PRSA Pittsburgh announces 2016 Board of Directors

The Pittsburgh Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is pleased to announce its 2016 Board of Directors. The new team is comprised of board veterans, new members and everyone in between. Together they will continue to advance the field of public relations in the Pittsburgh area through professional development, member events and more.

“As one of the larger chapters within PRSA, the Pittsburgh chapter is an influential voice in the public relations industry on both a local and national level, and I’m flattered and honored to be named 2016 President,” said Steve Radick, 2016 PRSA Pittsburgh President. “We’ve got a great Board in place for 2016, and I can’t wait to work with them to create a diverse and engaged PR community here in Pittsburgh.”

The 2016 Board includes:

  • President: Steve Radick, BRUNNERWORKS

  • Vice President: Meredith Klein, Gatesman+Dave

  • Immediate Past President: Meredith Amoroso, Mullen

  • Secretary: Darcey Garda, National Alliance on Mental Illness

  • Treasurer: Caitlin Driscoll, Better Business Bureau of Western PA

Committee Leads and Chairs:

  • Programming Director: Elizabeth Bacheson, Westinghouse Electric Company

  • Renaissance Awards Co-Chair: Amanda Hardt, Schneider Downs

  • Renaissance Awards Co-Chair: Noah Fleming, Steel City Media

  • Speaker Series Lead: Mendy Nestor, Infinity Concepts

  • Professional Development Chair: Robin Rectenwald, Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania

  • Young Professionals Co-Chair: Jamie Kurke, Gatesman+Dave

  • Young Professionals Co-Chair: Livia Vissat, Management Science Associates, Inc.

  • Communications Director: Chelsea Cummins, Goldberg, Persky & White, P.C.

  • Social Media Chair: Samantha McClintock, Dollar Energy Fund

  • Blog Coordinator: Valerie Bennett, BRUNNERWORKS

  • Website Lead: JoAnn Jenny, University of Pittsburgh

  • Multimedia Lead: Tim Long, Em-Media, Inc.

  • Member Services: Jessica Franklin, United States Steel Corporation

  • Student Liaison: Bob O’Gara, Point Park University

  • Diversity/Ethics & Student Liaison: Eric Winkfield, West Virginia University

  • Directory/Job Bank: Dr. Andrew Lingwall, Clarion University
  • Accreditation: Jeff Worden, Worden Public Relations

  • Senior Practitioners Liaison: Allison Peiritsch, Slippery Rock University

To learn more about PRSA Pittsburgh and open positions on the board, please contact Chelsea Cummins at

About PRSA Pittsburgh

The Pittsburgh Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America represents more than 200 of the region’s top public relations professionals. The organization offers professional development, social, education and networking activities, including seminars with top PR leaders, award programs, dynamic speakers and communicator tours. PRSA Pittsburgh members are part of the nation’s largest organization of communications professionals, representing  a piece of nearly 20,000 members nationwide. for more details.

The Renaissance Awards are Pittsburgh’s Golden Globes

Just casually hanging out with our social media coordinator and president at last year’s Renaissance Awards.


The Renaissance Awards are basically the Golden Globes of Pittsburgh-based social gatherings for communicators. Sure, that may be a very narrow category, but we take pride in the distinction nonetheless.

Once a year, the stars of our industry gather to celebrate the accomplishments of our peers. Imagine the PR-equivalent of Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence and Will Smith networking together before the show begins. We eat, drink and generally be pretty merry as we accept our awards and applaud those who beat us. There’s even a lifetime achievement award equivalent (but sadly no Denzel).

Because all Pittsburghers can play three degrees of separation and know the entire city, the ambience is truly special. We gather for drinks before dinner and everyone is mingling and catching up with past coworkers and old friends. The lines between the agencies seem blurred.

As a recent college grad, I attended my first Renaissance Awards in 2013 and instantly fell in love with the event. There are so many things going on, so many people working together to make the evening spectacular. It served as my first taste of being involved with PRSA Pittsburgh and I never looked back.

Every year, I look forward to seeing Pittsburgh’s best — both the campaigns and those who created them. It’s incredibly cool to see my fellow board members win for their work because when you only see them help with PRSA, you forget they actually have a career.

The Renaissance Awards aren’t just for those nominated or those who work for a company nominated. It’s a time for everyone to come together. If your sole goal is networking and meeting people, this event is for you. If you like to have a good time, this event is for you. If you’re looking to make a splash in Pittsburgh, this event is for you. If you’ve watched too much Netflix and need a break, this event is for you.

See? This event is for everyone, so what are you waiting for? RSVP today and attend our best party of the year. If you can’t make it, but want to follow the fun, check out @PRSAPgh on Twitter and #PRSArenaissance for all the winners as they happen.

The Renaissance Awards are scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 28, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Hotel Monaco in downtown Pittsburgh.


Chelsea N. Cummins is the marketing coordinator at Goldberg, Persky & White and Director of Communications for PRSA Pittsburgh. Her passions in life include Jesus, her nieces, Twitter rants and blogging about all her ill-advised decisions. And obviously the field of public relations. Please be her friend: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn

Member Spotlight: Julie Leslie

Meet Julie Leslie, a Designer at Gatesman+Dave, a fully integrated, independent marketing communications agency located in the South Side of Pittsburgh.

Member Spotlight: Colin Haas

@colinmhaas | Colin Haas


Where do you work/what do you do?

Love this question considering all the recent things I have been doing! To give a little back story, I had been working full-time for CONSOL Energy, for the last 7 years as an analyst II and freelancing in marketing and PR (since 2010). Then in April of 2015, CONSOL was going through a downturn and I was laid off. My freelancing turned full-time and so did the job searching! The same week I was laid off, my wife went with her Mom to her eyelash appointment, at Lash Spa Studio in McMurray. My wife was already an aesthetician and was offered a job the following week, which brings me to myself. Through her job I have had several run-ins with the CEO of the Lash Spa and as of last week, they have transitioned into a franchise, under the brand name Deka Lash. I am currently running all marketing, PR, social media, and content by myself and that has been quite a process. I have been treating it like a startup and building everything from scratch, so for me, it has been just creating the framework and filling it up with content as we move forward. While I have different applications out, around the city, Deka Lash is planning to make a formal offer and have me head up and run all marketing and PR. Until then, I continue freelancing for them.


What’s your title?

With my freelancing, I just went with integrated marketing strategist, but with Deka Lash I don’t have an “official” working title yet.


Where do you live?

Waynesburg, PA


What’s your favorite bar/restaurant?

Cheesecake Factory, on the Southside. Although I have a growing list of places I want to try, thanks to Instagram.


How long have you been a member of PRSA?

I was a student member of the PRSA since May 2013 and now a regular member, but joined the Pittsburgh chapter in December 2015.


What’s one thing other PRSA members should know about you?

I love podcasts! Especially the marketing, PR, and social media podcasts. We can be at the gym, sitting in the car or doing any other activity and still learning. As a result, I plan on launching my own podcast in the coming months and interviewing some of the industry leaders that I have became friends with, as well as other industry professionals.


What do you hope to get out of PRSA this year?

I am really excited about making new connections with my fellow chapter members and being able to learn from them. Please feel free to reach out to me anytime or connect with me.


What’s your favorite thing about Pittsburgh?

The Pittsburgh skyline! Does that ever get old?


Won’t you be a blogger?

Because you know you love a Mr. Rogers reference

Even if you say you don’t make resolutions, you probably think about things you want to change. The New Year has that effect on people. It’s easier to start your diet on a Monday than the weekend and it’s better to enjoy Christmas before you resolve to be better.

Personally, I love resolutions. They’re like a year long to do list that keep you in line and help you better yourself. Sure, my ‘year-long list’ often is more like a few weeks or months, but it provides the framework for how I want to live. Typically I include the given resolutions, like eat less and work out more, but as I get older I find myself focusing on professional goals and values.

When I joined the PRSA Pittsburgh board in 2014, I had a set of goals in mind based on research I’d done. As social media coordinator, I knew I wanted to increase our followings and establish more of a unique voice and style for who we are. My biggest priority was creating the blog. How hard could it be?

Turns out really hard.

The first step was figuring out a platform. The next was content. The third was writers. Once we had all of this locked down, the rest was smooth sailing, right? Wrong. Almost three years later and the blog proves as much of a challenge as ever. Fortunately, the blog has grown and now we have a whole position on the board dedicated to it.

For two years I was hands on in the blog, writing, editing, emailing and posting to keep the content fresh. As I move to the Director of Communications for PRSA Pittsburgh, it’s time to pass the reins and make a request of our membership: contribute!

Writing is the first activity of public relations and one most of us do every day, whether it’s for social, a news release or web content. Because of this, we have the prime group of people available to help us continue to improve the blog with quality content. Starting in 2016, we’re looking to get more Pittsburgh practitioners involved with the blog.

Whether it’s a member spotlight, company highlight or employee profile, we need you! We also want original articles commenting on current events, industry trends and responses to monthly themes. Essentially, we have the writing opportunity for you.

Throughout the year, we’ll send out emails requesting articles and reach out to you directly for input. When you’re inspired, send your work to us as well! You can reach out to our Blog Coordinator Valerie Bennett at with ideas and posts. She’s available to help you whenever you need her.

So this year, better your professional life and resolve to write more. Maybe you don’t need to make it an official resolution, but definitely add it to your to do list! Here’s to having a productive (but not overly busy) 2016!


Chelsea N. Cummins is the marketing coordinator at Goldberg, Persky & White and Director of Communications for PRSA Pittsburgh. Her passions in life include Jesus, her nieces, Twitter rants and blogging about all her ill-advised decisions. And obviously the field of public relations. Please be her friend: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn

New Year, New Board, New Opportunity

Happy New Year PRSA Pittsburgh members! After serving as your Vice President for the last year, I’m excited (and a bit overwhelmed) to take over as President in 2016. Last year, we did some networking, learned a ton, and had a lot of fun. Through it all, I had the opportunity to get to know many of you, but unfortunately, there are still dozens of our members I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet. I hope that changes in 2016.

One of the reasons I moved back home to Pittsburgh last year was to be a part of the revitalization of this city. From academia to healthcare to tech, it seems like everywhere you look, someone is doing something that’s never been done here before. I was incredibly lucky to see firsthand that this same energy and passion exists within our PR and marketing communities. In 2016, I hope to amplify this across all of our 200+ members.

And this all starts with our fantastic Board of Directors. I’m thrilled that many of our Board members have chosen to stay involved this year, and I can’t wait to work with them again. Below you’ll find our 2016 Board of Directors.

Position: Name:
President Steve_Radick
Immediate Past President Meredith_Blake_Amoroso
Vice President Meredith_Klein
Treasurer Caitlin_Driscoll
Secretary Darcey Garda
Programming Director Elizabeth_Bacheson
Renaissance Awards Co-Chair Amanda_Hardt
Renaissance Awards Co-Chair Noah_Fleming
Speaker Series Lead Mendy_Nestor
Professional Development Co-Chair Robin_Rectenwald
Professional Development Co-Chair  
Young Professionals Co-Chair Jamie_Kurke
Young Professionals Co-Chair Livia_Vissat
Communications Director Chelsea_Cummins
Social Media/Publicity Samantha_McClintock
Blog Coordinator  Valerie_Bennett
Website Lead JoAnn_Jenny
Multimedia Lead Tim_Long
Member Services Jessica_Franklin
Diversity/Ethics Eric_Winkfield
Student Liaison Bob O’Gara
Student Liaison Eric_Winkfield
Directory/Job Bank Dr.Andrew_Lingwall
Public Service  
Accreditation Jeff_Worden
Senior Practitioners Liaison Allison_Peiritsch

If you are interested in submitting your name for a role not currently filled, please let me know ASAP. Email me at

In 2016, I’m looking forward to working with them and you to make PRSA Pittsburgh more valuable, collaborative, and fun than ever before. Several of us are meeting in early January to work through the 2016 Strategic Plan, but I do know that we’ll be focused on three things in the New Year:

  1. Activating a greater % of our 200+ members.
  2. Enhancing our communications and engagement with our membership.
  3. Increasing the value proposition that PRSA Pittsburgh offers you, your organization, and the community.

Check back often as we’ll be using our blog and our social channels Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube to involve you as much as possible as we work toward these goals.