2017 PRSA-LA Committees

Volunteer service on a committee is reserved for members in good-standing with PRSA National and the LA Chapter. Service is a great way to get involved, help the chapter and meet PR colleagues and prospective clients.  It is also an established preferred pathway to future PRSA-LA board membership.

To learn more about the work of any committee, please contact the committee senior director through the PRSA-LA Office, info(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)prsala.org listed below for the committee that interests you. If you are not yet a PRSA-LA member, click here for membership information.



Senior Director:  Cheryl Robinson, APR

The Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) program is open to those with at least five years of professional, full-time PR experience. APR is earned by passing written and oral examinations that test competence in and knowledge of the public relations field.  This committee provides support to those seeking this professional accreditation.

Committee Responsibilities:

  • Promote APR participation, mentor candidates, serve on readiness review panels, find locations and coordinate logistics and materials for preparation classes.
  • Increase APR involvement in chapter committees and activities, in particular PRism judging


Business Development

Senior Director:  Peter Hidalgo, APR

Director: Philip Sokoloski

The Committee will prepare the Chapter’s budget, make regular financial reports to the board, provide an annual financial statement to Chapter members upon request and perform all other duties incident to the office of the treasurer. The committee is responsible for helping to solicit much-needed funding to support the operations of PRSA-LA and the activities that comprise benefits of membership.  The committee focuses its efforts on securing corporate and agency support and ensuring that sponsors receive value for their financial and in-kind contributions.

Committee Responsibilities:

  • Prepare Chapter budget
  • Manage financial matters for the Chapter
  • Recommend ways to increase revenue and decrease expenses
  • Report on finances to the board of directors
  • Review chapter sponsorship guidelines and make recommendations to the board
  • Identify sponsorship needs for various programs/chapter activities
  • Develop and implement a plan to identify potential sponsors
  • Solicit and pursue sponsorship opportunities; coordinate fulfillment


Community Service

Senior Director: Vicky LeLash, APR

Director: Denise Ferguson, APR

This committee is a project-based committee for two major programs, Quality Time with PR Minds, and the Don Perkins Community Service Grant.

  • Quality Time With PR Minds

This award-winning program provides an opportunity for area nonprofit organizations to benefit from the wisdom, experience and expertise of PRSA-LA member professionals.  The event is held once a year for organizations that apply and are selected to receive professional counsel and planning support from seasoned PR practitioners.  These counselors volunteer their time to help participating nonprofits improve their organizations’ public relations efforts.

Team Responsibilities

Engage nonprofits and public relations professionals in PRSA-LA’s signature one-day community service event to benefit local nonprofit organizations.

Identify and invite nonprofit organizations to participate.

Recruit PR professionals to volunteer as consultants.

Work with sponsorship committee to secure funding.

Work with Public Relations/Advocacy committee to promote.

 Don Perkins Grant

For more than 20 years, non-profit organizations in Southern California have received grants to help defray costs related to their public relations activities, thanks to a Community Service Fund created by an endowment from the late Don Perkins, a long-time Los Angeles public relations practitioner and journalist. The Public Relations Society of America’s Los Angeles Chapter (PRSA-LA) administers the program and presents the annual grant to representatives from the chosen non-profit organization at the PRism Awards Show each November.

Team Responsibilities:

Create notification packet and send to non-profit organization prospects.

Review applicants, determine winner and follow up with grant recipient for final report on how the grant funds were used.

Work with Sponsorship Committee to identify potential grant sponsors and solicit funds.


Senior Director: Alan Caldwell, APR

Director: Diane Bergman, APR

The Diversity committee is established to ensure that the chapter’s programming, events and other activities reflect the cultural, gender, age and other aspects of our diverse population.  The focus is on identifying diverse points of view and voices or personalities, and integrating them in the offerings made available to public relations practitioners through PRSA-LA.

Committee Responsibilities:

  • Build Board/Chapter commitment to multicultural and diverse programming and policies.
  • Track and report diversity at all levels of engagement and make recommendations to the board.
  • Plan and coordinate one dynamic program focusing on a trend or issue impacting diversity within organizations during the course of the year.


Entertainment Publicity Professionals Sections (EPPS)

Senior Director: Rick Markovitz

Director: Scott Panksy

New for 2017, this committee is the product of a merger between the independent EPPS organization and PRSA in late 2016.  Today, EPPS is a special interest group comprised of individuals who work in PR-related positions within the entertainment industry.

Committee Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate and present 4-6 events serving the professional development needs of entertainment publicity professionals in the Los Angeles chapter.


Independent Practitioners Alliance

Senior Director: David Garcia

Co-Chair: John Novaria

The Independent Practitioners Alliance is a special interest group within PRSA-LA that is comprised of public relations professionals who either have their own single-member consultancy or do freelance PR work.  The committee focuses on providing opportunities for these individuals to meet and collaborate, and resources to help their businesses thrive.

Committee Responsibilities:

  • Plan and conduct regular (monthly or quarterly) professional development events or networking meetings for independent PR practitioners throughout Southern California to help further their businesses, create joint partnership opportunities, and share ideas and support for growing their practices.
  • Identify and promote resources that benefit independent PR practitioners.


Marketing and Public Relations

Senior Director: Erik Deutsch

Director: Jessica Payne

Editor, L.A. Connect: Jade Stevens

This committee is a project-based committee for two major programs, Public Relations and Advocacy, and Online Presence.

  • Public Relations and Advocacy

The Public Relations and Advocacy committee seeks to promote the chapter as the leading professional organization in Southern California for PR practitioners by showcasing the breadth and caliber of offerings for professional development, networking and industry advancement.  In addition, the committee works to demonstrate the chapter’s leadership role by projecting a clear, consistent voice on issues impacting our profession.

Team Responsibilities:

Promote the chapter’s programs, prominent speakers and noteworthy events through media outreach in an effort secure coverage that helps attract participation and positively position the chapter.  Includes writing and distributing news releases and pitching PRSA-LA as a local source for information on stories related to PR/Marketing

Enhance awareness among business and government leaders of the important role public relations plays in our region

Engage PRSA-LA in relevant issues that affect the PR profession through thoughtful, insightful public discourse

Act as liaison to the newsletter and website committees; ensure photos are taken at events and made available to these committees

Publicize chapter activities and member accomplishments

  •  Online Presence (newsletter, website, social media)

The Online Presence committee is the umbrella group overseeing all online or digital channels in which PRSA-LA participates.  From the electronic newsletter (Email Digest) to the organization’s website and social media forums, the committee endeavors to reach public relations practitioners throughout Southern California with the news they need to know about what’s happening in the chapter and in their field.

Team Responsibilities:

Maintain and distribute the monthly email digest highlighting chapter activities and news; includes soliciting and/or writing articles and developing other content

Work with the Board, Executive Director and Webmaster to make recommendations to improve PRSA-LA’s website and institute appropriate new media initiatives to serve PRSA-LA’s members, recruit new members and inform website visitors of chapter activities.

Promote Chapter activities, membership and positive awareness of PRSA-LA via major social media channels.

Post and share chapter-related information and join the conversation to promote greater engagement with members, the PR community in Southern California and beyond.


Senior Director: Marisol Barrios, APR

Director: Julie Battaglia

The Membership committee is focused on the sustainability and growth of the chapter through member recruitment and retention.  The committee places equal emphasis on attracting new members and reinforcing the value of membership for all through meaningful benefits and positive member experiences.

Committee Responsibilities:

  • Develop/implement an outreach plan for each area of concentration (corporations, nonprofits, agencies, independent practitioners, young professionals, etc.).
  • Identify and cultivate new member prospects.
  • Work with the Marketing committee to promote PRSA membership promotions.
  • Plan and stage a new member reception.
  • Reach out to new members, help them feel welcome, identify interests and encourage active participation. Committee members will be responsible for personal phone calls to new members, meeting them at monthly programs and introducing them to others.



Senior Director: Holly Ferris

Director: Shawn Smith

The Mentoring Committee works with PRSSA student chapters at Southern California colleges and universities to help prepare them for entry in the public relations profession, and involvement with PRSA-LA.  The committee hosts a number of programs and events, including the annual PRSSA Forum, to provide professional development and networking opportunities that can jump-start their careers in the field.

Committee Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate, plan and guide activities for members of the various PRSSA chapters throughout the Southern California region.


Professional Development (Programming)

This committee is a project-based committee for three major program-related work teams, Chapter Programming, At Breakfast With… Series, and Networking.  Each team has its own leadership structure.

  • Quarterly Programs (Competitive Advantage Series)

Senior Director: Jim Wetmore

Director: Diane Bergman, APR

PRSA-LA’s primary mission is to support the professional development and career advancement of its members and others in the industry. Each quarter, the chapter hosts a program on a particular topic – either focused on a PR discipline or a particular industry vertical.  Often a moderated panel presentation, this quarterly offering features many of the industry’s most prominent thought leaders, speaking on today’s timely issues affecting communications and reputation.  The committee is responsible for developing the topics, recruiting the speakers, coordinating the logistics and promoting the events.

Team Responsibilities

Develop topics and coordinate the hosting of quarterly professional development events

Conduct outreach to and confirm prospective speakers

Work with sponsorship committee to secure event-specific funding

Create program notices and oversee distribution

Work with the PR & Marketing committee to promote each event

  • At Breakfast With…

Senior Director: Joe Marchelewski

Director: Linda Martin

At Breakfast With… is one of PRSA-LA’s most successful program offerings.  It features quarterly panel discussions with top media professionals (reporters, editors, bloggers, etc.) in a casual breakfast setting.  The committee is charged with identifying the topics or themes of each program, recruiting panelists for the discussion and coordinating the logistics and promotion of the event.

Team Responsibilities:

Develop and coordinate topics and manage logistics for ABW programs throughout the year

Secure media panelists and venues

Work with the sponsorship committee to raise sponsorship funding

Create program notices and ensure distribution

  • Networking

Senior Director: Diana Pinedo

Team Responsibilities:

Reach out to allied organizations and secure event partnerships.

Identify potential venues and caterers.

Create program notices and oversee distribution.

Create multi-venue signage.

Work with sponsorship committee to secure table-top sponsors/exhibitors and raffle prizes.

Work with Public Relations/Advocacy committee to promote the events.


This committee is a project-based committee responsible for aspects of production for PRSA-LA’s annual PRism Awards.  Each work team within the committee has its own leadership structure.

  • PRism Awards Call For Entries Team

Senior Director: Vicky Lelash

Director: Philip Sokoloski

The PRism Awards “Call for Entries” committee is charged with managing the entire process for PRSA-LA’s award recognition program, from producing and issuing the Call for Entries, to judging the submissions and determining the winners.  The committee coordinates closely with the PRism Awards Show committee to ensure that the awards are distributed correctly and seamlessly.

Team Responsibilities:

Develop, produce and distribute the “Call for Entries” materials.

Plan and coordinate promotion of the Call for Entries to agencies, companies and nonprofits.

Contact finalists to ensure attendance at the event.

Liaison with PRism Awards Show committee as needed.

Convene to review and judge award entries from another PRSA chapter (which in turn judges our PRSA-LA PRism Awards entries).

  • PRism Awards Show Production Team

Senior Director: Philip Sokoloski

Director: Diane Bergman

The PRism Awards Show is PRSA-LA’s premier industry recognition event and it is held annually in the fall.  The committee is responsible for the event logistics, from planning and promoting, to executing the evening’s activities.

Team Responsibilities:

Plan and coordinate all logistics related to the PRisms Awards show, including producing event invitations, designing and printing the program, securing PRSSA student volunteers, recruiting presenters and producing appropriate signage.

Conduct follow up calls to finalists and sponsors who have not RSVP’d; ensure all sponsors’ banner ads and links are collected and added to website.

Recruit award presenters and others who participate in the “show.”

  • PRism Special Awards Team

Senior Director: Linda Martin

Director: Philip Sokoloski

The PRism Special Awards are part of the overall PRism Awards Ceremony and are the evening’s top honors given by PRSA-LA for public relations excellence. The committee is responsible for identifying candidates in each category and determining the winners.

Team Responsibilities:

Oversee the nomination process for the Trevett Award and all Special Awards bestowed at annual PRism event.

Assemble a group of senior chapter members to serve as the nominating committee for qualified candidates.

Identify qualified candidates for each category of Special Awards and prepare nomination criteria for each nominee for review by the committee.

Determine the best qualified candidates and notify the winners.

Secure bios and photos of each winner and work closely with the PRism Awards Show committee to develop the script for honoring each recipient.

Young Professionals

Senior Director: Diana Pinedo

Director: Francisco Aguirre

The Young Professionals committee provides a forum for learning and networking for PR professionals with less than five years of experience.  Through various member services and professional outreach programs, YP members learn about the industry’s latest developments and form relationships with peers, as well as with experienced, respected industry professionals.

Committee Responsibilities:

  • Identify and engage young PR professionals in active participation with the chapter by coordinating, planning and guiding activities that aid in their professional development and networking.