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    Six PRSA Nebraska Members Join 2020 Board of Directors

    Volunteering for a PRSA committee is a great way for professionals and students to serve the Chapter, network with fellow professionals and gain valuable experience. It also is a pipeline to join our Board of Directors. We are excited to share that six PRSA Nebraska members have joined our Board of Directors in 2020, “The Year of Membership,” under the direction of the Executive Team with Amanda Lustgraaf as President.

    Bev Carlson, APR, Membership Chair

    Bev is the 2012 Past President of PRSA Nebraska. She considers public relations her “second” career as she first spent many years in television news. Over the time she has worked as a PR professional, Bev has provided leadership on media and public relations in both corporate and non-profit environments. She currently serves clients through her business, Carlson Ruby Solutions, which specializes in strategic communication planning, media relations and content development.

    “As this year’s Membership Chair, I’ll be tracking people down to bring them ‘into the fold,’” Bev said. “Personally, it adds an important layer of professional credibility which will help me in the next steps of my career.”

    Elly Heckel, Community Service Chair

    As the Communications Coordinator for RDG Planning & Design, she provides over 15 years of experience in public relations, including work with several nonprofits.

    Elly joined PRSA in 2018 to strengthen her career path, and after attending PRSA Nebraska’s monthly luncheons, she realized she wanted to take on a board position to serve the PR community.

    “Being a member of the PRSA Nebraska Board is an investment not only in an organization that you care about, but it’s also an investment in yourself,” Elly said. She encourages her peers to build their resumes, make friends, and take a seat at the table among the nation’s largest group of fun and motivating PR pros.

    Elly said, “Whether you’re looking to develop new skills like strategic planning, graphic design, or even financial management, the chapter has endless opportunities.”

    As Community Service Chair, Elly looks forward to advancing her experience and knowledge through working with nonprofits, in addition to impacting the PR community.

    Angela Roeber, Website/Jobs Board Chair

    As the Director of Communications for Project Harmony Child Advocacy Center, Angela plays an integral role in planning, directing and coordinating the marketing and public relations efforts for Project Harmony’s programs, services, events and campaigns.

    She has been a PRSA member for a little over a year and is currently working on her APR accreditation. Angela was inspired to get more involved with PRSA Nebraska and become a member after attending the 2018 Paper Anvil Awards Gala as a guest.

    “I immediately realized I was surrounded by friends and colleagues who I have been working alongside for years in different capacities and it became quite apparent that I needed to become a member – this is where I belonged as a PR professional,” Angela said.

    Shannon Smith, Paper Anvil Awards Gala Awards Chair

    Shannon has been in corporate communications at TD Ameritrade for three years and a member of PRSA for two years. She was involved in the PRSSA Chapter at the University of Nebraska Omaha while in college which sparked her initial interest in PRSA.

    “I'm looking forward to continuing my focus on professional development. I plan to attend as many local PRSA Nebraska events as I can,” Shannon said. “I'm also excited to represent internal communications on the board and throughout the chapter! Finally, I'm looking forward to partnering with our Gala Chair, Kara Kostal, to carry on the legacy of our Paper Anvil Awards and help refine our processes and programming to make the 2021 Gala the best one yet.” 

    Liz Stratman, Social Media Chair

    Liz is the Director of Communications at Hillcrest Health Services, where she has worked for three years. She coordinates internal and external communication and marketing efforts for all Hillcrest business lines and is responsible for public relations, social media and more. A PRSA member for three years, Liz decided to get more involved on the board after attending PRSA Nebraska’s events and getting to know other members.

    “As a journalist-turned-PR professional, I’ve found the network of people in PRSA Nebraska to be incredible,” Liz said. “It really is a welcoming community of individuals who want to help others succeed in PR. We can’t be experts in everything, and that’s the great thing about this group – we have access to individuals who excel in every area of the profession.”

    Liz also finds the education opportunities, including monthly programs, webinars and other resources, to be valuable in keeping up with an ever-changing industry.

    Erin Van Zee, Monthly Programs Co-Chair

    As the Monthly Programs Co-Chair, Erin will be working alongside Board Member Angie Hempel. Erin is Communications Director at RDG Planning and Design. She has been a member of PRSA Nebraska for three years and has over eight years of experience in brand management, communications, marketing and public relations.

    “The programming slated for this year will be incredibly informative and inspiring, so I would encourage everyone to attend as many events as possible,” Erin said.

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