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2015 Holiday Social/Networking Event

Gulf Coast Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America
2015 Holiday Social/Networking Event

Monday, November 30
4 – 7 p.m.
Bayside Seafood Grill and Bar (2nd floor)
Venetian Village
4270 Gulf Shore Blvd. North

Hors d’oeuvres will be provided; cash bar.
Please bring your suggestions for 2016 lunch program topics and/or speakers!

RSVP to Julie Pedretti at


The history of the Gulf Coast Chapter of PRSA – Then & Now

The 15 year history shared by Judy Bricker, one of the Gulf Coast Chapter’s Founding Presidents.


Judy Bricker

How did PRSA start in the Southwest Florida community?

We originally established an FPRA – Collier County Chapter in the early to mid-90’s to serve as a professional resource to the public relations and marketing practitioners of the area.  This filled a void in our area, as the Public Relations profession was growing as Collier County grew, but we didn’t have an officially recognized resource at the time.  As the years passed, we realized that our member demographic consisted of many individual practitioners, as well as corporate professionals whose responsibilities or clientele stretched beyond the borders of Florida.  Most had regional, national or even global reach.  For that reason, we considered switching to PRSA, which should increase our ability to  grow our membership and meet our target audiences’ needs.


What was your main role in founding the PRSA Gulf Coast Chapter?

At the time, I was president of our FPRA Collier County Chapter.  The current board, our president elect, Lisa Boet and I facilitated key round tables and surveyed our membership to discuss the possibility of establishing a PRSA chapter in Southwest Florida.  If most or all agreed, we would plan to transition to PRSA in the next calendar year with our new president and board of directors.  It was positively decided and the transition began.  Detailed communications were sent to the members, new memberships were established with PRSA and we moved forward.


What did you hope to gain in starting the Gulf Coast Chapter and what have you gained in the past 15 years being an active member of the chapter? 

PRSA offered global connections and resources to our members.  The organization’s continuing education, professional conferences, expert advice, commentary and speakers were a wealth of information.  PRSA also had the college level program – PRSSA for students perusing the profession and created a natural pipeline of new members to local chapters, and immediate mentors to young professionals.


We’ve grown our APR member count, which reflects very positively on the expertise of our membership.  We’ve cultivated the next generation of young professionals into the “one’s in charge” of our chapter as board members.  This elevates career growth, and nurtures confidence and leadership skills.  This is proven in the number of members who have taken up the responsibility of serving on the board through the years and even elevate to the State or National committees and boards.  PRSA gives our members the opportunity to advance, and that looks great to an employer or private clientele.


How has PRSA benefited the Southwest Florida community in the past 15 years?

In addition to professional development, the Chapter reached out to the community and established itself as a resource to Southwest Florida small business owners and nonprofit organizations.  Since we are a small chapter in a non-metropolitan market, our growth must also come from beyond the profession.  We welcome and encourage small business and nonprofits to join the chapter and attend our luncheon presentations whenever possible.  We rotate in programming specifically for them, since many of them are wearing multiple hats – including serving as their own publicity experts.  They are regularly encouraged to call us for expert advice or direction.


Where do you see the future of our chapter?

I understand from our president-elect that we will broaden our committees to appeal and support specific market segments and expertise.  The past presidents plan to play a larger supportive role, as well.  More to come on that.  I see real roots established in our small but mighty chapter and it will continue to grow with the community.  I cannot express how incredibly grateful and honored I am to have been involved in the birth of this chapter along with the talented team who brought it to life.  Our current board is dedicated to sustaining it and launching it into the future.  PRSA Gulf Coast Chapter is in good hands!  If you’re not already a member – come ahead!




Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce seeks COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

Job Description: Communications Coordinator

General responsibilities under the direction of the Communications Manager, the Communications Coordinator will be responsible for implementing the deliverable calendar for the department, ensuring that messaging and brand are consistent throughout all communications for the Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce (BSACOC), the BSACOC Foundation, the BSACOC Young Professionals, the Bonita Springs Estero Economic Development Council and The Speakers Assembly of Southwest Florida.

Sampling of Duties (All Brands):

  • Development of Member Communications: Weekly and Monthly
  • Development of Digital Newsletters
  • Schedule & Facilitate Ribbon Cuttings
  • Written Press Communications
  • Monthly & Special Event Flier Creation
  • Website Updates Including Press Rooms, Job Bank, Page Content, Resources
  • Blog Management Including Content Production and Collection of Member Articles
  • Social Media Implementation
  • Event Photo Management
  • Welcome Bag Brochure Management
  • Communications Report Data Collection and Updates, Press Clippings
  • Year End Sponsorship Reports for Investors
  • Survey Development & Distribution
  • Special Event Video/PowerPoint Creation


  • Two years of experience in communications, public relations and/or publishing.
  • Bachelor’s degree with emphasis in communications or marketing.
  • Strong writing, editing and proofreading skills
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office, Adobe Suite, CRM database background and website editing applications.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with a high degree of professionalism.
  • Exemplary time management skills, high level of motivation, and self-starter skills.
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Proven ability to handle projects that require critical thinking.
  • Fantastic customer service ethic and high expectations for quality.
  • Must have/maintain a dependable vehicle with proof of license and insurance.

Send cover letter, resume and three writing samples to

About the Chamber

The Five-Star nationally accredited Bonita Springs Area Chamber of Commerce strives to serve members, promote an environment where business can grow and prosper and enhance the quality of life of the Bonita Springs area.

We are a primary resource for local residents, visitors, newcomers, business owners and those considering relocation to this beautiful area! We serve the Southwest Florida region in both Lee and Collier County representing business members doing business in Southwest Florida. We have been honored by receiving the prestigious Five-Star Accreditation status! This means we have met the highest benchmarks set by the United States Chamber of Commerce. Only 77 chambers across the entire United States, a total of nearly 7,000 chambers, have attained a five-star level of operation. Statistically, we are in the top 1% of all Chambers in the United States!

Click here to view the national criteria that must be met to achieve five-star accreditation. With an energetic and dedicated staff, we live by our mission to serve our members, promote an environment where business can grow and prosper, and enhance the quality of life of the Bonita Springs area.

Our leadership is comprised of an exceptionally strong Board of Directors, which represent a wide spectrum of businesses in our community. New members are offered a broad range of opportunities to get involved in our chamber, including:

  • More than 120 Networking Events per year to encourage face-to-face relationship building
  • Year-Round professional development and leadership opportunities
  • President’s Club networking for Senior Executives
  • Regional political and legislative advocacy efforts
  • Business exposure through sponsorship opportunities in the Visitors Center, on the website, and at events



Jim Lukaszewski Meeting Recap

To listen to an audio of the program – Click the video link below.

Remember this is copyrighted material: This recording is copyrighted 2015. All rights reserved.” “The copyright holder is Jim Lukaszewski. You may contact him at or 203-948-7029.

Photo Gallery:

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Resources from Jim:

Jim Lukaszewski has offered us a variety of supportive resources to share. To download your copy of the resources from Jim, the resources are available here.


October 2015 Lunch N Learn – Executive Lessons for Reputation Risk and Crisis Management

Gulf Coast Chapter PRSA Presents
Executive Round Table with America’s Crisis Guru®
James Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

11:30 AM – 2 PM at the Hilton Naples

Price: $27.00 PRSA Gulf Coast Chapter Members / $49.00 non-members
Register online here

James E Lukaszewski

James E Lukaszewski

“C-Suite” leaders, small business owners and professional communication personnel are invited to attend a unique, local opportunity to hear from an American business legend in the field of crisis leadership recovery and corporate communication, reputation risk management and crisis response.
James Lukaszewski, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA is an author, speaker, advisor, coach and counsel to business leaders throughout the world.  James’ trademark is America’s Crisis Guru® and he has been called “one of 28 experts to call when all hell breaks loose” by Corporate Legal Times.

At the session on October 27, James discusses how:

  • Responding quickly in the first 60-120 minutes of an emergency or disaster can save assets, markets and reputations
  • How managing victims immediately with humanity and compassion will de-escalate the visibility that poorly handled victims always causes
  • Bad news always ripens badly
  • The reputational toxicity of silence
  • In crisis, leadership’s most effective and powerful tool is communication (What else do you have?)
    • Seven Communication Strategies That Will Calm Things Down
    • Even if your response is letter perfect, bungle the communications and your response will be remembered as a stumble, fumble, and bungle.
  • Eight Failure Behaviors to Avoid
  • The Five Toughest Decisions Leaders have to make in Crisis
  • How handling emergencies well can build trust and enhance your reputation
  • The Seven Crucial Ingredients Every Crisis Plan Should Have
  • Answers to your questions
  • And much more wisdom from America’s Crisis Guru

Watch The Video Below:

James is the author of “Lukaszewski on Crisis Communication: What Your CEO Needs to Know about Reputation Risk and Crisis Management,” that was selected as one of “30 Best Business Books of 2013.

Lukaszewski also penned, “Why Should the Boss Listen to You? Seven Disciplines of the Trusted Strategic Advisor.” James speaks to business and professional communicator audiences, management teams, Lawyers, HR Experts, Security people, Strategic Planners, all the staff functions, as well as CEOs throughout America and Canada. In early October, he will lead an advance crisis communication strategy session for PRSA in New York City and he is scheduled to present at the Public Relations Society of America International conference in Atlanta this November. Don’t miss this unique local opportunity to learn from an American business legend in crisis leadership recovery, risk management and corporate communication and crisis response.

Remember, in crisis, who they fire first: Hint, it’s not the communicators.


Board Member Spotlight – Michelle Mambuca


How did you hear about the PRSA Gulf Coast Chapter?

My senior year of college I interned for Denyse Mesnick at Beasley Broadcast Group’s Corporate Headquarters in Naples. Denyse was involved in PRSA and took me with her to luncheons as a guest. It was great to tag along and get exposed to the PR world outside of college. I had a wonderful experience and learned so much at the luncheons!

What made you want to join as a member?

I was starting my career in the SWFL area and was looking for my next opportunity so PRSA was exactly where I needed to be. In this community everyone knows everyone and it was a smart way to network and get my name out there in the professional world. Also, I’ve always loved to network and I was involved in the student PRSSA and FPRA chapters at Florida Gulf Coast University so this was a different opportunity that I was excited to be a part of! I’ve enjoyed being a member for the past 4 years now!

Why did you join the PRSA Board and what position do you serve?

As a member I would help the board in any way that I could, like with communications and blog posts for example. When I knew I had the time to commit to a position I jumped right in! The board could use the help and I was happy to be there to assist. I now serve as the Gulf Coast Chapter’s Secretary. It has been a wonderful experience with an amazing group of people!

Where do you currently work and what is your day-to-day like?

I’m a Health and Beauty Consultant for Arbonne International. Arbonne International is a vegan company and abides by the European Union Standards so it has the highest quality of skincare, nutritionals, hair care, sun care and cosmetics. We have something for everyone! This opportunity is perfect for me because I own my own business but have so much flexibility! I’m my own boss, make my own schedule and work when I can or want. It’s so much different than my past jobs which were mainly 8-5pm so my day looks different every day and my week is not the typical 40 work week anymore. :)

What do you love best about your job?

I love helping people! I wake up every day with a passion for what I do. Even though Arbonne has been around for 35 years only 1% of the world has heard of them. So I get to be the word of mouth advertiser and educate people about what they’re putting onto their skin and into their bodies and how to live a healthier lifestyle. This job will also enable me to work from home and raise a family and be able to afford to do so. But the BEST part about my job is I get to pay it forward to others and help them accomplish their goals and dreams as well!

What do you enjoy doing on your spare time?

I have ample time to enjoy with my husband, Frankie (we got married last year on 12.13.14)! We love to spend time with our family and friends in Naples and Ft Lauderdale, we are involved in our church, we love to lounge by the pool, cook and bake delicious goodies and also travel! We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to travel more often and have visited family in NY this summer and we are going there again soon! Life is Good.


For more information and to hear my story check out my website:


September 2015 Featured Event: PR Internships: How To, Best Practices, Tips for Success

PR Internships: How To, Best Practices, Tips for Success

Tuesday, September 22, 11:30 network, Noon program
Hilton Naples

Internships have become a preferred strategy for businesses seeking to identify high performers for future employment. They also offer students an excellent path for learning workplace skills.  There are many benefits of internships but sometimes misunderstandings about the proper role of the intern in an organizational setting can cause a sour experience.

Join Gulf Coast Chapter PRSA on September 22 to hear from higher education representatives, students and business professionals who will provide insight on the internship process and share success stories. You’ll also learn best practices, legal and qualifying requirements, ethical considerations and tips for success. Plus, discover what today’s PR and communications students are learning and how this next generation will shape the field.

Our featured speakers are FGCU Public Relations instructor Pamela Cox-Nulman, MS, APR, CPRC and Dr. John Meyer, Dean, School of Business and Technology at Florida SouthWestern and researcher and author for the Workforce Now project, a regional research initiative established to identify current and future talent requirements for the five counties of Southwest Florida.

To Register – Click Here


Pamela Cox-Nulman, MS, APR, CPRC
Instructor, Florida Gulf Coast University
College of Arts and Sciences
Communication and Public Relations

Pam Nulman

Pam Nulman

Passionate about lifelong learning and naturally restless and inquisitive, following a 25-year career in public relations Pam transitioned from the corporate office to the classroom. Today, she is a full-time faculty member in the Communication Program at Florida Gulf Coast University where she teaches upper division public relations courses.

Pam earned her master’s degree in communications management from Syracuse University and her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Arizona State University. She holds two professional public relations certifications: APR (Accredited in Public Relations) from the Universal Accreditation Board, and CPRC (Certified Public Relations Counselor) from the Florida Public Relations Association.

Prior to joining FGCU full time in 2014, Pam taught as an adjunct professor for three years. A staunch believer in the power of mentoring, Pam volunteers as a faculty advisor and liaison between the professional Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) chapter and the FGCU student FPRA chapter.

Pam’s work in public relations has earned numerous industry awards, including recognition for her support of students. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and the Florida Public Relations Association.


Dr. John Meyer

Dr John Meyer 2Dr. John Meyer, Dean of the School of Business and Technology at Florida SouthWestern State College, holds a DBA in Management from Argosy University and an MBA from Hodges University.  He has served in public and private education for nearly 20 years. He also has over 20 years of business and leadership experience where he owned and operated privately held automotive ventures, conducted corporate training, and practiced managerial consulting.  His areas of academic interest include person-organization fit and the relationships that organizational and occupational cultures have on human behavior and, by extension, the success of organizations. His areas of personal interest include almost everything automotive.

Dr. Meyer is an active researcher and author on the Workforce Now project, a regional research initiative to identify current and future talent requirements for the five counties of Southwest Florida. The Workforce Now initiative was designed to provide better information on workforce gaps including skills and characteristics desired by regional employers.  The plan is to deeply study industries or sectors each year to provide a continuous stream of information from employers to educational institutions, and to look for ways to create dialogue and new partnerships between businesses and educational institutions.

Dr. Meyer believes that Workforce Education has never been more significant and appropriate than it is today and he passionately looks forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to continue to grow FSW’s School of Business and Technology while keeping its programs academically rigorous, applicable, practical, and professional.


Insights from the PRSA Sunshine District Conference 2015 in Disney

IMG_3961Seven members of Gulf Coast Chapter PRSA participated in the recent PRSA Sunshine District conference held in Walt Disney World, Orlando. A few offer their thoughts/insights gleaned from the experience…

From Deb Jonsson…

I had a great experience learning, networking and taking advantage of the fun venue. Opening night was magical!

My favorite session was with keynote opener Duncan Wardle of Creative Inc. Duncan provided a different perspective on creative collaboration. He encouraged us to “make creativity a habit” and informed us that “the best ideas come from a calm, relaxed brain.”

PRSA National Chair Kathy Barbour informed us that PRSA is “continuing to adapt and evolve to stay relevant.” The strategic plan includes multi-year initiatives and APR is still a high priority. She shared insight on new business trends for integrated marketing communications which include a mix of paid, earned, shared and owned content. She also talked about her experience with the trending new social media tool, Periscope.

IMG_3958Disney manager of executive communications Cappy Surette discussed the importance of story-telling because, “story is the DNA of humans.” He also provided great tips on public speaking. He said speakers must bring passion and heart to the “stage” and in order to convey authenticity, practice makes perfect. He told us that attendees want to be entertained and speakers should follow the 3 Ps: Performance, Pacing and Practice.

Sam Ford from Peppercomm discussed the differences between an audience and publics. He reminded us that publics exist without you. He said, “Today we are communicating to and must serve the 360 degree person who sets his or her own personal criteria for sharing.” He also offered a test for social content… if your content does not make your audience say, “Holy Smokes!”, don’t post it!  He also encouraged communication professionals to put ourselves in the customers’ or clients’ shoes: get in line, fill out the forms; and read every piece of communication going out the door with the mindset of your audience, not the mindset of what the organization wants to say.

Board members and Mickey

Board members and Mickey

From Russell Tuff…

The best parts for me were, 1. Meeting and sharing with other professionals from across the state, 2. Remembering things I already know and keeping them in practice in my efforts, and 3. Learning new tricks of the trade from experienced professionals across a wide variety of industry spectrums.

From Judy Bricker…

My favorite speaker was the Disney exec [Duncan Wardle].  I have already been using his techniques on how to broaden a good idea, rather than squelch it!  When someone provides a germ of an idea, say YES AND…. Rather than “BUT” followed by all the reasons why it won’t work.  Cultivate the creative thought wherever it goes.  You never know where you’ll end up.

Keep creative brainstorming groups SMALL (4 people).  Any larger loses its focus.

His acronym: SUN stuck with me…
Suspend judgment
Understand the idea and ask questions
Nurture the idea

Disney Exec, Speaker, Duncan Wardle

Disney Exec, Speaker, Duncan Wardle

Introduce PLAY into your work day.  Play can be creative.  Play can be constructive.  Play can be positive.

I loved the conference!

From Alyssa Scheidemann…

I had a few favorite sessions. My first favorite session was the first one about thinking differently with the speaker Duncan Wardle because I felt it was very inspirational. I am a very creative person by nature, so I enjoy anything that encourages creativity as a way of thinking and approaching ideas. My second favorite session was the Power of Story, the other Disney one, because there were some good best practices mentioned. My last favorite session was the crisis communication one, about Facebook and social media because it was much needed for me to learn about. The best shareable take-away(s) to me were a mix from the Think Differently and the Power of Story, which were to think creatively and listen to other ideas, words are powerful, and that the stories that connect and relate to people have the most impact.



New Board Member Spotlight – Julie Pedretti, MBA, FACHE

What made you want to go into the public relations field?

I got into the marketing and public relations field at my first full time career position at a bank in Milwaukee. Then I was working in the market research department (understanding customers and why they make certain decisions) and became very interested in that. I started in health communications at a large health system in Milwaukee, and eventually become director of Marketing and PR at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin (Milwaukee), which I absolutely loved!

Why did you become involved in the PRSA Gulf Coast Chapter?

I wanted very much to continue my professional development. I was finally living and working in Naples so it was a great opportunity to get into the PRSA organization and its local chapter. I want to advance to the PRSA fellowship, as I had with the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE). The FACHE is an accreditation that has a similar process to the APR certification. I’m anxious to get started with the APR certification this fall!

What is a typical day like for you at work?

My days are not typical because the role I have is so varied. My title at NCH Healthcare System is Director of Development – Annual Fund & Communications. I’m responsible for planning and implementing direct mail and email campaigns and other efforts to support donor acquisition and retention for the NCH Healthcare Foundation. I also develop collateral material to assist major gift officers with their donor relationships and manage the Foundation’s media relations, advertising, public relations, website and social media efforts. I’m very proud of our media relations, as we’ve had wonderful PR for our key fundraising events. My role is a very broad one; it’s a new position for the NCH foundation. I’m learning a lot about fundraising from the team.

What made you decide to join the PRSA Board?

When I join an organization I always get involved. There was an opportunity right away to fill the open treasurer position, and for me it was a way to jump right in and become engaged. I’m having fun and it’s a great way to meet people right away as well!

4-2015 Pedretti-lowres

Photo taken at the 2015 Magnolia Ball which Julie helped staff in April. This event was a NCH Healthcare Foundation fundraiser that benefited the William & Susan Dalton Oncology Unit. For more information please visit the NCH Healthcare System website: & the NCH Healthcare Foundation website:

Do you have any hobbies or talents outside of work?

I love to walk the beach! One of the reasons I moved to Florida was for more beach time. I also love to play golf and most weekends I’ll get into 18 holes of golf. This is such a wonderful place to live and work!

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