At this year’s Evening of Honors, awardee Suzanne Graney eloquently shared how PPRS has been an invaluable professional and personal support over her career.
The nodding heads around the room when she suggested that she’d gotten at least a master’s degree worth of education from PPRS programming over the years continued as she shared how the personal connections led to jobs, adventures, and friendships.
I appreciated the opportunity the Evening of Honors gave me to reflect on the past year as well. The main goal I set for myself as this year’s president was to fully fund the Ken Robinson Memorial Scholarship (donate here!). The work had been done to create the vehicle, but, thanks to COVID, we weren’t yet distributing the scholarship because it remained unfunded.
The fundraising experts at the Foundation for Enhancing Communities, which hosts our scholarship, cautioned it would take a volunteer group of our size 5 or more years to fund the scholarship. But from when we started fundraising in earnest, PPRS and PRSA Central PA members fully funded Ken’s scholarship within 6 months. We will begin issuing the scholarship to students next year, and Ken’s son will be a part of our selection committee to continue our deep connection and his legacy.
Thank you to all of you who gave so generously to this new scholarship, exemplifying the PPRS mission to advance our profession.
I’m also grateful to be part of a team that achieved a year’s worth of great programming, relationship building, and professional development. A special thanks to Christine Cronkright and Keri Oram for their tireless efforts as my fellow executive committee members – your friendship and partnership is a priceless gift that PPRS has given me!
We saw record attendance at online and in-person events, navigated the new normal in event pricing and staffing, and welcomed in more than a dozen new members.
It’s worth a quick trip down memory lane:
- We brought in the largest-ever Zoom attendance at our January meeting, where learned from Jason Kirsch, APR, and Amy Hill, APR, that you can “have your RPIE and eat it, too.”
- We hosted a sold-out crowd at the Chocolatier as Quinn Bryner gave us PR lessons from opening Hershey’s Chocolatetown during a pandemic.
- We headed to Giant to learn from Ashley Flower and Jessica Groves about how community relations supports a robust PR strategy.
- We had a sip of social as Sara Bozich, Jehava Brown, and Heather Kuntz gave us a behind-the-scenes look at social media influencers.
- We learned about the intersection of PR and fund development from Dr. Ivy Buchan.
- And we got Ruth Miller’s behind-the-scenes tour of the Commonwealth Response Center and heard from Caitlin Justesen about crisis communications and emotional and mental health.
Phew! What a year. Thank you again to everyone who made it a success.
And now it’s time to stop looking back and begin to look forward! We’re headed into another awesome year of PPRS professional development, networking, and yes, epic desserts. If you’re interested in getting more involved, please email me or our incoming president, Keri Oram, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2022 PPRS President