November 2017 Print


The 2nd annual UnSummit was a tremendous success thanks to the dedication of our volunteers and the support of the chapter. A special thank you to everyone who served on the UnSummit and Pegasus Awards committees for your hard work. This year’s event surpassed last year’s attendance with more than 180 registrants. The venue, Gilley’s Dallas South Side Music Hall, proved to be the perfect setting for the mind-stretching talks provided by the 15 rock stars (speakers) we brought to the stage.

We have received many compliments from our speakers, sponsors and attendees. I am extremely thankful for everyone who attended and supported this event.

Let’s make UnSummit even bigger and better next year!

Cambria Jones, UnSummit Committee Chair

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Upcoming Events and Opportunities

NuPros Happy Hour: Register here.

Join us for a crisis communications workshop! It’s not a matter of if, but when a crisis will hit. Hear from crisis expert, Meredith Suntich, senior vice president at FleishmanHillard at the upcoming NuPros Happy Hour on Thursday, November 16.

This event is FREE and open to anyone interested in the topic. You do not have to be a PRSA member to attend, but you do need to register.

Meredith Suntich, senior vice president, FleishmanHillard

Meredith Suntich is a senior vice president at FleishmanHillard known for her reputation management, issues/crisis management, media relations and social media expertise. She is also an FH A.R.C.™ Crisis Certified Counselor. Suntich supports a variety of accounts across many diverse industries including AbbVie Immunology, Teladoc, Texas Oncology and General Motors Corporation. Additionally, Suntich leads the FH Greenhouse program, which provides foundational PR support for emerging brands and clients, connecting them to a global network that can grow as they do. 

PRSA Dallas Holiday Happy Hour and Annual Meeting: Register here.

Join us at this special holiday event where we will celebrate our 2017 accomplishments and raise a glass in gratitude to all who made this incredible year with PRSA Dallas possible. Additionally, PRSA Dallas will elect its officers for 2018 in accordance with our chapter bylaws. 
The 2018 slate of officers:
President-Elect: Brooke Traister; Children’s Health
Vice President: Christi Matthys, APR;  Three Box Strategic Communications
Secretary: Katie Hill-Mudd; TrizCom Public Relations
Treasurer: Chase York, University of Texas – Dallas

PRSA Dallas is proud to continue our tradition of supporting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Dallas at this event. Representatives will be on hand to collect voluntary donations (cash or check) to provide $20 gift cards so parents can fulfill their children’s wishes this holiday. Alternatively, donations can be made online (click here) prior to the event – please add “PRSA Dallas” to the group name on the form. For more information about Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Dallas, visit

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PRSA Dallas Chapter News

It’s Time to Apply

It takes a professional—someone with exceptional experience, broad expertise, and strong dedication and values—to thrive at what you do. Profess what you know. Learn more and earn your APR today! For more information, contact APR Co-Chairs Rosanne Hart at or Malizy Scruggs at  

Your Help Needed to Judge Pittsburgh PRSA Chapter Awards

Use your knowledge and expertise to help judge the Pittsburgh PRSA Chapter’s Renaissance Awards. Our Dallas PRSA Chapter is judging those awards, and we will need about a dozen volunteer judges. As a judge, your help will be greatly appreciated and you may also gain ideas for your own PR practice. 

The awards will include a great mix of categories, including digital and social media campaigns, media relations, events, content marketing, reputation management and crisis communications. PR pros with and without APR are needed! The judging will take place in early December. To volunteer, please contact Ellen Beth Levitt at

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Other News

C. Pharr & Company Rebrands to Dala Communications After Sale and Leadership Transition

Dallas resident and former PRSA Dallas Chapter President, Leah Ekmark Williams, has taken over ownership of C. Pharr & Company (a well-known PR agency) and rebranded it as Dala Communications. Read part of the news release below. 

Leah Ekmark Williams, APR

DALLAS – Oct. 24, 2017 – C. Pharr & Company’s owner and CEO, Cynthia Pharr Lee, today announced the sale of the agency to Leah Ekmark Williams, APR, effective Nov. 1, 2017. The full service, Dallas-based public relations agency also announced its rebranding as Dala Communications. Upon the sale, Williams will be named president and CEO while Pharr Lee will remain with the agency in the role of chairman for three years. Dala’s predecessor agency was founded in 1986 by Pharr Lee, APR, Fellow PRSA, one of the Southwest’s leading communications experts. Pharr Lee is also known for spearheading the growth of three of Dallas’s largest public relations agencies including The Richards Group/Pharr Cox Communications, C. Pharr & Company and Tracy-Locke/Pharr.

Pharr Lee and Williams began working together in 2005 and formalized their partnership agreement in 2012. Specializing in an array of industries ranging from real estate, construction and engineering to education, health care, finance and professional services firms, Williams and Pharr Lee have served some of the most respected names in business. Together they have established a reputation for helping executives and their companies build leadership in their communities, professions and industries.

“Cynthia’s influence and reputation in the public relations industry and business community is far reaching. I was astounded when she approached me early on in my career to discuss a business partnership and succession planning for the agency,” said Williams. “I never imagined my first job in PR would evolve into my own agency. I have learned from the best and continue to value Cynthia’s counsel as she continues to be involved in the agency as chairman of Dala.”

“I am very blessed to have such an accomplished entrepreneurial business partner, and it’s been great to work with Leah for more than a decade and gain full confidence that her priorities will remain focused on excellent client service while fostering a professional and collegial work environment for our employees,” said Pharr Lee. “I look forward to continuing to work with Leah and Dala to provide strategic communication services to our clients.”

Dala Communications is taken from the nickname “Dala,” which refers to the Dalecarlian horse, a cultural symbol of Sweden that also represents a legacy of Swedish entrepreneurship, which is a part of Williams’ heritage. Williams’ grandfather built a successful photography business after leaving Sweden and arriving in New York City in 1903 via Ellis Island, and her father is also a successful business owner.

Williams began at C. Pharr & Co. in 2005 and quickly evolved in her leadership role within the agency. She played an integral role in developing and growing the agency’s client base by 100 percent within five years. She was also instrumental in building and guiding clients’ social media strategy, pairing the right social media tools with strategic public relations and marketing initiatives. 

Save the Date for the Southwest District Conference

The New Mexico Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America will host the 2018 PRSA Southwest District Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 7-9, 2018.

The 2018 Southwest District Conference will champion “Blue Sky Thinking” in a city noted for 300+ days of sunshine per year and clear turquoise skies. NMPRSA seeks speakers and panel presentations that embody “Blue Sky Thinking” with topics that are creative, original and unlimited by convention.

Call for Speakers: The chapter is currently taking applications for speakers. Topic suggestions include, but are not limited to: research, tools and technology, media relations, best practices/case studies, data and measurement, diversity and inclusion, integrated marketing communications, leadership and management, crisis communication, social media, entrepreneurship/running a PR business, writing, ethics, and the future of work. Speakers should apply here

The deadline to submit a topic for consideration is Thursday, November 30, 2017.

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New Members

Please welcome our new and reinstated PRSA Dallas members:

  • Cynthia L. Northrop, President & CEO, Northrop Communications
  • Kris Spears
  • Kristen Freis, Manager, Corporate Relations, Allstate Insurance Company
  • Pamela Y. Smith
  • Regina Albrecht

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DFW Communicators Job Bank

Looking for a job? Need to fill a position?

Check out the DFW Communicators Job Bank, a collaborative project providing a single source of news, jobs, events and freelance listings for all sponsoring organizations.

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About PRSA Dallas

The Dallas Chapter of PRSA serves more than 400 practitioners of public relations in North Texas. The chapter was founded in 1950, just three years after the founding of the national society. The chapter provides members with a variety of professional networking opportunities and services, such as the Communicators Job Bank, a monthly newsletter, professional development programs, monthly luncheons, mentoring programs and college outreach programs.

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