Category Archives: About YP

2014 YP PRSA-LA Board Application

Are you interested in becoming a part of the Young Professional’s of PRSA-LA Board? If so, please fill out this 2014 Board Member Application and return it to Evan Nicholson ( by November 30, 2013.

**We are no longer filling the role of Collegiate Outreach Chair.


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Meet Your 2013 PRSA-YP Los Angeles Board

Evan Nicholson, President


Evan Nicholson is an account associate, having been promoted twice in five months,  focusing on corporate, digital media and technology clients. Prior to joining MPRM in August 2011, she was an assistant account executive and personal assistant at Skai Blue Media, a boutique lifestyle firm in Philadelphia. Evan is a graduate of Temple University with a B.A. in Strategic Communications and minors in Marketing and Art History.  Evan actively volunteers her time with PRSA Los Angeles, Temple University and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.


Laura Kim, Program Co-Chair


Laura Kim works as a Social Media Community Manager at Uptown Treehouse Inc., a social media and digital marketing agency working with Fortune 500 brands. Laura began her career in marketing and public relations early on in college, during which she had the opportunity to work with top brands and media outlets such as Fusion Cosmetics, Clean Perfume and American Crew. She soon realized the transformative shift taking place towards all things new media which lead her to fine-tune her lens and learn more about the role of social media in increasing and evangelizing brand awareness.  After a few years of being immersed in the space, she is now a firm believer that all forms of media, new and old, play a vital role in the ways brands think about as well as connect with their respective audiences.  Laura graduated from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication.


Serena Whitecotton, Program Co-Chair


Serena is one of this year’s programming co-chairs and can’t wait to get started! She is a native Angelena and CSU Fullerton alumna, where she majored in journalism and Spanish. Before her current position at MPRM Communications, she worked for Warner Bros., Molina Healthcare, ABC and Telemundo – just to name a few. Outside of PR, Serena is a passionate Los Angeles Kings fan, a cheese and beer enthusiast, and a self-identified Hufflepuff.


Maritza Cabezas, Membership Chair


Maritza is currently a Global Brand Manager in the beauty industry; with an extensive background in beauty she wanted to integrate her marketing experience with her passion for public relations. She is currently a graduate student in the Strategic Public Relations program at the Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.

Kristin Soo Hoo, Treasurer


Kristin Soo Hoo joined the Los Angeles Convention Center as the public relations assistant in November 2011. She currently manages social media accounts, writes and distributes all press releases and photographs events. Some of her favorite events she assisted include the GRAMMY MusiCares gala, Los Angeles Art Show, Los Angeles Auto Show and Electronic Entertainment Expo. In addition, Kristin wrote the draft text for LACC’s annual report, created quarterly newsletters and designed sponsor ads.

Previously, she held internships at Tyler Barnett PR and Coast Concierge Service event planning and production company. In January 2013, Kristin graduated from Chapman University on the Chancellor’s List with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising, along with a minor in business administration. She was a member of Chapman PRSSA for all four years of college and served as treasurer in 2011 and 2012.


Brittany Mehciz, Communications Co-Chair


Brittany Mehciz is thrilled to a part of the Young Professionals of PRSA-LA in her role as communications co-chair!  She is a recent graduate from California State University, Long Beach, where she majored in Journalism and minored in Communication Studies. Brittany works at FOX Studios as the Social Media Associate Producer for American Idol Season 12. Prior to working at FOX, Brittany interned at Blaze Public Relations, The Walt Disney Company, Ketchum, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Special Olympics and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In her free time, Brittany enjoys spending time with family and friends, exploring new restaurants and drinking as much coffee as possible.


Liza Nedelman, Communications Co-Chair


Liza Nedelman is an Account Executive at MPRM Communications, working primarily in film and home entertainment PR. She previously worked in crisis communications, and before that graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a degree in Marketing Communications. Liza is excited to be a part of PRSA-LA as a communications co-chair, and is equally as excited to put her exquisite social media skills to use for the same.


Kaylee Weatherly, Collegiate Outreach


I’m Kaylee. I’m currently a full-time graduate student studying Strategic Public Relations at the University of Southern California. I’m also a California State University, Long Beach alumni and live in the Long Beach area. I have a great passion for sustainability and hope to work in environmental public relations in a nonprofit or government agency when I graduate. As Collegiate Outreach Chair for Young Professionals of PRSA-Los Angeles, I hope to bridge the networking gap between students of PRSSA and YP to build each organization’s public relations backgrounds with the guidance of PRSA’s experienced professionals. In my free time, I like to work on habitat restoration projects with the local community.


Lauren Lewow, Trevett Chair

LAURENAs an account coordinator, Lauren Lewow delivers a variety of support to Cerrell Associates, Campaign & Issues Management practice area. Lauren’s areas of expertise include grassroots advocacy, media outreach, coalition building and policy research. She has a breadth of experience including developing targeted messages, advocacy efforts and a background in legislative affairs.

Prior to joining CAI, Lauren worked with the California State Assemblymember Don Wagner. While in Sacramento, she served as his staff contact for the educational policy committee, collaborating with consultants, constituents and advocates. Additionally, she helped coordinate press and social media efforts to highlight Assemblymember Wagner’s legislative priorities.

Lauren is a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley with a BA in English. As a student, she served as a course facilitator the Campus Organizing Director of the Associated Students of University of California, and a board member of the system wide University of California Students Association.

Tiffany Sarpy, Professional Outreach Chair

tiffanyTiffany Sarpy currently serves as the Marketing Manager for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS’s) Greater Los Angeles Chapter. In this role, she manages local implementation of National marketing and public relations initiatives. In her two years as the head of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter marketing department, she has launched a Marketing Committee comprised of professional volunteers who donate their time and expertise to lead and assist with local initiatives and frequently collaborates with other chapters and the National office to improve marketing and public relations for the organization and the Greater Los Angeles region including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties.

Tiffany graduated from California Baptist University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and received her Master’s Degree in Strategic Public Relations in 2011 from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. In addition to her role as Professional Outreach Chair on the PRSA-LA’s Young Professionals Board, she is an active member of PIRATES-LA and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).


Dillon Bianchi, PRSA-YP Liason

DILLONDillon has always been a trailblazer in the communications space. He is the Liaison of PRSA-LA’s Young Professional group, where he is leading the next generation of communication professionals in the Los Angeles area through a major paradigm shift as the industry warms to new media. Dillon plays a pivotal role in uniting traditional marketing veterans with the brightest growing talent in the community. Dillon spent the early days of his professional career working for various agencies including Hill & Knowlton, where he recognized that social networks were driving a revolutionary change in the way that communication practitioners must engage with audiences. From this, he has helped brands such as adidas, Yahoo! Sports, Microsoft and Dos Equis understand the value in executing social media campaigns to meet their business goals.

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Apply for the 2012 Trevett Award Now!

Each year, PRSA-LA recognizes one outstanding young professional in the chapter with the award named after Tom Trevett, APR, co-founder of the chapter’s Young Professionals Section–the first in the nation. The Trevett award recognizes outstanding young PR pros who have demonstrated excellence in their work, advocacy for the profession and a commitment toward community service.

In addition to coveted recognition of colleagues, the winner receives a trophy and monetary prize ($1,000) awarded at the PRSA-LA PRism awards banquet. Second place receives $500. Each recipient is strongly encouraged to use at least some of the winnings for professional development.

All young professionals in the greater Los Angeles area, who are employed full-time in public relations, have five years or less of professional experience and are members in good standing with PRSA-LA are eligible. If you are overqualified for the award, we ask that you encourage your eligible colleagues and associates to apply. Please note that the application does not require a nomination.

The deadline for all entries is Wednesday, October 19, 2012. We strongly encourage you to apply for this honor. Click here to download your application. Further details can be found online at .

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The 2012-2013 Board Welcomes You to PRSA-LA YP

As young professionals in a down economy, we know how tough it is to get your foot in that door, your resume on that desk or that phone call that will determine your future. Especially in Los Angeles – the epicenter of public relations and young, bright-eyed hopefuls. This is why we’re here: to help you get to where you want to be.

The 2012-2013 Young Professionals Board is here to provide with you with opportunities to learn about the public relations profession, to network with other new professionals and to meet the seasoned industry pros. We were also once recent grads knocking on doors and making calls for that one shot, and like you, we still have a lot to learn about the PR field.

To get the year started off right, our Programs Co-Chairs, Carlos Gaona and Allie Marsh, have been working hard to plan the perfect mixer for new professionals and recent graduates. Carlos, a publicity coordinator at Warner Bros. Pictures, and Allie, a client-staff assistant at Burson-Marsteller, have been putting together an exciting schedule for this year, with events such as entertainment panels, sports “field trips” and digital media learning. Carlos and Allie both have a range of PR experiences to share with members. Prior to his current position, Carlos worked with Murray Weissman & Associates on the Paramount Pictures, AMC Networks and FX accounts. He has also worked on the 83rd and 84th Academy Awards, and has held internships at Universal Pictures International and DreamWorks Animation. In Burson-Marteller’s Consumer & Brand Marketing practice, Allie supports a variety of accounts including San Francisco International Airport, Saban Brands, KONAMI and Oakley. Allie has conducted media outreach with national and regional travel and tourism media and has also assisted with communications planning and strategies development for SFO. Allie is also a member of the Burson-Marsteller Sports Marketing sub-practice group and previously worked as a public relations coordinator for Disney Consumer Products, where she assisted in daily media relations, as well coordinated and executed special events and trade shows.





Getting the word about the events and mixers are the Board’s Communication Co-chairs, Kristin Loe and Shannah Katz. Both will be the primary correspondents on our social media accounts and are dedicated to bringing you the chapter’s news, career advice and public relations trends happening in Los Angeles and around the country. Kristin and Shannah bring unique perspectives to the board. As a public relations coordinator at a law firm, Kristin supports the firm’s media and communications efforts for more than 400 attorneys and professionals, as well as operates the firm’s social media accounts. Prior to her legal PR position, Kristin has worked with fashion, consumer and lifestyle brands, both in-house and at an agency. As an intern for a creative agency in San Diego, she supported the PR and social media teams on major client accounts, including Se San Diego Hotel, Electra beach cruisers and the San Diego Museum of Art. She has also been on the other side, doing freelance work for publications such as 944 Magazine.  With a passion for social media, Shannah Katz brings her digital marketing and PR expertise to the new board.  Recently joining the Social Media team at Disney Interactive Media Group, Shannah focuses on social media strategy for the Disney Family Portfolio. Prior to joining Disney’s team, she managed a variety of social media campaigns and blogger partnerships in the toy industry, fashion, and beauty industries while at Dynamic Designworks, Inc. Before she received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Fashion Merchandising at California State University, Long Beach, Shannah interned at Sanrio Global Consumer Products, where she supported the Hello Kitty Brand Marketing team on planning and executing Sanrio’s 50th Anniversary event.





If you’re not a big tweeter, always feel free to reach out to us via email: The Board’s Membership Chair, Hannah Klodt, can help answer any questions you may have about being a YP member, or just a young pro in general. She has more than four years of experience in public relations and marketing, having worked with clients ranging from healthcare and pharmaceuticals to consumer goods and travel/hospitality. Recently, Hannah’s work with Philips Oral Healthcare’s Zoom! Whitening was awarded with a Silver SABRE Award. Additionally, her work with the launch of The Living Christmas Company was honored with a 2010 Silver Quill Award, the 2010 Gold Communicator Award, a 2010 PRSA PRism Award and an Hermes Award honorable mention.



As treasurer, Diana Rhee can answer any of your questions regarding cost of PRSA and YP memberships. If you’re already a member, be sure to take advantage of our special promotions this year! Bring 3 nonmembers to our mixers and events, and receive the next on free yourself! Diana is an Account Coordinator with Nakatomi & Associates where she helps manage and support public relations campaigns for a wide variety of clients including public education, philanthropy, community outreach programs. She is a graduate of The University of Southern California with a degree in Communications. In her spare time, she loves to try new restaurants, travel, and cook.



This year, Samantha Lin will be coordinating all aspects of the Trevett Award, which is given out by YP each November to two outstanding members. Samantha is a graduate of SDSU with a BA in International Relations. She currently works as an office coordinator at a Law firm in downtown Los Angeles while pursuing a Public Relations Certificate at UCLA. She is fluent in English, Taiwanese and Mandarin, and has professional experiences in automotive, hospitality and non-profit organizations.



For any college students looking to learn more about the opportunities PRSA and YP have to offer, Sheila Rodriquez will be the go-to source for students and PRSSA members. Sheila will act as a liaison between PRSSA chapters at local universities through coordination of the mentorship program, which pairs two levels of PR pros: students with YP members, and YP members with more experienced professionals. Sheila is a California State University, Northridge (CSUN) alumna with a degree in Journalism. She formerly served as the Public Relations Student Society of America President for the CSUN Chapter in Fall 2011. She is the Communications Specialist for Building Connections for Success, a Hispanic Serving Institution Title V Grant Project that aims to expand educational opportunities for low-income students through academic programs and services at CSUN.



Managing our organization’s professional development and outreach this year is Marlee Dippolito. You can reach out to Marlee to help increase awareness about any new career opportunities at your PR firms, or even if you have a speaking engagement proposal you’d like to pitch to us. Marlee works as an assistant account executive for Edelman Los Angeles. Since joining Edelman’s Consumer Marketing practice in June 2011, Marlee has helped drive national campaigns for major U.S. brands including Nestlé USA, The Dannon Company, Evolution Robotics and others. Marlee graduated Magna Cum Laude from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and a minor in French language.



Overseeing the Board this year are your President Robert Tate and Vice President Evan Nicholson. As President, Robert will organize and coordinate all of the Board meetings and will fill in as needed. Robert holds almost five years of account support experience in the consumer, media relations, social marketing and public education arenas.  Currently, Robert serves as a Client Service Coordinator at Citizen Paine’s Los Angeles location. He serves as the project support roll on Kraft, and is also a member of the Diversity practice at Citizen while also assisting with work on General Motors and various Proctor & Gamble brands. Robert currently resides in Tarzana, CA and holds his Bachelor’s degree from California State University, Northridge in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations.



As Vice President, Evan will assist Robert in his role as president. Evan is currently an account assistant at MPRM Communications, specializing in television and digital media and technology. Prior to joining MPRM in August 2011, Evan was an assistant account executive and personal assistant at Skai Blue Media, a boutique lifestyle agency in Philadelphia, until May 2011. She graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia in May 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications, as well as minors in Marketing and Art History.



As the 2012-2013 YP Board, we hope that you take advantage of the amazing opportunities we will be presenting to you this year. Please feel free to reach out to any of the Board members with any questions, suggestions or feedback. We hope to see you soon!

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Tonight! December 14th, don’t miss the last mixer of the year!! Also new board positions are open!

Hello Everybody!

This has been a great year, tonight come join us as we are holding our final mixer of 2011. Come mingle, network, meet those in the PR, marketing and communications fields and enjoy some free appetizers with  the young professionals of PRSA-LA.

The cost to attend the mixer tonight is FREE for everyone!

As the 2011 year is coming to an end we will be having board positions for the 2012 LA Young Professionals Board opening up and would love to see anyone who is interested in joining and holding a position come and apply or learn more about it!

Where: Barney’s Beanery in Santa Monica (upstairs)

1351 3rd St. Promenade
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Time: 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM, Wednesday, December 14th 2011

Cost: FREE!


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Don’t Miss the Entertainment and Sports Panel at Dodger Stadium Wednesday the 14th!

This will be a fantastic event not to be missed!

Come out this coming Wednesday to the great Dodger Stadium and join us at our Entertainment and Sports panel where you will gain valuable insight into the world of sports and entertainment public relations by our esteemed panel of speakers as well as network with Public Relations professionals and peers in the industry!

We have an amazing panel of speakers who will share their invaluable experiences and advice they’ve learned in their many years of professional entertainment and sports public relations and communications practices. Among the speakers there will be Josh Rawitch, Vice President of Communications at the Los Angeles Dodgers, Rita Tateel, President at the Celebrity Source, and Ana Martinez, Vice President of Media Relations at the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

This is an educational event that is relevant to both entry and mid-level PR and communication practitioners, anybody interested in the entertainment or sports industry and those seeking to further their knowledge in PR, communications, sports or entertainment. We want to help you further your career and knowledge! Hope to see you there!


September 14th, 2011


7:00 – 9:00 pm


Dodger Stadium,

1000 Elysian Park Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012


Cost: $10 for PRSA/PRSSA members and $20 for non-members/guests. (Please note new cost for non-members.)

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Are you interested in a variety of public relations sectors but aren’t sure which one is right for you? Join us at the first event mixer of the year for a chance to network with multiple public relations professionals representing a wide range of areas!

PR fields represented include:

  • Healthcare
  • Entertainment
  • Sports
  • Corporate
  • Multicultural
  • Nonprofit
  • Environmental
  • Technology

Parking: There is valet directly in front of the restaurant on the right hand side of Culver (just past Irving Place). Or there are two parking garages on the left hand side of Culver. One of them is located on Cardiff Ave (stay in your left hand lane and turn left onto Cardiff and parking garage will be on the right hand side).

Cost: $10 for PRSA/PRSSA members and $20 for non-members/guests (cash or check will be taken at the door) 

To RSVP contact Katrina Keilman, PRSA LA YP Programming Co-Chair at



Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Networking begins at 7:00 p.m.



 Rush Street – 9546 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232
*Food will be provided

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Times are changing…

With the ubiquity of terms like “emerging” and “improved” in our day-to-day jobs, it’s not hard to remember that everything is changing lightning fast in our field.  Especially true with young professionals, part of the change is job turnover.

A lot has been written about the difference in turnover rates between agency and in-house PR jobs.  Hit the PR pubs (PR Week, Strategist, etc.) for info on that, and we’ll cover it in another post.  This one’s about us.  (Forgive the twinge of narcissism.)

From the beginning of the year, we’ve tried to give a face to the PRSA YP group, taking time to ID board members, post bios and encourage you guys to come introduce yourselves at events.  Just like the environment in the rest of the profession, we’ve undergone a number of changes just in the last few months.  Here’s a snapshot.

Right from the top, our president is no longer Kerry Slaughter.  No, we didn’t hold a coup and overthrow her.  She is now Kerry Sinclair, as she was married last month.  When you see her at an upcoming event, be sure to congratulate her!

Our membership chair, Caitlin Mattias, has accepted an account executive position at industry giant Hill & Knowlton, where she is working with (among others) mobile industry giant Qualcomm.

Right before Caitlin went to H&K, one of the co-chairs responsible for putting on our great events, Eva Groves, left its health care practice to become an associate at health care-focused agency Chandler Chicco.

Finally, I’m on the move too.  After four years at the David James Agency (and a lifetime in southern California), I’ve taken a Sr. AE position at Engage PR and relocated to the Bay Area.  I’ll continue to blog and Tweet from afar.

Through it all, the Young Professionals affinity group for the LA chapter of PRSA continues to grow and remain among the most active.  That’s a testament to all you guys.  Please keep up the enthusiasm, and continue to spread the word about our group!  Also, if there is anything we can do or any suggestions that you have, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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Who are we? Why should you care?

Hello to all the young PR professionals out there! I am Jessica Barraco, one of the bloggers that will be firing out information regarding PRSA-YP events and meetings for 2010. My co-chair, Dale Legaspi, and I are very excited to be the bearers of PR news. Be sure to check out our bios the next couple days to learn more about what we do both professionally and personally!

What does the YP Board do, you might ask? For starters, we are a young, networking organization that is a direct extension of PRSA. We try to get young people involved who are either working in PR, or are interested in becoming a part of the industry.  Our events often take the form of panel discussions with professionals in the industry who have taken the time to speak with us, the next generation, of PR professionals. Being a 20-something young professional can be difficult, as we are trying to build a social foundation for our lives that complements our career path, which can be challenging.

The YP Board is responsible for being the conduit between you, the young professional, and the personal and professional resources that can make this process easier. Every board member is in your age-range has a great PR position in a successful agency or corporation.  The young professionals group is an informal platform for networking, exchanging ideas and building the relationships that lay the foundation for a successful career in this ever-changing industry of PR.  We would love to get to know you, and see you at our events! On behalf of the YP Board, it is our goal to make YP a more social and exciting organization, adding more mixers and get-togethers, as well as networking events. A major tenet of the YP group is the belief that some of the best networking starts with friendships.

Our upcoming event on Wednesday, February 17th, held at the offices of Hill & Knowlton in Santa Monica, will feature PR professionals who will speak about what they want and expect out of their junior associates. Stay tuned for our list of panelists, and their PR niches! Also, be sure to friend us on Facebook and Twitter, to receive direct invites and updates from our blog! Catch you soon, fellow PR people! Thanks for checking in!

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2010 Young Professionals Board

As promised, here is a listing of your 2010 PRSA-LA YP Board.

President and PRSA-LA Liaison
Kerry Slaughter
Chandler Chicco Agency

Vice President
Kristin Wood
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts

Program Co-Chairs
Eva Groves
Hill & Knowlton

Amy Pandya

Communications Co-Chairs
Dale Legaspi
The David James Agency

Jessica Barraco
Excel Public Relations Group

Membership Chair
Caitlin Mattias
Consensus Planning Group

Ashley Montopoli
Chandler Chicco Agency

Collegiate Outreach Chair
Dillon Bianchi

Professional Outreach
Medhanie Habte

Trevett Chair
Jessica Peres
State Farm Insurance

The folks listed above will meet with the 2009 board in the coming weeks  to transition into their positions and plan the upcoming year’s activities.  Check back here for updates, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and the PRSA-LA Website.

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