Board of Directors

 

The PRSA Philadelphia Board of Directors is a diverse body of public relations professionals drawn from business and industry, agency, healthcare, not-for-profit and high-tech backgrounds. Their job, with the help of committees that report to the board, is to manage the Chapter’s operational and financial needs, as well as to execute marketing, special events, publicity and program management.

If you are looking for ways to build your network of contacts, gain valuable volunteer experience, participate in new aspects of the field, or contribute to the further advancement of the profession, please contact us at membership@philly.org. We would love to have you on our team!


President – Kimberly Nissen

Kim Nissen is PR Manager for Siemens Healthineers where she plans, develops, implements and coordinates media relations activities and public relations support for the company's Laboratory Diagnostics and Point-of-Care product portfolios.

Kim has held several PRSA Philly board positions, including president-elect, treasurer and secretary, in addition to serving on various chapter committees. She received the 2014 President’s Award for her volunteerism, leadership and contributions to the chapter. Kim can be reached at presidentelect@philly.org

 


Vice President – Rosie Braude

A graduate of Rowan University’s public relations bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, Rosie has worked at Rowan for six years. As the Office of Media & Public Relations assistant director, she coordinates the University’s employee e-newsletter and various email campaigns; manages media monitoring; contributes to the University's marketing strategies; produces videos; maintains the University’s LinkedIn accounts and news Twitter handle; organizes, plans and runs key University events including Commencement; and advises the student-run yearbook club. This is Rosie's second year as vice president after serving as chair of the programming committee for two years. Rosie can reached at vicepresident@philly.org.
 




Secretary – Stephanie Byrwa

Stephanie Byrwa is skilled in non-profit healthcare communications. She joined Shriners Hospitals for Children-Philadelphia as an intern 10 years ago, grew her career with various opportunities and, today, is the public relations manager of the hospital. In her role, she manages hospital internal and external communications as well as event planning, fundraising and community-outreach projects. She completed her Bachelors of Arts in public relations from Rowan University, located in southern New Jersey. She can be reached at secretary@philly.org.

 


Treasurer – John Mullen

John Mullen, manager of communications services at McCormick Taylor, will serve as treasurer. At McCormick Taylor, John's work involves the planning and delivery of multifaceted communications and public relations programs for communities and public-sector clients across the U.S. A graduate of Iowa State University and the Wharton School of Business, John can be reached at treasurer@philly.org.

 





Director-at-Large – Mike Gross, APR

Mike Gross is senior vice president and chief operating officer at Anne Klein Communications Group, where he manages and oversees client service. Mike supports the team by providing strategic planning, issues/crisis counseling and media relations. Mike has been instrumental in winning awards from the Philadelphia and New Jersey chapters of the Public Relations Society of America, and from the PRNews in the national NonProfit PR Awards competition. He led his team to win a Bronze Anvil, an esteemed national award from the Public Relations Society of America and serves as a judge for the organization’s Silver Anvil program. In 2015, Mike was selected by NJ BIZ as one the top “40 Under 40” business leaders in New Jersey. Mike is a past president of the Philadelphia chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and is secretary of the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association. He also is the director of public affairs for the Civil Air Patrol’s New Jersey Wing, where he volunteers his time and expertise. Mike received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rowan University.



Director-at-Large – Kate Shields

Kate Shields joined PRSA Philly as a director-at-large in 2015. Kate is President of Vault Communications, one of the largest marketing communications firms in the Greater Philadelphia region. While at Vault, Kate has developed and led national and regional marketing and public relations campaigns for clients across a variety of sectors, but most notably in consumer package goods, nonprofit and retail.

Kate currently serves as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors for For Pete's Sake Cancer Respite Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that provides respite excursions to cancer patients and their loved ones. She also serves as an adjunct professor of communication at La Salle University, where she teaches graduate-level public relations courses in Philadelphia and Prague, Czech Republic.

Director-at-Large  Jawanza Keita, APR

Strategist, athlete, and former journalist Jawanza A. Keita is a fearless wearer of statement colors and accent hats who believes in strategically aligning PR efforts with sound communications and business principles. Jawanza is an Accredited Public Relations (APR) professional with expertise in strategic communications, integrated marketing, multicultural community relations and crisis management. He currently is the director of corporate communications and media relations for AmeriHealth Caritas, a national leader in health care solutions for those in need.

During his 12-year career at State Farm Insurance Cos., he led a team that won the National Roadway Safety Award from the U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration, and he also received a Volunteer Service Award from the White House.A veteran of PRSA since 2000, he has won chapter awards for excellence from the Central Illinois Chapter, been a multi-year Silver Anvil judge for PRSA National, an APR mentor, and a volunteer speaker. He also has been an advocate of the profession in university classrooms, in boardrooms, and as a presenter at business conferences.He holds an MS in communications management from the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Relations at Syracuse University. The former Division 1 sprinter now finds himself back in his hometown, eager to contribute to both a city that shaped his life and an organization that has enriched his career.

 

Director-at-Large  Lisa Packer

Lisa Packer is founder and principal of Root Strategies, a strategic communications company based in suburban Philadelphia. The company was established in 2001.

Lisa is a former television news reporter with experience in a broad spectrum of industries, including nuclear power, pharmaceutical, chemical, institutional healthcare, academia, international commerce, and publishing. While a generalist, her experience in crisis planning and management, and issues management is unique.

She has lectured at universities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey & New York, co-chaired a bio-terrorism task force post 9/11, and has served on the board of the Public Relations Society of America in various positions, including chair of ethics and diversity.

Immediate Past President & Ethics Chair  Jennifer Kitchen

Jennifer Kitchen is associate director of public relations at Widener University. At Widener, Jennifer is responsible for external and internal communications for specific schools on Main Campus this includes handling media relations and digital communications as well as writing for and editing the university’s publications and website. Also at Widener, Jennifer advises the university’s chapter of Public Relations Students Society of America and has served as an adjunct professor in Communications Studies.

She has previously served as president, president-elect, chair of the News Committee and a member of the Pepperpot planning committee. She received the 2014 Anthony Fulginiti Commitment to Education Award.