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Annual Meeting & Board Elections

A N N U A L   B U S I N E S S   M E E T I N G

NOVEMBER 13, 2020 AT 10:00 AM


All chapter members in good standing as of September 30, 2020 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

To request your RSVP/Proxy Ballot Form, please email

To register to attend the Annual Member Meeting Virtually, CLICK HERE

 Please contact the Chapter Office at 212.228.7228 or



Friday, November 13, 2020
Starting promptly at 10:00AM



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 Tuesday, November 3.


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: Leslie Gottlieb, (Chair); Sandra Fathi; Henry Feintuch; Terrell Merritt; Andrew Graham; 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, 2021 and approved by the Board.  See below the biographies for the 2021 Slate of Officers and Directors.


Andrew Graham
Founding Partner, Clear

Aaron Kwittken
CEO, KWT Global

Kellie Jelencovich
Public Relations Manager, Travel Leaders Group

Sabrina Browne
Account Director, BCW Global

Natalie Lopez

Vice President, Finn Partners


Stephanie Peksen
Senior Account Manager, Agency Group, Business Wire

VICE PRESIDENT (Diversity & Inclusion)
Richard Ferraro
Chief Communication Officer, GLAAD

Sarah Katz
Chief of Staff, Diffusion


Laura Wilker
VP, BNY Mellon


Director (Senior) – Marketing
Claire Nance
Head of Marketing Communications, Activision Blizzard Media

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

Director (Senior) – Membership
Josh Deutchman
Director of Communications, AIG

Director (Senior) – Diversity & Inclusion
Rashidah Timothy
Vice President, Media, Lippe Taylor

Director (Senior) – Big Apple
Casey Sheets
Account Director, Water & Wall

Director (Senior) – 15 Under 35
Meredith LeJeune
Owner, Thought Bubble Communications

Director (Associate) – Marketing
Yesenia Reinoso
Digital Marketing & Media Relations Officer, Y Communicate

Director (Associate) – Programs
Loren Antonio Duran
Account Supervisor, Finn Partner

Director (Associate) - Membership
Caitlin Kelly
Founder & CEO, Vivid Communications

Director (Associate) – Diversity & Inclusion
Brandon Thomas
Vice President & General Manager, New York, PAN Communications

Director – Finance
Kristen Clonan
Founder & CEO Airfluence


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.


Aaron is founder and chairman of 
KWT Global, a highly acclaimed PR and brand strategy firm with offices in New York, London and LA. He’s also founder and CEO of PRophet, an AI-driven PR SaS platform backed by MDC Ventures. 

A proud George Washington University alum, Aaron serves on GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs advisory committee. He’s past president of the Americas for the International Communications Consultancy Organization (ICCO), a former Board member of the PR Council, a former adjunct professor at NYU, writes for Forbes and The Drum and is the creator and host of the popular Brand on Purpose podcast that features companies that do well by doing good. He has deep expertise in marketing technology, brand strategy, reputation management, crisis management and purpose-driven marketing. An endurance sports enthusiast, Aaron puts social impact at the center of everything he does personally and professionally. 

Kellie Jelencovich is a versatile communications executive with expertise in consumer lifestyle marketing 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 Jelencovich has been in the PR industry for 12 years and has led a highly successful career in media relations and account management. After many years in the agency world, Kellie has gone into the in house world at Avon and now at Travel Leaders Group as the Brand Public Relations Manager. Kellie manages two public relations firms overseeing communications and campaign strategy for two of the luxury brands at Travel Leaders Group.

Prior to those roles, Kellie became a trusted leader providing strategic counsel and reputation management guidance to her clients including Emirates Airline and Marshalls. Kellie is passionate about mentorship and really honed in on that passion while at MSL and became a trusted advisor and mentor to interns, and junior to mid-level staff within at MSL. Kellie is a winner of PRSA-NY’s first Ever 15 Under 35 Awards as one of the 15 under 35 top Public Relations professionals to follow in New York City for her creative work providing strategy and media relations counsel for leading brands including, Heineken, Emirates Airline, KetleOne Vodka, Keds, the Honda Civic Tour, VictorinoxSwiss Army, and The American Heart Association.

Kellie received a B.A. in Communications from City College New York (CCNY), minoring in Economics and Business Management & Administration. Kellie was the 2020 President of PRSA-NY. She led numerous events to benefit the PR program. She joined the PRSA-NY chapter in 2011 serving as New Pros Committee co-chair and has since volunteered her time to the organization in various positions over the past seven years. She currently serves as a board member as the President Elect. At CCNY she was a recipient of The Art Stevens CCNY/PRSA-NY Public Relations Scholarship as well as the LCU Foundation.

Sabrina Browne is an award-winning PR Executive and trusted client advisor to Fortune 500 clients. Currently, she is an Account Director at Burson Cohn & Wolfe, the third-largest global communications firm. Her specialties are media relations, brand strategy, and integrated communications.

At BCW, Sabrina delivers media counsel to clients to forward their objectives across traditional, emerging and experiential platforms. She develops high-impact media plans, executes strategic tactics, and builds relationships with top-tier media and stakeholders. In this role, Sabrina provides media counsel to Walgreens, Colgate, SKYY Vodka, Espolon Tequila, Moët Hennessy, and travel and tourism clients in the UAE.

In 2019, Sabrina received PRSA-NY's 'Exceptionals Under 35' Award, recognizing professionals who are changing the landscape of the PR industry. Sabrina is also a three-time attendee of Forbes coveted Under 30 Summit, a global gathering of Millennial leaders.

Natalia Lopez is a vice president in the Travel & Lifestyle practice at FINN Partners. 
She spearheads integrated communication initiatives for international clients comprising of special events, media and social relations, influencer marketing, promotions, etc.  

Natalia’s experience with notable brands include Jamaica Tourist Board, South African Tourism, Bluegreen Vacations, Visit Argentina, Travel Ecuador, Hotelbeds Group, Bay Gardens Resorts, Conrad Chicago, and VP Hotels. In addition, Natalia has managed multicultural campaigns for Dunkin’ Donuts, DIRECTV, Rosetta Stone, Decimos No Mas, Vonage, and Prior to working in the travel industry, she was in Corporate Communications providing crisis communications support for clients in sectors such as healthcare, technology, publishing, and real estate. 

A member of the Hispanic Public Relations Association, Natalia has guest lectured on Multi-Cultural Communications at New York University. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the PRSA-NY as well as the PR Council for the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Of Uruguayan heritage, she is fluent in both Spanish and English. In addition to a love of traveling, she and her husband enjoy learning about new cultures and cuisines.

Stephanie Jo Peksen is a senior member of the Agency team at Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway company, the global leader in news release distribution and regulatory disclosure. Stephanie serves as a consultative strategic advisor to clients at public relations and investor relations agencies as they plan news distribution options and communication tactics. Stephanie started her career as a reporter and fact-checker for national magazines, newspapers and dot-coms. She later ran a celebrity gift bag/product placement firm and led PR and marketing for an award-winning independent record label. She has previously served on the boards of Women in Music and the Newswomen’s Club of New York. 

Rich Ferraro is the Chief Communications Officer for GLAAD, the world’s most visible LGBTQ advocacy organization. He oversees GLAAD’s intersectional advocacy and public education campaigns, which leverage strategic communications to further LGBTQ acceptance. He regularly consults on diversity and inclusion issues with journalists, Hollywood, non-profits, social media platforms, and global brands including Delta, Kellogg’s, Netflix, P&G, and more. He is an Executive Producer of the annual GLAAD Media Awards, which honor outstanding LGBTQ media images. Previously, he served as Senior Director of Public Affairs and Communications at ViacomCBS, where he was a publicist on series including “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and received a Daytime Emmy Award as part of the team behind the groundbreaking MTV/Logo documentary on transgender youth, “Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word.”  

Sarah Katz is Diffusion US’s Chief of Staff. In the role, she manages operations, staff, and culture in both New York and Los Angeles, while advising on business growth and strategy. She has experience working with Fortune 500s, start-ups, and consumer brands. She’s partnered with clients to develop and execute creative media campaigns, tell stories, and drive consumer awareness through broadcast PR campaigns and branded video content. Sarah previously served as the Big Apple Awards Senior Director on the 2018 PRSA-NY board and was a 2019 recipient of the chapter’s 15 Under 35 award. She graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in Economics and Politics.

An award-winning communications and public relations leader, Claire Nance has over 15 years’ experience in both the US and Australia managing communications campaigns on a global scale. In her current role as Head of Marketing Communications at Activision Blizzard Media, Claire oversees all external communications strategy and content development for Activision Blizzard’s advertising arm. Prior to this, Claire held senior communications roles at IPG Mediabrands, North 6th Agency, and News Corp.  

Claire is a natural storyteller with a strategic and creative approach to communications, with proven results building brand awareness and engaging audiences. An active member of the PR community, Claire has acted as a mentor in several industry organizations including PRSA-NY and New York Women in Communications, and in 2019 was named one of PRSA-NY’s Exceptionals Under 35. 

Cessie Cerrato, is a 15-year veteran of the travel and hospitality industry who turned her passion of travel and communications into an illustrious career that includes unmatched experience with top tourism and travel accounts including, Mexico Tourism Board, Cancun CVB, Visit Panama, Aeromexico, Expedia, Israel Ministry of Tourism and Palace Resorts.  

Cessie has worked alongside world-renown chef, including a three-Michelin-star chef, Massimo Bottura, whose restaurant Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy has been named among The World's 50 Best Restaurants. Additionally, she has worked alongside Star Chef, Joan Roca, whose restaurant El Celler de Can Roca was named the best restaurant in the world by Restaurant Magazine. Lastly, Cessie has worked closely with purveyors of meat, Certified Angus Beef.  

Cerrato also boasts experience with consumer brands such as Bacardi, Hatuey Beer, and ESPN Deportes.  

Based in New York City, Cerrato has been featured in Forbes Women, The New York Post & has been named Top Women in PR by PR News, as well as named Public Relations Society of America NY Chapter’s Top 15 Under 35.  Cerrato truly understands how to take the unique needs of clients and generate awareness-building media placements at the mass level while implementing various tactics across clients’ target consumers. In her free time, she loves to eat, travel, discover new places, sip on spicy cocktails, and loves photography.

Josh Deutchman is a marketing and communications professional with more than 20 years of experience developing strategies and content for effective messaging and engagement. He has worked with clients across the financial, healthcare, government, and educational sectors.

Rashidah Timothy, Vice President of Media Relations at Lippe Taylor, leads press activity and strategy across consumer and lifestyle brands. Rashidah has pitched everything from how to properly install a car seat for Evenflo, and hair restoration solutions for HairClub to buying products that create safe and secure home environments for Dyson and Google Consumer Products. She uses a strategic media relations skill to market to consumers during key shopping seasons and is the driving force for securing placements in influential media outlets for award-winning campaigns and product launches. She also creates consumer-facing plans and recommendations to elevate the voices and profile of C-suite executives at disruptive and heritage brands. 

In addition to securing national and online media, Rashidah is skilled in generating media attendance at press previews and arranging briefings for clients. She also attends many media- and industry-focused conferences like BlogHer and Marketing to Moms.  

Rashidah is a board member of The Black Public Relations Society, NY Chapter and has been invited to judge PRSA’s 2020 Big Apple Awards. 

Casey Sheets is currently an Account Director at Water & Wall, where she leads top accounts, as well as the agency’s marketing efforts. Casey previously led US communications efforts for NEX (now CME Group owned) and supported the firm’s NEX Markets business as Global Marketing Manager. Prior to that, she was TABB Group’s Media & Corporate Communications Manager, and held communications agency roles. Casey is a member of PRSA, PRSA NY, and NYC Fintech Women, and volunteers with The Young Women’s Leadership Network and National MS Society. She earned her BA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

Meredith LeJeune is an award-winning public relations professional who has developed and executed numerous high-impact media relations and social media campaigns. A 15-year industry veteran, LeJeune has served on the boards of journalism and public relations organizations including the Hampton Roads chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Black Public Relations Society Atlanta and New York chapters, and the Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals, a local chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. Recognized as one of PRSA New York’s 2017 Top 15 professionals under 35 to follow and a member of the chapter’s Young Professionals Advisory Committee, Lejeune is founder of Thought Bubble Communications. In this role, she frequently partners with clients and other agencies to develop and launch national marketing and public relations campaigns for tech, entertainment, small business, and real estate, as well as leading brands such as The National Black MBA Association, Coca-Cola and Toyota.

Yesenia Reinoso began her 10 year public relations and communications career at the Times Square Alliance in November 2007. Later she worked at the Social Services of Hip Hop and National CineMedia (NCM) where she was instrumental in brainstorming and executing various public relations initiatives. In August 2018, she became the Communications Manager of Global Kids where she played a critical role in the internal and external media rollout of the company brand and programs. Recently, Yesenia resumed her independent consulting career offering expertise to nonprofit organizations such as I Challenge Myself (ICM), The City Tutors, and Project Petals to further promote their missions and objectives. 

A Pace University graduate in 2010 with a BA in Communications. Yesenia is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and New York Women in Communications (NYWICI).  

Loren Antonio Durán is a well-versed public relations professional, travel expert, and former airline spokesperson specializing in strategic public relations, destination marketing, multicultural partnerships, events, and influencer activations. He has led several award-winning campaigns for various notable airlines, destinations, hotels, and travel consortia.  

Loren’s strategic views and opinions on public relations strategy, travel, and diversity & inclusion have been featured in various publications including USA Today, Bloomberg, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Hospitality Net, and O’Dwyer’s among others. 
Durán is currently serving his second term as Vice President of the Hispanic Public Relations Association of America - New York Chapter.

Caitlin Kelly has focused her career on media relations and communications across the finance, technology and marketing industries. Over this period, she observed the media industry evolve while PR and communications processes very often lagged behind. Little has changed about the PR workflow, despite the explosion in experiential, traditional coverage "beats" disappearing and the continued proliferation of niche outlets, making media relations increasingly complex. Inspired by first-hand experience managing "pitch pressure" and architected from the perspective of many PR practitioners, Vivid is an earned media planning tool for media relations executives and communications teams. Vivid will provide process transparency, team accountability and accurate measurement for companies leveraging media relations for product promotion and brand building.

Brandon Thomas is a seasoned communications professional with more than a decade of public relations experience. In this time, he has led strategy and execution for a diverse group of clients across industries including corporate, healthcare, technology, education and nonprofit.  

In his newly appointed role as Vice President & NY General Manager at PAN Communications, Brandon will oversee client relations, office management and new business development for the NY market. Prior to PAN, Brandon served as Associate Vice President at Red Havas where he managed client relations and oversaw account teams both large and small. He also helped lead the U.S. agency’s National Culture Committee where he implemented initiatives that promoted cross-office engagement, fellowship and continued learning.                        

Brandon began his career at Widmeyer Communications; spending more than four years focused on driving earned strategy and media relations within the education and policy spaces. This experience prepared him for larger roles as Senior Director at Southard Communications and Associate Vice President at Red Havas. 

He is a graduate of West Virginia University’s Reed College of Media (CoM), a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and serves as a CoM guest speaker and professional mentor. Brandon is also a member of Men of Color in Communications, PRSA-NY and the PR Council.  

Kristen is president of Airfluence, a boutique stakeholder relations consultancy. She formerly served as V.P. Corporate Communications and Marketing for the multi-billion-dollar travel retailer Hudson (NYSE: HUD). In her role, she led an IPO, created a category leader, and contributed to global commercial development for the world’s largest travel retailer Dufry (SWX: DUFN), with 2,400 shops in 65 countries & 36,000 employees. She’s advised on and built awareness for over $200m in social impact investments. Named PR News' Platinum Professional of the Year and Airport Business 40 Under 40 in 2019, Clonan is from Bronx, NY and attended Fordham University. She began her career in broadcast. 

LAURA WILKER (continuing her 2nd year term)
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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