2017 Board of Directors Installed
The Maryland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Maryland) is pleased to announce that Claudia Ciolfi, Manager of Public Relations and Strategic Communications at Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company, has been elected president of the chapter’s board of directors effective January 1, 2017.
Claudia has been a member of PRSA since 1999. Most recently, she served as a member of the board and chairperson of the chapter’s Communications Committee. Ms. Ciolfi has been involved with the Maryland chapter in multiple leadership capacities over the years, including chairing the annual Chesapeake Conference Committee, the Communications Committee, and participating as a PRSA Bronze Anvil judge. She also served on the chapter’s board from 2008 – 2010.
“I look forward to working with the new board of directors and committees to continue to move the chapter forward by offering members at all stages of their career quality learning and networking opportunities,” said Ms. Ciolfi. “There are exciting improvements on the horizon that will benefit our members and encourage new professionals to join our vibrant chapter.”
Ms. Ciolfi succeeds Dan Dunne, APR, Director of Communications at Erickson Living, as president. Mr. Dunne completed his one-year term as president on December 31, 2016. In 2017, Mr. Dunne will serve as an assembly delegate for the chapter.
“I would like to acknowledge Dan’s exceptional leadership skills and dedication to PRSA Maryland,” said Ms. Ciolfi. “His vision and guidance has, and continues to, motivate the board and committees to work together as a cohesive unit to make PRSA Maryland a resource for networking and education for area communications professionals.”
The 2017 PRSA Maryland Board of Directors consists of:
Claudia Ciolfi, Chesapeake Employers Insurance
Kelly Stoll, AECOM
Courtney Benhoff, Abel Communications
Jeff Davis, APR, Van Eperen
Dianna Fornaro, Chesapeake Employers Insurance
David Harrison, Harrison Communications
Caitlin Haskins, Imre
Jennifer Kellar, APR, AECOM
Emily McDermott, Nevins & Assoc.
Debra Shindler, MedStar Health
Lauren Walbert, Sandy Hillman Communications
Jeff Davis, APR, Van Eperen
Dan Dunne, APR, Erickson Living
Ken Smith, APR, The Boeing Company
Click here for full bios.
About PRSA Maryland
The Maryland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA Maryland) helps public relations and communications professionals stay connected professionally and personally. As part of the nation’s largest and foremost organization of communication professionals, PRSA Maryland offers networking, training, resources and support to assist members in practicing public relations at the speed of communication.
Daniel Dunne, APR
In last month’s WebNotes my “long-time” standing as a PR professional was noted. Thus, I thought to help members get to know me a little more, briefly shedding further light on my career path might be of help.
A large part (nearly 30 years) of my “long-time” public service career was devoted to serving as a national spokesperson with the U.S. Justice Department. My Public Information Officer role included managing all aspects of the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ external communications, including conducting daily media interviews, coordinating the agency’s public relations training, development of media policies, and providing crisis communication support – including for national onsite events and incidents. Before becoming a federal civil servant, I served six years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Fighter Attack Squadron 321 (VMFA-321).
My “encore” career with Erickson Living started in 2006. The company is one of the nation’s top senior living providers and is headquartered in Catonsville, Maryland. With Erickson, I’ve been fortunate to have served in a variety of communication roles, including Director of Brand Communications and now Director of Communications. My current role includes leading Erickson’s external communication functions, including public relations, social media engagement and outreach, as well as crisis communications.
I live in Bowie, MD, with my wife of 33 years and college age daughter. We also have two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and a Maine Coon Cat that has a monopoly on love and affection.
My greatest joy as a PR professional comes from having the opportunity to help foster the professional development of communication professionals…a BIG reason for my involvement with PRSA MD. The investment others have made throughout my career is something I’m committed to paying forward by supporting Baltimore’s communication professionals.
Since assuming my new role with the chapter, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with several of those who have recently expressed interest in volunteering. I’ve appreciated the feedback provided regarding availability for support and the willingness of all to consider specific chapter volunteer opportunities throughout the year.
A perfect way to help the chapter kick-off the year will be to join Board members and others for our first Happy Hour on February 24, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at Kooper’s North. This informal gathering is a perfect way to meet PR pros in Baltimore and exchange ideas with others in the industry. Then, two days later (February 26), the Board’s annual planning meeting is being held at the Oak Crest retirement community in Parkville, MD. The luncheon discussion starts at 12:00 p.m., and is open to anyone looking to help the chapter chart its course for 2016. If you’re not sure how to reserve a seat to be with this fun group…just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and your seat and lunch will be reserved. Lastly, for those who have ideas regarding chapter offerings in 2016, but are unable to attending the planning discussion, I would love to hear your feedback so those ideas can be a part of this year’s planning discussion.
Daniel R. Dunne, APR
PRSA Maryland Chapter
Happy New Year 2016! It’s an honor and privilege to serve as your newly elected president. Throughout my communication career in Baltimore, PRSA MD has been an important part of my life. Those who have served in chapter leadership and volunteer positions have helped me grow personally and professionally, including in my current role as Director of Communications at Erickson Living. As a result, my passion for supporting the chapter has continued to grow, especially as it provides the perfect platform for connecting with others and investing in their success – which is so rewarding!
Before fully transitioning into 2016, it’s important to note the success the chapter enjoyed last year under the leadership of co-presidents Jeffrey Davis, APR, President, J. Davis Public Relations, and David Harrison, President, Harrison Communications. Both lead the chapter with selfless service during a very important time in its history, routinely focusing on ways to support its goals of serving as a resource and networking forum for Baltimore’s public relations community. Special thanks are also extended to the 2015 Board of Directors, Assembly Delegates, and other volunteers for their ongoing commitment to serve and educate professionals in the field of public relations.
This week, membership has approved a new board of directors and a pool of volunteers who will work to organize and manage the chapter’s programs and services. I am also excited to share that Emily McDermott of Nevins & Associates has accepted appointment as an At-Large Director to the board.
One of my greatest takeaways last year from serving on the chapter’s board and achieving PRSA’s Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) was a clearer understanding regarding how the future is now when it comes to building meaningful relationship in the PR profession. For me, the waiting to be more involved with the chapter ended when others pointed out the organization’s needs and how serving would enhance my professional network and communication industry insights. Well, those voices were right on the mark and proven to me how rewarding chapter membership can be by investing today in ourselves and others.
Looking to develop a renewed zeal for this profession, or further your skills and connections in the local PR community, then please remember there are a variety of ways to get involved, network and make a difference in our community.
In the near future the board will be holding a kick-off meeting to set the year’s agenda of events and activities. In addition, planning is also underway to announce a Winter Happy Hour and Installation Celebration, where you will have the opportunity to meet and greet your 2016 Board as well as network with other chapter members.
I look forward to an exciting year that not only drives value for members, but also expands the chapter’s benefits to further meet your needs. I’d love to hear your thoughts…please feel free to send your ideas via email to: email@example.com.
Daniel R. Dunne, APR
PRSA Maryland Chapter