PRSA Silicon Valley Celebrates Membership Growth, Media Predicts Returns Dec. 1, 2021

October 5, 2021
By PRSA-SV Board Member Laura Desmarais
PRSA Silicon Valley Celebrates Membership Growth, Media Predicts Returns Dec. 1, 2021

PRSA Silicon Valley (SV), part of the nation’s largest professional organization serving the communications community, has announced a new board member, Judy Cushman, a new agency advisory committee member, Manhattan Strategies, several signature events and more.

As part of a national network of more than 30,000 communications professionals and through its student organization, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), the Silicon Valley Chapter continues to bring new strategies in connecting and supporting individuals at all stages of their careers.

“The PRSA Silicon Valley family is stronger than ever with new industry relationships across the community, increasing value for professionals at all career stages and building the most diverse PR community in the chapter’s history,” said Vanessa Yanez, PRSA Silicon Valley President. “We are inspired that our Board members, agencies and partners are unifying as we address the most pressing issues to benefit the future of communications.”

Fall 2021 Chapter Updates:

Scholarship News and Student Winners

In April, PRSA-SV raised nearly $70,000 for a new diversity and multicultural scholarship endowment, more than tripling its original $20,000 fundraising goal in less than 48 hours. Established in 2020, the scholarship annually assists and recognizes Bay Area students for outstanding academic achievement and commitment to the practice of public relations and this year aims to award 10 students $1,000 each.

Board Growth and Leadership

The PRSA Silicon Valley board provides a network designed to build deep professional connections within a diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) framework.

  1. Our annual Media Predicts is returns Wednesday, Dec. 1. The online event is led by co-chairs Caroline James, and Curtis Sparrer.
  2. Judy Cushman joins as a Strategic Advisor from Bellevue, Washington. She’s a member of the DE&I Committee as well as contributing to chapter initiatives and will be co-leading our sponsorship effort along with Board Member and RedPhlag CEO Gerard Corbett. Judith is also an active member of PRSA’s Puget Sound Chapter.
  3. Board member Jeannie Entin is leading Membership and will focus on providing our community with the full value and benefits of PRSA Silicon Valley and PRSA National.
  4. Welcome to our newest Agency Advisory Board member, Maxwell Morgan, principal at Manhattan Strategies.  
  5. Bospar announced their Texas Relocation Plan news and the media is tracking.

Mentorship News

This year, 40 mentors and mentees were matched and invited to a virtual networking social. Companies represented include Aclima, Blue Shield of California, Electronic Arts, Facebook and more.

Event News

Upcoming #FridayForum Events Focus on DE&I

10/8 – Diversity Spotlight, Corporations: Fostering Diverse Talent: Let’s Talk about Race, Gender and Identity to Create a More Equitable and Inclusive Workplace with Kelly Xie, HP moderated by Highwire Agency and DEI Jazmin Eusebio

10/15 – DEI Spotlight, Agencies: Best Practices with Edelman’s Gerry Rodriguez, Highwire and Praytell, moderated by Jocelyn Breeland, Stanford  

PRSA-SV’s End-of-Year Gala, Media Predicts returns on December 1, 2021. Panelists for this virtual event will be announced soon by event co-chairs Curtis Sparrer, Bospar and Caroline James, Aircover PR

Sponsorship News

Edelman is our inaugural premier partner of PRSA Silicon Valley. Chapter sponsors receive a custom, co-branded thought leadership event, speaker opportunities, promotional event assets, brand recognition in our newsletter and on our website, job promotions in our dedicated channels, and more. To learn more about the benefits of sponsoring PRSA-SV, contact Sponsorship Committee Chair Judith Cushman.

Join us and Partner

Join PRSA Silicon Valley and/or volunteer and/or become a PRSA Silicon Valley member. Our newsletters and #FridayForum programs reach thousands of industry leaders across the country. If you’re looking for a way to reach cutting-edge communicators, we have the tools to help. Contact Editor Mar Junge for details.

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2021 PRSA Silicon Valley Board Members


Vanessa Yanez President; Head of Brand Advocacy, HP Inc.

Ellie Javadi, APR Immediate Past President; Marketing, Brand & Digital VP, Norwest Venture Partners

Shaun Saunders Secretary; Founder, Graffiti Creative Group

Meghan Fintland Treasurer; Director, Influencer Relations, Corp Comms, Early Warning, LLC


Laura T. Desmarais Marketing Lead; Senior Vice President, Brodeur Partners

Jeannie Entin Membership and Mentorship Lead; Vice President, Communications, Aclima

Jazmin Eusebio Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Scholarship Lead; Account Executive, Highwire PR

Camelia Gendreau Partnership Lead; Worldwide Print Communications, HP Inc.

Mega Jewell, Head of Multimedia Content; Founder MEGA

Mar Junge Newsletter Lead; Founder and Principal, C3PR

Karen Noelle Smyth FridayForum Lead / Signature Events; Head of Content, Norwest Venture Partners

Judith Cushman Sponsorship Co-Lead; Judith Cushman and Associates

Gerard Corbett, Sponsorship Co-Lead; CEO, RedPhlag

Jilian Fisher, Media Lead, Media Predicts, Founder Wildflowers PR


Jocelyn Breeland APR Exec Director for Strategic Comms, RD&E, Stanford University

Gerard F. Corbett APR PRSA Fellow and Past National Chair & CEO; Chair and CEO Redphlag

Michelle Doss Director, Corporate Communications, Rackspace Technology

Kristin Harlan Partner PR Lead, AWS

Caroline James Principal, Aircover Communications

Priya Ramesh VP, Global Corporate Communications, Informatica

David Vossbrink APR Communications Counsel

Alicia Nieva-Woodgate Alicia V. Nieva-Woodgate VP of Corp Communications and IR, Cantaloupe, Inc.


Michael Young Founder & CEO, Actual Agency

Katie Huang Shin President, Axicom

Fred Bateman CEO & Founder, Bateman Agency

Kathleen Shanahan Founder, BOCA Communications

Curtis Sparrer Co-Founder and Principal, Bospar

Alex Hunter Managing Director, Co-Founder, Bulleit Group

Margot Edelman General Manager, Edelman Bay Area

Lisette Paras President & Founder, Gravitate PR

Megan Grasty Phelan Vice President, Highwire PR

John Derryberry Executive Vice President, U.S. Technology Practice, Hill & Knowlton Strategies

Kelly Stone VP, Hoffman Agency

Erin McCabe Senior Vice President, Client Services, Hotwire

Maxwell Morgan Principal, Manhattan Strategies

Julie Karbo Founder & CEO, Karbo Communications

Julie Tangen Partner, Offleash

Robin Bulanti Partner, Offleash

Syreeta Mussante Executive Vice President, Technology, Praytell Agency

Joshua Reynolds CEO & Founder, Rob Roy Consulting

Robin Kim Practice Head, Global Technology and Innovation, Ruder Finn

Scott Samson Founder & CEO, Samson PR

Dave Donohue Co-Founder & Partner, StrangeBrew Strategies

Beth Trier CEO & Founder, Trier & Company

Anne Sophie Hurst COO & Partner, VSC


Netta Conyers-Haynes VP Comms, Sequoia Consulting Group

Judy Cushman Founder and President of Judith Cushman & Associates

Lauren Kwan VP Marketing, PlusAI, Inc.

Aarti Shah Chief Product Officer, Executive Editor PRovoke

Krista Todd VP Marketing and Comms, NortonLifeLock

Brooke Kruger Communications Recruiter and Founder, KC Partners

Media Contact:

Laura Desmarais


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