President’s PeRspective – September 2023


As I enter my first year as chapter President, I am excited and humbled to lead our chapter.  A chapter that provides abundant opportunities to learn, teach, mentor, and share top quality public relations professionals. A chapter that enables us to advocate, brainstorm, give back to our communities, meet, network and socialize with friends and colleagues all over Citrus and Marion Counties and across the state.

I am honored to follow the lineup of people who have provided guidance for our chapter in the past; each of our past Presidents has brought a different vision with them and all have proven to have different strengths.  I suppose I am no different in that I have some ideas for changes I would like to see, and I hope that you will support me as you’ve supported those Presidents who have come before me.  I hope when you lookback on 2023-2024, we have a year full of laughter, fellowship and making better friendships, while continuing along our path of giving within the Citrus and Marion Counties and our local communities.

As PR Practitioners, we have a lot to be proud of; we have made this possible and this reality started by one person saying “We need to do something to make a difference in our profession” and then convincing other people to believe in their vision….this is what communicators do, we have changed what our profession looks like today.  Our chapter doesn’t have to be large to make an impact on people’s lives, but we do have to start somewhere and that somewhere is you, it’s me, it’s all of us together.

For any new leader, there are always, I’m sure, the usual questions you have out there.

Questions about: What do you have to offer to us to make a difference? How will you advance the mission of the chapter? And what’s your vision?

Well, today, I hope to share a little bit with you, but again, there’s a lot more to come in the weeks and months ahead. What I can tell you is that each day, I will be part of this chapter – striving to have a positive impact on the leadership team, chapter members, prospective members, and our community. And I will work tirelessly to advance the mission of the Florida Public Relations Association, and to ensure that our members and student members have every opportunity to succeed.

We have a strong chapter with a lot of heart and I’d like to start my year by challenging us to commit to at least 6 projects over the next 12 months.  Greg and I have amazing ideas and we will definitely be going forward with some of them, but I’d like for each of us to have a chance to contribute.  They don’t have to be huge projects; they can be as simple as collecting donations for the Education Foundation, to as big as a public awareness campaign that will go statewide.  To learn more about this, you’ll have to join us at our September Meeting, where I will kick-off our inaugural “State of the Chapter” presentation.  I know we will be able to rise to this challenge and it’s my hope that we will exceed this goal. 

I see a very bright future ahead for our chapter because we are building on strength—strength and excellence in our professional development programs, our history, our outstanding leadership team, and our chapter members; but it’s going to take each and every one of us working as a team together, doing what we can to make us stronger together. And I want you to know that I fully embrace shared governance for our future success—that all-important bedrock of continuing education and the work that lies ahead for us as leaders in the public relations field.

And so, this is where we begin, Ocala Chapter. I ask that you join me, and let’s race forward to the future because I do see a bright future. And notice, I didn’t say, “Let’s walk to the future.” I said that intentionally. Let’s race to the future because it is bright. There are a great many opportunities that lie ahead. And I don’t believe in just sauntering along. I want to race forward because I see a bright future ahead for us all.

I’m looking forward to being a part of one team and one combined community, focused on the goal of success and our commitment to public relations – public relations for the public good.

And I want to thank you again for welcoming this Citrus girl to the Ocala Chapter.

I’d like to leave you with these words – We have one year to build moments that will endure forever, not carved in granite or marble, but in the lives and hearts of all of us. This is our time. Let us grasp it… All of you have been given so many gifts. And you have now been given this great gift: one year to take all your talents, all your gifts, everything that you are and can become — and use your PERSPECTIVE to help guide our chapter towards the future.


Taylor College!! Thank you so much for your recent sponsorship of our FPRA Ocala Chapter for our monthly professional development meetings! We are thrilled to work with you for the upcoming chapter year 2023-2024. As a sponsor, your contribution is vital to continue our important work. We cannot succeed without the generosity of supporters like you.
All Marion County location meetings will be held at the new location for Taylor College: 2531 East Silver Springs Blvd. in Ocala, FL!
Citrus County – In-person meetings will be held at a local county building. Stay tuned for the location confirmation. Special thanks to the Citrus County for helping to coordinate logistics!


OCALA, Fla. (August 21, 2023) – On August 7, Florida Public Relations Association Ocala Chapter President Tammy A. Gantt accepted three President’s Awards for her leadership in membership retention, special events, and financial management from State Association President Jay Morgan-Schleuning, APR, at the annual Presidents’ Luncheon held during the FPRA Annual Conference at the Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, Fla.

During the awards luncheon, Morgan-Schleuning, APR, recognized the accomplishments of chapter presidents in key award categories that enhanced leadership and chapter success while furthering the mission of advancing the public relations profession within the state.

Gantt led the Ocala Chapter to a 98% member retention rate and 30% growth rate, the highest of all 16 statewide chapters.

“While these awards are issued to the president, it takes the dedication of the entire chapter to make them happen,” Gantt said. “The membership goals were achieved thanks to all our members who believed in our purpose and renewed.”

She continued, “I owe a huge thank you to members, Dr. Allison Campbell, APR, CPRC and Lisa Varner, APR, CPRC, who contacted members on the spot when asked. It also meant a lot that our President-Elect Lindsay Tozer and Vice President of Membership Greg Davis collaboratively recruited seven members from Citrus county, and I appreciate their continued recruitment of future members.”

Gantt also accepted the President’s Special Event Award for her leadership as co-chair of the ‘Back to the Roots’ Communications and PR Conference held at the College of Central Florida in Ocala in May. The local chapter partnered with the Association of Florida Colleges for the one-day conference that resulted in $3,000 in sponsorships, 110 attendees, 15 presenters, 14 sessions covering 13 topics, eight pieces of collateral including a 12-page program, eight ‘front porch’ vendors, seven sponsors, six hours of professional development programming, five scholarships awarded, four speakers of diversity, two home-cooked meals by Rashad Jones of Big Lee’s BBQ and Mojo’s, one pre-event mixer at World Equestrian Center, one community service project with the Hispanic Business Council, and one CEU credit for ethics accreditation.

Rachel Cote, fellow FPRA member, AFC board member, and CF manager of web communications, new media, marketing and public relations, also served as co-chair with Gantt and received an FPRA state level Rising Star nomination for her efforts. CF manager of marketing and public relations and FPRA/AFC member Lisa McGinnes also played a key role on the committee.

Gantt additionally accepted the President’s Award for Financial Management. Notable achievements included staying on budget, garnering a record number of sponsors, cutting expenses, increasing fundraisers, developing outreach opportunities for increased funding, and focused on revenue line items, including rebates and media directory sales.

The additional revenue led to an increase in scholarships the Chapter was able to issue to members for leadership programs such as the annual conference, LeadershipFPRA, professional development programs, and membership dues.

Gantt was quick to credit the team effort of Chapter Treasurer Beverly Brown, APR; 2022 Treasurer Kristina Donohue, APR; and Immediate Past President Heather Danenhower, APR, CPRC, who assisted her in creating a budget and fundraising plan for financial success.

FPRA is the oldest public relations association in the country representing 16 professional chapters and 14 student chapters throughout the state. The FPRA Ocala Chapter was established in 1980. For The FPRA Annual Conference is the largest public relations conference of the year within Florida. For more information, visit

Best of Show – End of Year Celebration and Board Installation

Best of Show – End of Year Celebration and Board Installation


You’re invited to come celebrate with the FPRA Ocala Chapter (serving Citrus & Marion Counties)!! Join us for the Chapter’s annual end-of-year celebration and board installation lunch program. We’re excited to recognize the dedication of our outgoing board of directors, announce the winners of our annual membership awards: including the Toni James, APR, CPRC PACEsetter award, welcome the chapter’s new leaders for the 2023-2024 year, and our past presidents will “pass the gavel” to the incoming 23-24 chapter president Lindsay Tozer, FCRM!. Plus, incoming FPRA state president, Wendy Crites Wacker, APR, CPRC, will share her vision for the year ahead. Registration includes a lunch buffet.


Our past president’s gavel ceremony with incoming chapter president Lindsay Tozer, FCRM, new officers’ swearing in, and our annual awards presentation.

Registration for the event is $30 per person. 
Menu includes: Tossed Salad, Lemon Pepper Chicken, Chicken Teriyaki, Stir Fry Vegetables, Fried Rice, and Varied Fruit Tarts.
If you have questions about this event, please contact our current VP of Membership / Incoming President-Elect Greg Davis at (352) 246-2278

Attendee Name

ACES (Advanced Career Enhancement)

In 2005, chapter leadership sought a way to further engage seasoned practitioners. The concept of ACES was formed (Advanced Career Enhancement Series)

ACES is designed to bring together the chapter’s most experienced members in a small, casual setting to discuss current public relations topics and issues.  This time for peer-to-peer dialogue usually consists of discussing current event case studies. Members explore pros and cons of how situations are/were handled and offer insight as to what better strategies could have been employed and what difference it could make in the outcome. Ocala Chapter ACES members have also conducted seminars for non-profit groups as part of the chapter’s community service.


Riders Up! Volunteer Opportunities

Are you interested in a volunteer opportunity for our annual chapter conference? Please contact us for further information. 

5 Takeaways: Natalie Asorey

Natalie Asorey

In June, we returned to in-person professional development meetings at the College of Central Florida for the first time in more than a year.

Natalie Asorey, lecturer and associate director at the University of Florida’s The Agency, presented “How to connect with Latinx communities in Florida.”

The 5 takeaways from her presentation include:

  1. Language is important, but translation is not enough. To connect on a deeper level, look beyond translation to see what is universally true.
  2. If you are confused about whether to use the term “Hispanic” or “Latino,” you’re not alone. “Hispanic” describes the language whereas “Latino” describes geographic origin, i.e., Latin America. Neither term describes identity or culture – and it’s best to use more specific descriptions, such as Puerto Rican, Mexican, Cuban, etc.
  3. Most Latino adults have never heard the term Latinx.
  4. Immerse yourself in different cultures and unlearn assumptions.
  5. Understand how and why Latinos consume media. Latinos spend more than 30 hours a week on smartphones and more than 12 hours a week listening to radio.

5 takeaways: Myiah Hutchens, Ph.D.

At July’s professional development meeting, Myiah Hutchens, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Public Relations at the University of Florida, presented: “How communication functions in democratic processes.”

The 5 takeaways from her presentation include:

  1. Though counterintuitive, research shows Facebook does not appear to be facilitating filter bubbles or making polarization worse. Exposure to incivility does not in and of itself lead to negative outcomes.
  2. Our relationship between two things is never static. Social media amplifies the caricature of opposing views. Using names, identities and avatars of real people reduces this perspective.
  3. Calling out misbehavior, such as name calling, on social media within your own group decreases polarization. Yelling at the other side doesn’t do anything. Instead, ask for the behavior you want and reinforce shared identities, but remember, changing opinions is super rare.
  4. Disagreement can have positive effects. When we access the other side, we are less polarized over time because our views become less extreme. We are more likely to seek out disagreeable views online because it’s safer and (mostly) anonymous.
  5. Face-to-face discussions are still most effective; it’s a lot harder to be a jerk to someone’s face.