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Annual Meeting & Board Elections


Annual Business Meeting

All chapter members in good standing as of September 30, 2019 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.

Before completing your RSVP/Proxy Ballot Form, please review the following information.

Nominations by Petition
Slate of Proposed Officers & Directors

Please contact the Chapter Office at 212.228.7228 or


Thursday, October 31, 2019
Starting promptly at 8:00AM, at

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


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 Monday, October, 21st.


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: Sharon Fenster (Chair); Errol Cockfield; Sandra Fathi; Henry Feintuch; Leslie Gottlieb; and Kellie Jelencovich.

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, 2020 and approved by the Board.  See below the biographies for the 2020 Slate of Officers and Directors.


Kellie Jelencovich

Public Relations Manager, Travel Leaders Group

Andrew Graham

Founding Partner, Clear

Wendy Steinberg

Vice President of Communications, RiverSpring Health

Penny Mitchell

Consultant, Penny Mitchell Public Relations

Angela Barnett

Director of Corporate Communications, IAS

Natalia Lopez

Vice President, Finn Partners

Leslie Gottlieb
President, LG Strategic Communications


Laura Wilker

VP, BNY Mellon



Director (Senior) – Marketing
Benjamin Kowal

Director, PR Services & Research, Definition 6

Director (Senior) – Membership
Justin Goldstein

President & Founder, Press Record Communications

Director (Senior) – Programming
Cessie Cerrato
Vice President Public Relations, Palace Resorts

Director (Senior) – Big Apple
Margarita Miranda-Abate
Director, Communications & Advocacy, Latin America & Canada, Oncology, Novartis

Director (Senior) – 15 Under 35
Christa Conte
SVP, Hotwire

Completing Second Year of Vacated 2019 Two-Year Term expiring December 31, 2020

Director (Associate) – Marketing
Julianna Hutson
Strategy and Communication Manager, Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Director (Associate) - Membership
Josh Deutchman
Director, Communications, AIG

Director (Associate) – Programs
Jackie Cardozo
Account Executive, Business Wire



Director – Finance
Nara Sandberg
Marketing & Partnerships Coordinator, The Monday Campaigns

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Kellie Jelencovich is a versatile communications executive with expertise in consumer lifestyle communications and media strategy. A senior leader with global experience, she has a proven track record of delivering strong results based on thoughtful work, creative storytelling, and strategic planning.


Kellie has been in the PR industry for 12 years. After many years in the agency world, Kellie now works in house at Travel Leaders Group as the Brand Public Relations Manager. Kellie is a winner of PRSA-NY’s 15 Under 35 Awards. Kellie serves as a board member of PRSA-NY as the President Elect. 

Andrew Graham is founding partner of Clear, an independent practice in New York City that works with large companies to apply clarity, consistency, and accuracy to external communication activity. Established in 2014, Clear specializes in issues-based communication, content creation, and litigation communication.

He was an advisor to Vested, a financial communication agency, from 2015 to 2018 and served as a fellow with Organizing for Action, the community organizing project that advocates for the policy agenda of President Obama, in 2014. Andrew has written speeches and op-eds for prominent individuals in business, technology, and politics. He began his career working in investor relations for media and publishing companies.


Leslie Gottlieb is the 2019 President of PRSA-NY. She is a seasoned professional with more than 25 years of expertise in integrated strategic communications and marketing for many leading nonprofit organizations such as the Red Cross, Lighthouse International and the Ford Foundation. 

She served on the PRSANY Board for 15 years and was Secretary of the Chapter, Chair of the Mentoring Committee and a member of the Membership Committee. She is now helping spearhead the new Senior Pros Committee.

Her areas of expertise also include: high visibility top tier media placement (print, electronic and online), digital strategy, social media, branding and crisis communications.  She has taught Strategic Communications and Crisis Communications at NYU.


Wendy Steinberg is Vice President of Communications at RiverSpring Health, a leading non-profit senior healthcare organization that cares for 18,000 older adults each day through managed long-term care, assisted living, rehabilitation, and its skilled nursing community, the Hebrew Home at Riverdale.  In this capacity, Wendy oversees all marketing and communications, helping to breakdown stereotypes of aging and change the national conversation about what it means to grow older. Prior to RiverSpring Health, Wendy spent most of her career at top ten public relations agencies, working with iconic brands including LG Electronics, Panasonic Batteries, Barilla Pasta and Elmer’s Glue. Wendy is a trusted and strategic leader, with a commitment to excellence and a passion for creating communications that inspire.

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Penny Mitchell is a seasoned communicator with extensive experience in the pharmaceutical/biotech, consumer health, academic research and non-profit arenas. She has led practices and driven business development for top agencies such as H+K Strategies, Makovsky, dna (a Weber Shandwick company) and Fleishman-Hillard. She began her agency career at Porter/Novelli. Currently, Penny consults and serves as VP, Membership for the New York Chapter of PRSA.

Penny is the recipient of multiple awards including Best Campaign of the Year from PRSA and PR Week for a public-private partnership to curb asthma among school children. She holds a Masters in Education from Fordham University.


Angela Hoye (Barnett) brings ten years of PR experience ranging from agency to in-house work with various industries including media, finance, education, and now ad tech. Angela excels in being able to help organizations translate complex concepts into digestible stories and messages. Throughout her career, Angela has always been active in the PR community. She formerly served on the board of Washington Women in PR and was responsible for planning educational programming to drive growth and community for PR professionals. Angela moved to New York three years ago and is now the Director of Corporate Communications at Integral Ad Science (IAS).


Natalia Lopez is a vice president in the Finn Partners Travel & Lifestyle practice. She spearheads communication initiatives for clients comprising of special events, media relations, influencer marketing, message and material development, promotions, crisis communications and media training.  Natalia’s recent experience with notable brands include Jamaica Tourist Board, Bluegreen Vacations, Visit Argentina, Travel Ecuador, Conrad Chicago, Hotelbeds Group, She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the PRSA-NY as well as the PR Council for the Caribbean Tourism Organization. She has been a judge for the PRSA-NY Big Apple Awards and the U.S. Travel Association ESTO Awards.


Laura Wilker is a communications executive with experience in public/media relations, corporate communications, investor relations, crisis communications, branding, and marketing. She has worked in both agency and in-house roles, with organizations ranging from global financial services companies to small technology start-ups and not-for-profits, where she has created and executed strategic communications programs leveraging the breadth of digital and print channels and platforms to inform, engage, drive visibility, enhance reputation, and help achieve business goals. She has served as an Executive Board member and in multiple committee chair positions for the Edgemont PTA and PTSA, is a Girl Scout troop leader, and is the co-author and self-publisher of KidSavvy WestchesterTM.

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With an undying passion for storytelling, Benjamin Kowal has been working in the marketing, public relations, and advertising industry for over a decade. To advance his understanding of how people communicate, he pursued a degree in communication from San Jose State University. Never one to stop learning, Ben then completed a master’s degree in public relations from Iona College. It was this move that brought him to the city he loves, New York.

For nine years, New York has provided Ben with endless opportunities to engage with people and to continue advancing his mission to tell the world’s stories. It is here that Ben joined the PRSA. The PRSA has been an invaluable networking resource for him and has allowed him to make connections with everyone from new entrants into the field to industry veterans that have become mentors and friends.

When he is not working, Ben can be found studying public relations and marketing ethics, developing marketing strategies for companies he finds fascinating, spending time with his family, and renovating his home.


Justin Goldstein is an award-winning media relations maven, voted an Exceptional Under 35 by the Public Relation Society of America. Justin has developed and implemented communications programs for clients that include the Clinton Global Initiative, Best Buy and General Motors. In recent years, Justin has coordinated event press campaigns for the Conference of Mayors, Consumer Electronics Show and Detroit Auto Show. Justin also served as morning drive producer and anchor at WRHU-FM, New York’s number one non-commercial radio station. His work has been recognized by PR News, PR Newswire and the Hermes Creative Awards.


Cessie Cerrato, a 12-year veteran of the travel/hospitality industry turned her passion of travel and communications into an illustrious career that includes unmatched experience with top tourism accounts including, Mexico Tourism Board, Cancun CVB, Visit Panama, Aeromexico, Expedia and Palace Resorts. Additionally, Cerrato is respected by her peers as the Public Relations Society of America NY Chapter named her one of the top 15 PR practitioners under 35 in 2016! Cerrato truly understands how to take the unique needs of travel clients and generate awareness building media placements at the mass level while implementing various tactics across clients’ target consumers.


Margarita has significant strategic communications and marketing, having led global and North America business for various brands throughout her agency career. She has a deep love of brand marketing and audience-led strategic communications.

Currently, she is Director of Communications & Advocacy, Novartis Oncology, Latin America, Mexico and Canada. Her served as co-Consumer Practice Lead as well as the Global Integration and Planning lead for the Mexico Tourism Board, spearheading strategy, marketing and creative, media, digital, public relations and social in her most recent agency role at MSL. It spanned responsibilities including government relations, crisis & issues and project management.

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Christa Conte is SVP and head of Digital Commerce for global communications agency Hotwire in New York, sharing her nearly 15 years of integrated comms expertise with clients in the e-commerce, retail, adtech and martech industries. From emerging brands to Fortune 500s, Christa has helped companies like Rakuten, Indeed, Marketo and GroundTruth to align sales, product marketing and leadership through strategic communications. Overseeing the New York office, Christa is most passionate about mentoring young professionals and contributing to the education of the industry through organizations like NYWICI, the PR Council (where she co-chairs the Digital Committee) and PRSA-NY.


Julianna Hutson is the Strategy and Communication Manager for the Department of Anesthesiology at Columbia University. Tasked with building and implementing an internal and external communication strategy for the 3rd largest department within the university’s medical center, Julianna draws on her prior managerial and executive roles which includes media relations, issues management, employee communications, and events management.

As part of her 17-year communication career, Julianna has held executive leadership roles advising international governments on best practices in communication management, crisis communication, strategic planning, and overall positioning. She has also served in executive leadership of a US$1.2B private investment holding company managing internal and external strategic communication.


Josh Deutchman is a marketing and communications professional with more than 20 years of experience developing strategies for effective messaging. Clients have included AIG, Pfizer, the U.S. EPA, NASA, Blackbook, Pomona College, and USC. Josh has also published short stories in Prairie Schooner and the Los Angeles Times Magazine.


Jackie Cardozo is currently the Account Executive at Business Wire managing their existing client base in New York and Connecticut. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies, emerging start-ups, and non-profits. In addition to helping clients determine their most effective PR distribution needs, Jackie supports her clients by keeping them abreast of the latest industry trends and practices.

Jackie recently transferred from the South Florida office, where she managed Agency partnerships in Florida and Latin America. Jackie received her undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and holds a Master's Degrees in Economics and Marketing Management.


Nara Sandberg is the Marketing & Partnerships Associate at The Monday Campaigns, a not-for-profit public health organization, where she works on developing partnerships and securing media coverage for all of the organization’s brands. Nara serves as the brand lead for The Kids Cook Monday initiative. Since joining The Monday Campaigns in 2017, she has secured local, trade and national media coverage, and has contributed articles to several outlets, including Chop Chop, Grok Nation, The Epoch Times and Our Children, the National PTA Magazine.

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