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.
Public Relations Society of America Bylaws – revised November 2018
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