Stevens named PRSA chair-elect amid calls for an open nomination

NEW YORK: Art Stevens has won the three-way battle for the PRSA chair-elect post, securing the nomination over PRSA secretary Deanna Pelfrey and treasurer Joann Killeen.

NEW YORK: Art Stevens has won the three-way battle for the PRSA chair-elect post, securing the nomination over PRSA secretary Deanna Pelfrey and treasurer Joann Killeen.

NEW YORK: Art Stevens has won the three-way battle for the PRSA

chair-elect post, securing the nomination over PRSA secretary Deanna

Pelfrey and treasurer Joann Killeen.



Stevens, president and CEO of Publicis Dialog/New York, is hoping to

improve intra-PRSA communication. ’A lot of chapters have been feeling a

big disconnect with PRSA’s national operation,’ he explained.



’One of my primary goals is to focus on members, creating a dialogue for

participation at the national level.’



Although members can challenge the nominated candidates by petitioning

the PRSA assembly, few such attempts have proved successful. Last year,

however, Killeen won the post of treasurer when she petitioned against

nominated candidate Michael McDermott, prompting some to speculate she

could rally again for the chair-elect post.



Despite the relative absence of rancor in the selection of Stevens, the

PRSA’s nomination process - which occurs behind closed doors with only

committee members privy to the names and credentials of candidates -

once again came under fire. Critics inside and outside the organization

again called for an open process, charging that the closed-door policy

allows for favoritism.



’Often candidates for the top positions come from the existing board

because they have a sense of the time involved and what is expected,’

said Mary Lynn Cusick, chair of this year’s nominating committee.



Although Cusick said she was pleased with the proceedings this year, she

is in favor of opening the nominating process. A task force led by John

Felton presented recommendations on opening the process to the PRSA

board earlier this month.



Reed Byrum, director of corporate PR at EDS Communications, won the

treasurer nomination, while Maria Russell, chair of the PR department at

Syracuse University, secured the secretary post.



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