December 2019 Print

Letter from the President

We've had an amazing year!

Your Board of Directors worked hard to deliver high-quality programming, networking opportunities and professional development sessions to hundreds of professionals this year.

Click here to read the complete list of highlights in President Roof's blog.

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Scholarship Information

Annually, PRSA Central Iowa offers three scholarships to help students and professionals in their pursuit of public relations education and professional development. This year, we were pleased to present the following awards:

Laura Shoemaker (center) won the $500 Advanced Degree Scholarship. Laura is a graduate student at the University of Iowa pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communication.

Belle Du Chene (left) won the 2019 Professional Development Scholarship. The Professional Development Scholarship is available for a PRSA member to further his or her career in many different ways. Belle plans to use this $500 scholarship to pursue the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) designation.

Chase Kusel (right), a PRSSA student at Iowa State, won the $1,500 Ferne Bonomi and Dr. Henry Milam Undergraduate Scholarship. Chase joined PRSSA in his first year of college, and served as Vice President in his sophomore year and President during his junior year. He has planned and coordinated chapter meetings and their annual Chicago Agency Tours. From his application, Chase said, “One of the things I have cherished the most about these experiences is having the opportunity to help young PR professionals grow within their future field.” Chase has served as Communications Intern at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where he assisted in drafting, editing, and sending press releases and media advisories about official USDA business or the secretary's travel. Last summer, he worked as an Account Management Intern at FLM Harvest, a strategic marketing and communications agency, working on the agency's largest client. He’s interested in agency work, so we’ve got a great candidate for those of you looking for your next team member!

Congratulations to our 2019 scholarship winners!

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APR News

Make a New Year's resolution. Earn your APR!

Register now for the APR prep course to guide prospective candidates through the entire process to becoming Accredited in Public Relations. This six-week course involves weekly, 4-hour sessions (Saturday mornings, beginning Saturday, Feb. 1 and ending Saturday, March 7) of prepartory material presented be Central Iowa APRs.

Topics will include research, legal and ethical issues, communication models and strategies, PR plans, crisis management, media relations, the computerized APR exam and more!

For more information on the course please contact either Christina Gayman, [email protected] or Kelly Bruhn, [email protected]

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Program Recap

We had an awesome group of students and professionals on our PR tour in November. We visited Two Rivers Marketing, Kemin Industries and Science Center of Iowa. At each location, we toured the facilities and learned about the role communications plays in each organization.

Thanks to our gracioius hosts!

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Ethics Column

It’s the holiday season, and that can create ethical questions for public relations professionals when it comes gift-giving. Where do you start? Where do you stop? What’s appropriate and what’s not when it comes to giving gifts?

Read the full article.

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Chapter News

2020 Chapter Officers

Congratulations to our 2020 chapter officers
Past President: Teresa Roof, APR
President: Ryan Johnson, APR
President-Elect: Katelin Brown
Program Chair: Laura Plumb
Program Chair-Elect: Abby Delaney
Treasurer: Allison Grettenberg
Treasurer-Elect: Shari Saunders-Behnke
Secretary: Ashley Dalsing
Membership: Abby Bottenfield, APR
Accreditation Chair: Christina Gayman, APR
Accreditation Chair-Elect: Dr. Kelly Bruhn, APR
Delegate: Aaron Putze, APR
Delegate and Ethics Chair: Kathy Krafka Harkema, APR
Public Relations: Erica Turner, APR

Committee chairs
Awards: Taylor Rookaird
Newsletter: Anna VanWaardhuizen
Professional Development: Khushbu Jamandas and Christine Schick Zrostlik
Social Media: Pat Howard, APR
Sponsorships: Kelly Visser

Iowa State PRSSA Liaisons: Rob Schweers, APR and Annette Hacker
Drake PRSSA Liaison: Megan Garrett, APR
Simpson PRSSA Liaison: Courtney Shaw, APR
Iowa PRSSA Liaison: Debbie McClung
UNI PRSSA Liaison: Jenny Phan, APR and Jessica Rolwes
Wartburg PRSSA Liaison: Chris Knudson

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Upcoming Events

Metro Marketing Mixer scheduled

Hors d'oeuvres • Cash bar • Networking • Prizes

The Metro Marketing Mixer is scheduled for Jan. 23, 2020, from 5 to 7 p.m. at The River Center, located at 340 SW Third St., Des Moines. The event drew a large crowd last year (following an ice storm), and we are expecting significant turnout again this year...about 300! We hope to see you there.

Admission is FREE for members of any of the five host organizations: AAF, AMA, NAMA, PRSA-Central Iowa Chapter and the Social Media Club of Des Moines.

Nonmembers are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.

Registration is required and is open now!

A limited number of very affordable corporate sponsorships are available. If your organization is interested, contact Tom Woody at [email protected].


Save money and pre-pay for 2020 luncheons

We're looking forward to another great year of programming for PRSA Central Iowa. Pay once to attend all four 2020 luncheons with the pass and receive a 15% discount. Purchase the non-transferable pass anytime before Jan. 31, 2020 at the discounted rate of $76.50.

Save money and pre-pay now.


Attend the PRSA 2020 International Conference in Nashville. The $995 Special Early Bird Rate expires Dec. 31, 2019. Click here to register now and save.

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Member Updates

Welcome, new members

  • Michael Thomas DuPre, Media Advocacy Manager, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
  • Akwi Nji, Director of Communications, Cedar Rapids Community School District
  • Kyle Oppenhuizen, Director of Communications, Greater Des Moines Partnership
  • Jen Schulte, Government Relations Director, City of Des Moines


Member anniversaries

We recognize PRSA Central Iowa Chapter members who are celebrating their membership in PRSA this month.

Ten Years
Chris Verlengia, Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

One Year
Vickee Jordan Adams
Brock Ascher, Iowa Board of Regents
Josh Lehman, Iowa Board of Regents
Nicole Picray, Pella Corporation
Brandi Putz, Simpson College

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Job Bank

Check out the latest career listings on the PRSA Central Iowa Chapter Job Bank.

Public Relations Manager, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation
Digital Marketing Intern, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation
Sr. Communications Specialist, Trilix


Are you hiring a PR profession or summer intern?

Post the position on our website

If you're looking for a qualified public relations professional to fill a vacancy at your organization, be sure to utilize the PRSA Central Iowa Job Bank! PRSA members pay just $25 per post and non-members pay $50 per post. Go to PRSA Central Iowa Chapter and click the appropriate orange button to get started; a credit card will be required for payment.

If you're looking to post an internship position, utilize the PRSA Central Iowa Job Bank. All internship postings are free; simply email the details to our job bank coordinator, and we'll post on your behalf.  

PRSA members also have the option to post unlimited jobs for an annual fee of $100.

If you need assistance with your job posting or have additional questions, please contact our job bank coordinator for more information.

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Connect With Us

Engage on social media

Help amplify our message on social media by sharing our posts to your personal accounts to spread our message. Find us on Facebook at and Twitter.

Are you looking for advice, a sounding board or resource? Join our LinkedIn group at To request membership, log into your LinkedIn account and click on the “Ask to Join” button.

Engage today!

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Membership Information

It's a great time to join PRSA

When new and returning members join National PRSA as a regular members in Dec. they receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a FREE 1-yr Chapter membership.

RESTRICTIONS: Section dues are additional. N/A for Associate member types ($200 or less annual dues) and current or renewing members. Refer to for details.

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