PRestige January 2015


Member in the News!

Lauren DeIorio wins Leading Light award

(article re-printed courtesy of UNITE magazine)Lauren-Delorio-150x150

Lauren DeIorio knows how to support public education thanks to years of dedicated involvement at her kids’ schools and a record-breaking fundraiser this year. That’s why she’s the 2014 Margie Davidson Leading Light award winner from SUNSPRA, the Sunshine State School Public Relations Association. A surprised DeIorio accepted the reward on Dec. 4 in Tampa at the

69th Annual Joint Conference of the Florida School Boards Association. As a parent, DeIorio championed efforts at Shady Hill Elementary in Ocala to promote “Coupons for Education,” a major fundraising program in Marion County Public Schools. Now the Fund Development Director of the Public Education Foundation of Marion County, DeIorio headed efforts leading to a record $291,000 in total sales this year – with more money than ever going back to schools and classrooms.

DeIorio is a numbers person who loves spreadsheets, Excel® formulas, and everything financial.

Using her accounting background, she coordinates the entire “Coupons for Education” campaign, creates measureable goals for schools, secures vendors and sponsors, and pulls all the numbers together to show how successful the annual campaign is. When she took over the program in 2013, schools sold 60 percent more books than the previous year. This year, 49 schools sold

14,546 books, raising over $291,000 – a six percent increase over last year’ and a whopping

89 percent increase over just two years ago. Colleagues describe DeIorio as infectious with enthusiasm, laughter, and joy, and matchless in passion and energy, determined to the last straw with a never-waning commitment to public education.

The Margie Davidson Leading Light Award recognizes individuals and organizations for providing

outstanding support to public education. It honors the late St. John’s County communications director who championed the award process started in 2002.


Changes in store for the Star-Banner

Find out what’s happening at our Jan 16 meetingJim Ross
Jim Ross, managing editor, is our guest speaker for the first professional development luncheon of the year. His topic is media relations and what’s new at the paper. Jim’s long career at the desk and on the street reporting will make for a fascinating talk. See you all at the Ewers Century Center on Friday, January 16, 11:45 a.m.

Jim’s Bio:

Jim Ross is managing editor and columnist at the Ocala Star-Banner. He grew up in the Chicago suburbs and in 1989 graduated from Northwestern University, where he edited the student newspaper. He worked for the St. Petersburg Times for 18 years as a reporter and bureau chief in the Citrus County bureau. He came to the Star-Banner as an assistant managing editor in 2007, then worked at the Gainesville Sun from October 2008 until May 2009. He came back to the Star-Banner as senior editor and was promoted to managing editor in January 2014. In addition to his newspaper duties Ross is an essayist whose work has been published in numerous print and online literary journals. He has been an adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Florida since fall 2007, teaching Magazine Writing and serving as a Reporting lab instructor. He lives in Ocala with his wife, Melanie, and their three kids. Ross is an active member of Blessed Trinity Catholic Church and serves on the advisory boards for LifeSouth Community Blood Centers, the Marion County Literacy Council and the Ocala Civic Theatre. He also volunteers with the Marion Ballet Theatre as a “backstage dad.”


President's Perspective

FPRA Ocala Chapter,

Happy New Year! I started 2015 sitting around an actual bonfire, which made me think about FPRA and our chapter. One of our chapter goals this year is to grow our membership. We can accomplish that if we are using our fire to ignite others. An easy way to do this is to bring someone to a monthly professional development luncheon. My challenge to you is to bring a guest to January’s meeting to hear from Jim Ross, Managing Editor of the Ocala Star Banner. Once you get him/her there, introduce your guest to all of your FPRA colleagues during the networking time and establish that spark of interest in our chapter. Together, we fan the flame!

Our Local Mid-Florida Image Awards committee is very excited to announce the event theme and details to the chapter at January’s meeting so do not miss it. I encourage all of you to evaluate your work from 2014 and consider one or more projects you can use for an Image entry. We want to see a record number of entries this year! Competing in the Image Awards (Local and Golden) or nominating someone for a Communicator of the Year Award is yet another way we keep our professional flame burning bright.

On fire for FPRA, Jenifer Lowe, JeniferLoweOcala Chapter President

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