September 2014  

Letter from the President

Letter from the President

There is a lyric from a popular Broadway show that reads “Because I knew you I have been changed for good.” You may recognize this line from the musical Wicked, but I love it because it reminds me how it’s the people we meet and relationships we build that change our lives for the better.

I think this is why professional associations play such an important role in career development. As a chapter, it’s our mission to bring together a network of colleagues for fun and professional development, build relationships and advance the practice of public relations.

We are proud to have a strong and diverse membership base of more than 75 PR practitioners, managers and executives throughout Northeast Wisconsin. As a leadership team, it’s our job to create programs that foster networking and encourage relationship building among the group. This summer we asked you to tell us how we can do this better. Here are a few things we learned:

  • You are interested in diverse programming topics that will help you stay in touch with trends in the industry.
  • You are interested in programming for all stages in your career, including topics that focus on strategy, measurement and communicating the value of PR to the C-suite.
  • You are busy people! More advanced notice of meetings dates and topics is preferred.
  • You prefer the lunch meeting time, but depending on the day it can be difficult to get out of the office.


Your feedback is valuable as we work on the 2015 strategic plan and programming. We will work to improve scheduling and explore alternative meeting options to help you attend and participate more regularly. 

We’ve got lots of ideas to explore and look forward to sharing more with you in the future!

Tara Brzozowski

P.S. Thank you to everyone who completed the summer survey. Congratulations to Karie Zellner and Sarah O’Donnell, winners of the $20 Target Gift Card!

Back to top

General News

Don’t miss out! Call for Entries!

PRSA Northeast Wisconsin PRemier Awards are Due 9/19

The PRSA Northeast Wisconsin Premier Awards recognize the exceptional practice of public relations that happens every day here in Northeast Wisconsin. Now is your chance to get the recognition you deserve! Consider submitting an entry for a media relations campaign, or internal communications piece, or special event that you recently developed. There are 12 entry categories in all – find one for your favorite project and nominate your team!
Goals of the program include providing:

  • Local recognition for outstanding work
  • A less expensive option than the national programs
  • The opportunity to identify innovative practice and learn from each other
  • An independent resource for local PR pros to validate the quality and value of their work to employers and clients.


All entries will be judged against an established standard of excellence. Any entry that exceeds that standard will be recognized as a finalist and given an award of excellence. One "Best of Show" will be chosen from the finalists. 

Some basic information about the award is listed below for your convenience. For a complete description of award categories, submission requirements, and an entry form, please visit our website

Submission Deadline: Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 (5:00 p.m.)

Eligibility: Both PRSA members and non-members can participate. The bulk of the project work -- including the project completion and results -- should fall between Jan. 1, 2013-Aug. 31, 2014.

Judging: All entries will be judged by another PRSA chapter. See the website for judging criteria.

Fees: $35/entry for PRSA members. $50/entry for non-members.

Award Presentation: All finalists will be notified. Awards will be presented at the November awards luncheon banquet in Green Bay.

Questions: Visit the PRSA Northeast Wisconsin chapter website for complete rules and nomination information. For additional questions, contact Karen Smith  or 920-574-3253.

Back to top

Don't Miss Out!


Take Your Career to the Next Level! 

No matter what stage we are at in our career journey—newbie, mid-level or seasoned vet—there’s always another level to reach for. But as you evolve as a professional, the skills you need to move to the next level must evolve as well. In addition to continuing to develop your job-specific skills, you’ll also need to enhance your leadership abilities. Join  Amy Biersteker , MSE, Human Resources Consulting Manager at Schenck, as she provides guidance from her years of experience as a coach to leaders and executives to explain: 

  • what leadership is
  • why it matters to your personal and career success
  • how to assess your own leadership skills in 10 critical areas
  • development ideas
  • ways managers can coach others on their team


Tuesday, September 23

11:30 AM - 1 PM

The Marq

3177 French Road

De Pere, WI



$25.00 PRSA Member / $30.00 after 5 PM September 18

$35.00 Nonmember/ Guest / $40.00 after 5 PM September 18

$15.00 Full-Time Student / $20.00 after 5 PM September 18

Register Now


A BIG thank you to the BIG SHOES NETWORK for sponsoring this meeting!

Back to top

Upcoming Events

Brand Yourself

While smart brands may start with a vision, they build influence and audience by effectively communicating that brand and its value. Find your clear direction and transform your personal brand into something more meaningful and relevant in today's world. Join Cyndee Woolley and find out how to:

  • Develop your personal brand messaging through five key messages.
  • Illustrate your key messages and engage your audience with simple storytelling.
  • Leverage your brand messaging to build trust and inspire action.


Presenter: Cyndee Woolley, APR, is a public relations, community outreach, marketing and branding specialist who recently released her first book, “Building Brand [You].” She has consulted with major corporations, and offers the unique perspective as an entrepreneur who built her own business. In addition to serving as the chair-elect of the PRSA District Council, she co-chaired the PRSA 2014 Sunshine District Conference, and is a past chair of the Sunshine District and PRSA Gulf Coast Chapter.


Tuesday, September 16

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Webinar (Link and instructions will be sent after registration)


FREE for all PRSA Members

$25.00 for guests

Register Now


Back to top


Angela Brumm Earns Accreditation in Public Relations


Angela Brumm, public and community relations manager with Ministry Health Care in Appleton, has successfully completed the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations, entitling her to use the APR professional designation. The announcement was made by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), a consortium of nine professional communication organizations that directs this competency certification program.

Brumm’s background includes serving as the marketing and public relations coordinator at the Community Blood Center in Appleton and working at Heritage Hill State Historical Park in Green Bay.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Evansville (Evansville, IN) and a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

A member of the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA-NEW)), Brumm is the tenth member of the chapter to attain Accreditation. 

The Accreditation program aims to improve the practice of public relations by assessing competence in 60 areas of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) associated with the profession. The Examination is designed for public relations professionals with five to seven years of job experience and/or a bachelor’s degree in a communication field. Candidates who successfully complete the rigorous process, including presenting their portfolio to a Readiness Review panel of three peers and sitting for a computer-based Examination, are granted the APR.

“Earning the APR reflects a mastery of the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to succeed in our increasingly complex profession,” said Felicia Blow, APR, chair of the Universal Accreditation Board. “Practitioners who achieve the designation are demonstrating their commitment not only to our profession, but also to a strong code of ethics and to the betterment of their organizations and clients.”

The computer-based portion of the Examination is administered throughout the year at more than 300 Prometric Testing Centers. The Readiness Review is conducted prior to the computer-based portion of the Examination by a panel of three Accredited members of one or more of the nine organizations participating in the UAB. Professionals earning the APR must maintain their credential through continuing professional development, providing leadership to the profession and serving their local communities.

For more information about the UAB and the APR designation, visit or contact Megan Wilcox, APR, PRSA Northeast Wisconsin's APR chair. Study sessions are going on throughout the fall and winter. Consider attending a session to find out what APR is all about. 

Back to top

Member Profile

Welcome New Member Andrea Alstad!




Where do you work? What is your role at the company?

My organization, the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS), is an association of more than 3,600 physicians, other clinicians, scientists and industry professionals. As Marketing and Communications Coordinator, my role is to oversee all communications related to the organization, including web, social media, and other member communications. I am responsible for the development and management of marketing programs related to membership recruitment and retention, as well as promotion of our annual conference and other society products and services. I am also working on our website and mobile app redesign projects. 

Please share some of your education/employment background.

I have a B.A. in Mass Communication from UW-Milwaukee and have worked in corporate marketing my entire career, primarily in the product marketing area. I recently went back to school to “upgrade” my communication skills and obtained a degree in Professional Communications from Fox Valley Technical College last year. My current position is my first in the non-profit sector.  

Describe your typical day.

On a typical day, I am working with other members of the staff to develop and implement programs and communications related to our membership, annual conference and other educational events. I would say each day involves a lot of writing, and a fair amount of design, for our website, newsletters, and social media. 

What do you hope to get out of PRSA?

Although I have done PR in the past, I am new to the PR process in the digital world. I hope to learn anything and everything I can about best practices, particularly in the non-profit area. 

Any hobbies?

I am an avid gardener and reader. I am interested in anything related to food – growing it, cooking it and eating it. I also love to travel and hope to have visited all 50 states at some point; I have 11 to go. 

Back to top

Member Anniversaries

September Anniversary Shout Outs


We asked your fellow PRSA Northeast Wisconsin members with September anniversaries to give us their thoughts on the following—

"What was your first job?"

My first real job was cashiering at Mills Fleet Farm. As a farm girl, my dad couldn’t have been prouder! After a few months, I moved to the customer service desk where I stayed until I left for college. This job taught me how to interact with people of all sorts in the most challenging of situations. In addition to learning about people, I learned a whole lot more about myself. It was a great first job that helped open the doors for phenomenal internships throughout college. —Cassie Wenzel, APR, Integrys, member 7 years

My first real job was as a reporter for the Ypsilanti (Mich) Daily Press.  I got the court beat because no one else wanted it.  I covered trials for nonpayment of alimony, nonpayment of rent, etc., etc.  Finally, the big case arrived:  a marijuana case.  Some guy was caught smoking the wicked weed.  I didn't know what marijuana was (Yes, believe it or not.  This was in 1960.).  It was a lurid trial.  The guilty party admitted smoking the stuff and, horror of horrors, really enjoying it and recommending it to a not very thankful judge.  The guy got two months in the pen and I got my first byline.   I loved journalism.—Lou Williams, member 38 years

Hundreds of LIVE UNITED t-shirts – I started off my professional career as the Marketing and Communication Manager at United Way of McLean County (UWMC) in Bloomington, Illinois. I joined the UWMC team just a few months before completing my graduate degree at Illinois State University. It was a great privilege to start my career at a great organization, and I enjoyed working toward their continued growth.—Melissa Blank, Blue Door Consulting, member 1 year


My first job was working at EAA AirVenture in a food tent. My duties included roasting, shucking and serving sweet corn to hundreds of event attendees. It was a fun job because I got to meet tons of people from all around the world, but it was hard work. I roasted corn all day, every day, for the entire week of EAA. By the end I just couldn't stand the smell of roasted sweet corn any longer. It took me at least 10 years to eat corn on the cob again! —Tara Brzozowski, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, member 4 years

I began my career at Marinette Marine Corporation (a shipyard specializing in construction of combat ships and response boats for the US Navy and Coast Guard) in 2010 when I was hired as the Business Development Coordinator. While in that role, I focused on familiarizing myself with all of our departments, our specific manufacturing processes, and the industry as a whole. This holistic understanding of operations now allows me to develop and incorporate strategic marketing efforts into daily Public Relations activities.—Bethany Skorik, Marinette Marine Corporation, member 1 year

Other September anniversaries include:

1 Year:

Nikki Voelzke, Valley Transit

5 Years:

Tammy Denbusch, NSight/Cellcom

13 years:

Casey Fryda, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

Back to top