The Leadership Assembly, a group of approximately 300 delegates who represent PRSA’s Districts, Chapters, Sections and student society, meets annually immediately prior to the PRSA International Conference. The Leadership Assembly’s vote ratifies the PRSA Nominating Committee’s selection of Cohen to lead the organization beginning in 2014.
“Now is a time of profound change within the public relations industry, and in this rapidly evolving media environment, the opportunity to advance the profession has never been greater,” said Cohen. “I’m proud and humbled to lead PRSA during 2014, and deeply honored to serve an organization that has given so much to me and that fulfills a such an important role within our profession. It sets standards of ethical conduct and also provides a community where practitioners from across the industry can network, share best practices and sharpen their professional skills.”
The other candidates put forward by the Nominating Committee who were elected to the Board of Directors today for two-year terms beginning in 2013 are:
- Secretary: Kathy Barbour, APR, director of employee communications and organizational effectiveness, Baptist Health South Florida; and
- Treasurer: Blake Lewis, III, APR, Fellow PRSA, principal and senior consultant, Lewis Public Relations.
- Director, East Central District: Sonja Popp-Stahly, APR, communications manager, Lilly Bio-Medicines, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis;
- Director, Mid-Atlantic District: Felicia Walker Blow, APR, vice president for institutional advancement, Paul D. Camp Community College, Franklin, Va.;
- Director, Tri-State District: Anita Ford Saunders, APR, manager, communications, Yankee Gas, Berlin, Conn.; and
- Director, Western District: Marisa Vallbona, APR, Fellow PRSA, president, CIM Incorporated, San Diego.
Directors at Large
- Kelly Davis, APR, president and CEO, Davis Public Relations Marketing, LLC, Columbia, S.C.; and
- Susan Walton, APR, vice president for university and public affairs, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, N.D.
They join current Board members returning for 2013, who include:
- Chair and CEO: Mickey Nall, APR, Fellow PRSA, managing director, Ogilvy Public Relations, Atlanta
- Immediate-Past Chair: Gerard Corbett, APR, Fellow PRSA, founder and CEO, Redphlag LLC, San Bruno, Calif.
- Director, Midwest District: Debra D. Peterson, APR, director, external communications and community relations, CenturyLink, Overland Park, Kan.
- Director, Sunshine District: Geri Ann Evans, APR, president, Evans PR Group, Longwood, Fla.
Directors at Large
- Jane E. Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA, president, JKD & Company Inc., Lakewood, Colo.
- Diane Gage Lofgren, APR, Fellow PRSA, senior vice president, brand strategy, communications and public relations, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals, Oakland, Calif.
- Mark W. McClennan, APR, senior vice president, Schwartz MSL, Waltham, Mass.
- Elizabeth A. Pecsi, APR, Fellow PRSA, director, executive communications, Unisys Corp., El Cajon, Calif.
Cohen Brings Diverse Expertise to Board
As a senior executive of MWW, one of the top global independent public relations firms, Cohen has been instrumental in establishing firm best practices while guiding communications, integrated marketing and social media strategy for majorbrands including Sara Lee/Hillshire Brands, Gold's Gym, 1-800-FLOWERS.COM,Zumba Fitness and Sbarro Italian Eatery.
Cohen’s expertise spans the consumer packaged goods, food/restaurant, health/fitness, sports marketing, retail, entertainment and non-profit sectors.
He was recently recognized by PR News PR People Awards as its “PR Team Leader of the Year” and in 2006 was honored by PRWeek as one of its “Ten Rising Stars.”
“Joe is a natural leader and supremely talented public relations professional whose experience, passion and vision will mean great things for the Society,” said Corbett, 2012 PRSA chair and chief executive officer. “I look forward to seeing him take the gavel in 2014, and doing what I can to help in succeed in this new role.”
About the Public Relations Society of America
PRSA is the largest professional organization serving the U.S. public relations community. With a mission to “advance the profession and the professional,” PRSA provides news and information, thought leadership, continuing education and networking opportunities; sets standards of professional excellence and ethical conduct; and advocates for the business value of public relations and greater diversity among public relations professionals. Based in New York, PRSA comprises 112 local Chapters; 14 Professional Interest Sections that focus on specific industries and practice areas; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which is active at more than 320 colleges and universities.