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Speakers

Digital Analytics

Elissa Hill
Account Executive, Brian Communications

Elissa Hill is an account executive at Brian Communications, where she works primarily with B2B clients in health care and commercial insurance. She is a proud Penn State graduate with a degree in public relations and minors in business and digital media trends/analytics. While at Penn State, she served as the editor of student news blog Onward State for two years and organized a PRSSA regional conference. Before joining #TeamBrian, Elissa held internships with Pittsburgh ad agency Gatesman, destination marketing organization VisitPittsburgh and Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College. She grew up in Punxsutawney, PA [insert Bill Murray joke here].

User Experience

Linda Burkley, APR
Professor, Susquehanna University

Linda Burkley, APR, is President of Ardis Communications and a full-time lecturer in public relations at Susquehanna University where she is also a faculty advisor to the university’s PRSSA chapter. A former professional etiquette columnist, she has spearheaded efforts on campus for etiquette events, including dinners, professional dress seminars and understanding wine and food. She is a past president of Central PA PRSA and was also named one of Governor Edward G. Rendell’s Top 50 Women in Business in 2010 and a Distinguished Alumni of La Roche College in 2013. Linda has over 25 years of industry experience and numerous awards for creativity and implementation. A strong believer in community service, she has held leadership positions on over 25 boards and task forces during her career. She holds a B.A. in Writing from La Roche College and an M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Kristin Drabik
Senior Account Executive, McCANN Health Managed Markets

Kristin Drabik is a Senior Account Executive at McCann Health Managed Markets, part of the 2019 Cannes Lions healthcare network of the year. Over the past 4 years, she has gained robust marketing experience through managing and executing print and digital initiatives within the healthcare industry. Her most recent accomplishments include several pharmaceutical product launches and line extensions. She currently serves on the Susquehanna University Communications Department Advisory Board. 

 

As a student, Kristin served as Practicum Director for the Susquehanna University Chapter of PRSSA. Upon graduation, she was awarded “Outstanding Student in Public Relations” and named in the 2015 edition of Who’s Who among students in American Universities and Colleges. Kristin graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Public Relations and Spanish from Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, PA.

Conent Amplification: Redefining the Dynamics of Organic Creation

Alicia Callahan
Digital Media Specialist, Gift of Life Donor Program

Alicia Callahan is the Digital Media Specialist at Gift of Life Donor Program.  She oversees digital marketing for the Philadelphia-based non-profit including social media and website management, campaign development and digital advertising to promote organ and tissue donor awareness. Alicia has successfully implemented numerous campaigns increasing donor designation rates in eastern Pennsylvania, Southern NJ, and Delaware.

 

Aside from Gift of Life Donor Program, Alicia has also worked with Manayunk Development Corporation (Phila., PA), Hope Partnership for Education (Phila., PA) and Maria Moffa & Associates (Haddonfield, NJ) in building social media ubiquity and creating a foundation for a strong, reliable brand presence among all facets of digital media. Alicia graduated from Penn State University with degrees in Public Relations and Spanish.

Speed of Crisis in the Digital Age

Joseph Harasta Ed.D., APR
Associate Professor, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

Dr. Joe Harasta is the senior public relations faculty at Kutztown University’s Communication Studies Department. He co-founded the University’s public relations major and established its Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter. He studied journalism and public relations at Rowan University and Leadership at Wilmington University and has authored multiple articles on branding, marketing, and strategic communication. He is also the author of the textbook, Public Relations: What It Is And How To Do It Well (Cognella). Dr. Harasta earned Accreditation in Public Relations from the Public Relations Society of America after working in the industry for several years.  

Thomas Logue
Account Executive, AKCG

Thomas Logue serves AKCG – Public Relations Counselors as an account executive, where he supports the firm’s senior counselors in the issues and crisis communications practice. Additionally, Tom manages the firm’s presence on social and digital media, developing strategy and curating content to support AKCG’s marketing efforts.

 

Tom first joined AKCG as an intern, assisting with research and proactive media relations efforts. He has been with the firm full time since 2017 and brings to the team his skillset in strategic writing, planning, and reputation and social media management.

 

For his dedication, academic achievement and communication prowess, Tom earned Rowan’s prestigious Anthony J. Fulginiti Gold Medallion for Excellence in Public Relations.

 

He is a member of PRSA Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Public Relations Association, and he has served on the boards of directors of each organization, respectively.

Ashley Flear
Senior Associate, AKCG

Ashley Flear serves AKCG – Public Relations Counselors as a senior associate, where she supports the firm’s senior counselors in the issues and crisis communications practice. She also helps manage the firm’s social and digital presence, developing strategy and curating content to support AKCG’s marketing efforts.

 

Prior to joining AKCG, Ashley worked in marketing and communications at a major telecommunications company in Philadelphia in its Community Investment department. While there, she wrote content for internal communications, designed supplemental materials for the company’s corporate social responsibility report and worked alongside senior executives in the planning and implementation of corporate-giving activities.

 

She is a member of PRSA Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Public Relations Association.

Tim Spreitzer, APR
Executive Vice President and Issues Management Practice Director, Tierney

Tim Spreitzer joined Tierney in 2008 with a strong background in communications, public affairs and policy work at the city, state and federal levels. As head of Tierney’s Crisis and Issues Management practice, Tim provides communications strategies for numerous local and national organizations facing a variety of situations, including mergers and acquisitions, abrupt management changes, labor disputes and major litigation. In this role, Tim’s experience runs the gamut, from serving as spokesperson for companies under intense media scrutiny to advising organizations on how to handle issues in social media. Tim also leads key accounts for Tierney such as Independence Blue Cross, PECO, Corporation Service Company as well as the Memorial Sloan Kettering and Hackensack Meridian Health Partnership.

 

Prior to joining Tierney, Tim served as Communications and Policy Director for the Dwight Evans for Mayor campaign, where he helped craft messages, policy and strategy. Prior to that, Tim was the Deputy Chief of Staff at the School District of Philadelphia, where under CEO Paul Vallas, he led the communications and government relations teams in helping tell the story of one of the most dramatic and successful reforms of any large urban district.

 

Originally from Chicago, Tim also served as an Education and Workforce Policy Advisor for the Office of the Governor of the State of Illinois. Tim earned his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his MBA from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.

Tim and his wife Cheryl reside in Philadelphia with their daughters Lucy and Amelia. He serves on the Foundation Board at the Community College of Philadelphia as well as Friends of Chester Arthur, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting the neighborhood public school.

Technological Convergence

Brian Hart
Founder & President, Flackable

Brian Hart is founder and president of Flackable, a national, full-service public relations agency headquartered in Philadelphia. The agency, which he bootstrapped in 2014 at the age of 27, represents a national client base of financial and professional services firms. His professional recognition includes Irish America Magazine's 2019, 2018 & 2017 Business 100, PR News’ 2017 Rising PR Stars 30 & Under, Lehigh Valley Business’s 2016 Forty Under 40 and Adweek’s 2015 PR Industry 30 Under 30.

 

As founder and president of Flackable, Brian is committed to helping clients reach a new level of growth by emboldening them with superior communications counsel and services. His team's efforts bolster brand engagement and routinely land clients in top news outlets including The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Fox Business, Bloomberg, Forbes, Barron's, US News & World Report, The Associated Press, Reuters and various industry trade press.

 

Brian is a Temple University graduate with a B.A. in Strategic Communication and a Political Science minor. He began his career as a licensed life and health insurance professional at a broad-based financial services firm in King of Prussia, PA. Prior to founding Flackable, Brian represented a number of leading financial services firms at a public relations agency in New York City and New Jersey. 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Tyler Cameron, M.S.
SEO Account Manager, SEER Interactive

Since joining Seer in 2017, Tyler has worked with clients in industries such as healthcare, higher education, retail, and more. His passions lie within content strategy and audience research and using these tactics to truly empathize with and understand the motivations of his clients’ audiences.

 

Before Seer, Tyler worked in public relations, telling the stories of clients in various industries, including emerging technology enterprises, professional and financial services, and non-profit. A Temple Owl for life, Tyler earned his Bachelor’s degree in 2015 and his Master’s degree in 2017.

Samantha Gower
Sr. SEO Associate, SEER Interactive

Samantha Gower is a Senior SEO Associate at Seer Interactive. With her education and skill-set firmly in Public Relations, Sam transitioned to Search Engine Optimization specializing in outreach and influencer relations. Sam's day-to-day is never the same but always revolves around how she can connect her client's solutions to aid users in their online journeys through data analytics. In the Spring of 2019, Sam taught Digital Media, Social Media, Audience Analytics for Public Relations as an adjunct professor at Temple University.

Bill Wedo, MBA
Adjunct Instruct, Temple University

Recovering journalist Bill Wedo has spent his career creating and curating content. He was an award-winning writer and editor at newspapers such as the Morning Call, The Dallas Morning News and the Philadelphia Daily News and a founding staff member of philly.com. In his second act, he led marketing and communications efforts at The Academy of Natural Sciences and Studio Incamminati, School for Contemporary Realist Art

For more than three decades, he has been an adjunct in writing and communications at an array of colleges and universities including West Chester University, Richland College (Dallas, TX), Muhlenberg College and Moravian College, among others. He currently is an adjunct teaching Public Relations at Temple’s Klein College of Media and Communication and Business Communications at Yeshiva University’s Digital Marketing and Media program. 

Bill has held multiple board position with Philadelphia Public Relations Association.

He earned his B.A. in English from Monmouth College, a Master of Journalism from Temple University and an MBA/Tech from West Chester University.

There's No App for That: The Importance of Ethical Fitness in the Age of Technology

Steve Ryan, M.S.
Director of Communications & Marketing, Willistown Conservation Trust

I wanted to be a French professor. So, of course I’m in communications & marketing. I started out as a newspaper stringer and that got me hooked. The research, the storytelling. Boring assignments were the best; being double-dog-dared to find a cool lede. That led me to freelancing, where I wrote about diecast toy cars.  That landed me my first real job in the toy business. It’s not like the movie Big, in case you were wondering. 

 

So, I took a break, worked in nonprofit for many years. Then decided to try the world of publicly traded companies. It was fun. Did a lot of travel. Worked on a lot of challenging and exciting projects. But one too many M&As later and I decided to return to nonprofit. Now I work for Willistown Conservation Trust. 

 

I've done a bunch of stuff: marketing communications, integrated corporate communications, change management, PR, brand management, crisis communications, advertising, speechwriting, public speaking training/coaching, executive communications, photography, event planning and management, direct marketing, magazine columnist.

Workshop: How to Navigate the Integration of Tech into PR

Lauren Bullock, M.S.
Assistant Professor, Temple University

As Assistant Professor for Instructor, Lauren Bullock is responsible for teaching undergraduate leadership and public relations courses in the Klein College of Media and Communication. With 15 years of experience in higher education leadership development and public relations, she brings an expertise in group and team communication, purpose, meaning and values in the workplace, and leadership theories that advance women leaders. On the undergraduate level, Bullock teaches Communicating Leadership, Leading Groups and Team Building, Communicating Organizational Change, News Writing and Media Relations, and Public Relations Writing. 

 

Prior to joining the Department of Advertising and Public Relations in July 2018, Bullock served for six years as the Program Director for the Office of Leadership Development (2012-2018) and for four years as the Coordinator of Student Activities in the Office of Student Life at Ambler campus (2008-2012).

Prior to working at Temple, Bullock worked in athletics administration at the University of Texas at Austin and Florida State University. During her time at FSU, she served as the primary sports information contact for the 2006 NCAA Division I National Champion men’s track and field team. While at UT-Austin, she worked with the two-time Big 12 champion women’s soccer program and the reigning, national champion women’s track and field team. She also handled sports information duties for the men’s cross country and track and field programs, and the women’s cross country team. 

 

Bullock is a 2003 graduate of Temple’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management and a 2005 graduate of the College of Education at Florida State University. Currently, she is enrolled in the Leadership and Change Ph.D. program at Antioch University. Bullock is no stranger to Klein education programs as she completed a minor in Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising in 2003 and the graduate certificate in Strategic Communication in 2015. In Spring of 2010, she completed the graduate certificate program in Diversity Leadership offered through Temple’s College of Education. 

 

A native of central New Jersey, she is a member of the Association of Leadership Educators (ALE), and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) organization. She served as the financial secretary for the Philadelphia chapter of the Association of Black Women in Higher Education (ABWHE).

Meghnaa Tallapragada, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Temple University

Meghnaa Tallapragada, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations at Temple University. She is passionate about combining her background as an engineer and a strategic science communication scholar. Through research she strives to bring science and technology closer to people.