In this issue:

Presidents’ Letter
Pro Bono Update
PR in Focus
Member Spotlight
Articles of Interest
Upcoming Events
Membership News
Sponsor Spotlight


Presidents’ Letter

Dear Members and Colleagues,
Thanks to everyone who joined us for January’s Annual Meeting featuring the keynote from Geoff Livingston.  His comments on next-gen wearable communication technology were quite fascinating and something to look into further as more information becomes available, specifically on how it will impact our industry.  We followed that up with the February’s professional development engaging presentation from industry expert Jenn Martin, the social media manager for AARP, on the top three keys to success. The event booked up quickly for members — so check out a recap video!  Stay tuned as we release the details about our upcoming March Professional Development event on evaluation and measurement — another important industry topic.
The 2013 brown bag series is off and running — we look forward to seeing you at a future event!  In addition to continuing to offer networking and skill building opportunities for members, 2013 will be focused on creating a professional support system for members that is based on peer-to-peer relationships.  One of our main goals is to bolster and strengthen the professional community of women here at WWPR.  We are feverishly working with the support from the board and the newly formed Advisory Council to bring this focus to life this year.  We will share more as we have it!
In the meantime, remember to get involved in a committee to get the most of our WWPR experience and if you have any questions please reach out to a board member or fellow committee member!




Pro Bono Update

The Financial Literacy Organization for Women and Girls (FLOW) will hold its First Annual Mother 2 Daughter Financial Summit on Saturday, March 9 at the National 4H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md.

This all-day event tailored just for teen and pre-teen girls and their moms will help these young women gain more confidence and smarts about the world of money and money matters, as well as arm them with tools and strategies to help them make better money decisions, achieve higher goals and realize their full potential.

First Annual Mother 2 Daughter Financial Summit

“Empowering Girls to be Money-Wise”
Saturday, March 9, 2013
8:30 am-3:00 pm
National 4H Conference Center
7100 Connecticut Avenue
Chevy Chase, Maryland

For more information and registration visit:


Meet WWPR’s New Pro Bono Client FLOW

WWPR’s new pro bono client for 2012 and 2013 is the Financial Literacy Organization for Women and Girls (FLOW). Founded by finance attorney Vernai Dantzler-Smith in 2007, FLOW’s mission is to provide the information necessary for women and girls to make thoughtful and responsible decisions about spending, saving, borrowing, investing, and building assets. In this Q&A with Vernai, we learn more about FLOW.

Q: Why did you start FLOW?

A: I started FLOW because I recognized the need for more young people, especially young women and girls (ages 10-18) to be knowledgeable about matters concerning money, finance and global markets.  Seven out of 10 women (and girls who grow up to become women) can expect to be old and alone.  80% of us will be divorced, unmarried, widowed.  70% of us will suffer from a chronic physical or cognitive disability, and many will be broke.  Middle-class women are the fastest growing demographic of bankruptcy filers in the U.S. today, and now out-pace men in their race to the courthouse for financial relief.  Our goal is to provide all women and girls with the education, tools and strategies necessary to be independent and self-reliant in the face of these odds. (Sources: Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging, U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control, and American Bankruptcy Institute)

Q: What impact does FLOW have on young women today?

A: We make sure that our efforts are designed to make a difference through

life-changing programs centered on three core competencies: 1) economic literacy, 2) asset building and 3) entrepreneurship. We also offer a wide-range of programs, conferences, and workshops aimed at self-reliance and financial independence. Coaching and mentoring opportunities are also an important part of our agenda.

Q: Why is financial independence and economic security important for young girls to learn at an early age?

A: Poor economic situations force millions of women and girls into harm’s way, where they are often the subjects of crime, violence and abuse, with adolescent girls being especially vulnerable.  Girls who live in financial distress are at a high risk for engaging in smoking, drinking, drugs, violence and sexual activity which not only have negative implications on their general well-being, but on their life prospects as well.  At FLOW, we are striving to change that.

Q: What are some of FLOW’s major activities this year?

A: FLOW will be partnering with the financial markets to host our First Annual Mother 2 Daughter Financial Summit on March 9 in the Washington, DC area. The theme is “Empowering Girls to be Money-Wise.”  Moms and their daughters are invited to attend for a day of powerful curriculum about money, finance and global markets tailored just for teen and pre-teen girls and their moms.  Girls will not only emerge from the Summit with more confidence and smarts about the world of money and money matters, but will be armed with tools and strategies to help them make better money decisions, achieve higher goals and realize their full economic potential.  Registration is open now at


PR in Focus

PR in Focus is a monthly column written by WWPR member Jessica Williams exploring a wide range of topics and current events from a public relations perspective.

PR & the Presidency

Public relations can be broadly defined as the “flow of information between an individual or an organization and the public” and the “professional maintenance of a favorable public image by an organization or a famous person.”  With the pomp and circumstance of President Barack Obama’s second inauguration now over and as the next term gets underway, the country’s first African American commander-in-chief faces many unenviable challenges over the next four years — one of which is maintaining his high approval rating and public image while moving forward on an ambitious policy agenda.

For a president who ran on the principles of racial inclusion, opportunity and success for all, the bar has been set high. The Obama administration will be challenged to counter the perception that he may be falling back on his pledge to “faithfully execute” and ensure equality for all. He will need to put together a faithful coterie of advisories that is not exclusively made up of white men lest he be accused of “…suffer[ing] from Groucho Marx syndrome: He favors those in the club he doesn’t belong to.”  Image is paramount, especially for a president.

In the weeks leading up to the inauguration, as several first term Cabinet members announced their departures, hope for a diverse slate of nominees was soon followed by dismay as a worrisome trend emerged that the second term Cabinet would be far less diverse than the first. With the “big three” posts going to white men in Treasury (Jack Lew), Defense (Chuck Hagel) and State (John Kerry), I know I joined many others in wondering “why”?

Even though Susan Rice removed herself from consideration for Secretary of State after considerable controversy over the American consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya, if confirmed she would have been a female African American nominee and the third consecutive woman to lead the State Department.  Still, one had to wonder why there couldn’t be more Cabinet nominees who represent the diversity that is today’s America-one which Obama repeatedly referred to in his inaugural speech and on the campaign trail.


Member Spotlight

By Beth Stewart

This month’s member spotlight features WWPR member and board member Avelyn Austin of Ketchum Public Relations.

Coming from a digital background, Avelyn Austin’s advice for those itching to break into the communications industry is one should start by garnering a basic knowledge of online/digital communications.

“The way things are moving with communications and people being on, what we say, four screens, (i.e. TV screen, tablets, computer, mobile), it’s important to learn as much as possible with the online communications piece,” said Austin.

Austin stays ahead of the curve serving as account supervisor for strategic insights and new media development for Ketchum Public Relations. In this role, she is responsible for executing strategic online marketing campaigns. Outside of work, Austin not only runs the Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Meetup but she also serves as co-chair to WWPR’s Woman of the Year committee. She says this year the goal is to meet and exceed what the previous co-chairs accomplished.

“We want to build off of what Amy and Susie (previous co-chairs) did last year with great speakers, great engagement and a great turnout,” said Austin.


Articles of Interest

Upcoming Events


WWPR Job Board

Post a Job

Membership News

January New Members

– Jessica Williams: The Pew Charitable Trusts
Amy Repke: Freelance Writer/Communications Specialist
Avelyn Austin: Ketchum
Stephanie DuBois: Office of Congressman Charles F. Bass
Rachel Deitch: Nahigian Strategies
Alison Omens: AFL-CIO
Barbara Leary: Florida Power & Light Company
Laura Alito: Hill + Knowlton Strategies
Brittany Roh: Regnery Publishing
Eugenia Gardner: Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation
Amanda Szabo: Autism Society
Kathy Stershic: Dialog Research & Communications
Samantha McCoy: MissionKey Communications, LLC
Shana Glickfield: Beekeeper Group
Anya Alexander: Hager Sharp
Nathalie Rahnama: MediaForce PR
Sharon Lewis: Brown Capital Management
Sherrie Bakshi: Matrix Group International
E. Yewande Adegboyega-Panox: FDA
Anne Redmiles: Westland Enterprises, Inc.
Anne Marie Borrego: American Red Cross
Yulia Dianova: Entrepreneur

January Renewals

– Margaret McClain: Hill+Knowlton Strategies
– Carols Stevens: American Bar Association
– Debbie Friez: BurrellesLuce
– Hillarie Turner: Environics Communications
Amy Malerba Hemingway: Edelman
– Melanie Jordan: PRofessional Solutions, LLC
– Kate Perrin: PRofessional Solutions, LLC
– Rachel Henderson: Ogilvy Washington
– Nyree Wright: MSL Washington
– Susie Tappouni: ASCO
– Beth Stewart: Vorsight
– Colleen Fogarty: American Diabetes Association
Heather Curry: American College of Radiology


Sponsor Spotlight

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