Chapter Leadership

2018 Board of Directors
  • President – Heather Schechter, Director of Marketing at Sunrise Management & Consulting
  • President-Elect – Michael Mullaney, Manager, Public Relations & Digital Communications, St. Peters Health Partners
  • Past President, Accreditation Chair and Ethics Chair – Josh Poupore, APR, Senior Vice President, Corning Place Communications
  • Treasurer – Michael Bohne, Communications & Marketing Assistant at Capitalize Albany Corporation
  • Secretary/Webmaster - Kimmy Venter, APR, Regional Chief Communications Officer at American Red Cross
  • Membership Chair – Nick Crounse, Director of Strategic Communications at BestPass
  • Programming Chair – Mary Hunt, Manager of Programs, Office for Public Engagement, University at Albany
  • Diversity & Inclusion Chair - Martin Mbugua, MBA, APR, Vice President for Communications and Marketing at Skidmore College
  • Assembly Delegate – Paul Larrabee, APR, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Corning Place Communications
  • PRSSA Liaison – Jo Ann LeSage Nelson, APR, Vice President, Client Services, Pierce Communications
  • Member at Large – Michael Eck, Publicist, Proctors
  • Member at Large - John Mackowiak, Director, Public Relations and Public Affairs, The Martin Group
  • Member at Large – Katherine McCarthy, Senior Regional Director, Communications, American Heart Association
Past Chapter Presidents

2017: Joshua Poupore, APR

2016: Siobhan Kent, APR

2015: Paul Hook

2014: Jennifer Miller

2013: Mike Lesczinski

2012: Rob Puglisi

2011: Penny Vavura

2010: Andrea L. Colby

2009: Eric J. Wohlleber

2008: Tom Nardacci

2007: Kathleen Kirvin

2006: Bonny Betancourt

2005: Dan Curran

2004: Heidi M. Weber

2003: Dan Curran

2002: Linda L. Scharf

2001: Richard Chady

2000: Jennifer T. Ginley, APR

1998-1999: Jo Ann LeSage Nelson, APR

1996-1997: Jonathan M. Pierce, APR

More Information

2018 Committees


Chair: Nick Crounse The membership committee is responsible for growing the membership base and engaging current members to keep them active. Responsibilities include:
  • Identifying prospects for new members.
  • Reaching out to prospects and encouraging them to attend PRSA events, join, and become active.
  • Surveying members and prospects both formally and informally to find how PRSA can meet their needs.
  • Responding to notifications by PRSA national of people who have added, dropped or are near renewing PRSA membership.
  • Coordinating prospect and member feedback with the board, programming, and communications committees.


Chair: Mary Hunt Members: Kate Schmieding and Michael Bohne This committee is responsible for planning the full calendar of programs and events that fit the needs of our membership and others who are interested in PRSA programs. Responsibilities include:
  • Working with the membership committee to ensure our events and programming is responsive to our member and prospect's needs.
  • Coming up with a calendar of programs, both formal professional development events and informal mixers.
  • Planning every detail of events and overseeing them from start to finish, both new events and our signature chapter events, including Speed pitching (May), Summer Mixer (August), Digital Media Summit (October), and the MarCom Awards in Partnership with the AMA (November).
  • Coordinating with the board, communications committee, and membership committee to ensure that the events are fully publicized to our current membership and to the community of PR and marketing professionals who may be interested in our programs.


Chairs:  Kimmy Venter and Tara Burnham This committee is responsible for communicating our chapter's events, mission, and news to members and prospects. Responsibilities include:
  • Identifying the Capital Region PRSA’s mission and messages and ensuring they are consistent in our communications.
  • Updating or creating a new PRSA website.
  • Managing our email communications, media outreach, and print communications.
  • Creating and disseminating news releases and other media outreach on behalf of the chapter.
  • Coordinating with the board, membership committee, programming, and accreditation committees to ensure our mission, membership benefits, and programs are communicated to our membership and other area professionals.


Chair: Kristin Legere This committee is only open to members who possess an APR accreditation. Responsibilities include identifying eligible APR candidates, delivering coaching and support, scheduling panel presentations, and conducting panel presentations.
  • Identify Eligible APR Candidates
    • Become familiar with the computer-based Examination and support materials.
    • Recruit, identify and invite candidates. Promote value and benefits of Accreditation.
    • Identify volunteers to work with you as coaches, mentors and Panel Presentation members.
    • Guide volunteers to ensure that they are familiar with materials appropriate for their roles.
    • Receive names from UAB of candidates approved in your area.
  • Deliver Coaching, Mentoring, Support Services
    • Download UAB-provided APR Coach’s version of APR Study Guide.
    • Use Coach's Guide in combination with online exercises, reference materials, and Online Study Course to deliver local prep program.
    • Offer prep support, mentoring and other resources to candidates.
  • Schedule Panel Presentations 
    • Receive notification from UAB of candidate request for Panel Presentation.
    • Receive copies of Panel Presentation Candidate Questionnaire.
    • Distribute candidate's questionnaire and panelists' materialsto three panelists 15 business days before Panel Presentation.
    • Explain what is required and time commitment to panel participants, i.e., approximately two hours to review each candidate's questionnaire and develop questions to ask during the session, and one-to-two hours for each Panel Presentation.
    • Designate Panel Presentation Chair.
    • Schedule candidate(s) for Panel Presentation.
  • Conduct Panel Presentations
    • Vote to Advance/not Advance candidate to computer-based Examination.
    • Send original copy of candidate’s questionnaire and scoring forms to UAB.
    • Receive UAB notification of Advance/not Advance status unless the candidate has requested that UAB not send you notification.
    • If candidate does not Advance, re-schedule Panel Presentation upon candidate's request no sooner than 90 days after first presentation.
    • If candidate is Advanced, provide support and encouragement to proceed to the computer-based Examination while preparation is fresh.
To join a committee, please contact the chairs and/or members listed above for more information. All current PRSA Capital Region members in good standing are invited and encouraged to get involved with a committee!