Dear Members,

The original Summer of Love is a bit before my time. But, for me, this year represents a revival. This past summer could be considered PPRA's Summer of Love. At least it seemed that way.
Excuse me, while I kiss the sky. Or, something like that.
In my first few weeks as PPRA President, I feel inspired and blessed by the enthusiasm of, well, everyone.
Not only do we have one of the largest volunteer corps in recent memory. The people who have been jumping in to work on our committees have are truly wearing their passion on their sleeves.
As our Gold Medal honoree, the Phillie Phanatic might say, you could "Pheel the Love."
More on him later. First, a shout out to Vice President of Communications Bill Wedo and his newsletter committee - Amanda Conte, Kareen Preble, Samantha Byles, Kathryn Conda and Rachel Walsh. They are re-imagining this newsletter and working hard to give it an updated look and feel.
They, along with the programming team, will work even more closely this year with the Social Media team, headed by Christina Cassidy with Mina Lezenby, Lauren Tilghman and M ichelle Pennarola . And, there's even more communications. Emily O'Connell and Dan McCunney are working to get the PPRA message out to the rest of the world. Meanwhile, Amanda Mueller tends the blog and Alexa Johnson lends a critical eye to the website.

Then there is Vice President of Programming Deirdre Hopkins and her amazing team - Stefanie Arck-Baynes, Rachel Walsh, Jennifer Micklow, Hope Horwitz, Bev  Volpe, Sarah Maiellano, London Faust, Elena Bras, Megan Smith and Monica Lewis-Wilborn. They have been filling the calendar with a range of interesting events - everything from axe-throwing to talking social -media strategy.
The shout outs go on. Vice President of Membership Jaime Martorana and her Mentorship Program chairs Gregg Feistman and Melissa Fordyce are giving PPRA's Mentorship Program a dramatic makeover (more on that in the months to come). And the College Relations team (President-Elect Nina Scimenes and her co-chairs Veronica Montefusco and London Faust) is working tirelessly to present the third annual Networking 101 program on Sept. 25.
Oh yes, I mentioned the Phanatic - the first PPRA Gold Medal Honoree to have his own hot dog launcher and, perhaps, the best dugout dancer of any Gold Medal honoree in history. Mark your calendar now for November 8. Vice President of External Affairs Hope Corse and Gold Medal Co-Chairs Lisette Bralow and Christina Crews are planning a memorable event
From my vantage point as PPRA President, I am watching all of these amazing professionals as they produce excellent work -- all in the name of creating a better experience for you, the PPRA member.
The PPRA program year is just getting started. Join us at any (or all) of our events. Who knows? You may get bitten by the love bug, too.
2017-2018 President
Philadelphia Public Relations Association
Ramona the adopted
She may not be an official PPRA member, but Ramona, the Pit Bull mix who stole everyone's heart at the Hall of Fame induction of Dr. Bill Cowen, is well trained in the art of self-promotion and the value of partnerships. 

With some help from association members, Dr. Cowen and the Pennsylvania SPCA, Ramona has found her forever home.

In truth, the pieces were there from the start. Dr. Cowen's great-great grandfather was a PSPCA officer and Dr. Cowen has continued the family legacy with his volunteer work for animal rights and for the PSPCA. He specifically advocates for misunderstood breeds such as Pit Bulls and against breed-specific legislation. He specifically requested for Ramona, and her sweet personality, to share his spotlight as he strives to change perceptions about these dogs.

Who's next? These up and coming PPRA members
Six PPRA members were recognized by news site Billy Penn in its  list of "Who's Next?" a look at the "19 young people who are the next great communicators in Philadelphia."  

PPRA President-Elect, Nina Scimenes, and PPRA Board Member Sarah Maiellano were included on this list.  Scimenes is Communications & Marketing Manager at Brulee Catering by Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix. Maiellano is Assistant Director of Communications at the Philly POPS.

Other members include: 
  • Alethia Calbeck, Director of Communications at the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.
  • Alex McKechnie, PR Manager of the Museum of the American Revolution
  • Jenea Robinson, Senior Media Relations Manager at VISIT Philadelphia.
  • Lauren Tilghman, Principal at PhilanthroPRy 
Billy Penn's Who's Next series is presented by the Knight Foundation, focusing on a different industry or field each month. Honorees were recognized with plaques at a special happy hour at LeMeridien.  

After 29 years at Comcast Spectacor, where he currently serves as Vice President, Public Relations,  PPRA Hall of Famer  Ike Richman,  has started his own firm, Ike Richman Communications.  

Elizabeth Wellington, 
Philadelphia Inquirer fashion columnist is now lifestyle columnist, she says, "to better capture the shift in how we both style and live our lives."
KYW Newsradio 1060 Community Affairs Reporter  Cherri Gregg hosts a new public affairs program, "Flashpoint." The half-hour show airing 8:30 a.m., Sundays, focuses on community affairs, political news, civil rights and grassroots issues affecting the Philadelphia area.
NBC10 has added two persons with local roots to its news and First Alert Weather teams.
Anchor and reporter Chester native  Dray Clark  will co-anchor weekend mornings with Rosemary Connors and meteorologist  Steven Sosna , a Montgomery County native, comes most recently from NBC4 in New York.
Philadelphia Media Network has instituted a paywall for Under the plan, readers have access for up to 10 stories before being required to subscribe, according to PR and Special Events Manager  Amy Buckman . The subscription includes replica editions, apps, archives, exclusive partner discounts and more. Subscribers will also have access to premium editions including the Eagles Guide, Craig LaBan's Ultimate Dining Guide and the Year in Pictures.
Calkins Media,  operators of The Bucks County Courier Times, The Intelligencer, The
Burlington County Times, The Beaver County Times and The Ellwood City Ledger, were bought by
GateHouse Media in June. 
Harry Yanoshak, Peg Quann and Jackie Massott  are no longer with The Bucks County
Courier Times. They did not indicate new employers.
Temple University's Klein College of Media and Communicationhas launched a newly enhanced curriculum for the Public Relations Major this Fall, according to  Gregg Feistman , director of the school's Public Relations major. 
PRowl Public Relations, Temple's student-run public relations firm, marks its 10th anniversary this year with a new logo and a series of celebrations, according to Firm Director  Clarissa Ford.
Know of a recent media change? Email us!
PPRA President  Adam Dvorin recently placed a story in Forbes highlighting his client, the Stevens Institute of Technology. Adam first pitched the reporter on Aug. 19, 2016, and almost a year later the article was published online and in print.
PPRA Board Director Darrah Foster and PPRA member Thomas Logue recently secured placements in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Feasterville-Trevose Timesand  Catholic Health World among others, highlighting Theresa Conejo, an employee at Nazareth Hospital of Mercy Health System (client). Throughout Conejo's 33 years in the nursing field, she has become a true leader with a particular focus on immigrants and minorities, working to improve health education and access for the Hispanic community.

The Risk Management Association's in-house publication, The RMA Journal , recently won two 2017 Apex Awards for Publication Excellence Arielle Morris , won in the category of Magazines, Journals & Tabloids - Design & Layout while the three-part article "Perspectives from the Front Line: 2016 Industry Insights" won in the category of Writing Series. 
Chief Communications Officer Susan Buehler reports that executives  from  PJM , the nation's largest electric grid operator, were interviewed for 47 national, regional and local newspaper, web and TV stories garnering over 122 million impressions for one of the most talked about news stories this summer, the solar eclipse.
Welcome America, Inc. President and CEO  Jeff Guaracino has announced the organization will team up with the city of Philadelphia to produce the Philly Holiday Festival  for the second year in a row.
Michael Cavacini , former PPRA Director and current Public Relations Specialist at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP , recently was married at The National Society of Colonial Dames in Rittenhouse Square. He and his bride Stephanie Lipartito celebrated their honeymoon in Hawaii. 

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 or tweet us using #PPRAProud.

Student Program: Networking 101
Monday, Sept. 25
5:45 - 8 p.m.
Independence Live, 1919 Market St., Philadelphia, PA
Registration Fee: $15 per person. Includes program and refreshments.

First impressions are lasting! Learn from the best of the best on how to get the most out of networking. Many PPRA Hall of Famers and Past Presidents will be in the mix for a valuable speed networking session after a presentation from a branding expert, Melissa Alam.

Media Mingle: Local Journalists and a Happy Hour
Thursday, Sept. 28
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
U-Bahn, 1320 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA
Registration Fee: $25 members, $40 non-members

PPRA has assembled a cross-section of Philadelphia's best journalists for this mix-and-mingle event. Admission includes happy hour, snacks and two tickets for an adult beverage.

Video Made Easy for PR Pros
Thursday, Oct. 12
8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Philadelphia Bar Association, 1101 Market St., 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA
Registration Fee: $35 members, $50 non-members, $25 students

Digital media experts Andre Smith and Ashley Barnas lead a hands-on training session designed to show you how to produce high-quality smartphones videos.

Unleash the Hidden Advantages of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter
Monday, Oct. 23
11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Quorum Conference Center, University City Science Center, 3711 Market St., Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA
Registration Fee: $35 members, $50 non-members, $25 students

Join us as leading experts discuss ways to ramp-up your social media efforts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and more to meet all your personal, professional, business and recruitment objectives.

New faces have joined PPRA. Make sure to say hello if you see them at one of our next events!
  • Desiree Bell, DPBell & Associates
  • Oliva Bohrer
  • Elena Bras, Museum of the American Revolution
  • Alex Brown, Capital Health
  • Monava Chappelle, Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services
  • Nick Charles, Ceisler Media & Issue Advocacy
  • Elise Corbett, Ceisler Media & Issue Advocacy
  • Jim DeLorenzo, Jim DeLorenzo Public Relatons
  • Terry Diamond, Shriners Hospital for Children - Philadelphia 
  • Kirk Dorn, Ceisler Media & Issue Advocacy
  • Laura Frank, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
  • Abbey Gau, Longwood Gardens
  • Jeff Guaracino, Welcome America, Inc
  • Ben Guell, Vault Communications
  • Melvin Gupton, Penn State Abington Corporate Communication Department
  • Brian Hegarty, Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services
  • Heather Hunter, Safeguard Scientifics
  • Kelly Jankowski, Edelman
  • Katharine Krauss, Healthcare and Technology
  • Gabrielle Lacherza, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children
  • Monica Lewis-Wilborn, Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services
  • Tom Logue, Anne Klein Communications Group, LLC
  • Margery Miller, Capital Health
  • John Morath, Capital Health
  • Kristina Pappas, PECO
  • Michelle Pennarola, Children's Scholarship Fund Philadelphia
  • Monica Robinson, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
  • Surabhi Sahay, Penn State Abington Corporate Communication Department
  • Kathryn Saulinas, Shriners Hospital for Children - Philadelphia 
  • Jason Stacchini, Capital Health
  • Kate Stier, Capital Health
  • Kristen VanLeer
  • Kate Wilhelm, Ceisler Media & Issue Advocacy

Your dream career could be a few clicks away. Visit PPRA's Career Corner for more details on the following positions: 

Public Relations Intern
Philadelphia Orchestra
Senior Public Relations Specialist
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Public Relations Specialist
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Communications Intern
William Penn Foundation
Director of Communciations
Liberty Lutheran Services
Manager of Public Relations
Philadelphia School Partnership
Communications Specialist
The University of the Arts
Director, Marketing & Communications
Drexel University

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 !