The PRSA Portland Metro Chapter is managed by a team of dedicated volunteers that serves as the board of directors. Each position is elected for one year. Board members serve from January through December.
President – Amber Lindsey, APR
With more than 15 years of marketing and PR experience, Amber’s expertise lays in generating consumer demand and loyalty for natural and organic food and beverage brands. She is a PR, communications and marketing strategist and owner of Amber Lindsey Public Relations. Amber’s background spans both agency and corporate marketing teams and her results-driven work has helped launch and support local, regional and national brands.
Amber’s foodie passion led her to roles at Maxwell PR and Koopman Ostbo, agencies that both specialize in consumer engagement for food and beverage brands. She cut her teeth in the agency world at Hill & Knowlton and her corporate marketing experience includes internal roles at McMenamins Pubs & Breweries and Standard Insurance, where she earned a Communications Arts award for her website work. Amber is President of the Public Relations Society of America’s Portland Metro Chapter and is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) certified. A native of Seattle, Amber is a graduate of the University of Washington. Find her on Twitter @MommaAmber.
Barbara Kerr is an award-winning communications specialist with worldwide experience. An Emmy-nominated broadcast journalist, she reported from political conventions, presidential debates and Cape Canaveral. She has served as a communications advisor for government, business, education, public and nonprofit organizations in New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. as well as Bulgaria, Hong Kong and The Philippines.
Barbara has received four PRSA Spotlight Awards and two Awards of Merit. She has been honored by the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations, the Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter of Women in Communications, and the Dayton Chapter of American Women in Radio and Television. Barbara graduated from Ithaca College with a bachelor’s degree in Television-Radio. In Dec. 2012, she was named Chief Communications Officer for the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Ministries Corporation in Beaverton, Ore. She had previously served as Executive Director of Communications and Marketing at Clark College in Vancouver, Wash. Her board service for the Portland Metro Chapter includes Vice President, Member Communications (2012) and Vice President, Member Services (2011). Find her on Twitter @barbarakerrapr.
Vice President, Member Communications – Mary Keith-Agnew
Mary Keith-Agnew brings nearly 14 years of PR experience ranging from fine arts and culture to high-tech. Most recently, Mary was the Communications Manager at the Portland Japanese Garden where she managed international, national and local media relations, community outreach, and edited the monthly membership newsletter. Prior to that she was Media Relations Manager at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, where she managed media outreach and events surrounding a wide range of initiatives including major art exhibitions, research and conservation, and fundraising.
Before her days in non-profit, Mary worked at Lois Paul & Partners, a Boston-based PR agency that specializes in high-tech. Mary moved to Portland almost three years ago and has since been active in the Portland Metro Chapter of PRSA. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from Framingham State University and a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communication from Emerson College.
Vice President, Member Services – Karen Read, APR
Karen G. Read, APR is in customer service at Bergstrom Nutrition. She previously worked for Oregon Public Broadcasting, where she joined the production team to manage national marketing campaigns for OPB’s national TV series like Monarchy, The Royal Family at Work and Time Team America. She now works on OPB’s development team in the role of Corporate Support Account Executive. She spent the early part of her career working in TV studios, corporate meeting venues and dimly-lit edit suites after graduating from Indiana University with a degree in Radio & TV production. Karen also worked in community relations and fundraising for the Vancouver Housing Authority (2000-2006). She lives in Vancouver where her husband is proprietor of Arnada Naturals, a neighborhood health food store.
Vice President, Public Relations – Brad Hilliard
Brad Hilliard is a public affairs professional serving State Farm Insurance.
During his 10 year career with this organization Brad has had the privilege of residing in five states and serving consumers in capacities ranging from disaster response, community involvement, public policy and financial services education.
Brad obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Middle Tennessee State University. He has been a member of the Portland Metro chapter since 2009 and most recently served as Director at Large, Conferences. Find him on Twitter @SF_BradHilliard.
Secretary – Jessica Lyness
Jessica’s done it all. From working in natural foods and leading public relations campaigns for artists, museums, film festivals and restaurants, to promoting an environmental start-up and making an award-winning film – Jessica’s portfolio is varied and versatile. Her last seven years were spent championing the thriving cultural scene in the Pacific Northwest and promoting exhibitions from any angle, including upside down. Highly visual with a flair for storytelling, Jessica now serves as an Account Executive at Maxwell PR, where she brings creative ideas and enthusiasm to every project. She thrives on building relationships with the media and shaping tomorrow’s news with well-crafted pitches. Jessica graduated from Portland State University with a bachelor’s in Communication Studies. Her passion for movies finds her spending hours in the dark at Oregon’s independent theaters or getting outside to explore the state, camera in hand. Find her @jesslyness.
Vice President, Professional Development – Julie Williams
Julie Williams is an energetic, award-winning strategic communications professional who is passionate about communication, design, leadership and community building. Her six years of industry experience include agency, in house and consulting work, including at We the Media, Nike, AARP Oregon and several local non-profits; managing all outbound communications for Elemental Technologies, Oregon’s Fastest Growing Private Company in 2012; and running her own company, Versatile Creative Consulting, while acquiring a Master’s in Strategic Communications from the University of Oregon.
Julie has a Bachelor’s degree in English from Willamette University, where she was Production Manager for The Collegian, leading the award-winning redesign of the student-run newspaper. Julie has been a Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Portland Metro Chapter member and volunteer since 2010, currently serving as VP, Professional Development, and recent recipient of the 2012 New Professional Award of Excellence. Julie is also a Mortarboard National Honor Society Alumni, along with previously serving on boards for PRSA Portland, Kids on the Block Awareness Program and the Sacred Fire Community. An Oregon native, find Julie on Twitter @oregonintegrity.
Treasurer: Taraneh Fultz, APR
Taraneh Fultz, APR, got her start in public relations at the age of 17, when she was recruited by a publicist at Terry Hines and Associates to who’d seen her using her high school newspaper’s movie review beat to build relationships with Bay Area film critics. That internship sparked a lifelong love of the profession, as well as a commitment to mentoring new professionals.
Taraneh is accredited in public relations by the Universal Accreditation Board, and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations from the University of Oregon. The Portland Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America awarded her their 2007 New Professional of the Year. She currently serves as Marketing and Communications Specialist at Swagelok Northwest. Taraneh lives in Beaverton with her husband and two dogs. Find her on Twitter @taranehfultz.
Director-at-Large, Conferences: Carissa Sauer, APR
Carissa took square aim on a PR career upon graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University, fully armed with a passion for collaboration and a distinct fondness for agriculture. Today she is Communications Manager for the Oregon Dairy Products Commission. Carissa leads all communication and PR efforts including: stakeholder communication, partnership building, social media, media relations, crisis preparedness and issues management.
Carissa is committed to authentic and truthful communication. She also believes in fostering young talent, and so serves on the PRSA New Pros Committee. In addition, she volunteers with the Oregon Agri-Business Council and Oregon Red Cross. When she’s not busy building professional relationships, she enjoys skiing, riding her horse and working on her family’s hobby farm.
Director-at-Large, Spotlights – Mary Ann Albright
Mary Ann Albright is an award-winning public relations professional and journalist. She serves as Director of Communications at St. Mary’s Academy, a Catholic, all-female, college-preparatory high school in downtown Portland. St. Mary’s is her alma mater, and Mary Ann joined the staff two years ago to lead the school’s external communications efforts. Previously, she spent seven years as a staff writer for The Columbian and The Corvallis Gazette-Times newspapers. She continues to freelance for The Columbian and The Oregonian, and also has written for Willamette Week. Mary Ann has been awarded by the Public Relations Society of America for event marketing and publication management, and by the Society of Professional Journalists for lifestyles, consumer and minorities reporting. She holds a Master of Science in Strategic Communication from the University of Oregon, and she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Willamette University with a Bachelor of Arts in English.
Director-at-Large, New Professionals – Ian Bragg
Being the outgoing, “people person” Ian is, a career in public relations became a natural, perfect fit. He brings passion and drive to his agency and clients every day, whether he is drafting Q&A for Microsoft or crafting the next Xbox blog post. Ian started his collegiate career on the other side of the map at Florida Institute of Technology, where he studied computer science. Soon after realizing this path wasn’t for him, he flew back to Oregon to attend the University of Oregon, where he received a B.S. in Journalism with focuses in both public relations and advertising.
Ian launched his public relations career at Waggener Edstrom where he worked on the Microsoft Corporate account, assisting with reactive press inquiries, social media, statement writing and more. After a few years at Waggener Edstrom, Ian moved on to Edelman to join the Xbox team. He is currently a SAE on the Platform and Hardware team for Xbox. He specializes in writing Q&A, practicing media relations and dabbles in project management. Ian is excited to join the PRSA board as the Director of New Pros and bring his five years of large agency experience to those just starting their PR careers. Outside of work, Ian is a resident Oregon sports fan and enjoys cheering on his Oregon Ducks and Portland Timbers.
Director-at-Large, Master Minds – Mike Riley, APR
Mike Riley is President and Research Director for Riley Research Associates, a Portland-based global research and communications consulting firm. Mike was an Honors graduate of Oregon State University, School of Business Administration, with an emphasis in Marketing & Behavioral Sciences. Earlier this year, Mike was honored with the PRSA Portland Metro Chapter’s William Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award. Mike is a Past President of the Oregon Chapter of the American Marketing Association; and has served on the boards of the Public Relations Society, the Portland Advertising Federation, the Rotary Club of Portland, the Beaverton Education Foundation, the Healthcare Communicators of Oregon and the Boys & Girls Aid Society Government Affairs Committee.
Mike is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America (APR), and is recognized with a Professional Researcher Certification (PRC), from the Market Research Association. With 30 years in practice, his clients are varied, including Legacy Health, Umpqua Bank, Samaritan Health Services, PGE, the Port of Portland, Oregon Health Sciences University, Intel, Xerox, LaCrosse Footwear, Oregon State University, Willamette University, and Concordia. Find him on Twitter @Mike_Riley.
Director-at-Large, Sponsorships – Dave Thompson, APR
In more than 13 years of practicing public relations full time, Dave Thompson has worked as the director of corporate communications for a high-tech firm, acted as media consultant/media trainer for half a dozen other companies, and helped another dozen or so Web-based start-ups build their websites.
Today, Dave is the Public Information Section Manager for the Oregon Department of Transportation. Dave provided media coaching and taught interviewing skills for 15 of the 20 years he spent in broadcasting including eight years at KPTV in Portland. Dave worked as science reporter, business reporter, producer and anchor, winning numerous reporting and writing awards. Dave earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Toronto. Dave served as PRSA Portland Metro Chapter President in 2010 and 2011. Find him on Twitter @DaveT51 and @SudokuDave.
Director-at-Large, Volunteers – LeAnn Gentry
LeAnn M. Gentry is a dynamic public relations and marketing veteran, with more than a decade of results-driven experience. Most recently LeAnn served as the Marketing Manager for Venture Portland. In her role with the Portland-based non-profit LeAnn spearheaded the organization’s rebranding process complete with a new name, brand identity, website, social media presence and annual integrated marketing campaigns.
Prior to joining Venture Portland, LeAnn worked for the Division of Extended Learning at San Diego-based National University. As the Market Research and Communications lead for the Division, she managed all marketing initiatives and contributed on business development. LeAnn also worked for a public affairs agency and a daily business newspaper. She recently completed her Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communications from National University and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from Linfield College. Find her on Twitter @leanngentry.
Immediate Past President: Jenna Cooper-Gross, APR
Jenna Cooper-Gross, APR, Principal, JennaCooperPR, is a seasoned public relations professional in Portland, Oregon. Jenna’s background includes more than a decade in television broadcast news in markets across the country. She has successfully woven that experience together with high-profile public relations and communications positions, serving as a strategist and front line spokesperson. Jenna served as Director of Communications for DoveLewis, the Northwest’s only nonprofit emergency animal hospital. Prior to DoveLewis, Jenna served as the main Public Information Officer (PIO) at NW Natural handling most media calls and emergency situations. Prior to NW Natural, Jenna worked for CMD agency in the earned media department.
Jenna’s broadcast experience as a news anchor and reporter gave her invaluable insights into small, medium and large television market including Boise, Austin, Texas, Atlanta and Seattle. Her career highlights include reporting on the numerous court challenges and recounts stemming from the 2000 Presidential campaign. She also reported for several days from the scene of the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in North Texas. Jenna holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Oregon. She resides in NE Portland with her husband, John Gross; their four-year-old daughter, Samantha Addison; and their 13-year-old Weimaraner, Baloo.
Assembly Delegate – Madeline Turnock, APR
A past president of the board for PRSA Portland Chapter, Madeline currently serves as advisor to the president at Concordia University and is spokesperson and responsible for the institution’s brand. Her 15 years of professional experience has included serving as Concordia’s director of marketing and communication, vice president and NW marketing communications lead for international agency Hill & Knowlton, founder, owner and president of KinetiComm LLC, senior account executive at Conkling Fiskum & McCormick (CFM) and early roles at The Rockey Company.
Assembly Delegate: Chuck Williams, APR
Chuck is communications manager at CareOregon, a nonprofit that’s facilitating the implementation of Obamacare in Oregon, including Coordinated Care Organizations, the expansion of Oregon Health Plan and the creation of the Health Exchange. He’s also the owner of Williwy Communications, a public relations consulting practice. Previously, he worked in internal communications at Providence Health & Services – Oregon Region, and was the Portland director of Kids In a Drug-Free Society, a national partnership between PRSA and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He’s also worked in health care communication roles in Portland with Shriners Hospital for Children, Legacy Good Samaritan and Oregon Health & Science University, and was an adjunct faculty member in the Public Relations certificate program at Marylhurst University.
He holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and worked at several newspapers in upstate New York. In Portland, he has served on the boards of Volunteers of America-Oregon, the City Club of Portland, Morrison Center Child and Family Services and the American Cancer Society. He is a past president of Healthcare Communicators of Oregon and PRSA-Portland Metro Chapter. With PRSA, he serves as co-chair of professional accreditation and is a past winner of the William Marsh Lifetime Achievement Award.