PRestige June 2018

The PResident's Perspective

Were you at the Toolkit for Success Seminar – ENGAGE on May 17th? It was another BOLD event for the FPRA Ocala Chapter and I could not be more proud to be part of this group. I am sorry if you missed this excellent professional development opportunity. A special thanks to Ginger Broslat, APR, CPRC, Lauren Debick, Elaine McClain, Kevin Christian, APR, CPRC, Heather Danenhower, APR, CPRC, Toni James, APR, CPRC, and Maclyn Walker on pulling off a top-notch event.

As I write this letter, I am preparing the year-end chapter management report, which serves as a summary of all that is right with the FPRA Ocala Chapter. It is an opportunity for me to provide details about the successes of our chapter. Highlights include improved membership engagement, high event participation and attendance, excellent internal and external communications efforts, successful accreditation and certification efforts, and more!

Coming off the highs of our chapter’s successes this year, I am thrilled about the pinnacle of FPRA offerings – the fast-approaching Annual Conference, to be held August 5-8 at the Sawgrass Marriott in Ponte Vedra. The Ocala Chapter has budgeted for a conference scholarship to help one of you attend this premier professional development event. Apply today! Speaking of  scholarships, we also have a scholarship for a member to be a part of the Leadership FPRA Class III. Apply to be a part of the class. If you are chosen, our scholarship may help you afford to participate. Read Lauren Debick’s latest blog post to learn more!

Until next time, keep the BOLD PR work going and be looking for the scholarship opportunities from the FPRA Ocala Chapter. You get out of this exactly what you put into it, so seize the chance to get involved!


Lisa E. Varner, APR, CPRC

Conference Scholarship


You’re invited to join us for FPRA’s 80th Annual Conference to be held from August 5-8, 2018, at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Spa in Jacksonville. The FPRA Annual Conference is known for its excellent speaker lineup, fun networking functions, luxurious host properties and its signature event, the Golden Image Awards. We hope you’ll mark your calendars now. The early-bird registration rate (ends July 16) for FPRA members is $795.00 and for non-members is $975.00. Your registration fee includes all meals (three breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners), except dinner on Monday.

To be considered for an FPRA Ocala Chapter scholarship to annual conference, members must apply for the chapter’s annual conference scholarship no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, June 22, 2018. Please complete the online application form.

The chapter may award partial scholarships in lieu of one full scholarship. All awards are contingent on availability of funds.

Leadership FPRA Class III Applications Due June 29

I can hardly believe there is only one LeadershipFPRA session left before graduation in August. As enjoyable and thought-provoking all our sessions have been, the cross-functional business strategies session held on May 19 at the University of South Florida had me feeling like a sponge in that I was soaking up everything the different speakers presented on. I would describe this as the session in which PR professionals learn what other departments like HR, Accounting, and IT want you to know about them and how we can be better collaborators with one another. I would like to thank all the speakers who took time out of their Saturday to spend time with my class. The presenters included: Bernie D. Currie, SHRM-CP, PHR, Director of Human Resources, BICSI, Lauren Deiorio, Executive Director, Community Foundation for Ocala Marion County, Joseph Hice, APR, CPRC, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, University of South Florida System, Sidney Fernandes, VP/CIO, University of South Florida, and Roy Reid, APR, CPRC, Executive Director Communications, Adventist Health System. Thank you to Laura Byrnes, SPR, CPRS, Communications Manager, CareerSoure Citrus Levy Marion for facilitating our session.

Here are my top two take-aways from each presentation.

Bernie D. Currie, SHRM-CP, PHR, Director of Human Resources, BICSI presenting on “Help, I’m an HR Professional”

  • The common denominator between those in HR and those in PR is people
  • HR and PR can work together by creating opportunities to meet with one another and find ways to promote the organization together

Lauren Deiorio, Executive Director, Community Foundation for Ocala Marion County presenting on “Speaking the Language of Finances”

  • Understanding the basics of the financials will help you get a seat at the table with C-suite leaders
  • Numbers tell the story of the organization

Joseph Hice, APR, CPRC, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, University of South Florida System presenting on “Passion Rules!”

  • Every passion starts with you and your experiences
  • When you have an idea you are passionate about you have to talk about it, write it, explain in, draw it, touch it, and become the idea.

Sidney Fernandes, VP/CIO, University of South Florida presenting on “Why the CMO and CIO Should be Texting Buddies”

  • Problem solving is becoming more teamwork based in the IT setting, which is beneficial to PR practitioners because this ensures all departments are aware of what is happening across the organization.
  • IT departments are working together to create business cases for new programming. There is a process in place about what kind of programming organizations could be using.

Roy Reid, APR, CPRC, Executive Director Communications, Adventist Health System presenting on “Collaboration, Integration and Influence”

  • It is imperative to know what our role is as PR professionals and have clarity about what is ours and not ours to “fix”
  • Diversity is key and we should be surrounded with people who can introduce us to new ideas

I walked away from Saturday’s session with new perspectives on departments I work with and ways I can interact with them that will lead to better results for my organization.

Thank you to Joe Curley, APR, CPRC for the scholarship I received as part of the 2017 Joe Curley Rising Leaders Class of 2017. Your investment in me will not be squandered or forgotten! Thank you again to the University of South Florida and Joe Hice, APR, CPRC who helped organize and host the cross-functional business strategies session.

Applications are now being accepted for the next class of LeadershipFPRA. Class size is limited to 21, so applications are competitive. Tuition for the program is $750 (not including travel and lodging). FPRA Ocala has budgeted scholarship dollars to assist a chapter member(s) who is accepted to the program.  Applications must be returned to FPRA State on June 15, 2018. Applications can be mailed to FPRA at 40 Sarasota Center Blvd., Ste. 107, Sarasota, FL 34240 or emailed to

Applications can be downloaded at

This is truly a fantastic opportunity and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking to advance their PR career.

Pre-Conference Mixer - Wed., June 13

We’ve secured a location between Ocala and Gainesville to gather members for a pre-conference mixer. Whether you come by to say hello for a bit, or stay for dinner, this lovely location should be a nice gathering spot for us to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones before we head to Sawgrass in August. Make plans now!

Wednesday, June 13  •  5:30-7 p.m.  •  The Salted Brick at Trilogy Preserve

4021 NW 53rd Avenue Rd  •  Ocala, FL 34482

Let's Support Each Other!

Your Fellow Chapter Members want to Support Your Hard Work!
Please notify if you have an upcoming event. We will then share the events via Facebook and in our newsletter to encourage more members to come out and support one another. This is another great member benefit of FPRA.
Here’s a great example!

Register Now for the June Luncheon

OCALA FPRA June Professional Development Program

TOPIC:         “Building an Effective Coalition Organically”

SPEAKER:    Sarah B. McBrearty

DATE:           Thur., June 21, 2018

TIME:            Networking 11:30 – Program Noon – 1:00 p.m.

LOCATION:   Ewers Century Center Teleconference Room

CF  •  3001 SW College Road   •   Ocala, FL 34474


OCALA, FL – Whether in politics or business, building coalitions of advocates is a vital piece of any communications campaign. And, coalition engagement is a critical key to success. Sarah McBrearty, vice president of communications at the Florida Hospital Association, will provide attendees an inside look at how to build an effective coalition organically –  including effective social media recruitment tools, member engagement strategies and tips on how to connect with your audience in the future.

About the Speaker:

Sarah McBrearty serves as Vice President of Communications for the Florida Hospital Association (FHA), a state association that represents over 200 hospitals and health systems. She joined FHA in 2010 as the Director of Communications. In her current role, Sarah leads the communication efforts of the association through grassroots advocacy, strategic planning and member outreach.

Prior to joining FHA, Sarah worked in the promotions department at VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation.  During her tenure, Sarah managed the logistics of all promotional projects and media support in the organization’s top target markets.

Prior to joining VISIT FLORIDA, Sarah was an account manager at Peter Mitchell Associates, a boutique advertising agency specializing in advertising, graphic design and media strategies. There she led campaigns for a variety of finance and health care clients.

Sarah is a graduate of the University of Tennessee. She and her husband Jamie live in Tallahassee, Florida with their two sons.

Please RSVP to Christy Jergens at;
payment can be made by visiting

RSVPs must be made by 2 p.m. the Monday prior to the luncheon and cannot be guaranteed without payment.Cost is $20 for members and $25 for guests.

The monthly meetings begin with networking from 11:45 a.m. – Noon with lunch and presentations from Noon – 1 p.m.

Professional attire preferred

"Donut" Miss This Opportunity!

You “donut” want to miss this offer from our chapter’s friends at Edible Arrangements! In celebration of National Donut Day, Fri., June 1, stop by either location for a free Edible® Donut ($4 value).

Newsletter Archive

2019 (8)

2018 (12)

2017 (12)

2016 (4)

2014 (1)

2013 (1)

2012 (1)

2011 (1)

2010 (1)

Leave a Reply

seven − 3 =