President’s Message: PRSA Detroit Enters 2021 With A Focus on Mentorship

For those of you who were unable to attend our 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting in November, I’d like to share a bit about myself so that you know your 2021 PRSA Detroit Chapter president.

About Me

My university years and early professional years are a bit different than many PRSA Detroit chapter members. I graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Communications, minoring in intercultural communications; and from there I went to the University of Chicago for a master’s degree in international relations.

For 13 years I worked in marketing, communications and public relations at the Arthritis Foundation. And for most of those years, I worked remotely from Detroit.

I attended my first annual meeting in 2010, achieved the APR in 2011, and began volunteering on board committees soon after. I knew then – and it is true now – that the key to creating relationships in PRSA is volunteering and working to support the organization.

My years of making connections in PRSA made it possible for me to launch my own small business, Startup Communications, where I offered marcom services to nonprofits, startups and small businesses in Detroit.

Nearly 2 years ago I began a dream job as director of communications for the Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division. I believe that having my APR and strong relationships in PRSA had something to do with making me the winning candidate in a very competitive hiring pool.

Looking Ahead

PRSA volunteer leaders cannot do this work without the support of their employers. Thank you to our sponsors, and employers who support PRSA membership.

My goal in 2021 is that every member finds value in their membership.

My objectives will be to increase mentorship and networking opportunities and provide professional development programs around leadership and our roles as communicators in diversity, equity and inclusion.

We can’t achieve these objectives in a vacuum. We will continue to partner with leaders and associations throughout metro Detroit. And we can’t do it alone.  If you are interested in volunteering for a committee, please feel free to reach out to me. We need your fresh energy and perspective.

Thank you for your support in 2021. I look forward to serving you, and I look forward to our collaboration.

Sharon Tatom Garcia is The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division director of communications and 2021 PRSA Detroit Chapter president.

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