2019 PRSA North Pacific District Leadership

Chair, Christine Varela, APR (Greater Spokane Chapter)

Christine Varela, APRChristine has more than 13 years of experience in public relations, public affairs, marketing and communications. As a Partner at DH, she has played a major role in brand initiatives for regional hospitals, lead statewide public affairs strategies, and built integrated marketing campaigns for healthcare, tribal enterprises, government and public transit clients. Before joining DH, Christine served as the marketing and communications director for Empire Health Services where she successfully led the effort to turn around a 10-year decline in market share and developed the communications and public affairs strategy that positioned the hospital system for a successful sale to the country’s largest for-profit hospital chain.

Christine has been involved with PRSA for about 10 years, serving for six years on the board of the Greater Spokane chapter. She earned her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2009. Most recently, Christine spoke at PRSA’s Healthcare Academy conference in Washington, D.C. and at the North Pacific District’s regional conference in Reno.

Christine graduated magna cum laude from Gonzaga University with a bachelor of arts degree in public relations and a minor in political science.

Chair-Elect, Chad Saley, APR (Greater Salt Lake Chapter)

Chad Saley, APR is one of the few people who knew he wanted to do PR before going to college and low and behold that is exactly what he did. Nearly 19 years later he is still at it. He has worked for agencies, government and is now happily working in corporate communications.

Chad’s exposure to PRSA started at the University of Utah where he served as president of the PRSSA chapter, since that time he has gone on to serve in a variety of roles in the Greater Salt Lake Chapter of PRSA including treasurer, awards chair and as chapter president.

During his career he has performed hundreds of media interviews, planned large and small scale events and used social media to effectively engage the public.

He holds a BS in Mass Communication from the University of Utah and an MA in Strategic Communication and Leadership from Seton Hall University.

Secretary, David Kennedy, APR (Alaska Chapter)

David J. Kennedy oversees internal, external and executive communications for Wells Fargo in Alaska, Washington and Oregon. He has 15 years of marketing and communications experience, all with Wells Fargo. Kennedy earned his accreditation in public relations (APR) in 2012 and bachelor’s degree in communication from Florida State University in 2000. He serves as PRSA North Pacific District board secretary, PRSA Puget Sound Chapter scholarship committee member, and former PRSA Alaska Chapter board member. He is actively involved in the community as a member of The Salvation Army Northwest Division’s King County advisory board and Habitat for Humanity volunteer. Kennedy is married with four children and resides in Puyallup, Washington.

Co-Chair – Member Programming
Ellie Javadi, APR (Silicon Valley & SF Bay Area Chapters)

Ellie has served on various PRSA leadership teams at the District, National and Chapter levels. Most recently, Ellie was the 2019 president of the Silicon Valley chapter board. In addition, she has served as Treasurer (2007, 2008) for the NP District Board as well as co-chaired the January, 2019 Postcard from SF: Women in Media/Women in Communications event. On the National level, she is a member of the PRSA Governance Committee where she reviews chapter bylaws to ensure they are in line with PRSA National bylaw standards.

Ellie has more than fifteen years of marketing and communications experience having worked in the technology, venture, health and research industries. She has been in her current role for nearly six years at Norwest Venture Partners, a venture capital firm managing more than $9.5B in capital.

Previous to Norwest, Ellie was the head of communications at Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in northern California where she was responsible for corporate and marketing communications initiatives for SRI and its spin-off companies. Earlier, Ellie was at Angus & Rudin (now Edelman) communications firm, where she developed and managed full-spectrum corporate communications programs for clients. Ellie has also led the communications function at Agile Software, Aspect Development, and Ariba.

Ellie holds a bachelor of science in political science/applied history and a master of arts degree in professional writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

Co-Chair – Member Programming
Deb McManus, APR (Silicon Valley & SF Bay Area Chapters)

Deb McManus, APR, joined GE Power Digital Solutions as Senior Communications Leader, in 2015. She has global responsibility for the Energy and Industry PR and Media Relations program for GE’s software division. She also oversees marketing communications and customer communications for the business.

Over her 20+ year career, she’s held numerous senior-level marketing and communications leadership roles in Fortune 500 companies, managing teams and budgets in excess of $1M. In these roles, she’s been a principal advisor to C-level executives managing corporate reputation, integrated marketing and brand communications, public relations, corporate communications, and issues management. She is a proven leader in strategic planning and organizing communication systems that deliver results.

Prior to joining GE, McManus served as Executive Communications Consultant for Cisco’s Chief Information Security Officer, a worldwide technology leader in security. She began her career in PR working in the non-profit sector and has held numerous roles at companies such as Roche Molecular Diagnostics, XOMA, Bayer Healthcare, and Applera Corporation. Deb holds an APR credential and a Bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Geneseo.

National Nominating Committee Representative
Harriet (Hatti) L. Hamlin (Silicon Valley & SF Bay Area Chapter)

In a career spanning 45 years, Hatti has counseled clients ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to government, non-profit and educational institutions. She began her career working in the Washington State governor’s office, followed by a stint representing the Republican Caucus of the Washington State House of Representatives. She handled statewide lobbying campaigns and a wide array of community relations campaigns, in addition to a multitude of marketing and corporate public relations initiatives.

Hatti managed her own PR firm for 14 years, and then joined The Evans Group (now Publicis) in 1996 as executive vice president and head of the firm’s San Francisco public relations division. She left Publicis in 2000 to join Fleishman-Hillard, where she was vice president and head of the San Francisco health care practice.

In 2001, Hatti returned to solo practice, where her clients have ranged from technology to financial services, health care, commercial real estate development and nonprofit organizations.

National Nominating Committee Representative Alternates

  • Kristin Patricia Helvey, APR (Alaska Chapter)
  • Karina Jennings, APR (Puget Sound Chapter)

Chair – Accreditation / Fellows
Michele Horaney, APR (Puget Sound Chapter)

I am a solopreneur dedicated to providing excellent public relations services for socially conscious individuals, organizations and businesses under the name Thought Leader Public Relations. After a career in newspapers as an editor and reporter in Illinois and California, I was a PR practitioner — hired as a writer and departing as department manager — for 22 years [1987 to 2009] at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. From 2009 to 2010, I was communications director at Maplight.org, a non-profit that tracks campaign donations to national and state of California politicians. I then took my fate in my own hands and decided to become my own boss. And assistant. And staff. And cleaning crew. I have worked recently with a local non-profit with a $400,000 budget and a portfolio of significant challenges and issues [strategic plan, social media, media relations AND crisis communications!], a certified financial planner taking his practice green, several attorneys and an author who wrote 20 books over 25 years — and isn’t done yet — to aid small business and independent contractors.

Jacque Coe, APR (Puget Sound Chapter)

Jacque Coe is an independent practitioner with over 18 years of experience in communications and PR. Jacque has served on the executive teams of dynamic and growing public agencies including the Seattle Public Schools, the Bellevue School District, the Dairy Farmers of Washington and Washington’s Lottery.  Jacque started her career in public relations as the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Alliance for Education, the charitable foundation for the Seattle Public Schools.

Jacque’s first career was in television journalism, most recently at KING-TV in Seattle where she planned daily news, special reports, special projects, and breaking news coverage. Prior to KING, Jacque was a news director, anchor, reporter and assignment editor for TV stations in Oregon, Idaho, North Dakota and Spokane; winning numerous awards for writing and news coverage. Jacque is a graduate of Eastern Washington University, holding a BA in Communications-Radio/TV News.  You can find more about Jacque, including case studies and references to PRSA at jacquecoe.com. You can find her on Twitter at @jacquecoe

Chair – Chapter Leader Programming
Beth Heinrich, APR (Oregon Chapter)

For more than 25 years, Heinrich has lead marketing and communications teams and programs for a variety of organizations, including the Portland Art Museum, U.S. Bank, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the American Red Cross. She currently leads the strategic communications department at OHSU, the state’s only academic health center.

Chair – District Communications
R. Helyse Turner, APR (Greater Salt Lake Chapter)

Helyse Turner is a public relations practitioner with expertise in nonprofit and government sectors. For the past 11 years, she has focused on the essential needs and education industries and is currently the Admissions, Business & Community Director at Clearfield Job Corps Center in Utah. She has also held roles with the Sierra Nevada Job Corps Center, the Food Bank of Northern Nevada and the Bureau of Land Management.

Turner earned a master’s degree from Gonzaga University in communication and leadership studies and a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with an emphasis in public relations from the University of Nevada, Reno. She is currently working on her Ph.D in organizational leadership at Eastern University. She is extremely active in the business community and serves on the board of governors of the Davis Chamber of Commerce. Turner is also the 2017 chair of the Davis Chamber of Commerce Lakesiders Committee, a member of the Ogden Chamber of Commerce Women in Business, and was the 2016 Davis Chamber Women in Business Committee Chair.

Co-Chair – District Communications
Sally Ridenour, APR (Oregon Chapter)

Experienced government communicator with a specialty in web-based communications. Prior to working for the State of Oregon, I worked in the private sector in sales and marketing. I am proud to be accredited in public relations from the Public Relations Society of America and a proud graduate of the University of Idaho (Go Vandals!). In my spare time, I enjoy entering recipe contests and going for walks with my husband and dog.

Chair – Chapter Event Promotions
Dotti Gallagher, APR (Greater Salt Lake Chapter)

Dotti began her career at First Interstate Bank, where she transformed the perception of new account representatives from “order-takers” to sales consultants. Next, she moved into a PR role at U.S. Bank, where she built a positive reputation for the bank by developing media-savvy leaders and implementing corporate social responsibility strategies. In 2001, Dotti transitioned to an agency as director of public relations. There, she led the firm’s PR practice, crafting innovative communication strategies for clients. She joined staffing leader TrueBlue, Inc., in 2003 as senior director of marketing. Here, Dotti championed the company’s entrée into the digital world, leading the development of numerous websites and introducing SEO, social media and content practices. She built competency and appreciation for communication across the organization. Dotti launched her consulting practice in 2016. This venture combines her childhood dream of writing with her adult mission to creatively inspire others.

Chair – Nominating Committee
Kristin Patricia Helvey, APR (Alaska Chapter)

Kristin Helvey, MBA, APR, is principal of Helvey Communications, a full-service public relations firm in Anchorage, Alaska. Kristin has worked for more than a decade helping leaders and staff at all levels drive communication improvement.

Kristin has built extensive and unique experience in such areas as multicultural communications and community partnership development and has been featured nationally in such publications as PRWeek US and Medical Home News. Her teams have earned numerous awards for special events, communication materials and campaign design, including the 2016 Public Relations Society of America’s Alaska Grand Award and 2017 PRSA Silver Anvil Award for the development and implementation of a recent crisis communication plan.

Inspired by the potential strategic communication has to effect positive change, Kristin opened Helvey Communications in 2010 and now consults with and assists organizations across community sectors in improving communications strategy and execution. To ensure the highest levels of quality, efficiency and continuity for her clients, Kristin utilizes a network of skilled professionals, as needed, to deliver products and services that meet the entire spectrum of public relations and communications needs.

Kristin’s Alaska Native heritage lured her home after completing a bachelor’s degree in public relations at Oklahoma State University. To solidify a keen understanding of communication as it relates to business priorities, she completed her master’s degree in business administration at Alaska Pacific University, where she now teaches marketing as an adjunct professor.

Kristin serves as a board member and officer for PRSA’s Alaska Chapter and represents the Alaska market in the national PRConsultants Group.

Kristin is accredited in public relations by PRSA.

Chair – Governance Committee
Linda Farmer, APR (Puget Sound)

Linda Farmer, APR is a senior communications leader with more than 25 years of experience. Her firm, Sunrise Public Relations, specializes in short-term writing, editing, media relations and marketing projects.

A self-described government geek, Linda has led communications efforts for Pierce County Library System, the cities of Tacoma and Federal Way, and for the Washington State Puget Sound Action Team (now the Puget Sound Partnership). In addition, Linda put her communications skills to work for the Association of Washington School Principals and Pacific Lutheran University. She got her start as a newspaper reporter and features editor for the Federal Way News.

Linda holds a Master of Science degree in Communications Management from Syracuse University. Her capstone, “Top 10 Secrets of Local Government Communicators,” won an Outstanding Master’s Project” award from the Women Executives in Public Relations Foundation. Linda earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Editorial Journalism and Political Science from the University of Washington, Seattle. And, she is nationally accredited in public relations (APR) through the Public Relations Society of America.

Active in her community, Linda serves on advisory boards for KNKX 88.5 FM (formerly KPLU) and the Pierce County Prosecutor’s office. She is an active member and past president of the Puget Sound Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. She also is Treasurer of the Idlewild Elementary School PTA. She lives in Lakewood, WA with her husband, daughter and slightly neurotic cat, Cassiopeia.


2019 North Pacific District representative on National Board

National Board Secretary, Ronele Dotson, APR (Sierra Nevada Chapter)

Ronele Dotson, APRRonele M. Dotson, APR is founder and president of RAD Strategies Inc., celebrating 15 years of business in 2017. Focused on the integration of marketing, communication, social networking and new media strategies, Ronele brings 24 years of communications, networking and innovation to the agency’s clients.

She holds a certification as an Accredited Public Relations (APR) professional and is a proud graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno.

Ronele currently serves on the National Board of Directors for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) chairing the 2015 and 2016 PRSA Brand Marketing Task Force, charged with the society’s branding research study and implementation strategy. She also serves on the finance and strategic planning committees.

Ronele also serves on Nevada Women’s Fund Board of Directors and is a member of the Reno-Tahoe Chapter of the American Marketing Association.

Work completed on behalf of RAD’s clients has garnered several Silver Spike Awards of Excellence in Public Relations Programming from the PRSA Sierra Nevada Chapter as well as ACE Awards from the local chapter of American Marketing Association (AMA).

Faith, family and friends are her priorities and help to keep her balanced.

Director, North Pacific District
Michelle Egan, APR, Fellow PRSA (Alaska Chapter)

Michelle Egan is the Director of Corporate Communications responsible for managing the Anchorage, Fairbanks, Valdez and Washington, DC communications staff. Michelle manages all of the company’s formal internal and external communications programs including media relations, community relations, government relations, and stakeholder relations.

Michelle brings more than 20 years of professional communications experience.

Michelle was raised in Kodiak. She is a graduate of Boston College with a degree in Psychology and holds the APR (Accredited in Public Relations) certification. She also holds a Masters degree in Strategic Communications and Leadership from Seton Hall University. She brings professional communications and public relations experience to this position, and offers great depth in areas such as communication strategies, media relations, and crisis communication management. She previously worked in communications roles with the Anchorage School District, the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation and Junior Achievement of Alaska. Michelle serves on the board of directors of Catholic Social Services, Alaska Resource Education, the Alaska Chamber of Commerce and the Public Relations Society of America Alaska Chapter. In 2002, she was named a Top 40 Under 40 by the Alaska Journal of Commerce. Michelle and her husband, Jack, have two children, Kieran and Morgan.

Scott Wesley Thornburg, APR

Scott W. Thornburg, APR, is an accredited marketing communications leader with 7+ years of global agency and in-house experience. Passionate about his work, he is known for thoughtful management of complex issues, careful attention to detail and high-impact leadership.

Scott has been a strategic communications adviser for top global brands including Oracle, ExxonMobil, Dell, Cirque du Soleil, Hard Rock, Nasdaq, lynda.com (acquired by LinkedIn) and more.

He’s a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi (2010), with a degree in journalism, and an emphasis in public relations. Scott is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and serves on the organization’s national board.


North Pacific District Chair History

Thank you to the public relations professionals the PRSA volunteers who have given so much of their time and talent to lead the district.

Taraneh Fultz, APR – 2018
Alison Gaulden, APR – 2017
Pete Codella, APR – 2016
Betsy Hays, APR, Fellow PRSA – 2015
Scott Trotter, APR – 2014
Ronele Dotson, APR – 2013
Amber Chiang, APR – 2012
Janelle Guthrie, APR – 2011
Nancy Kincaid, APR – 2010
Mara Woloshin, APR, Fellow PRSA – 2009
John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA – 2008
Christina Ragsdale, APR – 2007
Cary Greenwood, APR, Fellow PRSA – 2006
John Kvasnosky, APR – 2005
Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA – 2004
Harriet Hamlin, APR, Fellow PRSA – 2003
Gail Dundas, APR – 2002
Kathryn Hubbell, APR, Fellow PRSA – 2001
Margaret Allender, APR – 2000
Sharon VanSickle, APR – 1999


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