital Chapter since starting as a student member in 2009. She completed her master’s degree in Communications and bachelor’s degree in Communications and Psychology from Florida State University.
TINA BANNER, APR is Vice President of Resource Development for the United Way of Marion County in Ocala, Fla. She has overseen the fundraising activity for the organization for the past six years, and has overseen all the public relations and marketing for the past seven years. She is active in FPRA, serving in many chapter leadership roles including Chapter President of the Ocala Chapter in 2008. She is the current Vice President of Member Services for the state association and is the incoming Vice President of Golden Image. Banner earned a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and is a graduate of the Leadership Ocala Class 23.
GIA CICCONE (@iamgiarose) is the social media specialist at Gielow Marketing & PR in Jacksonville, Fla. She researches and implements new and innovative ways to use social media to benefit her clients. Gia recently graduated from the University of North Florida and earned her bachelor’s degree in communication with a track in public relations; however, she will return to UNF for postgraduate classes in the near future. During her time as a college senior, Gia was the vice president for the UNF Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Gia is active in the Social Media Club and FPRA and hopes to sit on the board of the FPRA Jacksonville Chapter in the near future.
NANCY DeVAULT (@nancydevault) is the editor of Orlando Family Magazine, a freelance journalist, and principle of her firm DeVault Communications, LLC. With more than 13 years of communications experience, she enjoys the rare dual role to specialize as a PR consultant and media journalist – each uniquely providing platforms to communicate compelling messages. She serves as the Vice President of Publications for FPRA’s Orlando Area Chapter board of directors. Nancy is a part of FPRA’s Rising Leader Class of 2012 as an honoree in the running for the Joe Curley Rising Leader Award. Nancy received her bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Communications from the University of Central Florida and has earned public relations and cause marketing honors.
KELLY DONOVAN (@HurriGator) is the team leader for Online Marketing at Naylor, LLC in Atlanta, GA, where she develops and implements online marketing guidelines, promotions, campaigns and SEO initiatives for trade and professional associations. She has been a member of FPRA’s Gainesville chapter since 2008 and has served as electronic communications director and treasurer. Kelly has a bachelor’s degree in advertising/economics from the University of Miami and a master’s in mass communication from the University of Florida.
KATHLEEN GIERY, APR, CPRC, is the director of public relations for LifeQuest Organ Recovery Services in Gainesville, Florida. She oversees all of the public relations, public education and donor family services activities for a 36-county region of northern Florida. She currently serves on the Universal Accreditation Board for public relations and is a past president of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) and past chairwoman of FPRA’s Counselors’ Network. She was awarded FPRA’s highest and most prestigious award, the John W. Dillin Award, in 2007, and was named FPRA Member of the Year in 1998 and 2002. She is the only member of the association to have received that distinction twice. She has received more than 40 public relations and advertising awards in her career and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Wisconsin.
TAMMY HERCHEL was born in Lewisburg, WV and loves caving, hiking, and brisk mountain air, but after 15 years in Gainesville, FL her heart definitely lies in the Swamp (as in, the home of the Florida Gators!) A proud Gator Alum, Tammy graduated the University of Florida in 2006 with her degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism and began her career at Visit Gainesville, where she was lucky enough to spend five years promoting the very best that Gainesville has to offer before joining the Marketing and Public Relations team at the Florida Museum of Natural History. This is her first FPRA experience and she is excited to learn more about the public relations industry and its trends!
REBECCA MAHONY (@rebeccamahony) is an account executive for Moore Communications Group, a nationally ranked integrated communications firm. Rebecca works closely with many of the firm’s health care accounts; she also works with sustainable energy clients, human services coalitions and charitable organizations. Rebecca conscientiously crafts and executes targeted national, statewide and local campaigns for both businesses and nonprofits to achieve greater brand recognition for her clients. She is active in FPRA and currently serves on the program planning committee for the Capital Chapter. Rebecca graduated summa cum laude from Florida State University and holds a bachelor’s degree in communication, with a special concentration in public relations, and a minor in business.
AMANDA FORBES MESTDAGH, APR (@amanda4bes) is a public relations senior account executive with Fry Hammond Barr, a full-service marketing and communications agency with offices in Orlando and Tampa, Fla., where she leads local and national public relations and social media initiatives for clients in the retail, healthcare and banking industries. An FPRA member since 2004, she is currently the incoming past president for FPRA’s Orlando Area Chapter and has served in numerous roles on the chapter’s board. She earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of Central Florida and is an active member of the Junior League of Greater Orlando.
ADRIENNE MOORE, APR, CPRC, is the principal of Communications Strategies, a public relations firm in Stuart on Florida’s east coast specializing in public relations and media relations for non-profit organizations. Prior to retiring from public radio station WQCS / 88.9 FM, Adrienne was the public relations and development specialist handling special events, fundraising, newsletters and on-air campaigns. Previously, she was a full time reporter for nearly 20 years, with overlapping positions between newspapers, radio, and TV. She is active in the Treasure Coast FPRA chapter, having served three terms as president and on several committees over the years, most recently as Media Conference and Image Awards chairs.
She has also served three terms on the State Board and on the FPRA Executive Committee, the most recent appointment as Chair of the Florida Public Relations Education Foundation. She coordinated the 25th anniversary Foundation fundraising campaign, collecting $19,000 of the $25,000 goal. Adrienne is a recipient of the organization’s most prestigious awards – Col. John W. Dillin Award, Member of the Year and the Doris Fleischman Unsung Hero Award. She is a graduate of Barry University in Miami with a degree in English and attended Michigan State University to work on her master’s degree in journalism.
HEIDI OTWAY, APR (@heidiotway) is the director of public relations and social media at SalterMitchell, a communications and behavior change firm based in Tallahassee. She has been a member of FPRA since 2003 and is the incoming vice president of technology on the FPRA state board. Heidi has served on a number of committees in the Capital Chapter, and as president in 2010 she was named Chapter president of the year. She is passionate about public relations, social media and FPRA. Woot!
ELISE LIPOFF RAMER, MBA (@eliselipoff) is the Director of Community Relations for Home-Tech in Sarasota, FL. Elise is the quirky voice behind the Home-Tech blog, and runs the Public Relations program for the company in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee counties. A FPRA member of the Central West Coast chapter since 2008, she has served as V.P of Finance and President-Elect. Ramer received a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Florida State University and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Webster University in 2010. She is working towards her APR in 2013.
ALAYNA J. RIVERA (@alaynajolie) is communications coordinator at Florida Dairy Farmers in Maitland, Fla., focusing mainly on media relations, social media and graphic design. She currently serves as the vice president of Image Awards for the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter’s board of directors, and has accepted the secretary position for the next term. Rivera earned summa cum laude honors for her bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Central Florida.
SAMANTHA SCOTT, APR (@GetPushing) is the Grand Poobah, or owner, of the firm Pushing the Envelope, Inc. (PTE) in Fort Myers, Florida. She and the PTE team provide media relations, publicity, crisis management, special event coordination, traditional and Internet marketing, Web design and social media services for a variety of clients. An FPRA member since 2006, she has been the Southwest Florida chapter’s education chair and social media chair and is now the incoming President-Elect. She received her bachelor’s of science degree in marketing from Florida Gulf Coast University and has been honored as a member of the Soaring Eagles Society (for alumni). She is also a graduate of the Leadership Lee County class of 2006, Gulf Coast Business Review and Gulfshore Business 40 under 40 award honoree.
MANDY STARK is Senior Account Manager at RB Oppenheim Associates, where she helps coordinate and implement public relations, advertising, marketing and new-media services for an array of clients. Her responsibilities include media relations, copywriting and editing, special event planning and execution, production coordination, strategic planning, digital marketing, social media engagement/networking and client counseling. Her specialty and passion is writing. Prior to joining RB Oppenheim Associates, Mandy was Communications Specialist at the Florida League of Cities for nearly nine years. She served as writer for all League publications including the Legislative Bulletin, press releases and much more. She managed various special projects and programs such as the Cities of Excellence Awards Program and the League’s Youth Council Program. Additionally, she used her experience as a newspaper reporter for Triad Business News and the Tallahassee Democrat to effectively work with the news media. She also planned and implemented the League’s social media strategies. Mandy earned her bachelor’s of science degree in Magazine Journalism from Florida A&M University’s School of Journalism and Graphic Design in 2000 and is currently working toward her master’s degree in Management and Leadership from Liberty University.