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Chapter member Ashlene Larson has been selected by The Daily Record to receive one of its 2020 Leading Women awards

Ad Agency Leader Ashlene Larson Named One of Maryland’s 2020 Leading Women

The Daily Record Recognizes the Next Generation of Maryland’s Women Leaders

Ashlene-LarsonBaltimore, Md., (October 15, 2020) — The Daily Record selected Ashlene Larson, director of public relations and social media for the award-winning, Baltimore-based advertising agency, Planit, to receive one of its 2020 Leading Women awards.

“This year’s Leading Women are professionally accomplished, involved in their communities and committed to making a difference and inspiring change,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, group publisher of The Daily Record. “They are the next generation of leaders in Maryland, and The Daily Record is pleased to recognize their achievements.”

The Daily Record’s Leading Women awards honor women who are 40 years of age or younger for the accomplishments they have made so far in their careers. A panel of previous Top 100 Women and Leading Women winners selected the honorees based on their professional experience, community involvement and commitment to inspiring change.

“We are thrilled, but not surprised, that Ashlene was named to this year’s Leading Women honorees,” said Matt Doud, president and co-founder of Planit. “While she certainly brings a unique and critical perspective to the field of public relations, resulting in worldwide news stories for our clients, it is her passion – her commitment – to mentoring the next generation of PR professionals and her never-ending crusade to elevate working moms that make her an invaluable leader. Ashlene has helped architect policies for the betterment of all employees at Planit while simultaneously serving as a changemaker, a mentor, and an unstoppable force in our industry.”

Larson moved to Baltimore from Canada in 2009 during a recession, continuing a career in PR where she immediately had to assimilate to an entirely different country, American culture, and the PR/media market. Ten years later, Larson leads an award-winning PR team at Planit. Due to her strategic leadership and vision, Planit’s PR & Social Team won the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Maryland’s 2019 PR Team of the Year.

Larson is an active pillar in the community. She is a volunteer within the PR and advertising agency, but also within the community via Girl Scouts and St. Vincent de Paul. She currently serves on the Board of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) of Baltimore, a position held since 2015, where she also chairs the PR Committee and is the current Second Vice President. Through this volunteerism, she has traveled to Annapolis on behalf of the Federation’s members and the advertising community to oppose a digital tax, which was recently voted down. Larson is a published thought leader featured in WYPR, the Baltimore Business Journal, the Baltimore Sun, and more. She also gives back to the industry through speaking engagements with Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Maryland and the AAF on the topics of crisis communications and PR, and by serving as a judge for the PRSA Maryland ARC Awards in 2019.

To view The Daily Record’s complete list of Maryland’s 2020 Leading Women, visit https://thedailyrecord.com/leading-women/winners/.

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About Planit
We’re Planit. A strategic, digitally-minded agency that leads revolutions for national and global clients. Whether that’s through a variety of media channels, PR, social, or the “next big thing”—if it isn’t bold, creative, and smart, we’re not doing our job. That’s why clients including Royal Building Products, Kiddie Academy, Sheetz, Barclays US, and The AMES Companies trust Planit. And that’s why we continue to receive stellar industry recognition, including being named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur 360™ List, winning the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award, and Advertising Age’s Small Agency of the Year.

PRSA MD Announces 2021 Slate of Officers

Each year, PRSA Maryland Chapter installs a new board of directors and member volunteers who work together to ensure the Chapter achieves its mission, plans professional programs, and grows membership. Today, the Chapter is pleased to present you with the slate for the 2021 board of directors for your review. 
Click here for full bios.

 

Executive Committee

President

David Marshall, Ph.D., APR
Professor and ChairDepartment of Strategic Communication
Morgan State University

 

Vice President

Emily McDermott
Director
Van Eperen

 

Secretary

Tracy Imm, M.S., M.B.A.
Founder Tracy Imm Worldwide, LLC

 

Treasurer

Renata Allen, M.B.A.
Director, Scheduling & Events
Baltimore City Community College

 

Immediate Past President

Lisa Brusio Coster, MA.
President
Coster Communications, Ltd.

 


Directors

Nikki Bracy, M.S.M.
PR & Social Media Supervisor
Planit
Area of Board Responsibility: Communications

Jeffrey A. Davis, APR
Principal
J. Davis Public Relations, LLC
Area of Board Responsibility: Communications

Laurie Farrell
President and Owner
Mission Street Communications
Area of Board Responsibility: Sponsorships

Melanie Formentin, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Public Relations
Towson University
Areas of Board Responsibility: PRSSA Liaison 

Dianna Fornaro, M.A, APR
Senior Communications Specialist
Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company
Area of Board Leadership: Accreditation (APR)

Kaletha Henry, M.F.A.
Owner/Director
Be Local Go Global
Area of Board Leadership; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Lisa Lance, M.A.
Director of Communications and Marketing
Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
Area of Board Leadership: Membership

Tia Malloy, M.S.
Communication Strategist
Applied Development LLC
Area of Board Leadership: Professional Development and Programming

Mary Miles
PR & Digital Strategist
Weinberg Harris & Associates
Area of Board Leadership: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Anthony Naglieri, M.P.A
Chief of Staff & Head of Communications
Petal
Area of Board Leadership: Community Service and Engagement

Phillip Yerby
Group Manager
Weber Shandwick
Area of Board Leadership: Membership

 

Assembly Delegates serve as 

1) the Chapter’s representatives at PRSA Leadership Assembly, and 
2) liaison between the Society and Chapter.

Cathy E. Nyce, M.A.
Director
Marketing and Communications, Maryland Auto Insurance

 

Kenneth R. Smith, APR
Director
Global Sales and Strategy Communications
Boeing

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PRSA Maryland Chapter members:

Voting for the 2021 board of directors will commence on November 9 via Survey Monkey. Please watch your inbox for your chance to vote.

If you are interested in holding a leadership position within PRSA Maryland or running for any of the  board seats above, please contact info@PRSAMD.org within the next 30 days.

We are also seeking volunteers to chair or be part of a committee. Not sure why you should volunteer? Finding your place in PRSA Maryland will answer a few of your questions. You can also click here to take a simple poll.

Meet Chapter Member Kelsey Harman

For the September Issue of Web Notes, we talked to Maryland Chapter member and volunteer Kelsey Harman. Kelsey is an Account Manager at Cision, and has been an active volunteer on the PRSA Maryland Communications Committee since 2019.

How long have you been a member of PRSA and why did you join?

While in college at the University of Tampa, I was a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). After graduating in 2018, I became a New Professionals Committee Member and last year I joined the Communications Committee as a social media volunteer. I knew I wanted to be a part of a community specifically in my industry that allowed me to grow and network.

What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

I like having the ability to develop social media content. It allows me to be creative.

What is your current position at Cision?

I have been working at Cision, a leading global provider of earned media software and services since 2018. I am currently an Account Manager.

What do you love most about the PR field?

I love how diverse the PR field is. People assume that if you work in the public relations field you must work at an agency. That is not the case. There are many different roles. There is a lot of flexibility in this industry.

How do you define success?

For me, success is knowing the work I am doing is making a positive impact. Eventually, I want to take the non-profit route. I want to wake up knowing my work is improving someone’s life for the better.

Who inspires you?

My mom and all the women in my family in general. I have some strong and hardworking female influences in my family, which I am grateful for. Quite a few of them work in the communications industry, including my cousin, who is the Vice President of Public Relations for an agency in Baltimore.

What is one thing – either industry-related or not – you learned in the last month?

I was recently promoted. At first, I was doing my old job, while also trying to learn my new job. It was overwhelming. I had to learn to reflect on my accomplishments instead of focusing on all the things I didn’t get done. I had to give myself some lead way and learn how to relax and unwind.

What is something about you (a fun fact) that many people may not know?

I love to travel. I have been on an airplane every month since 2018. I love exploring new places and visiting friends. Although I can’t travel right now, I still have a lot of places I want to visit after the pandemic.

What is the last book you read?

1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz.

Where did you grow up and where would you like to retire?

I grew up in Annapolis, Maryland but I currently live in Austin, Texas. I am not sure of the exact location but I want to retire somewhere warm in a laid-back environment. It could be within the United States, Italy or maybe an island.

If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pizza or Tacos.

PRSA Maryland announces appointment of Diversity & Inclusion co-chairs

Kaletha Henry

Mary Miles

The Board of Directors for PRSA Maryland has announced Kaletha Henry and Mary Miles will co-chair the new Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Chapter President Lisa Coster confirmed the appointments today.

“We’re excited to have two new volunteers lead our D&I initiative,” said Coster. “The board is grateful Mary and Kaletha have filled these most important seats.”

Henry is the owner and founder of Be Local Go Global™ – a travel marketing and creative services firm providing communications and public relations to tourism and hospitality boards, destinations and brands. As a veteran in the communications and public relations industry, Henry helps companies, small businesses, and individuals find their voice, tell their stories, generate awareness, build their image and create opportunities to stand apart.

“As the daughter of two forward-thinking educators, I was raised to expect the best from those assigned to teach and prepare me for the road ahead. Instead, my career became a jagged path of twists and turns that exposed me to various levels of discrimination and privilege inside classrooms and boardrooms,” said Henry. “Through these encounters and experiences, I have a heightened awareness and perspective on disparities affecting marginalized groups of people in schools and companies within the United States and abroad. As such, I am determined to help make a difference to equip and empower current and future generations.”

Miles is a Senior Account Manager at Weinberg Harris & Associates, a public relations and communications agency located in historic Hampden. In her role at WHA, Mary oversees day-to-day marketing operations for clients in the retail, real estate, and entertainment sectors and her expertise includes media relations, digital media, event planning, and community partnership development.

“Diversity and inclusion are more than talking points or trends, but an essential journey to acknowledge the differences of human experience and address inequity and injustice wherever possible,” said Miles. “As professional communicators, it is our duty to do the work to unlearn our own biases, educate our leaders and stakeholders on these important issues, and commit to making change. I hope that PRSA-MD’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee will be a resource for members of our industry to learn how to make our profession more inclusive and to influence others to make a commitment to equity, both personally and professionally.”

Henry and Miles will be reaching out to chapter members over the next month to get ideas about how to develop the D & I plan which will be framed around PRSA National D&I Strategic Plan 2020–2022 released in May following nationwide protests around racial inequality.

In June, The Board of Directors for PRSA Maryland issued its own statement about racial injustice following the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. The statement outlined four immediate action items for PRSA Maryland. The appointment of Henry and Miles realize one part of this important action plan.

If you would like to participate on the D and I committee, please write us at info@prsamd.org. Your input is welcomed and appreciated.

 

 

 

Meet long-time PRSA Maryland member (and avid Orioles fan) Ken Smith, APR

A lifelong Orioles fan, Ken has been a season ticket holder since he was in college. At 13, he and his family began a tradition of celebrating Orioles opening day at the ballpark and has attended nearly all of them since then. Ken is shown with his uncle Don Smith at Opening Day 2019.

Meet Ken Smith, an active member of PRSA MD since 1999 who has some sage words about his experience with the chapter: “Ideally today’s members become tomorrow’s chapter leaders, keeping the chapter meaningful and relevant well into the future.”

How long have you been a member of PRSA and why did you join?

I started attending PRSA MD events in 1991 when I was working as branch marketing coordinator at Provident Bank of Maryland. My good friend and mentor Fran Minakowski suggested it would be a good way to develop my skills and meet people in the profession. I formally joined in 1999. 

What do you enjoy most about being a board member and volunteering?

Serving on the PRSA MD board has given me the privilege of working with many talented professionals who have become life-long friends. I view the chapter as a perpetual trust for its members. The people who were leaders when I first started participating contributed their time and talents leading programs that were valuable in my career. This is my opportunity to pay that forward for those building their careers now. Ideally today’s members become tomorrow’s chapter leaders, keeping the chapter meaningful and relevant well into the future.

 What is your current position at Boeing?

I’m part of the Communications function at Boeing’s Defense, Space & Security business unit working on the Global Sales and Marketing team. I provide executive communications support to the vice president, Global Sales and Marketing and the GSM leadership team, and to the director of Marketing and Operations. I’m also responsible for developing and executing the GSM employee communications and engagement plan for the function’s 600 employees worldwide. I also work with BDS’ trade show team and perform occasional media relations activities.

 What do you love most about the PR field?

One of public relations’ greatest strengths is its ability to connect people, ideas and action for the mutual benefit of multiple stakeholders. There are few things more rewarding than executing a well-crafted plan, monitoring the results, adjusting for changing variables and seeing the impact of our work through the end of a campaign. It also attracts interesting, creative people working in a field where no two days are alike.

 Who inspires you?

My mom. She was able to build a successful career in media, publishing and marketing at a time when opportunities for women were limited. It wasn’t easy but she worked hard, persevered and delivered results at each stop in her career. She loved travel and lived her life with a spirit of fun. We unfortunately lost her not long ago but she remains an important part of our family’s life.

 What’s one thing – either industry-related or not – you learned in the last month?

Tires for sport utility vehicles cost more and don’t last as long as one would think.

 What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?

For five years I led a contract public affairs team supporting the U.S. Army organization responsible for the environmentally safe disposal of recovered chemical warfare materiel.

Where did you grow up and where would you like to retire?

I grew up in Hagerstown, Md. and Bowie, Md., and have good memories of both. Retirement is a long way off and a lot will happen between now and then. When the time comes, I’ll know where I want to be.

Spring Session of APR Online Course begins January 28

The next session of the APR online course begins with an Orientation on Jan. 28 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. This course is invaluable to help you prepare for the APR exam.

Participants in this course are PR and communications professionals from all over the country. Facilitators are senior PR professionals who hold the APR designation as well as senior level positions at private and public organizations across the U.S. They often speak from experience to the various topics at hand.

The course is supported by a Study Guide as well as several textbooks. Over the course of 13 weeks, you will delve into the 10 modules, or chapters, covered in this course. Chapters include: Public Relations: A Management Function, Applying Ethics and Law, Communication Models and Theories, Managing Issues and Crisis Communications, Leading the PR Function, Managing Relationships, and, of course, Research, Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation (RPIE), the 4-step process that is at the heart of all successful public relations campaigns

During the final week of the course, you’ll have a chance to discuss your ideas for a Communications Plan utilizing RPIE. This information will be especially helpful in preparing your individual Panel Presentation, which must be presented and approved before you can take the APR exam.

The course is very convenient; it will be held completely online for one hour each week during the evening from 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. The PRSA member price is $195 (group discounts are available), and participants may take this course up to three times a year – in the spring, summer, and fall.

For more information on the APR online course, click here,

For the Spring 2020 course schedule or to enroll, click here.