PRestige February 2018

Congratulations Nick Zoller, APR

Nick Zoller, APR, of the Ocala Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) recently earned professional public relations accreditation, and received the designation of Accredited in Public Relations (APR).

Nick Zoller is the public relations director for Marion County and a member of the county’s senior management team. He joined Marion County in 2016, bringing a decade of communications leadership and media relations experience to his role.

Zoller oversees strategic messaging, branding, marketing and long-range communications planning, facilitating the county’s relationship building with internal and external customers and the media. Since joining Marion County, Zoller has endeavored to highlight the county’s strategies and vision for the community now and in the future with customers, residents, partners and stakeholders.

Zoller graduated from Florida International University in 2016, earning his master of science in mass communication. He completed undergraduate coursework in public administration at St. Petersburg College and is currently serving his third term as a college president-appointed member of the program’s advisory board. Zoller obtained Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2018.

Previously, he served as public information officer in Pinellas County, where his focus on two-way communication with customers and residents regarding public infrastructure departments led to increased transparency and positive community feedback. Prior to that, he spent 6 years providing communications and media relations consulting services to political and issue advocacy organizations.

PResident's Perspective

Looking through the content for this newsletter makes me so proud of our FPRA Ocala Chapter. Announcing another APR achievement (Congratulations, Nick!), seeing the opportunities for professional development, networking, community service and the outstanding Image and Toolkit events on the horizon is very exciting!
Each month as I write this column, I reflect on how FPRA has influenced me and what our chapter is offering to its members. There are so many things to mention; I hope you know about these activities and you are taking advantage of all your FPRA benefits!
A committee is working on the PaRade of Excellence – our annual local Image Awards program. The Image Awards program recognizes outstanding public relations programs in Florida, encouraging and enhancing professionalism. This will culminate with the PaRade of Excellence on April 26th, beginning at 5:30 pm at the Medical Health Center in Ocala.
During the PaRade of Excellence, we will also recognize nominees for the Wilton F. Martin, Jr. Communicator of the Year award. The Wilton F. Martin, Jr. Communicator of the Year awards will be presented to one individual and one institutional winner that evening. Is there someone you should nominate for this honor?

Another committee is working on the Toolkit for Success seminar – our annual professional development seminar. This year’s seminar title is “Engage” and it is shaping up to be great half-day workshop with fabulous speakers and topics. The seminar offers an excellent opportunity for our chapter to reach business professionals and nonprofits while positioning our association favorably. Who will you invite to attend the seminar on May 17th at the College of Central Florida.

Yet another committee is developing a strategy for reaching students in our community who might be interested in learning more about FPRA. Thanks to our partners at Webster University and the College of Central Florida for this effort. We are looking for members who are willing to speak to students about a variety of topics. Can you help with this? If so, let Lauren Debick know!

As you can see, we are a busy group. I hope you are pleased with the member services we are offering. I am open to feedback and suggestions, so don’t hesitate to call or email me directly. Your idea might be the next great example of BOLD PR!


Lisa E. Varner, APR, CPRC

Don't Miss the Next Social!

As our monthly meetings have grown, we are limited on introductions and announcements which help us build our networks. To offset that, a monthly FPRA (Friendly, Professional, Relaxed, Atmosphere) gathering allows members to meet in a more social setting. Join us this month at the new Crazy Cucumber,  one of Ocala’s fun and tasty Heathbrook venues. This is a time to catch up and connect. If you have any questions, please call Lauren Debick at 352-454-4264.
Wed., Feb.21 at The Crazy Cucumber 4414 SW College Rd #1910, Ocala from 5:15-7 p.m.

Let's Unite for Our Community!

FPRA Ocala will be participating in the United Way Day of Caring on Saturday, February 24. We will be serving meals at Gateway to Hope. If you are interested in participating, please let Lauren Debick know. Lauren can be reached at 352-454-4264 or You are welcome to bring family members or friends along with you to help. Reach out to Lauren to sign up today!

Kickstart Your Career in 2018

Want to advance your PR skills to the next level? Looking for a way to polish your professional style? Need a boost to invigorate your career? You should pursue APR, or Accreditation in Public Relations, for any of these reasons and more.
Study sessions start February 12 on Monday evenings, 5:30PM-7PM in Downtown Ocala. The three-step process to achieve APR involves a self-assessment, Review Panel presentation, and a computer-based exam. Study sessions spark creativity to think outside the box when it comes to APR. Start 2018 with a challenge by contacting Kevin Christian, APR, CPRC, to get your APR process rolling with study sessions. While study sessions are free, online options are also available at expense to individual members.

FPRA Really IS for Leaders

The New Year kicked off with many opportunities for professional development through FPRA. My LeadershipFPRA class had two separate sessions this past month. The first session was part of the Counselor’s Network Winter Symposium. I found this session valuable because our class was able to bring up topics and ask questions of highly experienced PR professionals. This type of forum gave new perspectives and insights to workplace challenges and opportunities. I look forward to earning my CPRC so I can attend more CN events in the future!
Our second session covered the topic of government and was held in Tallahassee. While legislative processes (More)

Speaking of Leaders...

Leadership Ocala/Marion County Regent Elaine McClain (R) welcomes fellow FPRA members Lauren Debick and Katie Hunnicutt to their most recent session for Class XXXI.
The FPRA Ocala Chapter is pleased to have a majority of its members actively engaged in the community serving in key leadership roles in government, business and not-for-profit sectors.
#FPRAisforLeaders #FPRAOcalaLeaders

February Professional Development Luncheon Leading your team to success: know your strengths, understand the challenges, and embrace solutions

Carolyn Maue, Executive Coach and Consultant and leadership resource for FPRA, will discuss the elements of successful teams, including the importance of trust, the ability to successfully work through conflict, commitment and accountability to the team’s efforts, and the importance of measurement and accountability. This interactive presentation will provide participants with tools to identify the unique strengths they bring to teams, opportunities to discuss challenges and roadblocks to successful team performance, and suggestions and solutions for creating dynamic and successful team interactions.
Friday, Feb. 16, 2017 • 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
College of Central Florida • Ewers Century Center
(11:30 a.m. networking; noon to 1 p.m. program)
Please RSVP to Payment can be made by visiting


Don't Miss the Upcoming Image Prep Workshops!

  • Tuesday, February 6 from 12 – 1 p.m. at Medical Health Center will be an in person, bright your own bagged lunch workshop
  • February 13, Fat Tuesday is our Image entry “swap and critique.” Same time, same place!
Please RSVP for either of these workshops to
Workshops are free, but RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED!

If you were not in attendance during our January monthly meeting, you missed quite a few treats! First off, Heather Danenhower, APR, CPRC shared so many amazing tips of the trade about her Local Image and Golden Image award winning campaign. We all walked away knowing more about the Image process as well as how to create our own award-winning campaigns.

We also were treated to a King Cake straight from Louisiana courtesy of our own Devon Chestnut, APR, CPRC. Kristina Donohue of The Centers received the “baby” in her piece of cake, so she will receive 50% off of her Image entry registration should she submit an entry this year. Devon also created amazing chocolates and save the date cards for everyone to take home.

The Conference Call Workshop held on January 23 provided insightful information and helpful tools for first timers and veterans alike. Coming up on Tuesday, February 6 from 12 – 1 p.m. at Medical Health Center will be an in person, bright your own bagged lunch workshop and February 13, Fat Tuesday is our Image entry “swap and critique.” If you haven’t started writing your two-page summaries, it’s time to get cracking. You will want your peers to review your summary before the March 9 deadline… and that Fat Tuesday is just around the corner!

Be sure to check out the Call for Entries (Link to online Call for Entries) and submission info is available by clicking on “Ocala Chapter” at

To RSVP for workshops or to ask any image related questions, or call (352) 895-4693.

It’s an exciting time to start thinking about a PaRade… of Excellence!

Save The Date!

Make plans now for ENGAGE: 2018 FPRA Ocala Toolkit for Success.
Thurs., May 17, 2018
The College
of Central Florida
8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
This half-day seminar will be packed with actionable take-aways to help you ENAGE with your team, your audience and the media.

New Chapter Sponsor

Thanks to Duke Energy for coming onboard as a Chapter Leadership sponsor. We appreciate your partnership and support.

FPRA Ocala Presenting Sponsor

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