January 2015  

Letter from the President

Happy New Year! I’m excited to have the chance to lead the Central Iowa PRSA chapter in 2015.

The board and committees are excited about this year. While we have several members returning to leadership roles, we also have several who have stepped into a chapter role for the first time, which is terrific. As a team, our goal in 2015 is to continue to show you that PRSA is a useful and important resource.

When I joined the chapter in 2006, I initially had a hard time seeing the real value in my membership. Over the years, as I got more and more involved, I started to get more and more out of my experience. That’s why I’m encouraging all of you to make the most of your PRSA membership in 2015.

As we start the new year, it’s a great time to think about how we can achieve our best, personally and professionally. As your local PRSA chapter, we are here to help, and we all encourage you to get more involved in the chapter.

Whether it’s through our monthly luncheon programs, our APR accreditation and prep course, volunteering to help plan our annual day-long professional development conference, getting recognized for your award-winning work, or taking part in our social media channels, we look forward to seeing you and hearing from you throughout the year.

Know that your suggestions, feedback, and support are important to shaping your experience and what the chapter offers. Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts on this member survey,

For sharing ongoing input throughout the year, you’re welcome to connect with me through email at, by phone at 515-235-1146, or through LinkedIn. And, please make sure to take part in our social media channels to be kept up to date on upcoming activities through Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Wishing you all the best in 2015!

Lori Vodraksa, President

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What do you want to see in 2015?

As we kick off the new year, we want your thoughts on your PRSA membership. Please take a few minutes to complete this short survey and share your thoughts. Your input will help shape the experience we offer in 2015.

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PRSA Luncheon

PRSA Central Iowa Jan. 22 Luncheon: The Evolution of 80/35's Social Media

Reaching audiences via social media has been an integral component of the 80/35 music festival's marketing strategy since it's launch in 2008. Everything from the early days with MySpace to future plans with Snapchat, Jill Haverkamp, owner of On Pitch, will share how 80/35 stays current on the latest social media trends to engage and expand their reach. Jill will provide insight into the evolution of 80/35's social media efforts, as well as an in depth look at the festival's processes for managing all of their social platforms.

January 22, 2015
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Drake University Old Main - Levitt Hall
2507 University Ave
Des Moines, IA 50311


About Jill Haverkamp

Jill Haverkamp has more than 10 years of marketing and communications experience. She received her bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in marketing communication and public relations. Upon moving back to her hometown of Des Moines, Jill began working for one of Iowa’s largest marketing agencies, The Integer Group. A longtime passion for marketing and creativity led Jill to launch On Pitch in 2010. She’s well-versed in media relations, social media, traditional communications, project management, and planning. Her business strategy is simple: collaborate with you to find your brand angle and story. Tell that story to your consumers. Raise your brand’s awareness to amplify sales. And ultimately, introduce others to the thrill of discovering something great, so they keep coming back for more.


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APR News

Next Session of APR Prep Courses Starting Saturday, January 17

An eight-week course to help candidates prepare for the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) readiness review and written exam is starting on Saturday, January 17.  The courses will be held each Saturday through March 7 from 8 a.m. to noon at Drake University’s Meredith Hall, Room 104.  Each Saturday session is led by one or more APRs from our chapter and will cover specific sections of the exam such as public relations planning, crisis management, business literacy and more.

The APR program is designed for public relations professionals with more than five years of experience and is a tremendous professional development opportunity offered by the national PRSA organization and the Central Iowa PRSA Chapter.

Please contact Dr. Kelly Bruhn, APR, at to learn more about the APR program and the 2015 session of prep courses.

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Upcoming Learning Opportunities

Upcoming Events


 Upcoming Webinars

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New Members


We’re happy to welcome these new members to the Central Iowa PRSA chapter!

  • Bridget Dusing, Public Relations Specialist, John Deere Harvester Works, East Moline, IL
  • Janet Klockenga, Marketing Communications Specialist, Goodwill Industries of Central Iowa, Des Moines
  • Sheena Poorman, Coordinator, Renewable Energy Group, Des Moines
  • Ryan Warren Repp, Communications Manager, Brownells, Inc, Montezuma
  • John Stineman, Principal, Strategic Elements, West Des Moines
  • Morgan P. Von Ahsen, Associate Director, Media Relations, Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., Fairfield


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Milestone Anniversaries

In each issue of this newsletter, we recognize Central Iowa PRSA Chapter members who are celebrating milestone PRSA anniversaries that month. A special congratulations goes to the following individuals who will celebrate an anniversary this month:

20 Years

Jeanine K. Mixdorf, APR, Managing Communications Strategist, Principal Financial Group, Des Moines

1 Year

Ashley Werthmann, Account Executive, Media Relations, Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., Fairfield

Aaron Michael Potter, Account Executive, Media Relations, Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., Fairfield

Jessica Wardenburg, Urbandale

Edward Wimmer Meads, III, Grinnell

Amber O'Brien, Public Relations Specialist, Modern Woodmen of America, Rock Island

Abby Delaney, PR Account Coordinator, Strategic America, West Des Moines


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In Memorium

Central Iowa PRSA loses long-time member Wayne P. Davis

A PRSA member since 1977, Wayne P. Davis passed away recently at the age of 94. Wayne, along with his wife, Ferne Bonomi, have a long history with our Central Iowa PRSA Chapter. As many of you know, Ferne was a founding member of our  chapter.

Wayne was a prominent figure at the Greenlee School of Journalism at Iowa State University. He was an honorary advisory council member and former faculty member. He also received the School's James W. Schwartz Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism and Communication in 2005. He has touched many Central Iowa public relations professionals, including many of our chapter members. It’s with great pride that we remember his passion for the PR industry. 

For those who knew Wayne and would like to show support, in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Principia Corporation or to the Iowa State University Foundation and the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.  More information can be found here.  

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Job Opportunity

Looking for a New Challenge?

Check out the PRSA job board on our website. The Central Iowa PRSA Job Bank includes a variety of opportunities for PRSA members and other public relations professionals.

If your organization is interested in posting a position, rates are $25 for member postings and $50 for non-member postings. Members can also post unlimited jobs for an annual cost of $100. For posting your job or getting Job Bank questions answered, contact Erica Turner.

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