Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Meet the Panelist: Vicki Collins, Community Relations Director/Public Relations Officer, Lee County Supervisor of Elections


Vicki Collins is the Community Relations Director and Public Information Officer for the Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office.  Her initiation into Major elections began with the 2000 Presidential Election and the infamous hanging, dimpled, and pregnant chads. 
Vicki has been a member of the Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA since 2006, has served on the Board and assisted the Chapter in various capacities.  She received the chapter’s Rising Star Award in 2008.
Vicki is happily married, the mother of three wonderful adult children, and the blessed grandmother of two precious granddaughters.  She practices yoga & meditation, is an avid reader, and a notorious knitter!

Meet the Panelist: Trish Robertson, Election Communications Coordinator, Collier County Supervisor of Elections

W: (239) 252-8052
C: (772) 538-2157

Trish Robertson is the Election Communications Coordinator for the Collier County Supervisor of Elections Office. The Communications Coordinator maintains working knowledge of Federal and State Election Laws and internal practices and procedures serving as a supportive role to the entire Elections Office. Trish creates, manages and distributes communications for the Elections Office through various media outlets, office publications and social media channels. Additionally, she works closely with the Training and Voter Outreach Departments assisting in the development and execution of election worker recruitment strategies, election worker trainings, and assisting with voter education and outreach.

Trish is a proud member of the Florida Gulf Coast University alumni where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree Cum Laude in Communications with a concentration on Public Relations.
Trish is an active member of the Southwest Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association and has served on the Leadership Team for the past two years. She is currently serving as the VP of Communications and was the Co-chair for Public Relations University 2013.

In her free time, Trish volunteers as a Girl Scout Leader for Troop 100 and enjoys gardening and DIY projects.

Meet the Panelist: Jennifer J. Edwards, Collier County Supervisor of Elections

Jennifer J. Edwards

Supervisor of Elections

Originally from Kentucky, Jennifer earned her Bachelor’s from the University of Kentucky and her Masters from Eastern Kentucky University. Jennifer has served as the Supervisor of Elections since 2000 and prior to that, held several key positions during her 13-year tenure with the Collier County Manager’s Agency including Budget Analyst, Assistant to the County Manager and Human Resources Director.

Jennifer is a State Certified Supervisor of Elections and was awarded her Master Florida Certified Elections Professional (MFCEP) designation from the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections (FSASE), as well as a Certified Elections Registration Administrator (CERA) designation from the Elections Center. Jennifer was also awarded a Chancellors Certificate in Public Administration from the International Association of Clerks, Recorders, Election Officials and Treasurers (IACREOT). Jennifer has served as the Treasurer, Secretary, President Elect, President, and Past President of the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections (FSASE). In 2006, Jennifer was selected as one of American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) Women in History. Jennifer has served on several boards throughout Collier County including the United Way of Collier County’s Board of Directors from 2001-2007 (2006 campaign co-chair). Jennifer is a graduate of the Leadership Collier and the Leadership Marco program. Jennifer is currently a member of Immokalee Multicultural Community Action Board of Directors, Leadership Collier, League of Women Voters, and Marco Kiwanis.

Jennifer has lived in Collier County since 1984. She is married to Ronnie Edwards, and they have two children and three grandchildren.          

The Supervisor's Responsibilities

Responsibilities as an elected official...

•  Administering all elections in Collier County
•  Providing information and statistics on voter registration, voting and elections
•  Voter education
•  Issuing voter information cards
•  Conducting voter registration
•  Providing absentee voting
•  Qualifying candidates for office
•  Receiving campaign finance reports
•  Maintaining election equipment
•  Hiring and training election workers
•  Renting and equipping polling places

Meet the Panelist: Sharon Harrington, Lee County Supervisor of Elections

Lee County Supervisor of Elections

Sharon Harrington was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and moved to Fort Myers in 1975. She attended Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland and Edison Community College in Fort Myers majoring in Accounting and Business Administration.

Prior to her employment with the Lee County Supervisor of Elections Office she spent 24 years in management positions for a variety of businesses both in Ohio and Florida.

Sharon began her employment with the Supervisor of Elections on April 3, 1989 as Fiscal Officer/Human Resources Director and worked very closely with Philinda Young, the previous Supervisor.  She has worked in all departments of the Elections Office and was a part of the transition teams that worked on the countywide conversion to the touch screen voting systems in 2002 and the optical scan system in 2008. 

She was promoted to Assistant Supervisor-Finance/HR in December of 2002. Sharon was appointed to fulfill the unexpired term of Philinda Young by Governor Jeb Bush on January 20, 2004, and took office on February 16, 2004.  She was elected to the position in November of 2004. 

Sharon received her state certification in Elections Administration July 28, 2006.

Civic organization participation includes: Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers Board of Directors where she served as chairman for 10 years; Life Member and Kiwanis Lady of Kiwanis International, currently a member of the Kiwanis Club of Fort Myers-South and the Fort Myers Women's Community Club.

Sharon was elected to Who's Who Worldwide for Business and Professional Leaders and was awarded the ABWA Woman of the Year award.

Sharon is an active member of St. Michael Lutheran Church where she serves as an usher and is a member of the Altar Guild.

Friday, June 20, 2014

APR Trivia - June 2014

Question: The association that bestows the Accreditation in Public Relations credential is:
A.   Florida Public Relations Association
B.    Universal Accreditation Board
C.    Public Relations Society of America
D.   Southern Public Relations Federation

Answer:  B. The Universal Accreditation Board is an international accrediting body supported by 10 member organizations, including FPRA, PRSA and SPRF.

President's Word

Hello and Happy Summer!

In July we are truly in the thick of summer, a wonderful time of year when families spend more time together, work slows a bit for us in Southwest Florida and we can reevaluate things a bit. What’s your goal this summer?

Is it to tackle the garage, organize your office, and catch up on the mounds of filing to be done? What about the bigger picture? I touched on this a bit last month, but now is really the time to start thinking about professional development. The adage “failure to plan is planning to fail” stands true. Book time now in your schedule, not just for the summer, but for the next year to enhance yourself as a professional.

What better way than to attend the FPRA Annual Conference in August? It’s right around the corner and a perfect way to kick off the start to a new, enhanced you! Think about following it up with some luncheons, special FPRA SWFL events and even potentially accreditation. Your chapter is here to support you and we would love to see you grow even more as a professional.

Thank you for being a member of the Southwest Florida chapter of FPRA and for what you bring to our profession. See you soon and don’t forget to - Think FPRA!

Samantha Scott, APR

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Media Breakfast 2014 Wrap Up

Great job and a big thank you to Jessica Boles for organizing this year's Media Breakfast!!

The Annual Media Breakfast on June 12th was another great success as 6 panelists from Southwest Florida spoke to over 65 people and addressed current media trends and shared their insights on the future of journalism. Thank you to our sponsors for this year’s Media Breakfast; Charlotte Behavioral Health Care, Avow, Susan Bennett Marketing and Media LLC and Shell Point Retirement Community. A big thank you also goes to our committee members that helped coordinate this program and secure sponsors to offset any costs.

The panel of experts included Osvaldo Padilla, Editor, Florida Weekly; Steve McQuilkin, Business and Real Estate editor, The News-Press Media Group; Jimmy Dean, Editor, Harbor Style Magazine; Phil Borchmann, Editor, Gulfshore Business; Darrel Lieze-Adams, News Director of Waterman Broadcasting and Jean Gruss, Editor, Business Observer. Susan Bennett, APR, APRC served as the moderator for the program and assisted with facilitating with the number of questions from the audience. All of the speakers offered great tips to our PR pros and were very engaging throughout the event.

The media breakfast was a great way to get in touch with local media experts and the committee as well as the attendees enjoyed the program and look forward to next year.

Here are some of the photos from the event:

Save the Date - July Luncheon

We hope you all enjoyed the Media Breakfast in June! Now it's time to start thinking of the July luncheon, which is the Southwest Florida Chapter Annual Meeting, on Tuesday, July 8, 2014 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Crowne Plaza Bell Tower.  Please join us as we swear in the 2014-2015 Board of Directors and Leadership Team.

We have a great topic for the July luncheon: It’s election season – the July 8 meeting will feature the new slate for FPRA and also will have a PR-Elections presentation.

Lee County Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington and Collier County Supervisor of Elections Jennifer J. Edwards will be joined by their public relations staffers to discuss the array of issues they face, the lessons learned and the stories elections communications challenges can generate. The panel discussion will shed light on how you handle planning a congressional election in mere weeks and also how you manage intense media coverage the day before, day of and day after an election.

Listen to the panel, ask questions and become more aware of the election cycle we are in while garnering  PR insight.

Registration closes July 3. Click here to register now!

A Reminder: No-Shows Will Be Billed

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Road Best Traveled - FPRA State Conference 2014 YouTube video and brochure

Are you hiking the Road Best Traveled to State Conference?

The official program has been released! Click here to get your copy from the State FPRA website and learn about all the great speakers and sessions.

Here's one more way to get pumped about the greatest annual get together for FPRA members, a great YouTube video! Click here to watch and get even more hyped about the conference.

Haven't registered yet? There's still time to register AND apply for a scholarship! Scholarship deadline is June 20. Submit your application today.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Meet the Media Breakfast Panelists - Darrel Adams, Waterman Broadcasting

Darrel Adams serves as the Executive News Director for Waterman Broadcasting (NBC2 and ABC7). He has been with the station since 1997.

During his tenure at Waterman Broadcasting the station has won three National RTNDA Edward R. Murrow's for Investigative Reporting. Darrel says, "I believe investigative reporting is the foundation of a great news department." The station has also won several Regional Awards including Best Station, Best Breaking News, Best Newscast and Best Reporting. The news staff has won many Florida Associated Press Awards too, including Best Overall, Best Newscast, Best Weathercast, Best Sports, Best Public Affairs, and Best Reporting.

Darrel currently serves on the ABC News Director Advisory Board. This is a select group of News Directors who give feed back to the network. He served as Board Chair from 2006-08. He as served on many local boards, including the founding board of the Southwest Florida Affiliate of Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. He has also served on the Island Coast AIDS Network (ICAN) and Children's Home Society boards. He is a 2003 Graduate of Lee County Emerging Leaders and one of Gulfshore Life's 2008 Men of the Year.

Darrel came to Fort Myers from Minneapolis. He was the senior executive producer for KSTP-TV in the Twin Cities.

The ABC affiliate is a news organization known for its excellence in journalism, having earned such prestigious awards at the Alfred DuPont-Columbia Journalism Award and the George Foster Peabody Award. Darrel himself has won two Emmy's.

Before joining KSTP-TV, Darrel worked in Cedar Rapids, Iowa at KGAN-TV and in St. Cloud, Minnesota at KXLI-TV. Darrel has served as a reporter, anchor, producer and in several management positions.

A native of Motley, Minnesota, Darrel holds a degree in broadcast journalism and speech communication from St. Cloud State University. He grew up on a dairy farm in Central Minnesota.

Darrel currently lives in Lee County and is the proud father of twin daughters.