We're currently planning the PRSA 2016 Counselors Academy Conference.

Check out the program from our 2015 conference to preview the types of insight, speakers and networking available. 

Sunday, May 3


10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Noon–4 p.m.Pre-Conference Session*
“Managing People, Profits and Risks: The Best of Counselors Academy” 
 *This is an additional ticketed event not included in the conference registration. 
5–6 p.m.Counselors 101
6–7 p.m.Opening Reception
7–9 p.m.Dinner on the Cliff 
“English as a First Language: Another Journey Into Hell” 
Darryl J. Salerno, president, Second Quadrant Solutions Inc.
9–10 p.m. Networking

Monday, May 4


8 a.m.–5 p.m.

Registration and Exhibits

7:30–9 a.m.Breakfast
8–9:25 a.m.   Opening Keynote Breakfast 
“How to Attract, Hire and Retain the Best People”  
Dolly Penland, business adviser, Predictive Results, and program manager, Startup Quest
9:35–10:35 a.m. Breakout Sessions: Set I  
“Exit and Succession Planning; The Pros and Cons of Inside vs. Outside Deals 
Karl J. Skutski, APR, Fellow PRSA, president, The Tobin Group
“Energize Your Crisis Practice 
Joan H. Gladstone, APR, Fellow PRSA, president and CEO, Gladstone International, Inc.
“Looking Through the Turn: Leading Your Agency Through Change”
Elise Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA, CEO, Mitchell Communications Group
11 a.m.–Noon Breakout Sessions: Set II 
Trends, Tech and Training: What Agency Leaders Must Know to Stay Ahead 
Shonali Burke, ABC, president and CEO, Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.
Martin Waxman, president, Martin Waxman Communications
“Infuse Startup Culture to Innovate PR Agencies” 
Heather Whaling, president, Geben Communication
The Art and Science of Leadership Communication 
Jim Endicott, president, Distinction Communication, Inc.
Noon–1:30 p.m. Luncheon: Focused Roundtables 
Cracking the Code to Your Personal Brand Online
Cyrus Mavalwala, ABC (IABC), founding partner, Advantis Communications Inc.
How Science, Algorithms and Human Behavior Changes Make 2015 the Year of PR
Serena Ehrlich, ‎director, social and evolving media, Business Wire
“Discover the Leader in You! How to Lead, Motivate and Inspire Your Team”
Ken Jacobs, CPC, ACC, principal, Jacobs Communications Consulting
“Overcoming Over-Servicing: How to Reset Client and Team Expectations”
Kelly Womer, APR, ABC, Fellow PRSA, vice president and partner, Linhart Public Relations
“Starting Over: What Would You Do Differently? Ten Lessons From Your Peers”
George A. Rosenberg, APR, principal, The Rosenberg Group, Inc.
“Tales From the Rim of My Glass: My First Year in Business”
LaTricia H. Woods, owner, Mahogany Xan Communications, LLC 
“Ten Tactics to Position Your Agency as a Thought Leader”
Julie Curtin, partner, Development Counsellors International Ltd. 
“The Ten Commandments to Maximize PR Agency Profitability and Value Building”
Rick Gould, CPA, J.D., managing partner, Gould+Partners LLC 
“How to Use a Network: Keeping Overhead Low and Results High”
John Deveney, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, IABC Fellow, president, DEVENEY
Marisa Vallbona, APR, Fellow PRSA, president, CIM Incorporated
“Why I’m Not Afraid to Go Head to Head With a CMO to Justify Agency Value”
Aly Saxe, chief visionary, Iris PR Software
1:45–2:45 p.m.Breakout Sessions: Set III 
Hearing ‘Yes!’ More Often: How to Improve Your Persuasive Powers 
 Eric Morgenstern, APR Fellow PRSA, president and CEO, Morningstar Communications 
“Go Team! Managing and Motivating Across Generations for Best Results” 
Tom Gable, APR/APR+M, Fellow PRSA, CEO, Gable PR
“Eleven Client Mistakes Agencies Make”
Ann M. Gynn, APR, CEO, Gay Games 9, and content marketing coach 
3–4 p.m.  Special Small Group Consultation Sessions  

Meet with industry experts in a small group setting and voice any questions or concerns you may have with your agency, employees and more. 

5:30–6:30 p.m.Reception 
6:30–9:30 p.m.Dine-Around Evening in Laguna* 

*Food and beverage costs are the responsibility of the attendee. Registration will take place online and at the conference registration desk in Laguna.
To register, click here


Tuesday, May 5

8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Registration and Exhibits
8–8:45 a.m.Networking Breakfast
8:45–9:45 a.m.General Session: Part I 
Acqui-Hiring: A Powerful Growth and Expansion Strategy  
Brad Schwartzberg, partner, Davis & Gilbert LLP
Phil Stone, chief operating officer, ReviveHealth
9:45–10:25 a.m.General Session: Part II 
The Shotgun Wedding of PR and SEO: Can This Marriage Be Saved? 
Scott L. Baradell, APR, president, Idea Grove
10:30–11:30 a.m.Ignite Presentations: Five Minutes to Inspire 
“Don’t ‘Cause’ Confusion: Why Your Purpose Is More Than a Cause”
Indra Gardiner Bowers, founder and chief influence officer, i.d.e.a.
“An Umbrella Model for Visualizing Public Relations” 
Jason Sprenger, president, Game Changer Communications
“Technologies That Agencies Cannot Live Without or Cannot Live With” 
Michael Neumeier, APR, owner and principal, Arketi Group
“The Value of Content Marketing” 
Chris Schroder, president, Schroder PR
Noon–1:45 p.m.
Keynote Luncheon General Session
“Alternative Revenue Models for the New PR Firm 
David C. Baker, principal, ReCourses, Inc.
2–3 p.m.Breakout Sessions: Set IV 
Mastering RFP Evaluation and Response to Win More Business 
 Robert Udowitz, principal, RFP Associates, LLC 
Steven E. Drake, principal, RFP Associates, LLC
What You Know Can Help You: Using Research to Establish Market Leadership
 Tom Garrity, president, The Garrity Group
Lights, Camera, Action! Build Your Power and Presence Through Performance
Rob Biesenbach, consultant and author, Rob Biesenbach LLC 
Shonali Burke, ABC, president and CEO, Shonali Burke Consulting, Inc.
3:15–4:15 p.m.Breakout Sessions: Set V
Compel and Persuade: Messaging That Works 
John Deveney, ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, IABC Fellow, president, DEVENEY  
Remote Control: Virtual Agencies That Click for You and Your Clients 
Melissa Mathews, president and founder, The Mathews Group
Tia A. Over, vice president, The Mathews Group
Doing It Right: Managing People and Potential to Relaunch Frontier Airlines 
 Sydney Ayers, APR, Fellow PRSA, principal, Ayers Public Relations
Lisa Cutter, president, Cutter Communications
6–10 p.m.
Closing Keynote Reception and Dinner 
“Experiential Isn’t an Aspiration — It’s a Reality 
Daniel Chu, executive vice president and creative director, Deutsch LA

Programming may be subject to change.