New PRSA-Central Illinois Board Begins

Nonprofit to Focus on National Speaker Recruitment, Membership Benefits, Engagement and Professional Development in 2017 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Jan. 19, 2017 – The Public Relations Society of America – Central Illinois chapter (PRSA-CI) announced its 2017 Board of Directors and strategic vision this month. The board is comprised of experienced public relations professionals from the central Illinois region, including communities such as Bloomington-Normal, Peoria, Springfield, Champaign-Urbana, Decatur, Charleston, Pekin, and more. The board plans professional development, programming, educational and networking opportunities.

“We’re excited to welcome new board members from OSF Healthcare and Carle Health System, and look forward to expanding the organization’s influence and reach from south of Chicago to north of St. Louis,” said Josh Kauffman, APR, PRSA-CI president and chief executive officer at KraftComm Consulting Group, LLC. “Our strategic vision for 2017 includes an aggressive focus on programming, professional development, digital engagement, outreach, and member benefits. With the value of public relations at an all-time high in organizations, today’s the best time for communication professionals and students to join PRSA-CI.”

The new 2017 PRSA-CI Board of Directors consists of:

  • Josh Kauffman, APR, president (KraftComm Consulting Group, Springfield);
  • John Lyday, APR, president-elect (Lyday Communications, Pekin);
  • Brian Sowa, Ph.D., secretary (Eastern Illinois University, Charleston);
  • Ernie Slottag, APR, treasurer (Slottag Communications, Springfield);
  • Pete Smudde, Ph.D., APR, accreditation chair (Illinois State University, Normal);
  • Stefanie McLeese, membership chair (Santos McLeese Public Relations, Champaign);
  • Ruth Slottag, APR, immediate past-president (Slottag Communications, Springfield);
  • John Wirtz, Ph.D., board member (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign);
  • Karen Brodbeck, board member (OSF HealthCare, Peoria); and
  • Jennifer Hendricks-Kaufmann, board member (Carle Health System, Urbana).

“For more than 35 years, the PRSA-CI chapter has provided a one-stop shop for industry insight, networking, and support for public relations students and professionals in all fields,” said Ruth Slottag, APR, nominating committee chair and partner at Slottag Communications. “The new officers and board members are dedicated to enhancing the member experience and bringing the most important topics, knowledge, and tools to PR practitioners.”

In 2016, the PRSA-CI chapter brought highly prominent speakers to central Illinois, including:

  • Johnny Smith, sr. director for PR at Ascension – the nation’s largest health care system.
  • Rebekah Iliff, chief strategy officer at AirPR – a global PR technology company from Silicon Valley – and columnist for Mashable, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Forbes. Iliff was named by Onalytica as a top 100 PR influencer in the world.
  • Jack Modzelewski, global president, business development, and partnerships and senior partner at FleishmanHillard – a top global communications firm.
  • Joe Yun, leader of social media analytics and crisis communications for Technology Services at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Nate Hartmann, higher education consultant and chief creative strategist for Yellow Box.

For more information about PRSA, visit To access PRSA-CI’s chapter website, log onto


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s