President’s Column – August 2013

Chris Smith, Greater Fort Worth PRSA President

ChrisSmithPortraitLRIf you haven’t heard the big news, our chapter recently added yet another member to the esteemed national PRSA College of Fellows.

PRSA announced July 17 that Greater Fort Worth Chapter’s Gigi Westerman, APR, was approved for recommendation to this prestigious community. With her October formal induction, that will make six Fellows from our chapter. Truly, this is a huge accomplishment.

Consider just some of the membership criteria for becoming a Fellow: current PRSA membership; minimum of 20 years’ public relations experience; accredited in Public Relations (APR); demonstrated superior professional capability in the practice/teaching of public relations; contribution to the profession through service and leadership, and more.

Then there’s the arduous task of completing the application. It’s a rigorous process that requires six letters of recommendation and an in-depth summary of one’s career. The applicant also must give five examples for each of the following criterion: Superior Professional Capability, Advancement of the Profession, Leadership and Service, and Role Modeling. When possible, the applicant must provide contact information for those involved in these examples. Gigi verified that indeed, these contacts are called.

All of this seemed to me a bit overwhelming. However, when I asked Gigi about the application process and the many hours it took to get there, she replied, “Like anything worth doing, this requires a great deal of thoughtful effort. Essentially, a candidate is demonstrating a career of strategic thinking and outcome-oriented work. It is a recognition of the value provided to clients, employers and others in our profession. The process is very difficult and time consuming, but it is also a powerful retrospective. “

Congratulations Gigi on this most impressive accomplishment, and thanks for the contributions you have made to our profession and to our chapter. Well done! Thanks also to our other Fellows for their many ongoing contributions:

  • Carolyn Bobo, APR, Fellow PRSA (Class of 2001)
  • Mary Dulle, APR, Fellow PRSA (Class of 2004)
  • William M. Lawrence, APR, Fellow PRSA (Class of 2005)
  • Douglas Ann Newsom, PhD, APR, Fellow PRSA (Class of 1990)
  • Dr. Amiso George, APR, Fellow PRSA (Class of 2010)

Finally, one of our former presidents, Kristie Aylett, APR, was also named to the College of Fellows. Congratulations to Kristie and to all of our chapter members throughout history who played a part in all of our success.

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