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.
One of my takeaways from a recent Erickson Living leadership meeting was a quote from Steve Jobs: “If you’re working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”
I thought about this statement a great deal prior to the Feb. 26 PRSA-MD board meeting. The quote reinforced for me the importance of establishing attractive programming and networking events that not only help build membership, but also encourage ongoing member support, such as volunteering to serve on chapter committees.
As this year’s events and activities are announced, I think you will agree that there is much to be excited about. We will offer high-quality training sessions, professional development and mentoring opportunities, accreditation instruction, social events and much more. There is no doubt that when meaningful opportunities exist for us to come together to learn, grow, serve and become industry leaders, we not only drive optimum membership value but also stimulate chapter growth.
Some of the specific board goals for 2016 include increasing membership as well as hosting networking and educational events. The pathway to success in these areas includes having monthly events and activities, such as educational workshops, media tours, the “Coffee With” series, multiple happy hours, several informal virtual conference calls, the 2016 PRSA Maryland Conference (formerly called the Chessie Conference) in June, and the “Best in Maryland” celebration in early December. Our greatest need now is for members to see our vision for success in 2016 and let it pull them into helping make one or more of these events a reality. Board members have already started reaching out to those who have expressed an interest in volunteering this year.
I am inviting anyone who has ideas or suggestions for chapter programming to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I value your input and it will go a long way in helping to provide relevant programming and networking opportunities for members.
Special thanks to PRSA-MD board members and others who attended this year’s first board meeting. It is a joy for me to be a part of this talented and dedicated group of communication professionals as we commit to making PRSA-MD all it can be in 2016.
Last but not least, for the past two months, Jennifer Kellar, APR, chair of the Accreditation Committee, has been mentoring a group of chapter members who are pursuing their Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2016. Having obtained my APR last year, I’m familiar with the time and effort needed to make this study group a reality. Jennifer’s efforts are truly noteworthy and reflective of the unique value our chapter brings to Baltimore’s communication professionals.
Daniel R. Dunne, APR
PRSA Maryland Chapter