2017 PRSA North Pacific District Leadership
Alison Gaulden, APR, MBA
Alison Gaulden, APR, MBA, is faculty at the University of Nevada, Reynolds School of Journalism. She teaches the public relations/strategic communications sequences, media ethics, crisis communication, as well as manages the internship program for all journalism students.
For nearly a quarter of a century Alison worked as a reproductive freedom fighter conducting public affairs strategy for Planned Parenthood, including public policy influence, grassroots advocacy and volunteer development, media relations, community relations and health center marketing. Throughout that time she served as the spokesperson for the organization in the face of growing hostility.
Her dedication to PRSA is unwavering. A member since 1997, she served as president of PRSA Sierra Nevada Chapter twice (in 2003 and 2015). She’s won two chapter awards recognizing her dedication to the improvement of public relations and using her skills for community engagement. Additionally she serves as faculty adviser for PRSSA Nevada and the newly formed PRSSA Nevada Wolf Pack Relations Firm. In 2015 she received the PRSSA Teahan Outstanding Faculty Adviser of the Year. She’s won faculty adviser of the year award from UNR four times, including 2016.
Taraneh Fultz, APR
Taraneh Fultz, APR, is fifth generation San Franciscan (and Giants fan) who loves PR, hates the snow, and makes the best baklava – ever. When she’s not waiting in line at one of Portland’s best brunch spots, watching re-runs of Parks and Recreation with her husband and dogs (the dogs love Leslie Knope), or reading Jane Austen fan fiction, she’s a public relations strategist embedded in the B2B marketing function at Cambia Health Solutions, an organization dedicated to transforming health care by creating a person-focused and economically sustainable system.
The Portland Metro Chapter’s first millennial president, Taraneh’s PRSA service ranges from governance and finance to professional development and awards. She currently chairs the Oregon statewide governance committee and is a member of the national strategic planning committee.
Taraneh is Accredited in public relations by the Universal Accreditation Board, and has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public relations from the University of Oregon. PRSA’s Portland Chapter awarded her their 2007 New Professional of the Year.
Taraneh lives in Southeast Portland with her husband and two dogs, Oliver and Josephine, and is a founding member of the Ambassador Board of Albertina Kerr, Oregon’s oldest non-profit. Find her on Twitter @taranehfultz.
Erica N. Brown is a fundraising campaign assistant at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Greater Sacramento Area Chapter. She joined PRSA California Capital Chapter immediately after graduating from Sacramento State in 2014 and started the New Professionals Section for her Chapter. She currently serves as the Programming Chair for both the Chapter and the New Pros Section.
Prior to joining PRSA, Erica was highly involved in PRSSA and served as the assistant coordinator for the 2012 PRSSA National Conference in San Francisco then was elected to the PRSSA 2013-14 National Committee as the vice president of regional conferences. When she graduated, she worked for two different agencies before joining the nonprofit world with LLS.
Some of Erica’s awards include the National Leadership Award from the Delta Epsilon Iota Academic Honor Society in 2013, PRSSA National Gold Key in 2014 and Best Social Media Campaign from BIA Bay Area in 2015. She is also involved with the San Ramon Valley High School Alumni Association, Sacramento State Alumni Association and an active member of her local alumnae group of Alpha Chi Omega.
Find her on Twitter @hi_ericabrown.
Christine Varela, APR
Christine 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.
Immediate Past Chair
Pete Codella, MBA, APR
Pete Codella is a public relations and corporate communications counselor. He was named Professional Communicator of the Year at the 2014 Utah Golden Spike Awards. Pete earned his Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2005.
He’s an adjunct instructor in communications at Utah Valley University and has taught public relations and social media courses at UNLV, UCI Extension and the University of Utah.
Pete is a former local chapter president for the Public Relations Society of America, International Association of Business Communicators and Social Media Club.
National Board Liaison
Ronele Dotson, APR
Ronele 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.
National Nominating Committee Representative
John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA
John Charles Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA, currently an instructor of public relations at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC), retired in 2008 as the longest-serving public relations professional in the 100-year history of Eugene Water & Electric Board. For nearly 24 years, John oversaw the development and implementation of public relations strategies for the utility’s external communications with customers, the general public and the news media, and advised EWEB management and Board of Commissioners regarding public relations, marketing and advertising. Prior to EWEB, he was public relations director at McKenzie-Willamette Hospital in Springfield, and a writer/editor for the U.S. Forest Service. Prior to his career in public relations, he worked for several daily and weekly newspapers in the Northwest.
A member of PRSA since 1992 and a founding member of the Greater Oregon Chapter of PRSA, he served as president in 2004. John received his Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2000 and is the professional advisor for the UO chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. From 2008-10, John was Chair of the North Pacific District PRSA and was inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows in 2012. He received his undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Oregon, and completed graduate studies in journalism at the UO and marketing communications at Washington State University. Since 1986, he has taught public relations classes as a non-tenure track faculty member at UO SOJC. His blog can be found at gonzopublicrelations.blogspot.
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