On Tuesday, September 21, 2021, the Northwest Florida Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) kicked off their new chapter year with an engaging educational luncheon hosted at Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House in The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort – Navigating New Media: Changing Your Pitch with Changing Times.

Get the Coast owner, Jared Williams, presented insight into ways to navigate new media while all media platforms are changing in a matter of minutes. The event was sponsored by Cruisin’ Tikis Destin and welcomed a packed house to hear Williams present.

“It is always an honor to have respected media contacts such as Jared share new concepts and best practices with us. Luncheon’s such as this are why FPRA is so important for learning from one another and building each other up professionally in the public relations and communications fields”, said Jenni Brunson, Chapter President. “We are excited to continue this chapter year with an outstanding line-up of speakers, and we encourage everyone to attend and learn more about the Northwest Florida Coast Chapter of FPRA.”

In lieu of their postponed August meeting, Immediate Past President, Shaye Smith, provided a recap of the past chapter year and awarded two prestigious annual chapter awards: Member of the Year and the President’s Award.

Smith shared a brief history of the 16 years of the Northwest Florida Coast Chapter of FPRA, reporting the chapter is currently 61 members strong and growing. Overcoming the challenges 2020 presented to everyone, the chapter successfully earned two President’s Awards from FPRA State at their annual conference: Digital Communications and Student Involvement.

Smith presented the 2020-2021 Member of the Year award to Maggie White with Sunset Bay Café & Slick Lips Seafood & Oyster House. The Member of the Year award is nominated and voted on by the Chapter Board of Directors and exhibits all the characteristics of a professional member. “Maggie took on the challenge of her board role and gave 110% – even as a new board member,” said Smith. “Her dedication to the success of our local chapter has been paramount as she ensured meeting venues were set up as well as worked diligently to adhere to all health and safety protocols. In addition, she was willing to step in and help in other areas whenever needed and was eager to learn and serve.”

Maggie White - Member of the Year

Every year, the chapter President identifies a person who has gone above and beyond to contribute to the success of the chapter and the public relations industry. Also serving her first year on the board of directors, Cali Hlavac with To Do in Destin, was fully dedicated and committed to her role and more. “She handled a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ details and the majority of information that crossed your screens on social media the past year,” said Smith. “She’s a strong leader and has displayed exceptional professionalism throughout her service to the chapter and our members.”

Cali Hlavac - Presidents Award

Luncheon photos linked here courtesy of Zhalman Harris.