In 2018 President's Message

We’ve officially reached the midway point of our year. The Association is buzzing with excitement as chapters are working on their Image Award events and the state is in preparation for our 80th Annual Conference at the Sawgrass Marriott in Ponte Vedre this August. I can’t wait to soon share our distinguished list of General Session presenters. You won’t want to miss conference this year!

It’s hard to believe that three years ago, Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC, and I were at a strategic planning retreat for his year as president of the Association. Roger introduced an idea he had to his board … to start a leadership program that focused on providing our members with the tools they need to become stronger leaders in their organizations, their communities and FPRA.  The conversation in that meeting continued between Roger and I throughout the evening as we shared exciting ideas and developed a vision for this program.

In less than a year, we proudly launched LeadershipFPRA. Today, we are halfway through the year for Class II. This year’s class started with an orientation at our Association’s 79th Annual Conference and will conclude with a graduation celebration at this year’s 80th Annual Conference. By the time this celebratory event arrives, class members will be better equipped to not only function as PR professionals in their respective workplaces, but also strengthen their rightful seat at the boardroom table and to evolve into further leadership roles in FPRA, their communities and the industry in general.

I encourage you to learn more about LeadershipFPRA from those who have had the opportunity to experience it. You can find contacts of those currently going through the program on our blog and also check out a great video from the Inaugural LeadershipFPRA class via our website under the “Leadership Opportunities” page.

In the coming weeks you will begin to see communication about applications to participate in LeadershipFPRA’s Class III. The class size is limited to 21 people and applications are competitive. The LeadershipFPRA Selection Committee will review all applications and choose the most qualified applicants. And while the Selection Committee is evaluating individual applications, it is also charged with building a class that represents diversity—professionally and geographically, as well as in the areas of age, race, gender and ethnicity.

Roger’s theme was FPRAisforLeaders and I couldn’t agree more. If you’re ready for your leadership journey, fill out your application and get ready for an amazing experience.

All the best,


Ryan Gerds, APR, CPRC
Florida Public Relations Association

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