A Note from the President
Dear PPRA Members,

In my first PResence message, I referred to PPRA as a family that learns from each other and encourages one another. Never has that been more evident to me than over the past year. The PPRA community is amazing! Thank you so much for a memorable year! I am pleased to count you all as mentors, colleagues, and friends. It's this sense of camaraderie that truly makes our organization unique.

With that in mind, we started the year with a goal to develop and effectively communicate the PPRA brand and our value proposition . We honed in on the idea that PPRA is a local community; a group of highly engaged, connected professionals who give back to -- and take great pride in -- the Greater Philadelphia region that we serve. We also updated our logo to better reflect this community connection.

In addition, we have been working for several years on a much-needed website overhaul . I am pleased to report that we are very close to launching our new site, which better reflects our brand and is user-friendly with plenty of new features to serve you, our sponsors, anyone seeking a PR professional, and those interested in joining our organization. This is not just a web redesign. We have moved to an entirely new platform - one that is made specifically for member organizations like ours.   Each PPRA member will have his or her own profile where you can find out which events you've registered for, track payments, update your contact info and announcements, and more. We're also making it easier for our sponsors to support us and offering them the added benefit of branding on our site.  For a sneak peek of what's to come, click here . The full site will launch later this summer, so stay tuned for that announcement!

I am so proud of our hardworking board and committee members, who helped to make this year a success. The programming team helped us accomplish our goal to provide value through meaningful programs that are useful for members of all experience levels . I was incredibly impressed by the quality and breadth of our programs!

It also was important for us to give back this year -- both to the community at large and to our own members. We were able to do this through meaningful mentorship opportunities and the Philly PRoactive program, benefitting the Career Wardrobe.

We also were committed to building a strong PPRA Board pipeline . Congratulations to our newly elected 2017-18 Board! It is so great to see many of our committee members advance into Board roles. And you will all be well served under the leadership of our new president, Adam Dvorin.

Thank you again for a wonderful year! It was a true honor to serve as president of this great organization. I look forward to watching PPRA thrive well into the future!


Ashley Berke
2016-2017 President
Philadelphia Public Relations Association
Here's What You Missed
2017 Hall of Fame Luncheon
On May 24th, we inducted Dr. Bill Cowen into the PPRA Hall of Fame at Union Trust with Emcee Ian Bush of KYW Newsradio and a host of other special guests: Dr. Teresa A. Nance, Villanova University;
Jen Leary, Red Paw Emergency Relief Team; and
Cathy Engel Menendez, 2015 Hall of Fame Inductee.
View photos on our Facebook page here
( Baiada Photography)
Annual Meeting  Celebration
On June 22nd, we celebrated another successful programming year at our Annual Meeting Celebration at the Museum of the American Revolution. After a discussion about new journalism models with Terrance C.Z. Egger and Michael Days from The Philadelphia Media Network, we  recognized the winners of the 2017 PPRA Fast-Track and Dr. Jean Brodey Student Achievement Awards. We also welcomed and inducted the 2017-2018 officers and directors pictured above. ( Ryan Eda Photography)

2017 Fast-Track Award Recipient: Christanna Ciabattoni, Senior Account Executive at Skai Blue Media.  ( Ryan Eda Photography)

Dr. Jean Brodey Student Achievement Award Recipient: Marissa Reale, a junior strategic communications major with a concentration in public relations at Temple University.  ( Ryan Eda Photography)

And the 2016-2017 Gold Medal Recipient is...
The Phillie Phanatic!  

We are excited to honor The Phillie Phanatic at our next annual Gold Medal Luncheon.  Vice President of External Affairs, Hope Corse, has enlisted two experienced co-chairs for the event: Lisette Bralow and Christina Crews. Stay tuned for more details.
Local Media Happenings
  • According to the May sweeps ratings, NBC10's late newscast ranked #1 among 25-54 year olds, averaging more viewers than 6abc and CBS3 . However, the station ranks #3 in total viewers, with 6abc and CBS3 ranking #1 and #2 respectively. 
Know of a recent media change? Email us!
Win an award? Speaking on a panel? Landed an amazing media hit? 
Email us your good news at  info@ppra.com or tweet us using #PPRAProud.

New Positions & Hires, Clients, and Endeavors: 
  • Visit Bucks County has hired Graphic Designer Erica Casbar. They also welcome their new mascot, Bucky the young buck, to their social media channels! Find the tiny deer exploring all of Bucks County's hotels, restaurants, attractions, and events on VBC's Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and brand new SnapChat channel (@VisitBucksPA).
  • Clarrisa Ford (Temple University, '18) has started her internship at IMG in New York City as a Strategy and Activation intern. 
  • After nearly 4 1/2 years at Penn Vet, Ashley Berke will be joining The Philadelphia Orchestra as Vice President of Communications, beginning July 24th. 
  • Kathryn Saulinas was recently hired as the public relations specialist at Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia. 
  • Darrah Foster has been promoted to Senior Account Executive at Anne Klein Communications Group. We also congratulate her on her recent engage ment!    
  • Erin Jay is now EVP and Project Manager for Calysto Communications. She still has her own PR practice as well. 
  • Cashman & Associates strategic communications and special events firm was awarded Philadelphia Business Journal's "Best Places to Work 2017" in the small business category. The agency also welcomed two new staff members - Deepika Subbiah, PR Account Executive, and Megan Renner, Social Media Coordinator, to the team.
Awards & Milestones:
  • Marking its 71 st  competitive honor  in 5 years GillespieHall , a Hockessin, Del.-based marketing and  PR firm , earned a 2017 Hermes Gold Creative Award in the Internal Communications Campaign category.  GillespieHall named and created a  visual identity  for an academic institution leadership initiative program and produced a series of materials to introduce the program to students, faculty, administrators, parents, and speakers.
  • Joshua M. Peck of law firm Duane Morris LLP was named to the PR News national list of "The 50 Game Changers of PR."  Peck was cited for his 13 years at the helm of the international communications effort of Duane Morris, and for founding Law Firm Media Professionals, now 15 years old. It is the only trade group for the legal PR specialty.  
  • Former PPRA President and Hall of Famer Dan Cirucci recently celebrated a milestone as his Dan Cirucci Blog logged two million page views at  www.dancirucci.com. The blog covers politics, the arts, travel, dining, and popular culture.
  • PPRA's Matt Cabrey served as Penn State Brandywine's 2017 commencement speaker on May 6th.  A past PPRA president, and our 2011 Hall of Fame inductee, Matt began his college career at this Delaware County campus before attending the University Park campus where he earned a B.S. in journalism and a minor in sociology. Invest ten minutes to watch Matt's inspiring Penn State Brandywine commencement speech, which begins at 14:15, and you'll learn something new about Matt and his career journey.  
  • Gloria Hochman presented the National Adoption Center's Stan Hochman Compassion for Kids Award to Jeff Gammage, writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer; Larry Kane, broadcaster and special contributor to KYW NewsRadio; Irv Randolph, managing editor of The Philadelphia Tribune, and Vai Sikahema, news anchor for NBC10 at the Center's annual Celebration of Family gala.  Last month, Gloria gave a keynote address to members of the International Society for Bipolar Disorders in Washington, D.C.  She talked about her experience writing the best-selling A Brilliant Madness: Living with Manic-Depressive Disorder, with the late Patty Duke.    
  • Jessica Lawlor, CEO of Jessica Lawlor & Company (JL&Co), recently presented "Hustle Hard: Promoting Yourself and Your Business" to members of the PennSuburban Chamber of Greater Montgomery County. View the presentation and see other topics Jessica speaks on here .
  • Elise Turner, Communications Manager at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, was recently voted onto the Board of the Children's Heart Foundation - Pennsylvania Chapter. In early June, she co-chaired the Delaware Valley Congenital Heart Walk, which raised over $100,000 for pediatric heart research and had over 1,000 attendees.    
Notable Media Placements: 
  • Adam Dvorin, PPRA's new President, recently placed a story in the   Wall Street Journal  about his client, Camden, New Jersey's LEAP Academy University Charter School. LEAP is the first New Jersey charter school to have its entire senior class take a full course load of all-college classes -- something that begins in fall 2018. Dvorin is the media director of the New Jersey agency, Winning Strategies.
  • Instagram influencer dachshund-chihuhua mix Tuna of @TuneMeltsMyHeart and @TheTravelingTuna spent  the weekend in both Philadelphia and Bucks County! He stayed at The Warwick Hotel and dined in New Hope at The Landing before tasting some wine at Crossing Vineyards.
  • The Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square, which just concluded on June 18, welcomed 89,000 visitors in just 38 days, from 49 states and 17 countries. Cari Feiler Bender, Relief Communications, LLC, led the public relations campaign for the Festival and Franklin Square year-round.
  • WHYY-FM featured the story of formerly homeless artists in the joint art program of Project HOME and Studio Incamminati, School for Contemporary Realist Art, according to Bill Wedo, the school's communications manager. Their work was juried into the Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show, the nation's oldest outdoor original artwork show.
  • Nina Scimenes, Communications & Marketing Manager at  Brûlée Catering by Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix  secured a placement on  Billy Penn featuring Cross Keys Café inside of the Museum of the American Revolution. 
  • Member Kerry O'Connor, Sr. Communications Manager, Einstein Healthcare Network/MossRehab, organized over 60 volunteers to participate in They Will Surf Again -- an event that gives persons with disabilities a chance to surf -- in Wildwood Crest, NJ. O'Connor was also able to leverage MossRehab's volunteers and sponsorship into media coverage, including from NBC10, CBS3, and 6abc.
New faces have joined PPRA. Make sure to say hello if you see them at one of our next events!
  • Kelly Banaszak, Aramark
  • Linda Descano, Havas PR
  • Bonnie Dugan, Philadelphia Futures
  • Lauren Hawk, Brownstone PR
  • Mina Lezenby
  • Kathleen Miller, AAA Mid-Atlantic
  • Amanda Mueller, Buchanan Public Relations
  • Kevin Stypulkoski
  • Rachel Walsh, The Arc Gloucester
Your dream career could be a few clicks away. Visit PPRA's Career Corner for more details on the following positions: 

Communications Coordinator
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
Communications Coordinator
Associate Director of Strategic Marketing
Penn State Abington Campus

Media Relations Representative
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Manager of Public Affairs
Philadelphia School Partnership (PSP)

Have a job you want to promote in the Career Corner to reach nearly 300 PR professionals in the area? Click here to post your job !