PRSA Hoosier Chapter

The Public Relations Society of America Hoosier Chapter represents public relations professionals from throughout Indiana, including employees of associations, agencies, corporations, universities, nonprofits, government and independent practitioners. With more than 350 members, it is one of the largest chapters in the United States. The Hoosier Chapter provides its members with various programs and events, along with accreditation training, news and information.

The Hoosier Chapter was founded in 1957, ten years after the American Public Relations Association merged with the National Association of Public Relations Counselors to form PRSA. Much like our home state, the chapter has grown and changed dramatically in its 50+ years.

The chapter has won four national PRSA chapter membership incentive awards, hosted three East Central District conferences, been named the top among all chapters nationwide for management, received the PRSA Chapter Excellence Award for professional development, been cited for placing fourth for membership retention and new members, collectively won three PRSA Silver Anvil Awards — and a lot more.

PRSA Hoosier Chapter Bylaws – revised September 2016

The Passing of the Spoon: A Hoosier Chapter PRSA Tradition

Remembered (sort of) by David Shank, APR, Fellow PRSA

Once upon a time, in the year of 19 and 81, there was a pleasant little PRSA Chapter in a pleasant Midwestern community. The pleasant little chapter saw that growth was on the way in the pleasant little community, but it was a long way off.

The pleasant little PRSA Chapter had a membership of, oh, maybe a hundred, and maybe 25 or 30 people attended monthly meetings. The meetings were in a deteriorating old downtown hotel affectionately known as the Essex House, which is now a classy parking lot.

The leadership of the pleasant little PRSA Chapter was frugal – with few members you have to be. They were so frugal that the Chapter didn’t own a gavel.

Since the pleasant little chapter wasn’t rowdy most of the time and didn’t often have to be called to order, a gavel really wasn’t necessary. Until …

… the president changed, and there was no gavel to pass. How could the new president of the pleasant little PRSA Chapter assume the mantel of leadership with the passing of the gavel if there was no gavel? Outgoing President Bob Clark, APR, recognized the total absurdity of transferring power without the proper tool. Seated nearby, David Shank, APR, using well-developed street sense and innate ingenuity, slipped a magnificent and unused Essex Hotel teaspoon to President Clark.

At that moment, the Order of the Silver Spoon was born.

The honorific spoon was presented to the new president, Peg Root, as the symbol of leadership from one regime to another. (There is no truth to the rumor that the appropriation of a piece of flatware led to the ultimate bankruptcy of the hotel.)

From that day decades ago, in sparse and Spartan surroundings, the hallowed tradition of the Hoosier Chapter Order of the Silver Spoon has sparked the growth of the pleasant little Chapter to a major power in the Public Relations Society of America.

We we extend our gratitude to those who have held leadership positions with the chapter and to all of our chapter’s members, past and present, who have created a proud legacy of public relations in Indiana.

PRSA Hoosier Chapter Presidents

2016 Andrea Farmer, APR

2015 Courtney C. Kasinger, APR

2014 Vanessa S. Stiles, APR

2013 Kay Millar, APR

2012 Bobbi Simmons, APR

2011 Becky Polston, APR

2010 Jamaison Schuler, APR

2009 Jennifer Mahoney, APR

2008 Sonja Popp-Stahly, APR

2007 Myra Cocca, APR

2006 Robert Schultz, APR

2005 Deanna Lepsky, APR

2004 Jennifer Dzwonar, APR

2003 Alice McColgin, APR

2002 Fredrick Bagg, APR, ABC, Fellow PRSA

2001 Bob Birge

2000 Angeline Protogere, APR

1999 Christopher Brooks, APR

1998 Robert E. Dittmer, APR

1997 Marilyn Shank, APR

1996 Dr. Dan P. Millar, APR, Fellow PRSA

1995 Erik C.A. Johnson, APR

1994 Julie Vincent, APR

1993 Dr. Melvin Sharpe, APR, Fellow PRSA

1992 Ann Rein, APR

1990-91* Robert E. Norris, APR

1989 Deborah Evans, APR

1988 Billie Scott, APR

1987 Myra Borshoff, APR, Fellow PRSA

1986 Hugh Orr

1985 Joanne Dring, APR

1984 Alice M. Irvan, APR

1983 David L. Shank, APR, Fellow PRSA

1982 Stanley A. Huseland, APR

1981 Margaret G. Root, APR

1980 David L. Blackmer, APR

1979 James R. Hetherington, APR

1978 Polly Jontz, APR

1977 David R. Richards, APR, Fellow PRSA

1976 Rex D. Broome, APR

1975 Paul A. Bennett, APR

1974 Robert L. Gildea, APR

1973 Keith L. Martin, APR

1972 Barton G. Grabow, APR

1971 John M. Bergman, APR

1970 William A. Spencer, APR, Fellow PRSA

1969 James Lecocq

1968 John M. Bergman, APR

1967 Charlene H. Hillman, APR, Fellow PRSA

1966 Frank J. Wemhoff, APR

1965 Robert W. Bidlack Jr.

1964 Robert W. Bidlack Jr.

1963 Bruce B. Cox

1962 E. Ross Bartley

1961 Charles A. Gallup

1960 James F. Purcell, APR

1959 John D. Fitzgerald

1958 Roscoe C. Clark

*officers served 18 months as board of directors switched to calendar-year terms