I love learning about my colleagues in the field of public relations. Of course, there are many more than 26 who are very worthy of mention. So, I will make this a regular post on PR Gumbo. If your name isn’t in here this time, believe me, it will be in the future!
So, without further ado….
Josh Till, APR, is the Director of Communications and Marketing for the American Heart Association’s Greater Southeast Affiliate, Birmingham Chapter. Josh’s job is to promote and support the American Heart Association’s mission of building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke through innovative and strategic communications and marketing initiatives – like most PR practitioners, he wears a lot of hats!
Josh very proud to have received several Public Relations Council of Alabama’s Medallion and Southern Public Relations Federation’s Lantern Awards throughout his career, as well as achieving his APR and Senior Practitioner status in 2013. He’s also extremely proud of the relationships he’s built with friends and colleagues throughout the industry and the stories he’s been able to tell through his work that have made a positive impact on people’s lives.
Marian Faulk, APR, is the Director of Marketing for a 263-bed, family-owned, private hospital in the City of Mobile, Alabama, where she supervises a team of three for all marketing, advertising, public relations, and community outreach programs. She’s most proud of achieving the Accreditation in Public Relations credential and being able to assist others in working toward this significant career accomplishment, as well. She’s served in multiple positions on the local, state, and regional public relations professional development organizations, including president, and was honored as the Practitioner of the Year by the Public Relations Council of Alabama in 2002.
Gerard (Gerry) F. Corbett, APR, Fellow PRSA is Founder, Chair and CEO of Redphlag LLC , a strategic branding and communications services and counseling firm and branding instructor in the Entrepreneurship Program at UC Berkeley, Extension. Gerry has more than four decades of technology, PR and marketing experience in several Fortune 200 firms. He also is past chair and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America and an avid photographer, career coach and blogger.
Kristina Hendrix, APR, is the Dynetics Corporate Communications Manager in Huntsville, Alabama. We are an aerospace and defense contractor with many specialties in automotive, cyber, national defense, space, and critical infrastructure security.
With nearly 15 years of experience, Kristina has worked with the Department of Defense, NASA and private industry. She is a past president of the Southern Public Relations Federation and the North Alabama chapter of the Public Relations Council of Alabama and is current the president of the state organization. She is the 2015 PRCA Philip R. Forrest, Jr. Professional Achievement Award and the 2016 SPRF Professional Achievement Award recipient. These are the highest honors given to an individual PR practitioner by both organizations. She is the youngest person to receive both honors to this date.
Carol A. Mann, APR, is Accredited in Public Relations and has more than 30 years of professional experience in the fields of print journalism, higher education and healthcare public relations. Mann is the director of public relations for AltaPointe Health Systems in Mobile, a behavioral healthcare system that provides service to more than 33,000 annually and employs 1,400. She established the first office of public relations at AltaPointe in 2006 when she joined the organization. Mann is a past president of the Southern Public Relations Federation(SPRF), a 1,200-member organization with members from Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle; the Public Relations Council of Alabama (PRCA), a 500-member statewide organization; and the PRCA-Mobile Chapter, representing more than 100 public relations professionals in the Mobile area. From 2001-2004, she represented SPRF on the Universal Accreditation Board, the governing body of the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations (APR). In 2003, she was named PRCA’s Philip R. Forrest, Jr. Practitioner of the Year. In 2004, Mann won
the SPRF Professional Achievement Award. In 2012, PRCA recognized her with its highest
individual honor, the Grover C. Smith Lifetime Achievement Award for distinguished service to the profession and to PRCA. In 2013, Mann received what she considers her greatest honor when she was inducted into the SPRF Hall of Fame.
Mann’s public relations work has garnered more than 40 state and regional professional awards.
Rena Philips, Director of Communication at Mobile County Public Schools, has won national awards as both an education reporter and now as a public relations practitioner. As Director, she oversees external and internal communication, public relations, marketing, community engagement and media relations for Alabama’s largest school system and manages the 24-hour mcpssTV. (57,000 students; 88 schools; 7,500 employees).
Mobile County Public Schools recently received its fourth Golden Achievement Award from the National School Public Relations Association in four years. This was for its one-day social media campaign, #itstartstoday (2017); for generating written and video news stories for local media (2016); for Get on the Bus community engagement tours (2015) and the It Starts With Us marketing campaign (2014). mcpssTV received a 2016 Southern Public Relations Federation Lantern Award for hosting and broadcasting live the district’s “It Starts With Us” awards.
Joy Washington is the Associate Director of the University of South Alabama’s (USA) Office of Marketing and Communications, and past president of the Public Relations Council of Alabama (PRCA), Mobile Chapter and co-chair of PRCA Mobile’s Diversity Task Force. She manages media relations, including internal and external communications. She also handles and manage some aspects of marketing for the Student Health Center and as a member of the Homecoming and Student Success Committees at South Alabama. Joy is proud that she’s been able to create written content about diverse students, faculty and staff regarding their achievements and research at the University of South Alabama. She has garnered awards as managing editor of the USA newsletter, and also earned several awards for her news documentary on the Amtrak Train derailment tragedy that occurred in Mobile. Joy was most recently honored at USA’s Black History Program during the inaugural “Black Girls Rock” event.
Dr. Jacob Farbman, APR. Among his many accomplishments as the director of communications for New Jersey’s community colleges, Dr. Jacob Farbman, APR launched the communication campaign for the New Jersey Student Tuition Assistance Rewards Scholarship (NJ STARS), which provides free community college tuition to outstanding high school graduates. More than 30,000 students have benefited from NJ STARS since its launch in 2004. Dr. Farbman led the community colleges’ campaign that garnered 62% of the vote for the Building Our Future Bond Act, which allowed the State of New Jersey to issue $750 million in bonds for colleges and universities to build new facilities. He teaches PR courses as an adjunct professor at The College of New Jersey and is an instructor for both Philadelphia PRSA’s APR Boot Camp and Nancy Bacher Long PR Institute, a training program for professionals new to PR. Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for community colleges, honored him with its 2017 Board of Directors Alumni Achievement Award, and in 2007 Philadelphia PRSA named him the Delaware Valley’s best public relations educator with its Anthony J. Fulginiti Award.
April Douglas is the Public Relations Coordinator for AltaPointe Health Systems, where she manages its media relations, oversees its social media presence, serves as writer and photographer for its quarterly newsletter, and produces company-wide videos to further enhance AltaPointe’s brand and uphold its mission.
April is a former television news anchor and has been recognized by the Associated Press, National Press Photographers Association Clip Contest, Public Relations Council of Alabama, Southern Public Relations Federation, and the Alabama Hospital Association. She has flown with U.S. Blue Angels and was selected to cover the opening of Mission Space at Disney World.
Jennifer Jenkins, APR, is President of the JJPR Agency, where she’s entrusted with telling innovative stories about amazing businesses to help shape and grow their brands locally, regionally and nationally – and it’s truly one of the best jobs in the world.
Starting out as a one-woman entrepreneur with just one client in 2010, her objective was simple – to balance her love for her family with her love for public relations. Since then, her agency has grown and her client roster is diversified her with exceptional companies large and small, expanded and built a team that she believes is one of the most talented in the business, and established strong relationships with media and vendor partners. While it’s nice to be acknowledged with industry and professional awards (which she has won plenty), her greatest accomplishment is the priceless relationships that have been built through this small, but mighty agency – relationships with her clients, media, her supportive husband and three children, her work family and God, who has made it all possible and brought talented and dedicated people into her life.
Pat Hartman, APR, is nationally accredited public relations practitioner with more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of marketing including research, branding and product management, strategic planning, crisis management, advertising and public relations. Pat founded Imagery Marketing & Research Consultants, Inc. in 1988 and serves as its president and senior marketing and strategic planning consultant. She has also been an adjunct instructor in both communication arts and business at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama for 29 years. Hartman is a past president of the Public Relations Council of Alabama, Inc., the Public Relations Council of Alabama Mobile Chapter, and the Advertising Federation of Greater Mobile (now Bay Area Advertising Federation), and has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations in Mobile.
Dr. Joe Trahan, APR, Fellow PRSA is an international media relations trainer, public relations strategist and president of Trahan and Associates. He has conducted hundreds of media training classes across the United States and in many countries. With more than twenty years of experience in public relations, Dr. Trahan has worked with governmental agencies, education institutes, law enforcement and non-profits. He has managed four joint information bureaus as well as taught public relations and advertising at many colleges and universities throughout the south.
Penny Hatcher is the Public Relations and Marketing Director for Southern Earth Sciences, Inc. In her role, she oversees the company website, social media, employee newsletter, advertisements, and publications. She also assists each branch with proposals, government standard forms, and prequalification forms for soliciting new work.
She is a member of the Public Relations Council of Alabama (PRCA) where she currently serves on the State Board, Mobile Area Council of Engineers (MACE), Partners for Environmental Progress (PEP) Communications Roundtable, Junior League of Mobile (JLM), and is a member and past-president of the USA National Alumni Association. Her past honors include: 2008 PRCA Mobile Fornaro Diamond Award (Member of the Year), 2012 SPRF Jamie Palmer President of the Year, 2014 University of South Alabama Lisa Bethea Kavanagh Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
Sabrina Alexander, APR of S. Alexander Consulting, Inc. has ten years of experience in the strategic communications industry, which includes the implementation of a number of successful marketing and social media campaigns. Since opening a boutique public relations firm in 2014, Sabrina has created a team of professionals performing such duties as graphic design, social media content, digital advertising and web design to meet the needs of her clients.
Sabrina Alexander, APR is also a social media addict and digital-savvy mom of three boys. Sabrina has found a niche within the PR industry that allows her to feed her creative addictions and also use her unique skill set to help small businesses find their place in both the local market and the digital world.
Thomas Broadus is the Director of Digital Strategies for The Focus Group, where he helps clients understand digital marketing. From beginners to seasoned pros, Thomas provides training and media management for clients featuring new media policies and best practices in all realms of digital marketing. He is also an active public speaker on social media, digital media marketing and emerging technologies. On any given week Thomas may be working on as many as 15 different client strategies across tourism, economic development, medical, and the energy sector. Thomas focused his post-graduate studies on digital and viral marketing while earning a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications from The University of Southern Mississippi.
Denise Rowell, APR, (that’s me!) is the Chief Storyteller at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Alabama Field Office (Yes, I included myself because…why not? Ha!) I am also the founder of the blog PR Gumbo. After serving as an anchor and reporter in the broadcast media industry for eight years, I’ve crossed over to the field of public relations and have loved every minute of it. I enjoy spreading the message of protecting endangered species, such as sea turtles, manatees, beach mice, gopher tortoises, and other wildlife. I’ve served on the Board of Directors for the Public Relations Council of Alabama’s (PRCA) Mobile Chapter, and I currently serve on the State Board as Vice-President of Accreditation. I am also chair of the Diversity Task Force for PRCA Mobile. I’m able to write and shoot some pretty cool stories about wildlife, and some of those have been honored with awards. It’s an absolute privilege to do what I do.
Eleonore Verfaillie is founder of Empathy Communication Consulting, a small communication agency dedicated to helping brands of all sizes thrive in a globally connected world. For more than ten years,
Eleonore has worked for global brands in both France and the United States, including l’Oreal, Danone, Nestle and Bayer. She’s excited to bring her expertise to help smaller companies with their online presence, including websites and blogs, content marketing, social media, ads and more. Eleonore is also a member of the Public Relations Council of Alabama, Mobile Chapter’s Diversity Task Force.
William Amos is the Special Events Coordinator for the city of Mobile. In this role, he hopes to increase the quality of life for the citizens of Mobile by offering special activities and meaningful community events. Some of those events include the Loda Art Walk, Brown Bag in Bienville Square, Market in the Park, and the Dauphin Street Beer Festival. William has served on the Board of the Public Relations Council of Alabama’s Mobile Chapter, and currently serves on its Diversity Task Force.
Anita Clarke, has been involved in the PR profession for more than 30 years and has been the Brand Ambassador/ Public Relations for C Spire for the past 13.
She was honored with the 2016 Senior Practitioner Award from Southern Public Relations Federation and is currently serving on the Board of the Public Relations Council of Mobile as co-chair of Programs.
Anita currently serves on the Board of the Family Center for Prevention of Child Abuse, the Saraland Chamber of Commerce and is on the Advisory Board for the Mitchell School of Business at the University of South Alabama’s Marketing Department. She is also a member of the Junior League of Mobile and loves to volunteer and inspire others to give back to their community.
Stephanie Greenwood serves as the Public Relations Manager for Home Improvement Expert, Danny Lipford, and his national Today’s Homeowner Media brand. She has worked in strategic communications for more than 20 years across diverse media platforms and her “polite persistence” has earned national media placements on FOX&Friends, Inside Edition, HLN’s Morning Express and The Weather Channel. Stephanie believes in the value of nurturing relationships, delivering more than people expect, and strives to maintain high standards of professionalism in her everyday practice of public relations.
Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA is PR pro turned PR professor, teaching the next generation(s) of public relations professionals and loving every minute! He’s an Associate Professor of Communication at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts. His lengthy resume includes 35-plus years of federal government and nonprofit organization PR experience followed by more than 10 years’ undergraduate- and graduate-level college teaching experience.
Kirk is just one of two full-time professors in Massachusetts who have been admitted to the Public Relations Society of America’s prestigious College of Fellows. Drops mic.
Kristie Aylett, APR, Fellow PRSA, provides strategic counsel and senior-level expertise to clients throughout the United States through her consulting firm, The KARD Group Public Relations/Marketing. Throughout her 27-year career, she has created innovative campaigns that inspire key audiences to action and positively impact organizational goals. Her accomplishments include behavior-changing marketing and awareness programs, reputation-building media relations initiatives and mission-focused collateral pieces. She also teaches PR and social media courses for Tulane University and the University of California/Irvine.
An accredited public relations practitioner, Aylett has been elected to leadership positions with local, state, regional and national communications organizations, including president of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi and the four-state Southern Public Relations Federation. In recognition of her contributions to the profession, the Public Relations Society of America inducted her into its College of Fellows, an honorary organization of approximately 300 industry leaders. Aylett earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.
Susan Rak-Blanchard is Director of Communications and Marketing for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, and works with local, regional, state and international media; the Chamber’s branding campaign; writes, edits and takes photos for The Business View and The Business View Weekly; and leads the stage presentation and videos for the Chamber’s annual meeting; and other duties as assigned!
Her 35-year career has offered a variety of opportunities to excel. During her time with the Chamber, she’s been a part of a number of economic development projects, transforming their newsletter to a four-color magazine and serving as a mentor to young professionals and interns. Some of her proudest moments rose from crisis management situations, including leading one of the largest United Way’s in the country through a national media crisis and serving on a national communications team working through the implications of the tainted Tylenol scandal on an Arthritis Foundation endorsed product.
Dr. Ann Peru Knabe, APR + M. A dynamic change-agent in public relations, Dr. Ann Peru Knabe teaches PR full-time at University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. She also has more than 25 years practical experience in the field, including serving as an Air Force Reserve public affairs officer at the Pentagon, currently holding the rank of Colonel. Ann is Accredited in Public Relations with a military emphasis (APR+M). She believes innovation and progressive thinking are keys to survival in today’s competitive global PR environment. A PR scholar and strategic communications practitioner, Ann describes herself in broad terms as a “relationship-builder,” referring to her extensive work in media relations, internal communications, social media, community relations, international public affairs and congressional relations.
Shellie Teague is a public relations and social media strategist who started her own agency, Teague Branding Strategies, a little more than two years ago. Her focus is to design strategies that reach the right people for long-term success and teaching clients how to take control of their brand and messaging. Since taking the terrifying leap to go out on her own, she has built a client list that includes large clients such as the University of South Alabama and USA Health System. A recent success story includes a Mobile-area high school, whose programs have had a 50% increase in enrollment since implementing social media and public relations strategies a year and a half ago.
Angela Levins currently serves as Public Relations Director of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. The position allows Levins to put 13 years of local news experience into practice to promote and highlight the great work done by the faculty, researchers, students, and educators at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. For a decade, Levins helped direct the development of hundreds of newscasts as a news producer at WLOX (Biloxi, Miss.), WAVY (Portsmouth, VA.), and FOX10 News (Mobile, Ala.). Accolades earned during those years include a National Edward R. Murrow and Peabody for Hurricane Katrina continuing coverage (WLOX) and a Virginia Broadcasters Award for breaking news (WAVY). Levins stepped from broadcast to print and digital news with AL.com in 2012 to cover social media, website updates, and daily reporting needs for the Press-Register.
Dr. Sharee Broussard, APR, has a list of accomplishments that is so long, it’s truly hard to condense it to just a few sentences. She is an associate professor at Spring Hill College and Division Chair of Communication, Fine & Performing Arts. She is an accredited public relations practitioner who received her Bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Louisiana in 1990 and her Master’s degree in PR from USM in 1992.
Recent awards include: The 2011 Public Relations Council of Alabama’s Philip R. Forrest, Jr. Professional Achievement Award (the highest honor given by the 500-member organization to an individual practitioner); Spring Hill College’s 2009 Student Organization Advisor of the Year, Spring Hill College’s 2016 & 2008 Dawson Service Awards (one of two faculty awards given at graduation); three U.S. President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation Volunteer Service Awards; 2008 Public Relations Council of Alabama Educator of the Year (Mobile and statewide); USM School of Mass Communication & Journalism’s 2007 Top Graduate Student; 2007 Public Relations Council of Alabama-Mobile Chapter’s Practitioner of the Year and 2007 PRCA-Mobile Diamond Award (member of the year honors). She was designated a Southern Public Relations Federation Senior Practitioner in 2006. For her civic engagement, Dr. Broussard was awarded Junior League of Mobile’s Sustainer of the Year award in 2012.
This honestly doesn’t even scratch the surface. Bottom line, she’s a rock star!