Public Relations

What We Do

The Pennsylvania Public Relations Society is a professional society dedicated to enhancing professional growth within the public relations field. No matter what industry or type of organization you serve as a public relations professional — corporation, non-profit, association, government, agency or sole practitioner — being a PPRS member can benefit you!

Pennsylvania Public Relations Society Members

Membership

PPRS has more than 150 active public relations professionals throughout Central Pennsylvania. Our members represent various types of organizations with expertise in all facets of public relations.

PPRS has been providing professional development to members since its inception in 1950.

Pennsylvania Public Relations Society Meeting

Society Meetings

PPRS meetings are typically held on the last Thursday of each month, with the exception of July, August, October and December. Meetings typically include a networking opportunity and a meal, followed by a professional development program featuring a guest speaker who is a leader in public relations or a related field. We also offer the Winter and Summer Socials and other programming that give attendees a hands-on experience.

The society’s annual Evening of Honors is held in November, during which new officers are installed and the Ernest R. McDowell Award for Excellence in Public Relations and the Robert M. Fisher Membership Recruitment Award are presented.

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Officers
President
Leslie Gervasio
Director of Communications
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Vice President
Julie Bancroft
Chief Executive Officer
Feeding Pennsylvania
Secretary
Brett Marcy
President
Apollo Communications, LLC
Treasurer
Rachel Edwards
Owner
Relevant Public Relations and Marketing
Committee Leads
Programming
Vacant
Position
Evening of Honors
Vacant
Position
Membership
Stacy Zimmerman
Antique Automobile Club of America
PPRS/PRSA Summer and Winter Socials
Fawn Davies
VOCE
Vacant
Position
Student Development
Nance McCown
Messiah University Department of Communication
Ken Robinson, APR, Memorial Scholarship
Nance McCown
Messiah University Department of Communication
Leslie Gervasio
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission
Nominating & Professional Standards
Joelle Shea
Gannett Fleming, Inc.
Christine Cronkright
Gannett Fleming, Inc.
Keri Oram
Michael Baker International
Website & Graphic Design
Travis Snyder
Triscari Video Web Marketing
Social Media
Tara Mead
PA Association of Community Bankers
Awards

Ernest R. McDowell Award for Excellence in Public Relations

The Ernest R. McDowell Award was established by PPRS in 1991 to recognize an individual for sustained excellence in the field of public relations, in both the profession itself and the community.

The award is presented in memory of the late Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Relations with Capital Health System – today’s PinnacleHealth System. Ernie set the standard for professionalism and community service with his good works and lifetime example.

The McDowell Award is presented at the society’s Annual Meeting and Evening of Honors.

Past Award Recipients

  • 1991 – Ernest R. McDowell
  • 1992 – Robert M. Fisher
  • 1993 – Frederick E. Leuschner
  • 1994 – Nicholas J. Goble
  • 1995 – Kenneth L. Bowers
  • 1996 – Robert E. Hetherington
  • 1997 – Betty C. Hungerford
  • 1998 – George H. Geise
  • 1999 – William T. Lunsford, Jr.
  • 2000 – David E. Sill (posthumously)
  • 2001 – Elizabeth Van Wye
  • 2002 – Kathy A. Silks
  • 2003 – Susan L. Anthony
  • 2004 – Deborah Saline, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2005 – Robert S. Saline, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2006 – Tony May
  • 2007 – Albert Mason, APR
  • 2008 – Kenneth G. Robinson
  • 2009 – Rob Rutz
  • 2010 – Denise Calabrese
  • 2011 – John Maietta
  • 2012 – Crystal Hull, ABC
  • 2013 – Mark Shull
  • 2014 – Tamara L. Gillis, Ed.D, ABC, IABC Fellow
  • 2015 – Kathy Burrows
  • 2016 – Nance McCown, PhD
  • 2017 – Lori Baker Pizzarro
  • 2018 – Cheryl Slavinsky
  • 2019 – Jason Kirsch, APR
  • 2020 – Roger Baumgarten
  • 2021 – Sean Connolly, APR
  • 2022 – Suzanne Graney, CFRE
  • 2023 – Amy Hill, APR

Robert M. Fisher Membership Recruitment Award

Membership is the lifeblood of any successful organization. Without a continual flow of new members, PPRS will not achieve its purpose, as outlined in the constitution and bylaws when the society was founded in 1950.

PPRS has been fortunate in regularly attracting public relations professionals who wish to improve their skills, help elevate the standards of the profession, stay current on trends in the field and engage other colleagues in the field.

The most important source of new members is the membership itself –current members are all recruiters for the society. Consequently, in 2003, PPRS instituted the Robert M. Fisher Membership Recruitment Award in recognition of the acknowledged leader in recommending new members over many years.

The award is presented at the society’s Annual Meeting and Evening of Honors in November.

Past Award Recipients

  • 2003 – Robert M. Fisher
  • 2004 – Denise R. Calabrese
  • 2005 – Stacy Henninger
  • 2006 – Stephanie Weyant
  • 2007 – Joan Nissley
  • 2008 – Suzanne Graney
  • 2009 – Joan Nissley
  • 2010 – Jennifer Kocher
  • 2011 – Joan Nissley
  • 2012 – Maria Finn
  • 2013 – Joan Nissley
  • 2014 – Joan Nissley
  • 2015 – Quinn Bryner
  • 2016 – Christine Conkright, Eric Kiehl and Joan Nissley
  • 2017 – Crystal Hull, ABC, MPA
  • 2018 – Joelle Shea
  • 2019 – Christine Cronkright
  • 2020 – Erin Waters-Trasatt
  • 2021 – Julie Bancroft, Christine Cronkright, Sean Connolly, APR
  • 2022 – Katie Andreano, Sara Weiser
  • 2023 – Keri Oram
Past Presidents

Past Pennsylvania Public Relations Society Presidents

  • 1950 – J. Hugh McNeill
  • 1951 – J. Hugh McNeill
  • 1952 – Clarence W. Funk
  • 1953 – Clarence W. Funk
  • 1954 – Clarence C. Smith, Jr.
  • 1955 – Donald W. Rich, Jr.
  • 1956 – Richard V. Wall
  • 1957 – James T. Spence
  • 1958 – Walter D. Roose
  • 1959 – Robert C. Forrey
  • 1960 – George J. Keet, Jr.
  • 1961 – Thomas B. Shriver, Jr.
  • 1962 – Donald M. Cresswell
  • 1963 – James H. Smith, Jr.
  • 1964 – John F. Rineman
  • 1965 – Robert B. Rosenberger
  • 1966 – Jeanne R. Duffield
  • 1967 – Robert E. Trea
  • 1968 – Frederick E. Leuschner
  • 1969 – John F. Wicks
  • 1970 – John H. Baer
  • 1971 – George H. Geise
  • 1972 – David E. Sill
  • 1973 – Nicholas L. Goble
  • 1974 – George E. Reed
  • 1975 – Dane S. Wert
  • 1976 – John Eichorn
  • 1977 – Kenneth L. Bowers
  • 1978 – William T. Lunsford, Jr.
  • 1979 – Robert M. Fisher
  • 1980 – Robert E. Hetherington
  • 1981 – Lynne Perry
  • 1981 – James W. Runk, Jr.
  • 1982 – James W. Runk, Jr.
  • 1983 – Ernest R. McDowell
  • 1984 – Thomas C. Lyon
  • 1985 – Anne Polivka-Rosen
  • 1986 – Richard L. Prether
  • 1987 – Betty C. Hungerford
  • 1988 – Susan L. Anthony
  • 1989 – Wilson Smeltz
  • 1990 – Mary Ellen Bellanca
  • 1991 – Matthew Opilo
  • 1992 – Elizabeth Van Wye
  • 1993 – Janet L. Wall
  • 1994 – Kathy Silks
  • 1995 – David O. Hunt
  • 1996 – Denise R. Calabrese
  • 1997 – Robert Saline
  • 1998 – Robert Rutz
  • 1999 – Juli McGreevy
  • 2000 – Mark D. Shull
  • 2001 – Barry Ciccocioppo
  • 2002 – Julie Richards
  • 2003 – Eric Kiehl, APR
  • 2004 – Lisa (Herron) Ruggiers
  • 2005 – Lori Baker Pizzarro
  • 2006 – Stacy (Henninger) Zimmerman
  • 2007 – Rachel Jarabeck
  • 2008 – Holly Lubart
  • 2009 – Suzanne Graney
  • 2010 – Jason Kirsch, APR
  • 2011 – Stephanie Weyant
  • 2012 – Mark O’Neill
  • 2013 – Kim Barger
  • 2014 – Joan Nissley
  • 2015 – Quinn Bryner
  • 2016 – Erin Kanter
  • 2017 – Crystal L. Hull, ABC, MPA
  • 2018 – Larissa Bedrick
  • 2019 – Erin Waters-Trasatt
  • 2020 – Carolyn Simpson
  • 2021 – Christine Cronkright
  • 2022 – Joelle Shea
  • 2023 – Keri Oram