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Annual Meeting & Board Elections


Annual Business Meeting

All chapter members in good standing as of September 30th, 2017, are invited to the chapter’s
Annual Business Meeting. This is the official annual meeting whereby members vote on officers and directors-at-large for the coming year, approve any proposed Bylaws changes and/or approve any other important business items requiring approval by the chapter members.

Members, in order to ensure your voice is heard, it is important to attend in person or to complete your proxy ballot online so that each vote can be transferred to an eligible voting member in your absence.

2017 Annual Business Meeting Details & RSVP/Proxy Ballot Instructions
Nominations by Petition
Slate of Proposed Officers & Directors

Please contact the Chapter Office at 212.228.7228 or  Read more about the call for nominations


Thursday, October 12, 2017
Starting promptly at 8:00AM, at

Anchin, Block & Anchin
1375 Broadway (Btw 37th & 38th Streets), 23rd Floor
New York, NY

All members are encouraged to attend this meeting. However, if you are unable to attend in person, you must complete your proxy ballot no later than Thursday, October 5th, so that your vote may be transferred to the Executive Committee or to another PRSA-NY member in good standing.



Additional nominations may be made by written petition signed by at least ten (10%) percent of the members of the Chapter and filed with the Secretary at least ten days prior to the annual meeting. Completed petitions must be submitted in writing to no later than Sunday, October, 1st.


In accordance with Article IX, Section 1 of the Chapter Bylaws, the following Nominating Committee was appointed by the President with the approval of the Board of Directors: Bill Doescher (Chair); Joan Cear; Natan Edelsburg; Sharon Fenster; Kellie Jelencovich; Michael Rinaldo; and Art Stevens, APR, Fellow PRSA.

In accordance with Article IX, Section 2 of the Bylaws, the Chapter membership is hereby notified that the Nominating committee has nominated a slate of officers for the open positions for the Chapter year beginning January 1, 2018 and approved by the Board. Click here to review the biographies for the 2017 Slate of Officers and Directors.


One-Year Term expiring December 31, 2018

Sharon Fenster
President, Fenster Communications

Doug Simon
President & CEO, D S Simon

Vice President (Marketing)
Helen Shelton, M.S.
Senior Partner, Finn Partners

Vice President (Membership)
Joan Cear
Senior Vice President, Kellen Communications

Vice President (Programs)
David Rosen
Citadel, Managing Director, Brand Innovation & Analytics

Jacquie McMahon
Account Executive, Ketchum

 Immediate Past President
Olga González
CEO & Founder, Pietra PR

Two-Year Term expiring December 31, 2019

Alan Marcus
SVP, NYC Office Lead, SHIFT Communications


Two-Year Term expiring December 31, 2019

Director (Senior) – Marketing
David Graubard
Manager/Senior Reporter, Informa

Director (Senior) – Membership
Lynne Scott Jackson
President & CEO, Millynneum Inc. 

Director (Senior) – Programming
Tori Fernandes
Head of AdSales Communications, Disney/ABC Television Group

Director (Senior) – Big Apple
Sarah Katz
VP, Business Development, D S Simon

Director (Senior) – 15 Under 35
Kellie Jelencovich
Senior Account Executive, MSLGROUP


Completing Second Year of 2017 Two-Year Term expiring December 31, 2018 

Director (Associate) – Marketing
Lauren Miller
Senior Account Executive, Bread & Butter PR

Director (Associate) – Programming
Traci Brodnax
Communications Manager, Nielsen

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Biographies of Nominees for 2018 PRSA-NY Board of Directors

Traci Brodnax is a public relations professional who began her career at the start of the decade. She is currently a communications and media relations manager at Nielsen, where she develops and executes strategic media relations campaigns that support the company’s U.S. consumer packaged goods and retail business. Prior to Nielsen, Traci worked on the corporate and public affairs team at Edelman, where she led successful campaigns grounded in corporate and brand reputation, media relations, executive visibility, event planning and execution, new business research and crisis/issues management. She’s supported clients across a variety of sectors, including aerospace & defense, apparel, education, food/beverage & restaurants, the arts, music and non-profit community organizations. An Atlanta native, Traci moved to New York City in 2015 to grow her career and networking opportunities and enjoy the fast-paced city life. Outside of work, Traci spends her time volunteering with New York Cares on projects that support food education and access for low-income communities, pretending she is a private chef and practicing yoga to stay balanced in the fast-paced industry that is communications. Traci graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a minor in sociology.

Joan Cear is Senior Vice President, Kellen, where she manages communications teams and client programs in the company’s New York and Washington, DC offices.  She draws upon 25 years of PR experience and a journalism background to develop and implement integrated media programs that promote, protect or defend the agency’s clients, including many trade associations representing entire industries.  Joan joined Kellen in 2011 from G.S. Schwartz & Co., where she was a managing director. She is the former owner of The Wachsman Cear Group, a PR agency that merged with G.S. Schwartz & Co. in 2001.  Joan has also held PR posts in the utility and hospitality industries and is a former reporter.  A member of PRSA-NY’s board of directors since 2014, she is the current vice president of membership. Joan is also a past president of New York Women in Communications Foundation and a member of the SUNY Oswego School of Communications Media and the Arts advisory board.

Sharon Fenster is a brand and marketing strategist who never loses sight of the human element.  It is her affinity for people and their choices that has fueled her successful career working with multimillion dollar brands and startups. They include Microsoft, Sharp Electronics, Samsung, General Electric, UJA Federation beneficiaries, Motorola, MSNBC and Merck & Co.  With more than 20 years of public relations and advertising experience, Sharon’s toolkit includes tactics ranging from influencer marketing to media relations to behavioral targeting. Her stellar reputation among high profile media circles back to her understanding of human relationships.  Editors, reporters and columnists from The Wall Street Journal to Parents Magazine know and trust her because she understands what they are looking for. Sharon also has extensive experience working with small businesses and professional practices in fields as diverse as technology, fashion, healthcare, law, architecture and psychology.  Sharon received her BA Magna Cum Laude from Brooklyn College, CUNY. She currently serves as President-elect for PRSA-NY and chair of the media relations committee for the Anti-racist Alliance.


Tori Fernandes is an accomplished, forward-looking communications and crisis management leader with a decade of experience delivering award-winning communications and public relations campaigns at Fortune 500 companies.  She is an inaugural recipient of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) New York’s 2016 ‘15 Under 35’ Award, which recognizes the most inspired and inspiring young talent in the New York metro area public relations industry, whose innovative thinking and foresight are powering the future of communications. She also serves as Associate Marketing Director of PRSA NY’s Board of Directors. Currently Head of AdSales Communications, Director Corporate Communications, Disney|ABC Television Group, Fernandes is responsible for leading communications strategy for the group’s advertising sales division. Previously as Global Media Relations and Issues Management, Nielsen, she was responsible for managing and executing crisis management campaigns for the company’s key areas of business including television, radio, consumer products and digital, globally. Fernandes provided guidance and counsel to Nielsen’s media relations teams in 105 markets around the world with proactive efforts and reputation management issues. She  managed the company’s external media relations strategies for all global surveys; multicultural communications; corporate social responsibility; and Nielsen Innovate, the company’s venture capitalist arm; and acts as communications liaison to the company’s investor relations team.  Fernandes served as copywriter, editor and content curator for News Center, Nielsen’s digital storytelling hub that resides on, which has more than 1,000 subscribers across the media and investor relations industries. Additionally, she led the external media outreach, internal communication and integration strategy surrounding the company’s multimillion dollar acquisition of Repucom, a global sports sponsorship company. During her tenure, she received six Gold Nielsen Simply Excellent Awards in 2016, and was consistently recognized as a top performer by senior Nielsen leadership. Fernandes holds a bachelor of arts degree in music business and communications and marketing from Baruch College. She is also a 2014 graduate of Grace Killelea’s Half the Sky Leadership program. She is a long-time volunteer with St. Mary’s Hospital for Children and the New York City Food Bank.


The CEO/Founder of Pietra PR, Olga González has over ten years of experience working within the field of jewelry communications. A certified gemologist (FGA DGA) and appraiser, she specializes in growing mid to large-sized companies within the jewelry and luxury watch trades, from designer brands and manufacturers to trade non-profits and diamond grading laboratories. She is 2018’s Immediate Past President of PRSA-NY, and was chair of the chapter’s inaugural 15 Under 35 Awards. Additionally, Ms. González serves as the Director of Networking for the Women’s Jewelry Association New York Metro Chapter Board, and is a member of ASJRA, The New York Mineralogical Club, Gem-A and GSUSA. She is a regular contributor to trade and consumer publications on gem and jewelry-related topics. Her passions include salsa dancing, experimenting with Jaime Oliver recipes, sailing, and exploring anything that just opened in New York.

David Graubard is the PRSA-NY Marketing Committee's social media chair for 2017. In 2016, he served as the Program Committee's lead copywriter. During the day David is an editor and senior reporter focusing on capital markets at Informa. Informa is a leading global business intelligence, academic publishing, and events business listed on the London Stock Exchange and a member of the FTSE 100. Prior to joining Informa, David was a staff writer at S&P Global Ratings. David has an MBA in finance and information systems from Fordham’s Gabelli School of Business. He did his BA in history and consumer economics at the University of Vermont.


Kellie Jelencovich is a versatile communications executive with expertise in consumer marketing communications and media strategy. She has a proven track record of delivering strong results based on thoughtful work, creative storytelling, and strategic planning. A senior leader with global experience, Kellie is an Account Supervisor in the consumer lifestyle practice at MSL and manages accounts including Emirates airline and Marshalls, and previously account management and media relations activities for Nutella, Tic Tac, Abbott, and Marriott. Prior to joining MSL, Kellie served as the account lead in the consumer marketing group of Edelman for leading brands including Heineken, IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts, LATAM Airlines Group, Radisson Blu Edwardian, ADT Home Security, among others. Kellie has represented clients including PURELL, Emergen-C, The American Heart Association, 3M and Zyrtec. Additionally, she has secured top tier hits in outlets such as USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, TODAY Show, Fox & Friends, Adweek, AdAge, Forbes, among others. Kellie received a B.A. in Media Communications Arts from the City University of New York City College New York (CCNY) with a focus on Advertising and PR and also minored in Economics, and Business Management & Administration. Kellie Jelencovich joined the PRSA-NY board in 2015 and has since collaborated on various activities, serving on the Executive Committee as Secretary, and on the nominating committee for the PRSA-NY 2017 and 2018 board slate. In 2016, Kellie received the prestigious PRSA-NY award as one of the 15 under 35 top Public Relations professionals to follow in New York City. Kellie is currently the associate director for the awards and has previously served as the Deputy Chair of programming in 2015. Kellie has a passion for mentoring and professional development as she joined the PRSA-NY chapter in 2011, where she then became the New Professionals Committee Co-Chair. Kellie is also a recipient of The Art Stevens CCNY/PRSA-NY Public Relations Scholarship as well as the LCU Foundation CCNY recipient.

Sarah Katz, Senior Vice President, Client Service, has been with D S Simon Media since 2007. Growing from a support role with the Sales & Marketing team, she quickly took a leading role in expanding the co-op SMT (Satellite Media Tour) business, moving her up the ranks in the company. Today she manages the growing sales team, helping develop and promote new service offerings and advising clients on campaigns and strategies to tell their brand's story to the media and consumers.  Before starting at D S Simon Media, she worked in Business Development for the Mentor Network, a for-profit health and human services company headquartered in Boston, MA.  Sarah graduated from Brandeis University with a dual degree in Economics and Politics. She lives in Pelham, NY with her husband (Andrew), daughter (Olivia) and cockapoo (Jack).

As a senior vice president at SHIFT Communications, Alan Marcus leads the New York office and provides public relations counsel that supports strategic business and marketing initiatives for the office’s consumer technology, lifestyle and B2B brands. A PR practitioner for 22 years, Alan helps his clients drive business results by developing strategic, cutting-edge PR and social media campaigns. Prior to joining SHIFT, Alan worked in the consumer and tech practices of Porter Novelli and Ketchum, where he developed and managed PR and social media campaigns for food and beverage and consumer technology brands including Volkswagen, Cadbury, Chiquita, and JC Penney. Alan also served as vice president of public relations and special events for children’s luxury toy retailer, FAO Schwarz, where he led PR efforts for the brands’ 40+ stores, company catalogue and e-commerce initiatives. Alan graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Penn State University.

Jacquie McMahon is an account executive at Ketchum New York. She has counseled clients in financial services, food and beverage, retail and technology sectors in addition to planning and executing purpose-driven social impact work. Prior to joining Ketchum, Jacquie gained corporate reputation experience with Ogilvy Public Relations and Edelman Atlanta for clients including 3D Systems, Newell Rubbermaid and VF Corporation, among others. Jacquie has been actively involved with the New York chapter of PRSA since early 2016, serving as the associate director of programming on the board in 2017 and volunteering on the marketing and programming committees the previous year. She is also involved with The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations. Jacquie graduated summa cum laude from the Honors College at the University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a double minor in business and organizational communication studies.

As someone who proclaims that she’s never met a pasta she didn’t like, Lauren’s love for food and hospitality PR brought her to Bread and Butter PR where she’s led many successful campaigns with press secured for clients in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Everyday Rachel Ray, Food & Wine, Wine Spectator and much more. When she’s not in the office, Lauren can be found flipping through her grandmother’s old cookbooks for new recipes, diving into the latest issue of Saveur or trying the newest restaurants around town with friends.

Drawing on archetypes and analytics, David helps brands win in complex markets by creating marketing campaigns that are authentic, differentiated, and motivate audience action. Previously, he led the digital group in Edelman's New York Corporate & Public Affairs practice where he received the Chairman’s Quality-Infinity Award, the highest honor an employee can receive at the firm. After spending the early part of his career leading media relations for financial services and tech companies, David founded the PR industry's first corporate social media team. Working with a roster of global clients, he built social media infrastructures, designed analytics-driven content strategies, and upgraded crisis management capabilities. Over his career, David has worked with companies such as Booz Allen Hamilton, Capgemini, Coca-Cola, Citi Smith Barney, Dow Jones Indexes, Dow Jones Newswires, Johnson & Johnson, OppenheimerFunds, PwC, and Thomson-Reuters. A frequent commentator on how tech changes the way companies communicate, he has delivered lectures at New York University, The Conference Board, and Gartner. In recent years, he has advocated for the communications profession to embrace the scientific method, using data to shape strategy, optimize campaigns in real-time, and track results to the bottom line. David is a member of the Communications Executives Advisory Panel for the Museum of American Finance. Previously, he served as programming chair for the NY Chapter of PRSA and spent five years as a volunteer crisis spokesperson for the Red Cross of New York. David received his BA from SUNY Buffalo with a double major in Communications and Political Science. 

Lynne Scott Jackson
is a seasoned communications professional with experience in national consumer marketing, advertising, audience/channel expansion, content development, media relations, strategic advocacy, healthcare, business education, public affairs, corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship.  Prior to joining The City University of New York - City College as Distinguished Lecturer, Media and Communication Arts, she was Adjunct Professor at New York University’s School of Professional Studies. Her consultancy, Millynneum Marketing, Media + Public Affairs, has developed award-winning public relations programs for corporations, businesses and institutions, including:  Colgate-Palmolive Company’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures™ a 26 year corporate initiative reaching 850 million children in 80 countries (Lynne has served as senior consultant since the program’s inception), Pepsi-Cola Company’s “Link” program uniting multicultural business and corporate America, South African Tourism, Schering Plough, The Prostate Net’s Going to the Barbershop to Fight Cancer promotion, Warner Bros. and SKG DreamWorks, to name a few. Prior to forming Millynneum, she held New York-based account management positions at the global headquarters of Hill + Knowlton Strategies and UniWorld Group, preceded by work as a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg, Florida Times).

Helen Shelton, MS, is a Senior Partner at global communications agency, Finn Partners, Helen served as Director of Public Affairs for the Human Resources Development Institute, Chicago’s largest health and human services agency. She also held promotions and public relations positions at Seventeen Magazine and WRKS-FM Radio in New York. She began her career in public relations as an Executive Trainee at Ruder Finn. Helen honed her multicultural marketing communications expertise by heading the public relations agency within the legendary Mingo Group advertising agency in the early 1990s. She is a Communications Strategist specializing in the development and implementation of national and international public relations programs for Fortune 500 companies as well as non-profit cultural and social service organizations. Helen is known for creating branded entertainment and cause-related platforms that yield tangible results for consumer brands. At Finn Partners, Helen also oversees the agency’s Diversity and Inclusion program while developing volume-driving, consumer-engaging programs for lifestyle brands in the spirits, food, beauty, fashion, entertainment and pharmaceutical sectors. These range from horse shows and equestrian events to art expos, health fairs, live concerts and consumer promotions. Over the years, she has developed dozens of campaigns that engage and excite consumers, drive buzz, support business goals and generate significant media coverage. In this manner, Helen has worked with some of the most iconic figures in the worlds of art, architecture, music, fashion, entertainment and media. Her clients have included Cartier, Judith Leiber, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the MLK Memorial in Washington, DC, Chicago’s Millennium Park, the Mashantucket Pequot Museum at Foxwoods Casino, the Seagram’s Live Music Tour and Crown Royal equine sporting events. Helen holds a dual B.A. degree in art history and government from Dartmouth College and an M.S. degree in journalism and communication from Boston University. Named one of the 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business by The Network Journal magazine, Helen recently received the Circle Award for Excellence in Communications from ColorComm. She has served as an adjunct professor of public relations at New York University’s School of Continuing Professional Studies and serves on the Board of Directors of the Public Relations Society of America, New York, where is Vice President of Marketing. In her spare time, Helen enjoys Italian cinema and literature.

Doug Simon is founder and CEO of award-winning video influencer marketing firm D S Simon Media. His firm
gets spokespeople from brands and non-profits onto television, radio and online channels. Doug has provided strategic counsel and executed campaigns for leading brands and non-profits including Pfizer, Fidelity, Lincoln Financial, Macy’s, Nintendo, Whitney Museum of American Art, Marriott and the American College of Physicians among others. Doug is former VP of PRSA NY Chapter and he was a three-time president of the Publicity Club of New York. He has provided expert testimony on communications issues during US Senate hearings and is committed to helping the New York PR Industry thrive. Doug is also the founder of the SPOKEies™ Awards. These are the first awards program to honor in-house experts and leaders for their work as effective spokespeople. The firm had also recently published the informative Guide to Brand Authenticity where journalists were surveyed to find out about the authenticity of spokespeople and how they can either help or damage your brand. Prior to founding D S Simon Media, Doug began his broadcast career at NBC Sports, where he served as Talent Assistant to Bob Costas. His hobbies include performing stand-up comedy at New York’s top clubs and rooting for terrible sports teams including the Jets and Knicks while still remaining optimistic.

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