The 2011 nominating committee of PR Society of America is trying to convert three district seats on the board to at-large, charging that candidates from the districts applied too late.

The national board tried unsuccessfully in 2007 to eliminate the 10 districts and convert them to five “regions” because districts sometimes could not come up with a single candidate.

One reason for the shortage of candidates is that only Accredited members can run and they comprise only 18% of the 21,000 members.

Since 13 members are vying for four at-large seats, it’s possible that the three districts involved -- Southeast, Southwest and North Pacific -- will not have any district representatives on the board.

Southeast is losing its seat because Mickey Nall of Ogilvy PR Worldwide, Atlanta, is running for chair-elect. Southwest is losing its representative because Blake Lewis of Texas is running for treasurer.

North Pacific is losing its rep because Bob Frause of Seattle is leaving the board after two years.

Yann Says Deadline Missed

PRSA candidates
Clockwise from top left: Davis, Daley, Codella, Lofgren and Klingensmith.
VP-PR Arthur Yann, asked why members of the three districts are not running as district directors, e-mailed Section 4 of the bylaws that say, “If there are no candidates for a district director position by the initial deadline [June 13], the nominating committee has the authority to convert that to an at-large position for that election.”

Phone messages and e-mails have been sent to candidates Kelly Davis of Columbia S.C. (Southeast district); Teri Daley of Lewisville, Texas (Southwest); Peter Codella of Woods Cross, Utah, and Ronele Klingensmith of Reno (North Pacific). Diane Lofgren of Oakland, Calif., is another candidate.

Running against them for the nominations for four at-large seats are nine other candidates including former director Margaret Ann Hennen, a PRSA Fellow who was with Fairview Health Services, Minneapolis. She is now in her own firm.

Another at-large candidate is Jane Dvorak of Lakewood, Colorado, a Fellow, Western district chair in 2006 and Colorado chapter president in 2003.

Other at-large candidates are Jodi Horton, Ideas@Work, Tucson; Ken Hunter, R&J PR, Bridgewater, N.J.; Ronele Klingensmith, RKPR, Reno; Diane Lofgren, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Oakland, Calif.; Jeri Matheney, Appalachian Power, Charleston, West Va.; Mark McClennan, Schwartz Comms., Waltham, Mass.; Elizabeth Pecsi, Unisys Corp., El Cajon, Calif., and James Roop, Roop & Co., Cleveland.

Davis, Daley & Codella in Own Firms

Davis is president/CEO of Davis Public Relations and Marketing. She has been a member of the South Carolina chapter since 1997 when she joined PRS.

Daley is CEO of 1Degree PR and has been a member of the Dallas chapter since 1999 when she joined PRSA.

Codella is CEO of Codella Marketing. He joined PRSA in 2001 and was a member of the Las Vegas Valley chapter from 2001-08 and is currently a member of the Greater Salt Lake Chapter.

Klingensmith, a PRS member since 1995 when she joined the Sierra Nevada chapter, heads RKPR.

Lofgren, a PRS member since 1987, has been in the San Francisco chapter since 2007.

Switching of Director Status a Sore Point

Switching a director from or to at-large has been a sore point at the Society.

There was controversy in 2000 when the nomcom shifted David Simon from at-large to Western district.

The apparent motive was to block Jeff Julin, who became 2007 chair, from running for Western district director.

Julin had sought unsuccessfully to be on the national board four times.

Simon was elected in 1999 to a two-year term starting in 2000 as at-large director but the 2000 nomcom re-designated him as Western director to succeed Ralph Kam.

San Diego counselor Ken Ulrich condemned the switch at the 2000 Assembly saying that if left unchallenged the nomcom’s action could affect all ten districts.

An analogy, he said, was switching a senator who served an entire state to being a representative for a specific district.

Robin Perrin of Derry, N.H., was named as Northeast district director from 1998-99 when no one showed up for that district.