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PRSA Employee Communications Connect 19 Conference

May 15–17 | Phoenix, Ariz.

The 2019 conference is in the planning stages — please check back for updates.

Download Session Handouts

The 2018 Conference Program:

Wednesday, May 16

Noon–8 p.m.


1:30–3 p.m.

SOLD OUT Pre-Conference Sessions* (Available for additional registration fee of $99 for both sessions; not included in Conference registration fee)

How to Get Leaders to Listen to Us
Angela D. Sinickas, ABC, IABC Fellow
, CEO, Sinickas Communications Inc.

The Seven Do’s and Don’ts of Co-Creation
Pinaki Kathiari, CEO, Local Wisdom Inc.

3:305 p.m.

SOLD OUT Pre-Conference Sessions* (Available for additional registration fee of $99 for both sessions; not included in Conference registration fee)

The Employee Experience Revolution: Five Rules of Engagement
Ann Melinger, CEO, Brilliant Ink

Strategic Internal Communications
Steve Crescenzo
, CEO, Crescenzo Communications
Cindy Crescenzo, president, Crescenzo Communications

5:30–7 p.m.

Welcome Networking Reception
Start the conference off right by meeting or getting reacquainted with colleagues from around the country and visit with the 2018 Executive Committee of the PRSA Employee Communications Section over drinks and appetizers as we get underway with Connect 18.

Sponsored by:

7 p.m.

Dinner Out in Nashville* (*Cost is additional; not included in conference registration package)

Join new friends and colleagues at various restaurants out and about in Music City USA, Nashville, Tennessee.

Thursday, May 17

7:30 a.m.–5 p.m.Registration
7:30–8:30 a.m.Breakfast
8:30–9:15 a.m.

Opening Keynote
Welcome to the Future! Your Ticket to Superstar Success

Sponsored by Social Chorus

Alison Davis, CEO, Davis & Company

9:30–10 a.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set I
Sponsored by Bananatag

Creating Culture and Connection for an Enhanced Employee Experience
Capt. Jeff Willinger, MBA, MVP, chief inspiration officer, Rightpoint
Blaise Tracy, CEO, Five Level Consulting

Let’s Get Real: A Radical Approach to Authentic Internal

Dave Watson, founder and CEO, Neugame

10:15 –10:45 a.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set II

Creating Your Career Vision and Making It Real
Angee L. Linsey, managing director/executive search, Linsey Careers

Reducing Risk: Creating an Information Security Awareness Campaign 
Sonja Popp-Stahly, APR, Fellow PRSA, information security communications lead, Global Employee Communications, Eli Lilly and Company

11–11:30 a.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set III
Sponsored by Poppulo

Yes We Can! Three Steps to Building Leaders on Your Team 
Kristin Hancock, manager of communications, College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba

Lights, Camera, Action
Chip Midnight, business consulting specialist, Nationwide Mutual Insurance

11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m.

Networking Luncheon

1–2 p.m.

Luncheon Keynote

Sponsored by APPrise Mobile

Effective Employee Communication and Engagement During a Crisis
Peyton Woodson Cooper, certified public communicator (in progress), manager, internal communications, LBJ Hospital

2:15–3 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set IV
Sponsored by Politemail

Building a Killer Communications Program With High-Impact Data Analysis
Houdad Javidnia, workforce communications leader, Johnson & Johnson
Carrie Basham Young, principal and CEO, Talk Social to Me

There’s an App for That!
Amy Jenkins
, manager, internal communications, Chipotle Mexican Grill

3:15–4 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set V
Sponsored by Simpplr

Living in the Gray: The Balancing Act of M&A Communications
Elisabeth Wang, executive director, communications and public relations, Piedmont Healthcare

Engage by Stage: How to Connect With Employees at all Career Stages
Natalie Smith, APR, 
senior vice president, Padilla
Julie M. McCracken, senior director, Padilla

4:15–5 p.m.

General Session
Seven Comms Lessons From “Finding Hygge,” My First Feature-Length Documentary

Sponsored by Davis and Company

Rocky Walls, director/producer, 12 Stars Mediaerica

5:30–7:30 p.m.Networking & Sponsor Appreciation Reception
Nashville Underground
The live music venue, showcases Nashville’s world-famous music, cuisine and spirits. In the heart of downtown on historic Broadway, The Underground celebrates the rich history of Music City combining all the elements of music, food and fun that make Nashville so unique

Friday, May 18

7 a.m.–12:30 p.m.Registration
7–8 a.m.Breakfast General Session
8–9 a.m.

Breakfast Keynote
DuPont’s Journey to Three: Navigating Change Through Communications
Greg Carlisle, senior consultant, Gagen MacDonald
Mark D. Dollins, head of executive and global employee communications, DuPont

9:15–9:45 a.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set VI

Sponsored by Interact

“Brightoning” the Culture at Brighton Health Plan Solutions 
Ally Bunin
, senior vice president, employee communications practice,  MSL Group

Hi Bob, You’re LIVE, With the CEO!
Erin Prokes, communications manager, CareSource

10–10:30 a.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set VII

What We Learned on Our Road to Tripling Employee Engagement
Tarek Kamil
 , CEO and founder, Cerkl
Tonya Hurst
, manager, internal communications, TriHealth

Don’t Say “No,” Say “How:” Helping Business Partners Achieve Success
Steven Cohen, corporate communications manager, RTI Surgical Inc.

10:45–11:45 a.m.

Closing Keynote
Sponsored by ICology

“ICology LIVE! A Connect 18 Recap”
Chuck Gose, founder & host, ICology 

11:45 a.m.–Noon

Closing Remarks

*Pre-Conference Sessions (Are available for additional registration fee of $99 for both sessions; this is not included in the Conference registration fee)