PRSA - Maryland Chapter - Public Relations Society of America

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As one of 10 chapters in the Mid-Atlantic District, PRSA Maryland is led by a local Board of Directors – all volunteers. Each year, the Chapter installs a new board of directors and a pool of member-volunteers who work together to organize and manage the chapter’s programs and services.

Feel free to contact any of our members for questions, concerns or comments regarding our Chapter. Or send us an email at  info@prsamd.org.

2017 Board of Directors

President

Claudia Ciolfi
Claudia Ciolfi

Claudia Ciolfi

Manager of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company
8722 Loch Raven Blvd
Towson, MD  21286-2235
Phone: (410) 494-2193

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An award-winning communicator, Claudia Ciolfi possesses 20+ years of experience in public relations, marketing communications and corporate communications. She has worked with regional, national and international insurance and financial services companies to build brand awareness, launch products and services, and boost revenue.

Claudia joined the Communications department at Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company in 1999. She is responsible for internal communications, marketing communications, public relations, media relations and social media. Claudia and her co-workers have won numerous professional association awards from regional and national industry organizations for writing, marketing, brand management and public relations.

Claudia has served on PRSA Maryland’s board in various capacities in the past. She has been a PRSA member since 1999.

Treasurer

Kelly Stoll
Kelly Stoll

Kelly Stoll

Senior Strategic Communications Specialist, AECOM
430 National Business Parkway, Suite 400
Annapolis Junction, MD  20701
Phone: (410) 627-8196

Email | LinkedIn

Kelly Stoll has worked in public relations for more than 20 years. She is an innovative communications professional with a proven record of success in challenging and diverse roles. During the course of her career, she’s worked in just about every facet of the communications and marketing fields, including community involvement, public relations, marketing, strategic planning, facilitation, training, media relations, special events planning, and multiple-project coordination.

She has worked with clients such as Starbucks Coffee Company, the Maryland Lottery, the USO, Progressive Insurance, FEMA, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force. Through her work, she develops informational materials, such as media kits, newsletters, brochures, fact sheets and other promotional materials. She’s also provides guidance on and develops social media strategies to engage stakeholders at all levels, develops stakeholder engagement tactics, and conducts program analysis and research-based communication planning. Kelly served as the co-chair of PRSA Maryland’s 2015 and 2016 annual conferences.

Kelly holds a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism from West Virginia University and is active in her local Toys for Tots campaign each year, as well as bulldog rescue.

Past President

Daniel Dunne, APR
Daniel Dunne, APR

Daniel Dunne, APR (Assembly Delegate)

Director of Communications, Erickson Living
5525 Research Park Drive
Baltimore, MD  21228
Phone: (410) 402-2097

Email | LinkedIn

Dan Dunne is the Director of Communications for Baltimore-based Erickson Living, a national developer and manager of senior living communities. He has over 30 years of public relations experience, including having served many years as a national spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice.  His career history reflects extensive management and leadership experience, as well as expertise in brand communication, social media applications, crisis communications, and public and media relations training.

Directors

Courtney-2801
Courtney Benhoff

Courtney Benhoff

Account Manager, Abel Communications
3355 Keswick Road, suite 300
Baltimore, MD  21211
Phone: (410) 843-3825

Email | LinkedIn | Twitter

Courtney Benhoff is an Account Manager at Abel Communications in Baltimore. A graduate of Clemson University, she provides strategic communications planning, media relations, social media, and content marketing services to clients in various industries, with a focus on the professional services sector. Courtney served as the co-chair of PRSA Maryland’s 2015 and 2016 annual conferences.

Jeffrey Davis, APR (Assembly Delegate)

Jeffrey A Davis gold background
Jeffrey A Davis, APR

Managing Director, Van Eperen
7 Erwood Court
Baltimore, MD  21212
(410) 372-0827

Email LinkedIn | Twitter

Jeffrey A. Davis, APR has more than 25 years of news media and national public relations experience and is Managing Director of the Baltimore office of Van Eperen, an integrated PR and communications firm based in North Bethesda.

As an early adopter, Jeff started using Facebook, Twitter (and MySpace!) for clients in 2007 and the next year the Washington Business Journal wrote about Jeff’s innovative use of Twitter for public relations. He is now a nationally recognized expert in social media, particularly how organizations can successfully integrate social media platforms into traditional communications and crisis management programs. Jeff returns to the chapter’s leadership team after serving for two years as president (1998 and 1999).

He holds a degree in journalism from Ohio Wesleyan University and was a reporter for daily newspapers in Ohio, New Jersey and Maryland before he entered public relations. He also serves as Baltimore editor for the Capitol Communicator and is co-host of two podcasts: Launch Podcast, focusing on startups and their stories, and Practically Social, a podcast about the use of social media in PR campaigns.

Dianna Fornaro
Dianna Fornaro

Dianna Fornaro

Communications Specialist, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company
8722 Loch Raven Blvd.
Towson, MD 21286
Phone: (410) 494-2033

E-Mail | LinkedIn

Dianna Fornaro is a Communications Specialist with Towson-based Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance. She has worked in corporate communications for many years, primarily in the insurance and financial services industry. She also has experience in public affairs, working with nonprofits and government agencies.

Over the years, Dianna has won numerous national and regional communications awards for her writing, graphic design and publications management expertise. She and her colleagues at Chesapeake have also won many awards for their rebranding, workplace safety & health and public relations campaigns.

Dianna has a B.S. in Journalism and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) from the University of Maryland, College Park; and an M.A. in Publication Design from the University of Baltimore. She also has a web design certificate and is currently pursuing the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR).

In her free time, Dianna does freelance writing, editing and graphic design. She is also a certified yoga, Pilates and Zumba instructor in Eldersburg and Ellicott City. An avid artist, she is also a member of the Sykesville Painting Club.

David Harrison

David Harrison
David Harrison

President, Harrison Communications
1340 Smith Avenue, Suite 200
Baltimore, MD 21209
410-804-1728

Email | LinkedIn | Twitter

David Harrison is a seasoned public relations and marketing professional with more than 20 years’ experience developing and executing integrated communications campaigns.

He began his career in journalism, as a reporter for the Baltimore Business Journal and the American Banker. After creating and leading the professional association practice at a large regional public relations agency, David created Harrison Communications in 2007.

Specializing in working with professional associations, commercial real estate firms and health care organizations, David has created numerous national and regional award-winning PR and branding campaigns.  David believes the critical element to any communications campaign is valuable content, and he helps clients uncover and deliver messages that desired audiences want to receive.

David is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park with a degree in English Language and Literature/Liberal Arts in Business

Caitlin Haskins
CaitlinHaskins

Caitlin Haskins

Senior Account Executive, imre
909 Ridgebrook Road, Suite 300
Sparks, MD 21152
Phone: (410) 821-8220

E-Mail | LinkedIn

 

 

Jennifer Kellar, APR
Jennifer Kellar, APR

Jennifer Kellar, APR

Strategic Communications Group Leader, AECOM
430 National Business Parkway, Suite 400
Annapolis Junction, MD  20701
Phone: 410-487-8998

Email | LinkedIn

Jennifer Kellar, APR, has been a public relations practitioner for more than 15 years. A graduate of the University of Maryland’s College of Journalism, Jennifer leads the strategic communications group at global architecture and engineering firm, AECOM, and was previously director of corporate communications at 1st Mariner Bank. She loves the beach, yoga, and the four-step process.

Jennifer is also the APR Committee Chair. If you interested in learning more about the APR process, contact Jennifer.

Emily McDermott
Emily McDermott

Emily McDermott

Van Eperen
7 Erwood Court
Baltimore, MD 21212

Email | LinkedIn | Twitter

Emily McDermott is a public relations practitioner with more than 10 years of experience.  She joined Van Eperen in April 2017. Prior to this, Emily worked with Nevins & Associates, a bottom-line oriented public relations firm based in Towson, Maryland, and is experienced in both business-to-business and consumer public relations.  Previously, she worked as the communications manager at The Atlanta Opera.  Prior to that she directed media relations, board of director relations, and special events for the Young Audiences division of Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center.  Emily began her career at William Mills Agency, a financial public relations firm.

She is a communications executive practiced in tactical execution and strategic planning for clients, with an emphasis on public and media relations, brand messaging, consumer marketing, business development, and social media strategy.  Emily has served on and led numerous organizations’ committees including the Public Relations Society of America, Georgia Chapter (PRSA|GA), The Junior League of Atlanta, and Cathedral of Christ the King Hispanic Ministry’s English and Spanish as a Second Language Programs.  She has also been a guest speaker at Girl Talk’s summer camp.

Emily is a proud graduate of Appalachian State University in North Carolina with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and a minor in Psychology.   She is a graduate of Notre Dame Preparatory School.  Emily is a member Maryland’s Chamber of Commerce and actively volunteers with the PRSA Maryland chapter.

Debra Schindler
Debra Schindler

Debra Schindler

Director, Media Relations for Baltimore Region
MedStar Health
201 E University Pkwy
Baltimore, MD 21218
Phone: 410-274-1260

E-Mail | LinkedIn | Twitter

As the regional director of media and public relations for the largest healthcare provider in the Maryland-DC region, Debra Schindler oversees all external media and PR efforts for MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Harbor and MedStar Union Memorial Hospitals.

Drawing on an extensive media background, Debra created the MedStar Television Network, directs a series of live interactive webcasts, serves as the hospitals’ spokesperson, conducts physician media training and drives nearly $4-million in advertising equivalency through earned media.

With thirty plus years experience in print journalism, broadcast news, and public relations, Debra is an Emmy nominated professional who has been recognized with such honors as the National Headliner Award and a Clarion for investigative journalism, two Asters, several Telly and MarCom awards for public relations videos, and is a Best in Show and Gold Winner recipient of the National Healthcare Marketing Report awards. Among others, Debra also received the Best in Maryland PRSA award for media placement.

Her career in journalism began at the Essex Times while still a student at Towson State University. After graduating in 1985 with a double major in Mass Communications and Sociology with concentrations in journalism and criminal justice, she became the first female sports reporter for the Press Republican, a daily newspaper in upstate New York.

Debra launched her television work as a reporter for the national Fox Television network show, America’s Most Wanted, at WTTG in D.C. and then spent eight years at WMAR, the ABC News affiliate in Baltimore.

She’s been working for MedStar Health since 2005.

Lauren Eisele Walbert
Lauren Eisele Walbert

Lauren Eisele Walbert

Vice President
Sandy Hillman Communications
1122 Kenilworth Drive, Suite 303
Towson, MD 21204
Phone: (410) 339-5100

E-Mail | LinkedIn

Lauren Eisele Walbert has over a decade of experience in culinary, lifestyle and travel public relations and has provided strategic leadership and planning as well as account management for local, regional, and national clients including United Way of Central Maryland, Star-Spangled 200, Light City Baltimore, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, and the National WWII Museum. Lauren has overseen and helped execute countless restaurant openings, as well as the opening of the Baltimore Design School’s new building, for which she serves on the Board of Directors.

Lauren began her career in the travel and economic development division of Ruder Finn (now Finn Partners) in New York; and her work has taken her on press trips everywhere from the Dominican Republic and Jamaica to Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Lauren is a graduate of La Salle University, where she was a member of the University Honors Program, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with concentrations in Public Relations and Mass Media Writing and a minor in English.

Assembly Delegates

Ken Smith
Ken Smith

Ken Smith, APR

Manager, Internal and CEO Communications Boeing Defense, Space & Security
MC 7949-5929
929 Long Bridge Drive
Arlington, VA 22202-4208
703-872-4078

Email | LinkedIn | Twitter

Kenneth R. Smith, APR is manager, Internal and CEO Communications for Boeing Defense, Space & Security. He earned his professional accreditation in 2000 and joined the PRSA Maryland board of directors in 2004. He served as treasurer from 2005 through 2011 and remains a director through his role as one of the chapter’s delegates to the PRSA assembly.

He has served on the Maryland chapter’s accreditation committee and was the 2007 recipient of the PRSA Maryland President’s Award for his volunteer service to the profession. He maintains an active presence on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Jeffrey Davis, APR

Managing Director, Van Eperen

Daniel Dunne, APR

Director of Communications, Erickson Living