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October 17, 2010

PRSA’s Orange County and Rochester Chapters Recognized for Outstanding Efforts to Advance the Society’s National Diversity Initiatives

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 17, 2010) — The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) honored its Orange County and Rochester Chapters with the PRSA 2010 Chapter Diversity Award at the PRSA Delegate Assembly Luncheon on Saturday, Oct. 16.
“2010 has been a great year for Diversity among the PRSA community,” said Sonia Sroka, chair of the PRSA Diversity Committee and SVP and Director of Hispanic marketing at Porter Novelli. “We are thrilled to honor the Orange County and Rochester Chapters for their commitments to driving outstanding diversity initiatives in their respective communities. Their accomplishments are a testament of the impact diversity makes on the bottom line.”
PRSA promotes educational outreach programs for its members and the public relations industry by using diversity as a smart business strategy to achieve and maintain a competitive edge in today’s diverse marketplace. The Chapter Diversity Award, sponsored by the PRSA Diversity Committee, is given to PRSA Chapters that embody and demonstrate key values in diversity, as well as succeeded in the following areas:
  • Initiated and maintained a successful diversity program in 2009.
  • Recruited or mentored members with interests and expertise in diversity.
  • Demonstrated a significant contribution toward diversity.
  • Showcased diversity as one of the top three strategic goals for the Chapter.
Each winning Chapter received a certificate of achievement, as well as a $250 award to be put toward the Chapters’ diversity efforts.

Orange County Chapter
Accepting on behalf of the PRSA Orange County (OC/PRSA) Chapter were Chapter President Katie Coates Ageson, APR, and Laarni Dacanay, Chapter member. The OC/PRSA Chapter was honored for organizing multiple programs throughout the year, particularly their 6th Annual Diversity Conference. Bringing together more than 65 practitioners, the conference’s highlight was a program called “Mommy and Daddy Marketing 101.”
The OC/PRSA Chapter has served as a resource for increasingly diverse Southern California businesses since 2004, raising awareness of diversity and inclusiveness in the public relations profession and the Southern California community. The group has successfully held annual diversity leadership conferences, established and developed partnerships with local PRSSA Chapters, and opened a dialog with the business, academic and media communities in Orange County, emphasizing the impact of diversity on the bottom line.
“We would like to thank PRSA for acknowledging our commitment to diversity and inclusion within the public relations profession,” said Orange County Chapter Diversity Chair Bridget Jackson. “Our core belief in advancing and promoting diversity and inclusion in the public relations profession is vital to the life of our organization and the communities in which we serve. On behalf of the dedicated colleagues behind OC/PRSA Diversity, I'd like to thank our fantastic members, sponsors and supporters, many of whom have given their time and resources to keep our committee and communities engaged. In addition, I extend the committee's special thanks to our OC/PRSA Chapter board, whose contributions play a large part in elevating diversity and inclusion at our chapter and beyond.”
Rochester Chapter
Accepting on behalf of the PRSA Rochester Chapter are Assembly Delegates, Christopher Veronda, APR, and Michael McDougall, APR.
“It is an honor to be recognized by the PRSA Diversity Committee for our Chapter’s efforts to raise awareness about the importance of diversity,” said Kathy Phelps, public relations manager, Dixon Schwabl, and PRSA Rochester Chapter president.
The PRSA Rochester Chapter spent the past year focusing their efforts on inclusion, while building a platform for conversation and increasing awareness in their community and Chapter. To accomplish this, they planned three distinct programs that engaged business leaders and students. Through various panel discussions, participants learned how to create more inclusive work environments, educated university students about the importance of diversity, and provided tips to communicate the value of diversity to both management and employees.
“We are always looking for new opportunities and fresh approaches to sharing information about the value of diversity and inclusion within the public relations profession and the Rochester community,” said Karen S. Olson, APR, assistant professor, Communication Department, The College at Brockport, State University of New York, and chair of the Rochester PRSA Diversity Committee.
About the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
With more than 31,000 members, PRSA is the largest organization of public relations professionals and students. PRSA is comprised of 111 local Chapters organized into 10 geographic Districts; 16 Professional Interest Sections that focus on issues, trends and research relevant to specialized practice areas, such as technology, health care, financial communications, entertainment and sports, and travel tourism; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which has more than 300 Chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. PRSA is headquartered in New York.
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