Central Illinois PRSA – Summer 2016


PRSAPresidentJKOur summer season is often associated with barbeques, family outings, vacations, watching the kids at home, finalizing the budget for a new fiscal year, or starting the first chapter of the book you’ve wanted to read for some time. But, often, we could use the warm season to learn a new technical skill, perfect graphic design or video production, enhance  our social media proficiency or analytics, blogging, or to set aside time to volunteer at your favorite nonprofit organization. As we consider the plethora of options for the season, let’s recap the many popular events that already took place in our Public Relations Society of America – Central Illinois chapter and highlight new opportunities for our members and guests to become more involved.

April 28 Event in Peoria on Organizational Change Management

In the Embassy Suites in Peoria, our chapter learned from keynote speaker Jack Modzelewski, global president, business development and partnerships, and senior partner of FleishmanHillard. Without a doubt, we were inspired by his perspective and insightful stories on organization change management throughout Fortune 500 companies. With a packed room, our attendees had the unique opportunity to obtain hundreds of takeaways, and answers to their most pressing questions. We are grateful for Jack’s wisdom, and the invaluable experiences he graciously shared with us that evening.

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Free Chapter Membership Through Summer

Have you considered joining our PRSA-CI and were waiting for a membership promotion to help lower your annual costs? Now is the time! I want to personally extend an invitation for you to seriously consider becoming a member, as our free chapter promotion runs through the summer months after individuals become a national member and access hundreds of benefits and a network of more than 21,000 PR professionals across the world. To learn more about this promotion and to join today, please click here.

Chapter Progress & Opportunities

As we progress further into the summer, our chapter has experienced continual growth in membership, programming, and value added opportunities. Our chapter launched a new comprehensive website, which expands new features and information for members, and also introduced a new mentorship program to help PRSA-CI members and professionals excel in their chosen industries. To access and bookmark our new PRSA-CI website, please click here.

New PRSA-CI Mentorship Program

We have recently initiated a value-added program for PRSA-CI members to either serve as a mentor or mentee. Mentees are matched with experienced mentors who are available to coach, guide and assist other PRSA-CI members through calendar year 2016. If you are a PRSA-CI member and are interested in becoming a mentor or mentee, please complete the brief form on https://centralillinoisprsa.org/contact-us/ and describe what you are looking for in a mentor or mentee.

Communications and Social Media

Our chapter continues to offer publishing opportunities, in our newsletter, for members to summarize our events, describe what they learned and how they plan to apply it in their career. Our chapter also unveiled our new PRSA-CI LinkedIn Group page for members to share best practices, learn about new career and development opportunities, and ask questions in a forum style or share contacts.

As a chapter, our membership numbers and influence continue to rise, and we continue to partner with communication and marketing groups throughout the Midwest. In addition, I’m very pleased to report that we have reached more than 110 followers on our PRSA-CI Facebook page! If you haven’t done so yet, please “like” our Facebook page to learn more about industry news and upcoming events, and members can also join our PRSA-CI LinkedIn Group page to share best practices, contacts and opportunities. Our next chapter event is anticipated to occur in September with planning already underway. More details will be posted to our Facebook page in the weeks ahead.

Thanks again for your continual support and involvement in our chapter, and we look forward to seeing you at our event in September!


Warmest regards,


Josh Kauffman, MBA, APR

PRSA-CI President

System Director of Communications and Public Affairs

Hospital Sisters Health System


My Transition to Central Illinois, and Passion for PRSA

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In June 2015 our family of five made the move from Dallas, Texas to Central Illinois. I had become a mother for the third time and “Big Vic” – who was a ten-pound newborn – was only four months old when we boarded our one-way flight from DFW to CMI.

We can joke about this now because things have worked out and life is good. We made the choice to relocate from the bustling city to a more rural environment where our kids could run wild and free. My husband is from Monticello, just outside of Champaign, and is a U of I grad. His family is dispersed within a small radius of our home and as they say, “it takes a village to raise children.” We met in Dallas when we both worked at Southern Methodist University, he as an athletic trainer and I as a media relations specialist in the athletic department.

I’m a small-town Texas girl, so farmers and wide open spaces are familiar to me. That said, I spent my entire professional life in Dallas, home to many world-class PR firms and global companies. As one might imagine, the business landscape in Central Illinois, particularly Champaign-Urbana, looks quite a bit different. While the transition has been relatively easy for my husband (who continues to home-office for his employer) and my resilient young children, I am still figuring out where I fit into the professional mix within this market.

For the last five years, I worked as a freelance PR/communications advisor. I have retained some of my Texas-based clients and am excited to be working with some really fantastic Illinois-based companies and brands as well. Prior to life as a consultant, I grew up professionally in a variety of corporate communications roles with national and global companies.

I’ve experienced quite a bit of personal and professional change over the last few years. Through it all, the constant has always been PRSA. I served as the Membership Chair for Dallas PRSA in 2012 and am now very happy to serve as the Central Illinois PRSA Membership Chair. If we haven’t already been touch, let’s do that soon. My CI PRSA colleagues have provided an overwhelming amount of hospitality and genuine interest my professional development. Being the “new kid on the block” is not always easy, but this group has certainly made my transition as smooth as possible by providing a comfortable atmosphere where I can network and ask questions. As your Membership Chair, and as a newbie to Illinois, I would welcome the opportunity to get together for a casual lunch or cup of coffee. Let me answer any questions you may have about PRSA and let’s help each other figure out ways to solve business challenges by providing smart, strategic PR and communications solutions.

Stefanie Santos McLeese

Owner and CEO

Central Illinois – PRSA

Membership Chair



“UnSelling” author Scott Stratten to share customer engagement expertise at PRSA International Conference in Indianapolis

Marketing and social media expert Scott Stratten will deliver the closing keynote presentation at the Public Relations Society of America’s 2016 International Conference on Tuesday, Oct. 25 in Indianapolis. Named one of the “Top 5 Social Media Influencers in the World” by Forbes Magazine, Stratten has authored four best-selling business books, including “UnSelling: The New Customer Experience,” and his clients’ marketing videos have been viewed over 60 million times. Stratten joins Astronaut Scott Kelly  and cyber security expert Theresa Payton on the conference’s keynote speaker list.

Attendees can save $200 by registering for the conference by Aug. 26. Discounted hotel and travel rates are also available.



1). Media Relations Specialist

Location: US-IL-Bloomington


At COUNTRY Financial, our Media Relations Specialist builds, enhances and maintains the reputation and brand of COUNTRY Financial ® by ensuring the support of our corporate mission, objectives and vision through external communications.

2). Communications Creative Services Producer/Videographer Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. in Springfield, Illinois

Location: IL – Springfield

Make your mark in Broadcasting and Digital Media. Sinclair Broadcast Group and Sinclair Digital Solutions are dedicated to making Sinclair…

3). Digital Content Producer Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. in Springfield, Illinois

Location:IL – Springfield

Make your mark in Broadcasting and Digital Media. Sinclair Broadcast Group and Sinclair Digital Solutions are dedicated to making Sinclair…

4). Manager, Special Events (Quincy, IL)

Location: Illinois

Responsible for planning, managing, and executing special events in the field office area. Successful outcomes are defined in part by dollars raised, teams…

5). Communications Specialist

Illinois Senate Democrats

Location: Springfield, IL

$30,000 a year

Communications / Public Relations:. The Communications Department at the Office of the Illinois Senate President is always on the lookout for talented…

6). Provider Outreach Specialist


Location: Springfield, IL

Communications center, website) including maintaining the communication. Communication Manager and outlined in the Communication Plan….

7). Director, Corporate Marketing, Brand & PR

Sitel – United States

Strong leadership style and ability to prioritize and work under pressure to tight deadlines. As caring for customers becomes the differentiator that drives…

8). Program Associate

Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln

Location:  Springfield, IL

Proactively identifying ways to advance the work of the Foundation in the area of public a0nd community relations….

9). Community Relations Coordinator

Heritage Enterprises

Location: Springfield, IL

Candidates must possess a strong understanding of census development, sales, marketing, networking, public speaking, community events, and building and…

10). Visual Communications Coordinator – Marketing

Springfield Clinic

Location:  Springfield, IL

Under the direct supervision of the Marketing Manager, the Visual Communications Coordinator is responsible for working collaboratively with other Visual…

11). Marketing Assistant & Social Media Manager (Internship)

Interactive Media Inc.

Location: Springfield, IL

Know about social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat. We are looking for Marketing Assistants & Social Media Managers …

12). Marketing and Advertising Associate

Springfield Plastics, Inc

Location: Auburn, IL

Springfield Plastics, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of drainage pipe in the Midwest. We offer the highest quality pipe and fittings in the industry.

13). Event Coordinator

WHOlives – Springfield, IL

The Race Against Time events are a fun and grassroots way to raise money and awareness to help save and improve the lives of nearly 1 Billion people that suffer…

14). Senior Photographer

University of Illinois at Springfield

Location:  Springfield, IL

$20.40 an hour

Takes digital photographs of a wide variety of subjects and special events on campus for the purpose of public relations and internal communication , including…

15). Marketing Director/Admissions

Aperion Care

Location: Bloomington, IL

This individual would be responsible for public relations, event planning, and processing admissions.

16). Coordinator, Communications

Illinois State University

Location: Normal, IL

Ability to comfortably interact with individuals in the campus community and the general public. As a key member of the University’s editorial and design team,…

17). Outreach & Communications Specialist

Heartland Head Start

Location: Bloomington, IL

Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, Communications or related field. Engage in public outreach and networking as directed….


18). Communications & Outreach Coordinator

OSF Healthcare – Peoria

Strong interpersonal and team leadership skills to coordinate cross facility relationships and interactions…

19). Director of Marketing

Petersen Health Care

Location: Peoria, IL 61614

Assist with corporate and local public relations. Successful candidate will be an energetic, creative, self starter with efficient multi-tasking ability, strong;

20). Community Relations Director

Bickford Senior Living

Location: Peoria, IL


Planning is underway for our next event this September 2016 in Urbana-Champaign. Stay tuned for more details!


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