|June 29, 2010|
|African-American Seeks PRSA Nod|
|By Jack O'Dwyer|
|Regina Freeman Lewis, chief communications officer, The Potter's House of Dallas, a non-denominational megachurch, is seeking nomination as director-at-large of PRSA.|
She would be the third African-American woman on the Society board in 63 years if elected.
The other two were Debra Miller, 1997 president, and Cheryl Procter-Rogers, 2006 chair.
Only one African-American male has been elected to the board, Ron Owens of Kaiser Permanente, Pasadena, Calif. He resigned after five months of a three-year term that started in 2006.
Ofield Dukes, African-American Washington, D.C., counselor who was awarded the Gold Anvil in 2001, sought to join the board last year as at-large director. The nominating committee, headed by Rhoda Weiss who had major clients in Hawaii, picked Barbara Whitman of Honolulu instead.
Gary McCormick, 2010 chair, named Dukes and Wynona Redmond of Dominick’s as non-voting directors.
Redmond is president of the National Black PR Society of which Lewis is the parliamentarian.
The application of Lewis says her current membership is “offered via PRSA-to-NBPRS Alliance” and that she is a past member of the Miami, Atlanta and Los Angeles chapters. [Click to view her full presentation in PDF form to the nominating committee.]
She joined Potter’s House this month from the Celsius Holdings Corp., a PR firm in Jupiter, Fla., where she was president.
Her bio says she was a principal in the firm from 2001-2010.
From 1986 to 2000 she was at nine other firms including IXL, FitzGerald Communications, Capital Relations/MS&L, Freeman Assocs., Fleishman-Hillard, The Bohle Co., Kodak, Media Cybernetics, and Hi-Tech PR of Shandwick.
Opponents: Merrill and Walton
Opposing Lewis are Cher Merrill, VP-PR, marketing and communications, Associated Industries, Spokane, and Susan Walton, associate professor, communications, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
Lewis’ presentation to the nomcom says she would bring experience outside of the “mainstream of PR” and by virtue of her ethnic and gender would give the board “additional diversity.”
Having lived in various parts of the West and Southeast, she says she could bring a geographical point of view “that can bridge the communications gap between various regions.”
For Society activities she lists service on the 1993-94 board of the Los Angeles chapter and service on its diversity committee task force.
Church Has 30,000 members
Potter’s House, described as a "non-denominational megachurch" by Wikipedia, is headed by Thomas Dexter "T.D." Jakes Sr., chief pastor, whose evangelistic sermons are broadcast on "The Potter's Touch" via Trinity Broadcasting Network, Black Entertainment TV and Daystar TV Network, among other outlets.
Jakes led an early morning prayer service for President Obama at St. John’s Church, Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 2009.
Potter’s House church is not related to "Potter’s House Christian Fellowship," a Pentecostal church founded in Arizona in 1970 with an evangelistic program that involves open air preaching, door-to-door promotion, rock/rap concerts and Christian movies.
The denomination believes in the literal bible.
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