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I can’t believe we are more than half-way through this FPRA membership year already. It feels like just yesterday Sarah was passing over that gavel to me. Our theme for this year, on a chapter level was “Making the Magic Happen for our Members!” And we are doing just that!

We have accomplished so much as a board and as a membership in just half a year. We awarded our first member scholarship to Susan Houts with Eastern Florida State College! Congrats Susan, so well deserved. Susan has already made such an impact on the association and is working with her students at Eastern Florida State College to potentially form a student chapter.

We also have a steady group of members that have joined a study group to prepare them for the APR exam lead by Michael Gardner, APR, CPRC. I am so excited about the progress we have made in accreditation for our chapter and excited to hopefully celebrate some newly accredited members very soon.

Our events committee has worked hard to put on monthly professional development that is impactful for our members and has worked to make sure we have sponsorships to help cover the costs for these programs. With these great sponsorships we were able to offer a few of our events at no cost to members and will continue to give back to our members in the way of sponsorships. We are hoping to award two scholarships for our members to attend the State Conference in August. More information will be coming soon on those scholarship opportunities. We will also be awarding another member scholarship for next year’s membership for one lucky person who will be drawn from the names of those members who attended at least one of our monthly events. That will be drawn in August.

Speaking of State Conference, I hope everyone has had a chance to review the information on this year’s conference. The conference, We Are PR, is scheduled for August 4-7, 2019 at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel. Registration is now open and you can find out all about this great annual event by visiting, https://www.fpra.org/professional-development/annual-conference-details/. I hope we have another great showing of Space Coast members at this year’s conference!

Even though we are half-way through our year and have accomplished so much already, we still have a long way to go. Our annual Media Summit event is coming up on Thursday, March 14th at the Exploration Tower in Port Canaveral. This is always an exciting event for our chapter and gives our members and visitors an opportunity to meet with local media professionals and learn about their preferences, deadlines, and new ways to drive media coverage for your news. We will also have a special discussion on the First Amendment and how a free press is essential for PR professionals. Liz Slobodian, Senior Public Relations Manager for Firehouse Subs will be our Keynote speaker for the event and will discuss how she holds media events to drive coverage for the national brand. Don’t miss out on this event as it sells out every year.

IMAGE AWARDS DEADLINE IS MARCH 15th! We all have some fantastic work that should be celebrated. Enter your campaigns and promotions in to our local Image Awards and launch your work to the next level. We will be celebrating the winners of the Image Awards on April 24th from 5:30-7pm at Beachfly Brewery in Indiatlantic. I hope everyone can join us for this special mixer event! Then in May and June we have two fantastic professional development events planned with a CEO panel in May and a behind the scenes look at what it takes to promote a rocket launch with United Launch Alliance. Keep an eye out on your e-mails and our social media pages for more information on these great upcoming events

It is also that time of year to start thinking about the board for next year. If you have thought about getting a little more involved in your local chapter and want to find out more about becoming a board member, please reach out to myself, ssenger@cocoafl.org or Immediate Past President, Sara Hansen, shansen948@gmail.com. We need some great members who are willing to volunteer to better this association.

I hope you all have found great value in membership so far this year. If you have any ideas or thoughts, please feel free to e-mail me or catch me at an upcoming event. This board works really hard to make sure that each member gets the most out of their FPRA membership! Thank you for your continued support of this great association and I am looking forward to a great rest of the year. I hope to see you all at Media Summit!
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