Proposed Bylaw Change to Allow Non-APRs on PRSA Board of Directors

Members from across the U.S. will attend PRSA’s 2014 National Leadership Assembly on Saturday, October 11 in Washington, D.C. to discuss the State of the Society and issues facing our organization. Among the discussion items are proposals that would amend the bylaws to allow non-APR PRSA members on the Board of Directors.

-> Fort Worth PRSA Chapter members: Please review proposals 1401 and 1402 on MyPRSA and share your thoughts via comments below by September 30. (Note: you must be logged in to MyPRSA to view the documents.)

What amendments is the Board proposing for the Assembly delegates to vote on?
Proposal #1401 – Amends the bylaws to allow for eligible non-APR members to apply for either of the two At-Large seats set forth in Article V, Section 1.

Proposal #1402 – Clarifies that voting members of the PRSA Board of Directors may not serve as District or Chapter officers, Chapter delegates or alternates, Section chair, officer of the College of Fellows, member of the Board of Ethics and Professional Standards or on the UAB. However, members who serve in any of those positions may be elected to the Board in a nonvoting capacity.

(Read the 2014 Bylaw Change Proposal FAQs.)

What is being changed in the bylaws?
Proposal #1401 amends Article V, Section 2 to allow for eligible members who do not possess the APR credential to serve in an At-Large capacity on the PRSA Board of Directors. It further states that the APR credential is necessary for those eligible members who would like to represent a District or serve on the Executive Committee of the Board.

Proposal #1402 adds the word “voting” to clarify that board members eligible to vote may not serve in other volunteer roles within the organization.

What brought about the proposed amendment?
There have been ongoing discussions at Assembly on PRSA’s longstanding policy of holding the APR as a prerequisite to serving on the PRSA National Board of Directors. Simultaneously, the PRSA National Board says the number of applicants for the APR credential has steadily declined, and that has created a struggle to source a complete slate of candidates who are eligible for national office service.

According to PRSA, three years of independent research and studies indicate that the majority of membership sees the APR as a mark of personal achievement do not believe it to be a validation of leadership ability.

The PRSA National Board felt that PRSA needed to evolve the composition of the board and provide representation at the national level to non-APR members. The proposed bylaw is intended to allow PRSA to tap into a larger pool of potential leaders.

Joe Cohen, APR, 2014 chair of PRSA’s board of directors, writes about the proposed bylaws changes here: Providing a Voice to All of Our Members at the National Board Level

Our Process: The Fort Worth PRSA board held a discussion on these leadership/governance proposals during the September 4 meeting. This post will be shared with membership to gather feedback for a month.

As the delegates for the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of PRSA, we would like to make sure the membership is fully informed of the changes proposed, and would like to invite your comments and concerns. The Board of Directors of the chapter will make their recommendation to the chapter delegates at the Oct. 2 meeting, so we ask that you comment by Sept. 30 so that we have time to compile the information to present to the board.

Please review the available information, and let us know your thoughts.

Thank you,
Holly Ellman (2014 Assembly Delegate)
Gigi Westerman, APR, Fellow PRSA (2014 Assembly Delegate)

Update 10/2/14: Following our chapter’s procedure to gather feedback and two board meeting discussions, Fort Worth PRSA will vote for proposals 1401 and 1402.

Chapter Community Service Project: Trinity River Trash Bash

Trintiy Trash BashFort Worth PRSA members and guests are invited to the chapter community service project. This year, we’re taking our talents to the Trinity. We will offer up some time to serve our community on Saturday, September 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Crystelle Waggoner Trailhead location of Trinity River Trash Bash.

Sign up on the 2014 Trinity River Trash Bash website

Please be sure to include Fort Worth PRSA in the ‘Organization’ box and select Crystelle Waggoner Trailhead from the drop-down menu.

Westerman Named to 2013 College of Fellows

Gigi-WestermanLRGigi Westerman, president of Strategic Image, Inc., has been selected for induction into the College of Fellows in 2013 by the PRSA Board of Directors.

The College of Fellows, founded in 1989, is a community of more than 300 senior PRSA members who have advanced the public relations profession and distinguished themselves through their experience and leadership in the public relations industry. Admission is open to public relations practitioners or educators with 20 years’ experience or more, hold the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential and have demonstrated exceptional capability and accomplishment in the practice or teaching of public relations. College of Fellows members also must exhibit personal and professional qualities that make them role models for other practitioners or educators.

A selection committee consisting of current College of Fellow members oversees the nomination of new Fellows. The committee solicited and reviewed applications and recommended this year’s group of candidates to the 2013 Board of Directors. The purpose of the College of Fellows is to recognize notable public relations leaders and to further the professionalism and reputation of public relations practice and education. College members provide mentoring for public relations professionals and students, support PRSA in the execution of its strategic plan specifically in the areas of advocacy and education, and create and sponsor a continuing education “Master Class” for advanced professionals each year during the PRSA International Conference.

The new Fellows will be formally inducted into the College at a dinner to be held Oct. 26, during the PRSA 2013 International Conference in Philadelphia.

GFW PRSA member named TSMRI Fellow

MacVeighMatt MacVeigh, marketing and communications specialist for the UNT System Business Service Center and GFW PRSA member, was named as a 2013-2014 Fellow by the Texas Social Media Research Institute (TSMRI) at Tarleton State University.

The Fellows program is designed for those who are conducting or wish to conduct research on issues in social media. TSMRI provides researchers and practitioners resources for discovery, both applied and scholarly. Fellows will work with TSMRI to connect social media to their research agendas. In addition to his professional position, MacVeigh is a doctoral student in the Interdisciplinary Information Science program at University of North Texas.

Click here for more information about TSMRI.

Four GFW PRSA members named 40 Under 40

GFWPRSA members Claire Bloxom, Chip Hanna, Brian Murnahan and Ashley Freer were named to the Fort Worth Business Press 40 Under 40 for 2013.

Bloxom is public relations / social media manager at Concussion, LLP; Hanna is interactive account director at; Murnahan is president of Murnahan Public Relations, Inc. and Ashley Freer is an account director at The Fort Worth Business Press (FWBP) describes the 2013 class as “40 young people under the age of 40 who are striving to make Fort Worth a better place to live, work or play. The honorees were selected for their professional achievements, involvement and their efforts in making a difference. The 2013 class of 40 Under 40, like the classes before them, not only have an impressive resume, by they also have a volunteer list just as long.”

Click here to read more about the FWBP 40 Under 40.

Left to Right: Claire Bloxom, Chip Hanna, Brian Murnahan & Ashley Freer