The Northwest Florida Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) celebrated another year of success as they inducted the 2021-2022 Board of Directors during an installation ceremony led by Gordon Paulus, APR, CPRC, FPRA State Past President and Board Member on Friday, August 20th.

“Our annual installation ceremony is a special time for our chapter to celebrate our success over the past year and begin planning professional development and community outreach opportunities for our dedicated members in the coming year,” said Jenni Brunson, President for the local chapter. “It’s an exciting time of the year as we install a new board of directors and recognize the outgoing board for the investment they’ve made in our chapter this past year – especially a year that’s been one for the books. As we step into a new year, it’s encouraging to reflect and look at all we’ve done as a chapter despite the many roadblocks that have arisen, and we were honored to be recognized at the Annual State Conference with two President’s Awards for Digital Communications and Student Involvement amongst the rest of the state chapters,” said Shaye Smith, Immediate Past President.

FPRA is the oldest public relations association in the United States and entrusts each chapter to select a slate of board members who remain responsible for establishing policies, maintaining best practices, and providing opportunities for its members to develop professionally while making a positive impact on their local community.

Members of the Northwest Florida Coast Chapter who were sworn in as officers of the chapter’s 2021 – 2022 Board of Directors are:

Jenni Brunson, Okaloosa Gas District
Immediate Past President 

Shaye Smith, The Center for Sales Strategy

President-Elect, VP of Membership, &

NWFL Communications Summit Chair

Bobby Parker, Corcoran Reverie

VP of Finance

Lori Leath Smith, Destin Life / Bay Life


Kelly Curry, The Idea Boutique

Partnerships Chair

Denise Song, Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge

VP of Communications

Corey Dobridnia, Walton County Sheriff’s Office

VP of Image Awards

Hillaree Durso, Frances Roy Agency

Design Chair

Frank Berte, Destin Interactive

VP of Professional Development

Maggie Weaver, Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa

Digital Media Chair

Cali Hlavac, To Do in Destin / Sassy Tangerine Creative

Professional Development Chair

Emily Friedlander, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center

VP of Events

Mary Aho, Scarlett Magazine

VP of Student Services

Whitney Lee, APR, CPRC, Sociallee PR & Digital Media

Local professionals and students are encouraged to attend the Tuesday, Sept. 21st professional development luncheon at Slick Lips Seafood from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. with featured speaker Jared Williams, Owner of Get The Coast. His presentation will provide insight into the future of media and how he built a new form of media in Northwest Florida. Additionally, Immediate Past President, Shaye Smith, will recognize annual recipients for both Member of the Year and President’s Awards. “I look forward to recognizing the contributions of the ’20-’21 board as well as honoring the 2021 Member of the Year and President’s Award recipient at the September luncheon. Congratulations to all who were involved in making this year a success and I look forward to what’s to come for the ‘Champagne Chapter’ in the future,” continued Smith.

The cost to attend is $15 for students and members and $25 for non-members. A virtual option will be available for $10. For more information on September’s luncheon or to register, visit FPRA Northwest Florida Coast Chapter on Facebook. Pre-registration is encouraged. Prices will increase $5 on the day of the event. Seating will be limited.