Emergency & Crisis Communications in Collier County – Past, Present and Future

Join us for our June PRSA Lunch N Learn, Tuesday, June 25th, at the Naples Hilton.

stephanine-spell-prsa-speakerYou will find our June topic very timely as hurricane season is upon us.  No – this isn’t a hurricane awareness seminar. It’s about vital Crisis Communications Management. We have secured two experts in Collier County who definitely have outstanding crisis communications skills and can provide cutting edge information and techniques critical to successfully managing the most challenging situations.


Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, June 25th for “Emergency & Crisis Communications in Collier County – Past, Present and Future” presented by Chief Stephanie Spell, Chief of Community Engagement Department – Collier County Sheriff’s Office  and Jim von Rinteln, Emergency Recovery Coordinator, Collier County Government.


john-von-ritelnYou may not need to tangle with a hurricane, but chances are good that you will need these techniques for you and your key stakeholders at some point.  Be prepared!  We’ll see you on June 25th!

To Register – Click Here!

Chief Stephanie Spell Biography

Chief Stephanie Spell heads the Community Engagement Department within the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.  As a member of Sheriff Kevin Rambosk’s executive command staff, she provides leadership for several law enforcement bureaus, including Public Information and Media Relations, Crime Prevention, Crime Analysis, Planning and Research, Victim Advocate, Senior Services, Minority Affairs and Volunteers.

Stephanie has been with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office since 1987. A Naples resident since 1977, she is originally from Woodstock, New York and Block Island, Rhode Island.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Safety Administration and is currently enrolled in a Master’s degree program at Barry University.

A graduate of Leadership Institute (2006) and Leadership Collier (2010), Stephanie is a CALEA assessor, past board member of Collier 4-H and Grace Place, and currently serves on the editorial board of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce magazine publication, Business Currents.

Jim von Rinteln Biography

Jim von Rinteln, Emergency Recovery Coordinator – Collier County Government, is a member of Collier County’s Growth Management Division working with the Operations and Regulatory Management team on community development issues, including the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and Damage Assessment and Disaster Recovery initiatives.


Jim served as the Emergency Operations Coordinator for the County from 1997 – 2010, where he was involved in every disaster that affected the community during that time.   Additionally he was the lead in designing and building the County’s new Emergency Services Center which has received recognition for best practices at both the State and National level.  From 2010 – 2011 Jim served as the Regional CEO of the American Red Cross for both Lee and Collier Counties where he successfully consolidated their disaster services support to the Southwest Florida region.

Jim holds an MA in Resource Management from Hawaii Pacific University.  He is certified in the following areas: Florida Professional Emergency Manager (FPEM); International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) as a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM); by FEMA as a Professional and Advanced Professional in Disaster Operations, and by the State Association of Floodplain Managers as a Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM). Jim is a proud graduate of Leadership Collier 2012.

Jim is originally from Maryland, where he attended the University of Maryland in College Park and received his BA in Political Science.  Upon graduation, he entered the Army where he spent a career as a helicopter pilot and senior staff officer prior to his retirement in 1996.  During his military career he was involved in several disaster recovery operations assisting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), including Hurricane Iniki and Andrew in 1992, which lead him to his post military career as an Emergency Management professional in Collier County.

In 2006 Jim received a Distinguished Public Service Award from the Naples Chamber of Commerce; the 2008 Emergency Management Award from the Governor of Florida and in 2011 was named a James V. Mudd Fellow for his contributions to leadership in Collier County.

Keep Your Eyes and Mind Open to Possibilities – PRSA Gulf Coast Lunch N Learn

January 2013 PRSA Gulf Coast Lunch N Learn
Geri Evans

Join us for our first luncheon event of 2013 on Tuesday, January 22nd at The Hilton Naples to hear Geri Evans, national board member of the Public Relations Society of America.

Geri Evans will speak about the power of networking and building key relationships in her presentation, ‘Keeping Your Eyes and Mind Open to Possibilities.” Geri is making a special trip to Naples just for this presentation and will certainly launch us into 2013 with confidence and an action plan!  Geri Evans,  is a national board member of the Public Relations Society of America, keynote speaker, presentation coach and owner of Evans PR Group in Orlando, Florida
Geri Evans, MA, APR, is an experienced public relations professional, public speaker, writer, consultant, and educator. In 2003 she opened her own public relations firm focusing on message development, powerful communication, personal and professional development, and leadership. Among her clients are HGTV, Adventist Healthcare System, Wycliffe Bible Translators, the American Hospital Association, the Orange County Public Library System and other national and local businesses and organizations. See more on Geri Evans below the registration information.

To Register, Click Here!


11:30 – 11:55 a.m. Networking

11:55 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. Lunch

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. “First Year Challenges and Triumphs: Fifth Avenue South”


$24 PRSA Members

$29 Non-Members

$27 Non-Profits

$15 Students

*No shows will be billed if no prior notice given and only cash and checks accepted at the door

NOTE: To guarantee seating and meal, you must register online by Friday, January 18th.


Prior to this business venture, Geri was vice president of public relations for the state hospital association for four years, served as the director of public relations for a boutique hotel chain in Orlando, taught communications on a full-time or part-time basis for 26 years, was a special features and sports editor for three years, and designed and taught an award-winning reading program for at-risk students. Geri is a national speaker and consultant who has won numerous awards for her seminars and presentations.

Ms. Evans is currently in her final year of a three-year term on the national Board of Public Relations Society of America. She also serves as liaison to the national Board of Public Relations Student Society of America and the Universal Accreditation Board.

Highly active in the Central Florida community, Geri is a graduate of Leadership Orlando, the immediate past-president of the Orlando Breakfast Rotary Club, past-president of the Orlando Chapter of Public Relations Society of America, former officer of the Foundation for Orange County Public Schools, member of the Mayor’s Domestic Violence Commission, Women’s Advisory Council and Women’s Resource Center.

Geri holds a B.S. in both English and Speech and an M.A. in Communications. She holds the top national accreditation in public relations. A Central Florida Packer Backer, this Wisconsin native loves to watch football and baseball and likes to play tennis and golf. She is married, has two sons, and three young grandchildren.

First Year Challenges & Triumphs: Fifth Avenue South’s Business Improvement District

We’re excited about our October Luncheon

Lise Sundrla, Executive Director Fifth Avenue South BID
Lise Sundrla, Executive Director Fifth Avenue South BID

It’s been just over a year since the owners and merchants of Fifth Avenue South joined forces to collectively market their venerable street as Naples’ premier shopping, dining and entertainment destination.

The newly established Business Improvement District (BID), with Lise Sundrla at the helm, was charged with engaging property owners, business owners & citizens; organizing visioning sessions; establishing working committees and a block captain program; and, most importantly, developing and implementing a comprehensive brand and marketing strategy.

You’ll hear first-hand experiences and insights from the people who made this happen and you’ll walk away with fresh ideas and helpful tactics. Please join us as we welcome:

• Lise Sundrla, Executive Director Fifth Avenue South BID

• Gail Webster, President IMA Creative, Inc.

• Stefania Martin, Vice President BID Board of Directors and Chair, Marketing Committee

These three professionals realize/admit/ know it’s an ongoing process of outreach and communication, and a testimony to collaboration, tolerance and good old-fashioned perseverance. This is a program not to be missed!

 To Register – Click Here




11:30 – 11:55 a.m. Networking

11:55 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. Lunch

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. “First Year Challenges and Triumphs: Fifth Avenue South”


$24 PRSA Members

$29 Non-Members

$27 Non-Profits

$15 Students

*No shows will be billed if no prior notice given and only cash and checks accepted at the door

NOTE: To guarantee seating and meal, you must register online by Friday, October  19th.

Writing for ROI – August Lunch N Learn

“Writing for ROI: How to Craft Your Press Release and Social Messaging to Get the Maximum Payoff”

Laura Sturaitis

Learn how to optimize a press release and your other messaging to get publicity, build brand awareness, increase web traffic, connect with your fans and generate leads online. Uncover how to use the metrics you have to determine the best use of your staff time and budget in charting the course for your PR campaigns.

Laura Sturaitis is Executive Vice President of Media Services & Product Strategy, and heads up Business Wire’s Global Media Relations, Content Licensing, Product Strategy, Public Policy, HQ Online Newsroom and Information Services teams.

Laura is responsible for the comprehensive and timely delivery of Business Wire feed of more than 1200 releases a day sent globally to print, broadcast, online and social media organizations using Business Wire’s multi-platform delivery methods. She is a recognized industry expert in the development of new media tools and services for the distribution, search engine optimization (SEO), social sharing and measurement ROI of press releases. For more than 20 years, she has been instrumental in the evolution of press release on the wire serving clients in public relations, corporate communications, investor relations and traditional and online media.

Her team has lead the industry on the integration and delivery of multimedia content with the press release as well as the display, performance, ranking and measurement of releases and their availability on all traditional as well as new platforms and devices such as mobile phones and tablets. She leads the HQ team which provides leading companies with state-of-the-art online newsrooms and investor centers for their website.

Laura and her team explore and evaluate business development opportunities and help set the direction for the products and services that provide professional communicators with the tools and technologies that get their news and information to audiences worldwide.

Laura has been a featured speaker at national conferences on topics such as Search Engine Optimization & Social Media, Multimedia & the Press Release, New Media Technologies, Measurement & Analytics, Media Relations and Online Communication Strategies.

Laura is a member of Business Wire’s Executive Board and also serves on the Board of PYMNTS.com, Business Wire’s 2009 joint venture, PYMNTS.com. She is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and started her career with Business Wire in 1992 as Florida Regional Manager. Laura holds an MBA from Florida Atlantic University and a BA in English and Communication from St. Thomas University in Miami, FL.

Laura has the distinction of being a former Jeopardy! Champion. She enjoys travel, music, films, crafts, reading and taking courses on diverse topics online and at local universities and community colleges.

Areas of Expertise: Media Relations, SEO, Social Media, Content Licensing, PR & IR Services, Measurement & Analytics, Integrated Online Marketing and Business Communications.

You can follow her on Twitter @lsturaitis or LinkedIn at Laura Sturaitis

Key Message Development – Building a Foundation for Effective Communications

Join Gulf Coast PRSA for a special luncheon webinar. Northern Trust has graciously invited us to use their conference room to hear the presentation. Join your fellow members for this most important demonstration on driving home an effective message.

The even will be Tuesday, June 26th in the Northern Trust Building

4001 Tamiami Trail N.,

Naples, Florida

Here’s more on the program:

Communications cannot always be controlled, but messages can. With repeated use, key messages and proof points ensure dissemination of clear, consistent and compelling information. Such messages serve as the foundation for effective communications, and can drive desired actions and positively impact your business.

In less than one hour, learn what to say, what is needed to back it up and how to make messages resonate with your target audiences. This session addresses:

  • What key messages are and why you need them.
  • A five-step system that enables you to prepare strategic messages.
  • Benchmarks to ensure your messages cut through the communication clutter.
  • How to put key messages to work via collateral, presentations, interviews and more.


Debbie Wetherhead is president of Wetherhead Communications. She manages public relations programs for globally recognized names, such as The Coca-Cola Company, Beazer Homes, YKK, NASA and more. Her firm is best known for its ability to generate positive publicity and finesse business communications. Backed by 25+ years of experience, Wetherhead has conducted nearly 500 media, presentation, crisis communication and key message development trainings, and has presented at two PRSA International Conferences and to numerous Chapters nationwide.

To Register, Click Here

Master The Art of Bragging – May PRSA Gulfcoast Lunch N Learn

Mastering the Art of Bragging:

What Today’s Professionals & Other Humble Leaders Must Know

PRSA Gulfcoast May Lunch N LearnYou were taught it’s not okay to brag, right? Join the club. But in today’s world, there are important and surprising reasons why high performing professionals need to regain this lost skill and start sharing their success stories more freely.

Join Gulf Coast PRSA on May 22 for a fun, highly interactive workshop led by leadership & workplace coach Darcy Eikenberg, ACC, author of Bring Your Superpowers to Work: Your Guide to More Clarity, Confidence and Control and founder of career & success site RedCapeRevolution.com. In addition to the fresh techniques you’ll gain to tell the world about your own successes, you’ll discover:

  • Why we can no longer afford to consider “brag” a four-letter word;
  • The three reasons we need to start bragging today, and;
  • How to brag so others don’t gag.

You’ll have the rare opportunity to share your stories in a friendly, encouraging environment—a place where you can’t make a mistake and experimentation is welcome. As an added bonus, you’ll get an opportunity to connect with several different people at the event—and their stories may offer you ideas to solve the challenges in your own workplace. Finally, you’ll uncover something great about someone else–and about yourself as well!

Get ready to master the art of bragging at Gulf Coast PRSA on May 22. Register now. [DETAILS AND REGISTRATION LINK]

More About Darcy Eikenberg

Darcy Eikenberg

With a unique mix of perspectives, passions and practice as a leadership, executive & workplace coach, author and speaker, Darcy Eikenberg, ACC founded Red Cape Revolution (www.RedCapeRevolution.com) as a way to help everyday professionals rediscover their superpowers, bring them to work, and make a bigger difference in their corner of the world. Working with clients such as The Coca-Cola Company, Microsoft, Deloitte Consulting and State Farm, she is recognized for her ability to help today’s busy professionals find clarity, confidence, and control, in ways that work for their organizations and for themselves.

Before launching her own business, Darcy was a Principal at human resources consulting firm Hewitt Associates (now Aon Hewitt), where she served on the North American Communication Consulting Leadership team and led the Southeast communication and change management business before intrapraneuring an internal coaching program there. She is the past president of the Georgia Coach Association and earned her credentials through the International Coach Federation.

A frequent guest of the media, Darcy has been quoted in the Harvard Business Review, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, CareerBuilder.com, CNN.com, TheLadders.com, Glassdoor.com, and more. She blogs regularly at www.RedCapeRevolution.com, where you can sign up to download a free chapter of Bring Your Superpowers to Work and also receive her twice-monthly Community News with more tips and bonuses.

Bring Your Superpowers to Work is available on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com. You’ll also have the opportunity to purchase autographed copies at the event. To contact Darcy for private, in-person coaching while she is in the area, email info@RedCapeRevolution.com or call 404.857.2738.

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/RedCapeRevolution

Twitter: @RedCapeRev

LinkedIn: http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/DarcyEikenberg

The Lighthouse Project – PRSA Lunch N Learn

Join Us for our April Lunch N Learn

Special Guest – Phil Lewis

Topic – The Light House Project and what it means to our community

Tuesday April 24, 2012

11:30 am Welcome, Noon Lunch


To Register – Click Here

“Our History, Our Time.” It kicks off an initiative we call the Lighthouse Project.
Phil Lewis
Phil Lewis - Executive Editor and Vice-President of Naples Daily News

The purpose of the Sunday, April 1, edition was to review the region’s rich history, before Collier County’s creation in 1923 and after. It was a team effort as acknowledged on page 112, which features a list of those who helped us compile the supplement.

We believe “Our History, Our Time” will provide useful background information to citizens interested in helping plan the region’s future. That is one keystone of our Lighthouse Project, which is built around our daily motto: “Give light and the people will find their own way.”

We believe we, as a community, need to have knowledge and an appreciation of the past before we can assess where we are today and where we could go in the future.

On April 22, we will publish a second special section, looking at who we are. That will be followed April 29, by a third special section examining where we might be headed.

These three special sections are the first step of our project to be followed by an audit of the community to determine what issues and concerns are foremost in the minds of residents.

As a newspaper we will use this information to better focus our reporting, during this election year and the remainder of the decade as Collier County moves closer to its 100th birthday.

The Purpose:

Give light and the people will find their own way.”

That motto and the accompanying E.W. Scripps lighthouse grace each edition of the Naples Daily News.

In 2012, we intend to turn up the beams coming from that lighthouse, so we can serve our readership in more relevant and significant ways.

With sound journalism, we will prime the pump for a community conversation. Then, we will listen as citizens share their hopes, needs and concerns. Next, we will tailor our future news reporting to the issues that are most important to our readers.

We are calling this initiative the Lighthouse Project, with a subtitle that reads: “Southwest Florida’s past, its present and your vision of the future.” The emphasis will be on “your.”

It will be a regional visioning exercise like none before, with a commitment on our part to monitor progress in a way that only an engaged daily newspaper can.

This project involves everyone at the Naples Daily News from the press room to the advertising department to those who make sure the newspaper is delivered each day.

“We at the Naples Daily News have made a commitment to provide the community improved service and professionalism,” says Publisher and President Dave Neill. “The Lighthouse Project exemplifies this, and going forward, this is our guiding principle. Consequently, we are poised to take a leadership role in producing quality and relevant information, while providing a productive platform for the community to discuss and assemble a blueprint for the future. Our residents and local businesses deserve this.”

On the first Sunday in April, the Daily News will publish a special section on the history of our area, from the early settlers to the present day. This unprecedented look at our past is the first step in fostering a community conversation. We cannot truly know who we are as a community until we understand the past.

On Sunday, April 22, we will publish a second special section. While the first section is a detailed look at yesterday, this section will be about today — who we are as a community.

The third special section will be published Sunday, April 29. It will focus on the future by detailing where recent visioning exercises, some commissioned by local government, say we should be heading.

Those special sections, which are being given top priority in our newsroom, will lead to citizen discussions in May and early June. By closely listening, we will better understand what issues our journalists should be monitoring in hopes of giving the readers the insight and knowledge needed to hold our elected leaders accountable.

The Lighthouse Project won’t end in 2012. It will continue in spirit and practice into 2013 when Collier County and the Naples Daily News celebrate their 90th birthdays. In our vision, we see the Lighthouse Project enduring until our 100th birthday and beyond.

April Lunch N Learn Schedule:

11:30 – 11:55 a.m.  Networking

11:55 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.  Lunch

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.  Phil Lewis – Light House Project


$24  PRSA Members  $30  Non-Members  $27  Non-Profits  $15  Students    *No shows will be billed if no prior notice given and only cash and checks accepted at the door  NOTE: To guarantee seating and meal, you must register online by Friday, April 20th.

Phil Lewis Bio

Phil Lewis was named editor and vice president of the Naples Daily News on Aug. 25, 1997. Prior to his appointment, he served 6½ years as managing editor of the Daily News.

Executive Editor Phil Lewis Speaker for Gulf Coast PRSA
Phil Lewis

Lewis joined the newspaper in 1978 as a reporter and served as city editor from 1981 to 1989. Before joining the Daily News in Florida, he was sports editor and later city editor of the Washington C.H. (Ohio) Record-Herald.

Lewis was born in Missouri and went to high school in Springfield, Mo. He is a 1974 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He and his wife Cindy, who is an associate dean of student services for Edison State College, have one son, Patrick.

Lewis is a member of the Florida Society of News Editors, and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. He currently is a member of the Naples Press Club.

Keep Out of Trouble with the Law – PRSA Gulfcoast March 2012 Lunch N Learn

PRSA March_2012 Lunch_N_Lean
Jason Gordon

Stay safe, keep yourself and your company litigation free, and things you should do when dealing with the media in its ever changing environment.

Jason Gordon, a Miami Attorney, will presentation for PRSA’s Gulf Coast Chapter that will engage you in the do’s and don’t.

This program was presented for PRSA’s Gulfstream chapter (Fort Lauderdale) at their lunch and learn in September and the presentation was very well received by their members.

Mr. Gordon has represented large national banks, insurance companies, parking companies, trucking companies, as well as many small and mid-sized businesses.
His presentation would cover the following topics:

Common terms in contracts for PR work which can lead to trouble, including unclear terms;

  • Protecting the PR professional’s work, including rights to use and avoiding responsibility for incorrect information or statements to the public; and
  • Issues to consider when dealing with the media.

Jason Gordon is an attorney with Heller Waldman, P.L. in Coconut Grove, FL.  Mr. Gordon focuses his practice on commercial and business litigation as well as drafting contracts.  Mr. Gordon has drafted contracts for a variety of types of businesses including public relations.  Mr. Gordon has experience litigating matters in both state and federal courts throughout Florida and other jurisdictions, as well as arbitrating matters before the AAA and FINRA.  Mr. Gordon has handled matters through trial in various areas including religious land use, civil rights, trademark and copyright infringement, breach of contract, real estate and business disputes, noncompete and employment claims, securities fraud and partnership disputes.  Mr. Gordon has represented large national banks, insurance companies, parking companies, trucking companies, as well as many small and mid-sized businesses.  Prior to attending law school, Mr. Gordon operated a radio promotions company which promoted albums to college and commercial radio stations around the country, as well as a record label.  Mr. Gordon has lectured on numerous topics including religious land use and civil rights, the music business and radio and most recently on contract issues for public relations professionals.  Mr. Gordon is a graduate of the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

PRSA Gulfcoast Lunch N Learn Smashingly Successful

Cyndee Woolley Brainstorms with the Audience

Goals were set, dreams to fulfill, and action step to take were presented by Jessica Macera and Cyndee Woolley during a workshop on Personal Branding.

Who are You? This was the beginning of building a successful Brand to uncover your truest priorities and values, identify your personal Unique Selling Position, and begin sharing that vision with the right audience.

February Sweethearts Lunch N Learn – PRSA Gulf Coast Chapter

Cyndee Woolley, APR and Jessica Macera, MBA 


Jessica Macera and Cyndee Woolley


The Personal Branding Project 

As presented at the 2011 PRSA International Conference and through Full Sail University, the Personal Branding Project is a customized workshop designed to teach business professionals how to reinvent themselves for success. The foundation of the program is about rediscovering purpose and passion to help individuals refocus their efforts towards those goals.



11:30 – 11:55 a.m.  Networking

11:55 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.  Lunch

12:00 – 1:00 p.m.  Woolley and Macera – The Personal Branding Project


$24  PRSA Members
$29  Non-Members
$27  Non-Profits
$15  Students

*No shows will be billed if no prior notice given and only cash and checks accepted at the door
NOTE: To guarantee seating and meal, you must register online by Friday, January 20th.

Click Here To Register