North Carolina Public Relations Professionals Elect 2020 Leaders

RALEIGH, NC / ACCESSWIRE / January 13, 2020 / The North Carolina chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, a leading organization for public relations, communications and marketing professionals, announces its 2020 Board of Directors, led by newly elected president Connie Helmlinger, APR. A public relations veteran with more than 30 years of experience, Helmlinger is currently manager of public relations and marketing at the NC Housing Finance Agency in Raleigh and has served on the NCPRSA Board since 2018.

The following PR professionals were also elected to serve on the 2020 board:

  • President-elect – Sarah Bruckner, APR, associate director, PR and social strategy, Clean, Raleigh
  • Vice President/Membership Chair-Madison Lewis, public relations and marketing project manager, NC Housing Finance Agency, Raleigh
  • Treasurer – Christa Leupen, APR, public relations manager, Butterball, LLC, Garner
  • Secretary – Rhonda Green, information and news services manager, NC State University, Raleigh
  • Assembly Delegate-Randy Buckwalter, APR, public relations/corporate communications professional, PPD, Morrisville
  • Director of Programs-Dana Edwards, account manager, French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh
  • Director of Diversity-Cassandra Mitchell, department head, communications & digital technology, and associate professor, mass communications, Shaw University, Raleigh

Additionally, the board has made the following appointments:

  • Director of Website-Glenn Gillen, APR, public relations manager, WGU North Carolina, Durham
  • PRSSA Chair-Melissa Mowry, consultant, APCO Worldwide, Raleigh
  • Sponsorship Chair-Elizabeth Barbour, account coordinator, French/West/Vaughan, Raleigh

They will join the following continuing board members:

  • Past President-Chris Cowperthwaite, APR, director of communications and outreach, North Carolina Nurses Association, Raleigh
  • Assembly Delegate-Tracy Lathan, APR, account strategist, Claremont Communications, Raleigh
  • Assembly Delegate-Eva Hornak, APR, communications manager, S.T. Wooten, Wilson
  • Director of Communications-Kiersten Williams, consultant, strategic communications – PR – content marketing, Raleigh
  • Director of Accreditation-Stephanie Llorente, APR, owner, Prep Communications, Raleigh
  • Director of Awards-Corrine Watson, director of communications, Victra, Raleigh
  • Ethics Chair-Joseph Gaitens, APR, AIGA, brand communication strategist, Raleigh
  • Awards Co-Chair-Kim Strazisar, owner, Kim Strazisar Communications, LLC, Cary

“The wealth of diverse perspectives, experience and expertise on our board will keep NCPRSA well-positioned to continue as an industry leader, advocating for the profession and North Carolina public relations professionals,” said Helmlinger. “We look forward to working with our members to elevate the profession and meet the challenges of a new decade.”

The following companies are champions of PR, communications, marketing and the NCPRSA chapter.

Presenting Sponsor:

ACCESSWIRE, an Issuer Direct company

Silver Sponsors:

Eckel & Vaughn


Bronze Sponsors:

Coastal Credit Union

Engage Media Communications

Joseph Gaitens, APR

North Carolina Nurses Association

The Public Relations Society of America is the nation’s largest association of public relations professionals and among the world’s largest associations of communicators. Its tag line is “Advancing the Profession and the Professional.” Since 1967, the North Carolina Chapter has helped set the standard for excellence in all aspects of the profession. NCPRSA provides leadership, counsel, understanding, networking and educational growth opportunities for those within the profession and to those who may need public relations services.

Connie S. Helmlinger, APR
President, North Carolina Public Relations Society of America


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