Public Relations Society of America adds Asheville-based WNC chapter

Press release from the Public Relations Society of America:

PRSA, the nation’s leading professional organization serving the communications community, announced today that it has added Western North Carolina to its roster of more than 110 Chapters across the country. With this addition, North Carolina now has a total of four PRSA Chapters, including the Charlotte Chapter, North Carolina Chapter (Raleigh-Durham) and Tar Heel Chapter (Greensboro). It is also one of 11 states to have at least four PRSA Chapters.
The Western North Carolina Chapter was conceptualized and facilitated by experienced PR professional Janet Oppenheimer, APR, Fellow PRSA. The organization will be based in Asheville, North Carolina, and encompass the 22 western counties of the state. It will also be the 13th Chapter to join the PRSA Southeast District, comprised of 2,500+ members in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
“We are pleased to welcome the Western North Carolina Chapter, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact this new chapter will have on PRSA, our members and the profession,” said Debra D. Peterson, APR, 2019 PRSA National Chair. “Members are the lifeblood of every organization and engaged members can reap the benefits of all that PRSA offers.”
The Chapter will be led by Sarah Broberg, Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communications & Marketing at the University of North Carolina Asheville. She is also the president and founder of SB Corporate Consultancy. With 20 years of experience providing corporate consultancy services, she has served clients in the United States, as well as across the Middle East and North Africa, Europe and the Gulf region.
“As public relations professionals, I believe we have an ethical and moral obligation to examine and evolve industry best practices for the benefit of the national communication landscape and future PR practitioners,” said Broberg. “Over the past 1.5 years, we have cultivated relationships between PR professionals and students in all areas of Western North Carolina to ensure the sustainability of the Chapter from its inception. Collectively, we have an opportunity and a responsibility to foster a media environment that serves the needs and best interests of our communities. The PRSA Western North Carolina Chapter aspires to do just that for the benefit of our region.”
The Western North Carolina Chapter has already garnered interest among public relations professionals in the area with members who work at universities, including Appalachian State, Western North Carolina and University of North Carolina Asheville. In addition to several public relations agencies, PRSA Western North Carolina members also work for organizations like Biltmore Company, Biltmore Farm Hotels and Explore Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Chapter will also serve two PRSSA Chapters at Western Carolina University and Appalachian State University, as well as communications students from the University of North Carolina Asheville.

The inaugural officers of the Western North Carolina Chapter for 2019-2020 are:

·         Sarah Broberg – President/Assembly Delegate (Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Communication & Marketing, University of North Carolina Asheville)
·         Sarah Goldstein – President Elect/Assembly Delegate (Marketing & Communications Specialist Carolina Day School, Asheville, NC)
·         Mike Crisp – Treasurer (Owner, Crisp Public Relations, Marion, NC)
·         Rachael Farr – Secretary (Corporate Communications, Robins & Morton, Waynesville, NC)
Western North Carolina Chapter board members include:

·         Dr. Scott A. Eldredge – Western Counties/Cullowhee Region(Assistant Professor of Communication, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC)
·         Amy Holcombe – Hendersonville/Brevard Region (Internal Communications Director,
Pardee UNC Health Care, Hendersonville, NC)
·         Megan Hayes, APR – Northwestern Counties/Boone Region (Director University Communications, Appalachian State University, Boone NC)
·         Emily McCollin – Asheville Area Region (Marketing Manager, Biltmore Farms Hotels, Asheville, NC)
·         Hannah Styles – PRSSA representative, ex-officio (Western Carolina University, Robbinsville, NC)
·         Janet Oppenheimer, APR, Fellow PRSA – Advisor, ex-officio (Retired PR Professional, Asheville, NC)
To join the new Chapter, click here. Find the Chapter’s website here, and its Facebook page here.
About PRSA
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is the nation’s leading professional organization serving the communications community. PRSA is the principal advocate for industry excellence and ethical conduct and provides members lifelong learning opportunities and leading-edge resources to enhance professional connections and support them at every stage of their career. With more than 30,000 members, PRSA is collectively represented in all 50 states by more than 110 Chapters and 14 Professional Interest Sections, and on nearly 375 college and university campuses through its student organization, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). For more information, please visit

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