Get Connected      Get Informed      Get Involved                      January 2017

Meet the 2017 Board of Directors for PRSA Maryland

PRSA Maryland is pleased to announce that
Claudia Ciolfi, Manager of Public Relations and Strategic Communications at Chesapeake Employers Insurance, has been elected president of the chapter’s board of directors effective January 1, 2017.

Claudia has been a member of PRSA since 1999. Most recently, she served as a member of the board and chairperson of the chapter’s Communications Committee. Claudia has been involved with the Maryland chapter in multiple leadership capacities over the years, including chairing the annual Chesapeake Conference Committee, the Communications Committee, and participating as a PRSA Bronze Anvil judge. She also served on the chapter’s board from 2008 – 2010.

“I would like to acknowledge Dan’s exceptional leadership skills and dedication to PRSA Maryland,” said Claudia. “His vision and guidance has, and continues to, motivate the board and committees to work together as a cohesive unit to make PRSA Maryland a resource for networking and education for area communications professionals.” 

Claudia succeeds Dan Dunne, APR, Director of Communications at Erickson Living, as president. Dan completed his one-year term as president on December 31, 2016. In 2017, Dan will serve as an assembly delegate for the chapter.
“I look forward to working with the new board of directors and committees to continue to move the chapter forward by offering members at all stages of their career quality learning and networking opportunities,” said Claudia. “There are exciting improvements on the horizon that will benefit our members and encourage new professionals to join our vibrant chapter.” Read bios here.
 The 2017 PRSA Maryland Board of Directors consists of:  

Claudia Ciolfi, Chesapeake Employers Insurance

Kelly Stoll, AECOM

Courtney Benhoff, Abel Communications
Jeff Davis, APR, Van Eperen
Dianna Fornaro, Chesapeake Employers Insurance
David Harrison, Harrison Communications
Caitlin Haskins, Imre
Jennifer Kellar, APR, AECOM
Emily McDermott, Nevins & Assoc.
Debra Shindler, MedStar Health
Lauren Walbert, Sandy Hillman Communications
Assembly Delegates
Dan Dunne, APR, Erickson Living
Ken Smith, APR, The Boeing Company

Profiles Hosts First
"Coffee With" of the New Year

What do you get when you bring together a bunch of PR pros, serve them coffee, and ask them how they plan to improve efficiency, engagement and enjoyment in their jobs? You get a lot of great ideas and fun, spirited discussion.

That's what it was like this morning when Profiles hosted a Coffee With session at the Rusty Scupper restaurant...(great views of the harbor, too). PRSA Maryland thanks Profiles for hosting today's event and generating great discussion. Want to host a Coffee With? Contact Emily McDermott at 410.568.8814 or

Member Focus: Lisa Coster, Coster Communications, Ltd.

WebNotes turns the spotlight on member Lisa Coster, president of Coster Communications, Ltd. As president of a communications firm she founded, which serves a wide range of businesses, nonprofits, and governmental agencies in the Baltimore-Washington, DC, metropolitan area, Lisa recently shared with PRSA Maryland why her role models are strong women and how a simple piece of advice from a graduate school professor has been a guiding principle throughout her professional practice. Lisa is the recipient of numerous PRSA awards and honors, and she is a certified member of the Equal Opportunity Business Program in Howard County. 

Day-to-Day: As president of Coster Communications, I serve as a consultant, providing strategic communications plans and implementing proposed strategies and tactics for governmental agencies and NGO’s along the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., corridor. Our primary focus is on overall communications management, event planning, media relations, and documents and publications writing, ranging from grants to articles, annual reports, and training materials. Read more.

Chapter Committees Now Recruiting Volunteers

Get Involved Today

Hone your skills, meet new people and make yourself more marketable. Sign up to volunteer with the Maryland Chapter today. We welcome volunteers at all levels for the committees listed below, especially the Maryland Conference Planning Committee (2017). If you'd like to join a committee or chair one, please contact  

Maryland Conference Planning Committee (2017)
Chair:  Open

Accreditation Committee
Chair:  Jennifer C. Kellar, APR, AECOM

Best in Maryland Awards Committee
Chair:  Lisa Coster, Coster Communications

Communications Committee
Chair:  Nancy Sherman, Caroline Center

Diversity & Inclusion Liaison (NEW)
Chair:  Open

Membership Committee
Chair:  Open

Mentoring Committee
Chair:  Laura J. LaChapelle, APR, LaChapelle Communications

New Professionals Committee
Chair:  Open

Programming Committee
Chair:  Emily McDermott, Nevins & Associates

Sponsorship Committee
Chair:  Open

Check here for a description of each committee.

Upcoming Chapter Event

Feb. 2 - Power of Storytelling Using Video - Compelling photos and videos hold more power over your audience than words. A few well-written paragraphs can sway opinions, but an engaging visual story can move mountains. Join Emmy-Award winning journalist and filmmaker David Larson and Darren Durlach from Early Light Media as they present the power of storytelling using video. Register & get details here.


New Year Membership Promotion

Join PRSA in January
& your $65 initiation or $35 reinstatement fee
will be waived!
Promo code NEWYEAR17.    

Hurry! Silver Anvil Deadline is Feb. 7

The early bird deadline to submit your entry for a Silver Anvil award is February 7. The late entry deadline is Feb 21. The PRSA Silver Anvil awards recognize the highest standards of research, planning, execution and evaluation in public relations campaigns and programs.

Stacey Bollinger, Kennedy Krieger

Jessica Long

Get to Know the APR
As a mid-career public relations professional, you know that your success depends on staying relevant, resourceful, and inspired.

Recognized worldwide, the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) integrates timeless communications principles with contemporary strategies and tactics, and distinguishes you as a leader in the field.

Invest time now to position yourself for success. For information, contact APR Committee Chairperson, Jennifer Kellar, APR.

Just Announced -
APR Boot Camp

The PRSA Mid-Atlantic District is hosting an APR Boot Camp April 5 – 8, 2017 at the Jefferson Lakeside Country Club in Richmond, Virginia.

Maximize Your Membership
Tip #1

Volunteering for the chapter allows you to network, lead, and learn new skills. Get involved today

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Local Jobs
Looking for a job? Check out the PRSA Maryland Job Board

Be sure to also visit PRSA National's JobCenter for non-local opportunities.

Looking for that one-of-a-kind employee? Advertise on PRSA Maryland's Job Board.


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WebNotes is written and compiled by the PRSA Maryland Communications Committee. Contact us at for questions and comments.

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