“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
That was my high school class motto. It resonated with me then (just a “few” years ago) as I set out into the “real world,” and it still resonates with me today as I reflect on 2020 having had the honor of serving as your chapter president.
I have worked alongside a truly amazing board of directors – a talented group of PR professionals and leaders who came together, despite adversity, to blaze new paths and leave remarkable trails. There have been highs (plenty to be thankful for) and lows (some we’d like to forget, but lessons learned for growing and improving).
But now we look forward, and I am proud to have Stefanie Macfarlane, APR, and her 2021 board, lead the chapter during this pivotal time. As the 2020 president-elect, she was a true partner, assisting me in guiding the chapter into uncharted territory. Under the leadership of Stefanie and Jamie Floer, APR, CPRC, all eyes and ears will be on Orlando as we proudly host ICON 2021, Oct. 17-19, at the Orlando World Center Marriott. Planning is already underway, and we will need your support. Stay tuned for more details.
We certainly know 2020 was not an easy year. We did see a decline in our membership, as individuals lost their jobs, companies cut back spending and PRSA membership could not be sustained. We appreciate those who managed to maintain their membership. To support those former members who were unable to maintain it because of hardship and/or financial need due to COVID-19, we created the PRSA Orlando Hardship Fund. You can donate through Dec. 10 or apply through Dec. 11.
Check out and register for our final program of 2020. All ticket sales and donations will go to the 2020 PRSA Orlando Hardship Fund Program.
- Dec. 10, 5-6:30 p.m. – PRSA Gives Back Virtual Holiday Mixer. You won’t want to miss the live entertainment from National musician Stephanie Christofore. Wear your favorite holiday sweater for our Ugly Sweater contest and be ready to play some reindeer games – all for a good cause! All proceeds from the ticket sales will support the PRSA Orlando Hardship Fund, plus the Orlando Regional Chapter will match donations made to the Orlando Hardship Fund. Don’t miss this fun night where our community will come together to support one another. If you can’t join us, we encourage you to please consider donating to the fund.
Here’s to safe, healthy holidays and a more normal 2021.
Rich Donley, APR
2020 President, PRSA Orlando Regional Chapter