Report from PRSA Leadership Assembly

PRSA’s annual meeting of the Leadership Assembly was held on Saturday, October 22nd, in conjunction with the International Conference being held in Indianapolis on the following three days.  The Assembly is the Society’s legislative body, and 203 delegates representing Chapters from around the country and the world gathered to hear reports on the state of the Society from its leadership and to vote on the Society’s incoming leaders as well as proposed bylaws changes.  Delegates from the Yankee Chapter were current President Liz LaRose and President-elect Tom Bebbington.

The Assembly voted to elect Anthony W. D’Angelo, APR, Fellow PRSA, chair of the Society for 2018. D’Angelo, professor of practice, public relations, at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse, N.Y, will serve as PRSA’s chair-elect on the National Board of Directors in 2017.

In addition to D’Angelo, several other candidates selected by the PRSA National Nominating Committee were elected to the PRSA National Board of Directors today for two-year terms beginning in 2017. The new board members are:

Officers:
Treasurer: Debra D. Peterson, APR, vice president, external communications and community relations, CenturyLink, New Century, Kan.
Secretary: T. Garland Stansell, APR, chief communications officer, Children’s of Alabama, Birmingham, Ala.

District Representatives:

  • Director, Tri-State District: Andrew McCaskill, APR, senior vice president, global communications, Nielsen, New York, N.Y.
  • Director, East Central District: Richard J Batyko, APR, Fellow PRSA, senior vice president, marketing, communications & development, Team NEO, Medina, Ohio
  • Director, Western District: Michelle Olson, APR, general manager, Scottsdale office, Fingerpaint, Scottsdale, Ariz.
  • Director, Northeast District: Jo Ann S. LeSage Nelson, APR, vice president, client services, Pierce Communications, Albany, N.Y.
  • Director, Mid-Atlantic District: Samantha Julie Villegas, APR, president, SaVi PR, LLC, Washington, D.C.

Director At-Large:

  • Robert T. Hastings, Jr., APR+M, Fellow PRSA, executive vice president, communications & government affairs, chief of staff, Bell Helicopter, Fort Worth, Texas

They join incumbent Board of Directors members returning for 2016, including:

  • Chair: Jane Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Immediate-Past Chair: Mark W. McClennan, APR
  • Amy T. Coward, APR, Fellow PRSA, vice president, public relations, Palmetto Health Foundation, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Bonnie P. Upright, APR, senior vice president, Olympus Foundation Management, Orange Park, Florida
  • Don Hale, vice president for public relations and marketing communications, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
  • Joyce A. Lofstrom, MS, APR, senior director, corporate communications, HIMSS, Chicago
  • Ronele M. Dotson, APR, president, RAD Strategies Inc., Reno, Nevada
  • Sam James Morrey Sims, APR, director of public relations and marketing, US Fleet Tracking, Edmond, Oklahoma

Also of note: the Yankee Chapter’s own Jane Law, APR, was elected as a national 2017 national delegate-at-large. Delegates-at-large serve a one-year term and represent PRSA members who are not affiliated with a chapter.

There were three proposed bylaws amendments before the Assembly as well, each requiring a 2/3 majority to be enacted:

Amendment 1601 proposed changing the bylaws to allow the Leadership Assembly to vote remotely if it should be impractical to do so in person, e.g., in the event of a severe weather event at the meeting location that makes travel hazardous or impossible. The Board of the Yankee Chapter recommended a yes vote on this proposal. The proposal passed 183-14.

Amendment 1602 proposed changing the bylaws to allow the current Board of the PRSA to interview and recommend officer candidates, duties that previously were the responsibility of the Nominating Committee. The Board of the Yankee Chapter recommended a no vote on this proposal. The proposal passed 159-52.

Amendment 1603 proposed changing the bylaws to enable the Board to modify the Society’s bylaws, duties that heretofore had been in the hands of the Assembly. The Board of the Yankee Chapter recommended a no vote on this proposal. The proposal did not pass, 125-81.

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