PRSA Charlotte

The Lead |June 2022

Message from the President  
Dr. Dean Kruckeberg Honored with PRSA Gold Anvil Award

After a brief delay due to COVID-19 restrictions, I was honored to be part of the celebration to recognize Dr. Dean Kruckeberg, APR, Fellow PRSA, for receiving PRSA's highest individual award, the Gold Anvil. PRSA announced the award in October during ICON 2021. However, the event was virtual, so while thousands of us were cheering for him in front of our computer screens, he was not able to receive the in-person pomp and circumstance to which he is entitled.

On April 19, he received the statue as well as much-deserved praise and a little fun ribbing during a lunch at the Hyatt Centric SouthPark in Charlotte.

Guests included PRSA Charlotte chapter members, Dr. Kruckeberg's friends and colleagues, and an impressive group of PRSA Fellows and previous Gold Anvil recipients Dr. Debra Miller, who received the Gold Anvil in 2006, and Joe Epley, who received the Gold Anvil in 2008. Debra and Joe are former PRSA national chairs and like Dean, are members of the PRSA College of Fellows.

Dr. Alan Freitag, APR, Fellow PRSA, and Philip Tate, APR, Fellow PRSA, organized the event and shared their thoughts about the honor.

Click here to read the complete story and to see more photos from the event.

Win a 2021 Crown Award! QCPR Awards Open Now!

In this unusual new work landscape, PR professionals have had to be more creative than ever before. Now it's time to show off that creativity and celebrate your team's talent with some special hardware a QCPR Crown Award! PRSA Charlotte is opening submissions for the Queen City Public Relations Awards NOW through 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 30. Act now and save on your entry fee early-bird entries close at 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 16.

Visit for all the details, including prices and categories. We can't wait to hear about your great work from last year!

Get involved with the 2022 Queen City PR Awards!

We're looking for volunteers to join the 2022 QCPR Awards Committee!
If you would like to be involved in the planning and execution of this exciting event that honors public relations professionals in and around Charlotte, we'd love to have you!

Please contact Tina Helms at

Power Up Your PRofessional Life
Register for the APR information session on July 27.
The PRSA Charlotte APR (Accreditation in Public Relations) committee will host an informational meeting to learn more about the APR process from 7 to 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27.
The APR credential demonstrates professional competence, expertise and the highest standards of excellence in the practice of public relations.
Register for the virtual information session to learn more about the accreditation process, the available support system and resources, ask questions and take the next step in improving your personal brand and career. We hope you can join us! 

June Virtual Program

Learn more about how diversity, equity and inclusion represents an opportunity for communicators to influence companies and organizations with special guest speaker and current PRSA Chair, Dr. Felicia Blow, APR.

June 8, 2022
12 - 1 p.m.
Register here.

Dr. Felicia Blow, APR will join us in a special event to share her thoughts on diversity, equity and inclusion. Communicators and public relations professionals lift societies and improve democracies through their engagement, words, and actions. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) all represent an opportunity for profound influence by these professionals. This session will provide insights on the important role that communicators and public relations professionals have and must continually leverage to enhance DEI engagement and understanding.

Dr.  Blow is an award-winning leader with extensive organizational, fundraising, strategic planning, leadership and management experience. With a 30-year career spanning work in manufacturing (Caterpillar, Inc.); waste management and environmental services (Southeastern Public Service Authority); telecommunications (Cox Communications); and higher education (Paul D. Camp and Tidewater Community Colleges), Dr. Blow currently serves as Associate Vice President for Development at the renowned historically black institution Hampton University.

At Hampton, Dr. Blow led the university's $150 Million Dream No Small Dreams II Campaign as its campaign director. That campaign concluded in December 2019 and ultimately exceeded its goal, raising more than $166 million in support of university priorities. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Blow has been featured in the book "Diverse Voices," published by the PRSA Foundation in 2018. She has also been featured in "PR Women with Influence: Breaking through the Ethical and Leadership Challenges" by authors Juan Meng and Marlene S. Neill, published in late 2020.

Dr. Blow has taken on several leadership roles within PRSA over the years. Prior to serving as chair, she served as chair-elect in 2021 and senior counsel to the 2018 and 2019 PRSA Board of Directors. From 2013-2014, Dr. Blow served as a PRSA Board of Directors member representing the Mid-Atlantic District.

Beginning in 2019, Dr. Blow led a nearly year-long strategic planning effort that concluded in the establishment of PRSA's first three-year strategic plan for Diversity & Inclusion, serving as co-chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee in 2020. Dr. Blow formerly served as chair of the Universal Accreditation Board, during which she worked to approve and initiate the APR+M credential, which positions PRSA with military organizations. In 2000, she was president of the PRSA Hampton Roads Virginia Chapter, the first African American female to be elected to that role.

Dr. Blow is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and numerous other business, economic development, and community service organizations. She earned her bachelor's degree in mass media arts from Hampton University; her master's in business administration from Strayer University; and her doctorate in higher education administration from Old Dominion University. In 2012, Strayer University named Dr. Blow its Outstanding Alumna of the Year.

PRSA Charlotte Kicks Off New Mentoring Program with Johnson C. Smith University
By: Loán C. Lake, PRSA Charlotte Member D&I Committee

On Monday, April 25, 2022, the PRSA Charlotte Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Committee launched a new mentorship program in partnership with Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU). The collaboration is the brainchild of JCSU alumna and former PRSA Charlotte board member Krista Terrell and JCSU Assistant Professor Dr. Gary Guffey, who advises students in the communications program.

At the inaugural meet and greet, four of six participating students heard from members of the D&I committee and chapter president Cynthia Robbins Shah-Khan about their professional journeys and received pertinent advice to begin their careers in public relations and communications. The students also received free admission to PRSA Charlotte's Communications Symposium on April 27.  Also in attendance from JCSU were Dr. Davida L. Haywood, Vice President of Student Affairs, and Jennifer Joyner, Director for Career & Post-Graduate Readiness.

Over the next year, the first cohort of students will receive one-one-one mentoring from members of the D&I committee, attend committee-sponsored workshops to enhance their skills, participate in monthly PRSA Charlotte luncheons, and learn the ins and outs of the public relations profession through planned activities and training. The mentees in Cohort 1 are: Jayla DeBoles, Olivia Billups, Nadia M. Johnson, Brandi Barron, Desiree Stanton, and Caleb Davis.

Timely Topics
Register here.

PRessing Issues: A Discussion on the Challenges Facing the Profession

Join PRSA leaders on Tuesday, June 7 at 3 p.m. ET, for an informal conversation where they will analyze and offer insights on important topics impacting the profession. During this two-way conversation, panelists will engage with members and explore best practices, the importance of being an ethical communicator and ways to successfully advocate for transparency both in and outside of your organization.

Moderated by Karen Mateo, PRSA Chief Communications Officer, panelists include Anthony D'Angelo, APR, Fellow PRSA, PRSA Advocacy Committee Chair; Josh Poupore, APR, PRSA Board of Directors; John Clemons, APR, PRSA Advocacy Committee Member; and Barbara A. Burfeind, APR+M, Fellow PRSA, PRSA Advocacy Committee Member.

Attendees are encouraged to ask questions and offer their own thoughts. 
Register here. 

Thank you!
A big thank you to everyone who joined us for our 2022 PRSA Charlotte Communications Symposium! It was wonderful to meet virtually for a half-day event filled with great insights and new perspectives from communications leaders. Even though the event was virtual, attendees made connections with fellow PRSA members and communications professionals via speed networking and connect over coffee breakouts! The day would not have been possible without the support from our Gold Sponsor, Enablo, Connect over Coffee Sponsor, Action Plus Ideas, and Alpha Graphics. We're hopeful we can return to an in-person Symposium next year, but in the meantime, we look forward to seeing you at one of our monthly events!

New Job Bank Promotional Opportunities

Hello PRSA members and friends! As you all know, how we recruit and hire talent has changed significantly during the pandemic, and now the competition for talent is greater than ever.

We're so glad to see members utilizing the PRSA Charlotte Job Bank for their talent acquisition needs. This year, we will be spending more time promoting this valuable resource through our communications channels and events, and we're pleased to be adding new opportunities to gain additional reach for your open positions through this platform.

Not only will these Job Bank upgrades drive more impressions from PR-minded individuals to your openings, but also more clicks through to the job board overall, and to our organization bringing new talent and connections to our membership. If you haven't see the Job Bank, please take a look there are some fantastic opportunities currently posted.

Starting June 1, the following will be the new cost structure and new available promotional opportunities available through the PRSA Charlotte Job Board.
  • Member post to the Job Bank: $50
  • Member post to all channels (website, social media, e-newsletter) : $100
  • Non-member post to the Job Bank: $150
  • Non-member post to all channels: $200
We're excited to be increasing the visibility of this valuable feature of our organization, and are excited to partner with you to help you find great talent for your open positions.

If you have any questions or feedback about the Job Bank, please feel free to reach out to me at

Member Spotlight
Katie Pylipow, Content Creator at the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance

When did you start working in communications?
After four years working as a journalist for an NBC/FOX affiliate in Knoxville, I transitioned into a more traditional communications role in September of 2021. I am now the content creator at the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance.

What's your current role and what does a "typical" day look like for you?
I am currently the content creator at the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance. My day-to-day changes often which keeps things interesting. Every day I create and manage our social media content/, marketing emails, podcasts and website content. I also have the pleasure of being responsible for all photography and videography which allows me to attend most events.

What is your favorite part of PR/marketing/communications?
As a self-proclaimed 'extreme extrovert,' I love connecting with people. Whether it's working with in-house teams, investors, or people on social media, I thrive on collaboration and building relationships. Luckily this role offers a lot of opportunities to meet/build relationships with a diverse group of people in the business community.

Why are you a member of PRSA?

There is always more to learn, and I believe collaboration is a crucial piece of growth both personally and professionally. I am excited to learn from other members and share what knowledge I have as well.

What is a fun fact about you, professionally or personally, that would surprise people?

I was once bitten by a kangaroo in Australia.


These members are celebrating PRSA membership anniversaries!


Rosalie S. Spaniel, APR Christy L. Jackson April J. Corder
Lisa H. Stryker Zivanai Mutize Rachel Porter
Tiffany Derville Gallicano Caitlin Rebecca Ryan, APR Pam Granzin
Stacy Iler Bryant Ashley N. Glasser Erin McNeely
Amanda K. DeWeese, APR Jaclyn Pardini Hartzell Colette Gelman
Jeri Fischer Krentz Steve J. Salazar Katie Liebman
Kristine Goodyear Jennifer Frost, APR Karly Bynum
Catherine Butler Keith Sebastian Hale Valentina Rojas
Kendyl Cooke Cyndy D. Brooks Samantha Asbury
Dorothy Townes Lineberger, APR  

The Shout Outs!

Have a Shout Out to share with us?

Do you have great news to share? Did you get a promotion or change jobs? Did your team win an award, or did you win recognition for volunteer efforts? Let us know! Click here to share your great news with us, so we can consider featuring it here in the PRSA Charlotte newsletter or on social media. Learn more here.

Thank you to our 2022 Chapter Partners:

Gold Partner

Silver Partner
PRSA Charlotte
PO Box 35442
Charlotte, NC 28235
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