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PRSA’s Nominating Committee Selects Nominees for 2017 Board of Directors

The PRSA Nominating Committee, led by Joe Cohen, APR, PRSA 2014 Chair, selected eight candidates for open PRSA National Executive Committee and Board of Director positions. The nominees will stand for election by a vote of the PRSA Leadership Assembly on Oct. 22 prior to the start of the PRSA International Conference in Indianapolis, Ind. (Oct. 23-25). 

“This year a record number of applicants stepped up for consideration for National (PRSA) Board service and the Nominating Committee was challenged to select among a tremendously capable pool of candidates,” said Joe Cohen, APR, PRSA 2014 Chair, 2016 Nominating Committee Chair. “The 2017 slate of candidates is a group of leaders who bring diverse perspectives and an incredible body of experience that crosses all sectors of the industry. PRSA will have in place a tremendous leadership team that’s well-positioned to further elevate our efforts to advance the profession and the professional.”

The nominees for 2017 officer positions are: Chair-Elect Anthony W. D'Angelo, APR, Fellow PRSA, professor of practice, public relations, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.; Treasurer, Debra D. Peterson, APR, vice president, external communications and community relations, CenturyLink, New Century, Kan.; and Secretary, T. Garland Stansell, APR, chief communications officer, Children's of Alabama, Birmingham, Ala. 

Additionally, the committee nominated five individuals for open positions for the PRSA Board of Directors, as follows:

Director At-Large
Robert T. Hastings, Jr., APR+M, Fellow PRSA, executive vice president, communications & government affairs, chief of staff, Bell Helicopter, Fort Worth, Texas

Tri-State District
Andrew McCaskill, APR, senior vice president, global communications, Nielsen, New York, N.Y.

East Central District
Richard J Batyko, APR, Fellow PRSA, senior vice president, marketing, communications & development, Team NEO, Medina, Ohio

Western District
Michelle Olson, APR, general manager, Scottsdale office, Fingerpaint, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Northeast District
Jo Ann S. LeSage Nelson, APR, vice president, client services, Pierce Communications, Albany, N.Y.

Mid-Atlantic District
The Nominating Committee did not put forth a candidate to fill the open Mid-Atlantic District seat. Qualified candidates from the Mid-Atlantic District are invited to run from the floor at the Leadership Assembly on October 22. Candidates may enter their names on the ballot by filing a petition with the secretary of PRSA no later than Thursday, September 22. The petition must be signed by at least ten 2016 Assembly delegates. For more information about Board of Director roles and responsibilities and how you can utilize a petition to get on the ballot, please email

View Candidates

Candidates by Petition

Article VII, Section 5 of the PRSA Bylaws provides: Nominations may also be made by petition by at least 10 Leadership Assembly delegates and filed with the secretary of the Society at the PRSA Headquarters at least 30 days prior to the annual meeting (Oct. 22, 2016) of the Leadership Assembly. Immediately upon receipt of any such nominations, the secretary shall send a notice of such nominations to all members. For questions about the process, please contact Donna Jonas at PRSA Headquarters at (212) 460-1403 or

The nominees, along with any petitioning candidates, will be presented at the PRSA Leadership Assembly on Oct. 22, 2016, for approval.

Please note that Nominating Committee deliberations are confidential. Each committee member signs a confidentiality pledge and agrees that no information about the discussions, deliberations, decisions or votes can be disclosed at any time.

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