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.