(Banner graphic of PRSA 2018 Counselors Academy Conference logo)

PRSA 2018 Counselors Academy Conference

May 6–8 | Toronto

The 2018 program is being developed.  Please check back for Updates.

For an idea of what type of programming the conference includes you can peruse the
2017 program below.

2017 Conference Program

Download Final Presentations

Sunday, May 7

10 a.m.–6 p.m.Registration
Noon–4 p.m.

Pre-Conference Session* “Grow, Run and Protect a Stronger, More Profitable Agency: The Best of Counselors Academy”*
Ken Jacobs, CPC, ACC, Jacobs Consulting & Executive Coaching
Darryl Salerno, CEO, Second Quadrant Solutions
Michael C. Lasky, Esq., partner, Davis & Gilbert LLP
Filomena Fanelli, founder and CEO, Impact PR & Communications

*This is an additional ticketed event not included in the conference registration. First-time conference attendees can register for the pre-conference session FREE by using code CAFIRST17

1–5 p.m.

Pre-Conference Session* "Planning Your End Game: A Master’s Course in Maximizing Your Agency’s Value and Preparing for Sale"
Rick Gould,
managing partner, Gould+Partners
Alex Halbur,
managing partner, Prosper Group
Brad Schwartzberg, partner, Davis & Gilbert LLP
Elise Mitchell, APR, fellow, PRSA, CEO, Mitchell Communications, and CEO, Dentsu Aegis Public Relations Network

*This is an additional ticketed event not included in the conference registration.

5–6 p.m.Counselors 101 New Attendee Session
6–7 p.m.

Opening Reception
Join the Counselors Academy Executive Committee for a welcome reception as we kick off this year’s event in Seattle

7–9 p.m.Dinner
Enjoy the artisanal fare and handcrafted spirits that have made Seattle a culinary gem in the Pacific Northwest.
9 p.m.Networking

Monday, May 8

8 a.m.–5 p.m.Registration and Exhibits
8–9 a.m.Breakfast
8:30–10:15 a.m.   Opening Keynote Breakfast
“What’s Your Story? How to Stand Out from the Crowd Through Compelling Brand Value”
Cindy Atlee, principal, The Storybranding Group
10:30–11:15 a.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set I

“The How, Why and Who of a Successful Agency Exchange”
Moderator: Julie Curtin, partner, Development Counsellors International Ltd.
Panelists: Anne Buchanan, president, Buchanan PR
Greg Abel, president, Abel Communications
Alison King, president, Media Profile

“Grow Your Agency by Getting Rid of Clients”
Larry G. Holdren, APR, president, Holdren Strategic Communications

“How to Turn Training From a Money Pit Into a Competitive Advantage”
Martin Waxman, president, Martin Waxman Communications
Michael Smart, CEO, MichaelSMARTPR

“Make Your Pro Bono Projects Pay Off“
J.W. Arnold, APR, Fellow PRSA
, principal, PRDC Public Relations

11:20 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set II

“Using Incentive Compensation to Attract and Retain the Best Talent”
Brad Schwartzberg, partner, Davis & Gilbert LLP
Philip A. Nardone Jr., president,  PAN Communications

“Risky Business: Facing and Embracing Risk in Your Agency’s Growth Strategy”
Heather Whaling, founder and president, Geben Communication
Kate Snyder, APR, principal strategist and owner, Piper & Gold Public Relations
Keith Speers, CEO, life and business strategist, Consulting Without Limit

“Ten Advanced Speaking Tips to Super-Charge Your Next Presentation”
Rob Biesenbach, author, trainer, consultant and coach, Rob Biesenbach LLC

“Is Virtual a Reality? Managing a Remote Agency Workforce”
Daniel Lemin
, head of consulting, Convince & Convert
Jason Mudd, CEO, Axia Public Relations

12:30–2 p.m.

Introducing Counselors Circles
Join fellow agency owners and leaders with common interests as a charter member of one or more of our new CAPRSA Counselors’ Circles. These member-led communities are designed to bring members and attendees who share common expertise, challenges or business development goals together to share insights and ideas throughout the year.

You can join one or more of our inaugural circles, or feel free to suggest and form your own with other attendees and CA members who share your passions. Counselors’ Circles being launched at this year’s conference include:

Best Practices Circles
CA New Members Circle
Operations and Finance Circle (CFOs, COOs and HR leaders)
Solos and Virtuals Circle

Sector and Practice Circles
Consumer Marketing Circle
Corporate and Public Affairs Circle
Digital Marketing Circle
Government Circle
Healthcare Circle
Restaurants and Hospitality Circle
Technology Circle
Travel & Tourism Circle

2:15–3:15 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set III

“The Marvelous and Mysterious World of Managing Millennials: Mindset, Culture and Policy”
Danica Kombol, president, Everywhere Agency
Kate Finley, CEO, Belle Communications Inc.

“Positioning Your Clients in Content Marketing Platforms”
Moderator: Chris Schroder, president, SPR Atlanta
Panelists: Betsie Gambel, Gambel Communications
Chuck Norman, owner and principal, S&A Communications
Debra Cabral, president, Story Partners, LLC
Brenda Jones Barwick, president/ CEO, Jones PR

Monetizing Measurement: What’s Real and What’s Next?”
Michael Neumeier, APR/APR+M
, principal, Arketi Group
Serena Ehrlich, director of social media, Business Wire

“15 Years in the Trenches: A Personal Case Study”
Cindy Sharpe, APR, president, Sharpe Public Relations

3:20–4:20 p.m.

General Session
“Requiem for the Billable Hour: It’s Time to Consider Alternative Fees”
Patrick Lamb, attorney and co-founder, Valorem Law Group

4:20–6 p.m.Networking and Brain Dates
Share insights and brainstorm solutions to your most pressing business and leadership challenges.
6–7 p.m.Sponsor Reception
7–10 p.m.

Dine-Around Evening in Seattle*
Network with colleagues during dinner out in Seattle and the surrounding area.
Transportation will leave promptly from the hotel lobby at 7 p.m. Latecomers will need to arrange their own transportation and directions.

Sign up Here!  Restaurants fill up quickly and registration will close on May 8, at 2 p.m.

*Food and beverage costs are the responsibility of the attendee. Registration will take place online and at the conference registration desk in Seattle.

10 p.m.Networking

Tuesday, May 9

8 a.m.–5 p.m.Registration and Exhibits
8–9 a.m.Networking Breakfast
9–10:30 a.m.

Keynote Presentation
Real-Life Adventures in Collaboration and Tips for Avoiding Collaboration Overload

Kady Dundas, senior product marketing manager, Microsoft Corporation

10:45–11:30 a.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set IV

“Be Like a B: Using Business as a Force for Good”
Indra G. Bowers, CEO , i.d.e.a.

“What You Know Can Help You: Using Research to Establish Market Leadership”
Tom Garrity, president, The Garrity Group

“Buying a Building for Your Business: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Carpet”
Anne A. Buchanan, APR, president, Buchanan Public Relations

“Building the New Agency Work Model Without Losing Your Shirt”
Sharon L. Toerek, principal, Toerek Law

11:30 a.m.–NoonBreak
Noon–1:45 p.m.Luncheon Keynote General Session
“Harnessing the Power of Purpose
Patrice Tanaka, Founder & Chief Joy Officer, Joyful Planet LLC
2–3 p.m.

Breakout Sessions: Set V

“Find the Leader in You: 10 Traits of Successful Agency CEOs”
Ken Jacobs, ACC, CPC, Jacobs Consulting & Executive Coaching
George Rosenberg, CEO, The Rosenberg Group

“How to Profit by Bringing Digital and Design Capabilities In-House at Your Agency”
Don Middleberg, Middleberg Consulting LLC
Christine Varela, partner, Desautel-Hege

“Media, PR & Measurement: Advancing the Client Discussion”
Johna Burke, APR, chief marketing officer, BurrellesLuce

“Creating an Agency From Scratch: What Keeps You Up at Night”
Ira Gostin, founder and CEO, 120 West Strategic Communications

3:15–4:15 p.m.General Session
“The PR Agency Case for Diversity: People, Partners and Clients”
Aerial M. Ellis, professor and consultant, Lipscomb University
Ben Finzel, president and founder, RenewPR
LaTricia Woods, owner, Mahogany Xan Communications LLC
4:15-5:00 p.m.“Looking to the Future”
Tom Hoog, Fellow PRSA, vice chairman, H+K Strategies
6-10:00 p.m.Closing Reception & Dinner
Join colleagues for a closing reception and dinner as we celebrate the 2017 Counselors Academy in Seattle
10 p.m.Networking

Programming may be subject to change.