PRSA is pleased to welcome Maria Jimenez-Lara, CEO of NCEF, as she shares her perspective with funding partners through the pandemic, hosting this annual event and overseeing the extensive charitable grants process that distributes funding.

Maria will discuss how PR professionals can incorporate outcomes and their organization’s impact into their own fundraising and marketing efforts.


Tuesday, September 27

Networking: 11:30 AM – Noon

Lunch-N-Learn: Noon – 1:00 PM

Location: NCEF Headquarters, 2590 Goodlette Frank Road, Naples, Florida 34103

Cost: PRSA Members: $30  NON-Members: $36

Registration Deadline: September 22


Founded in 2000 by local philanthropists who wanted to make a profound and sustaining difference in the lives of children in our community, NCEF (Naples Children & Education Foundation), has raised close to $244 million and benefited more than 50 local non-profits that are working to significantly improve the physical, emotional, and educational lives of children in our community. Their signature event, The Naples Winter Wine Festival, attracts donors, talented chefs, vintners, performers and guests from all over the USA and abroad.

About Our Speaker

Maria Jimenez-Lara is the Chief Executive Officer for Naples Children & Education Foundation (NCEF). Before assuming the role of CEO, she served NCEF as Director of Foundation Services and Grants Director, and was responsible for overseeing the charitable grant process in conjunction with the trustee-driven Grant Committee.

Prior to joining NCEF, Jimenez was Redlands Christian Migrant Association’s (RCMA) Director of Charter Schools. She brings with her over 20 years of experience in program development, designing effective educational programs for at-risk children, and collaborating with various community-based organizations.  Among her major contributions are the development of five charter schools for at-risk children, two housing developments for low-income families, and a founding member of a domestic violence prevention organization.

Her commitment to safeguarding the most vulnerable in our community is a natural fit with NCEF’s mission to support charitable programs that improve the physical, emotional and educational lives of underprivileged and at-risk children in Collier County.

Jimenez holds two undergraduate degrees from Florida International University and Universidad de las Americas. Jimenez is a graduate of Hodges University with a master’s in public administration. Her civic involvement includes serving on District XI Juvenile Justice Board and various non-profit organization boards.  Some of her accolades include Woman of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, Homestead, Florida and one of El Nuevo Miami Herald’s “Rising Latino Leader.”




If you are a Public Relations or Communications Professional who owns their own firm or works for a local business in South Florida, you’ve come to the right place! The Gulf Coast Chapter of the PRSA is dedicated to providing you with educational opportunities for personal and professional growth achievement.

Who are we?

The PRSA is a community of more than 21,000 public relations and communications professionals across the United States, from recent college graduates to the leaders of the world’s largest multinational firms. Our members represent nearly every practice area and professional and academic setting within the public relations field. In addition, there are more than 10,000 students who are members of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) at colleges and universitieshere and abroad.

Want to accelerate your career? PRSA can help.

  • Networking. We offer you the opportunity to get to know other business professionals within your industry.
  • Professional Recognition. Through the Silver Anvil program, professionals in the public relations industry are recognized for their accomplishments within the profession.
  • Learning. Each month, the Gulf Coast Chapter of the PRSA holds a “Lunch ‘n Learn” at the Naples Hilton where members, non-members, students and non-profits can get together to learn more about a variety of topics. Everything from disaster preparedness, crisis plans to social media is covered.
  • Intelligence. The PRSA’s award-winning periodicals, daily news updates and blogs help you stay on top of emerging trends and industry news. You can visit the PRSA National Website for additional resources.
  • PRSA Jobcenter. When PR and Communications related jobs come available within the area, you can visit this website and view PR job postings within Southwest Florida.


On behalf of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the PRSA, we would like to invite you to subscribe to our eNewsletter correspondence. We’ll notify you of upcoming events and keep you abreast of the latest information, tools and resources in the public relations industry.

Please view our upcoming PRSA events page to find out more about our next event!

For information on how to JOIN the Gulf Coast PRSA, please contact the Gulf Coast Chapter Membership Chair Courtney Jolly at