Accreditation: APR


As a skilled PR professional, you know your success depends on staying relevant, resourceful and inspired. Established in 1964, the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential sets you apart from your peers and demonstrates your commitment to the profession and adherence to industry best practices and ethics.

It takes a professional—someone with exceptional experience, broad expertise and strong dedication and values—to thrive at what you do. The APR credential certifies your drive, professionalism and principles. Preparing for the APR provides you with uniquely comprehensive, relevant, and forward-thinking PR skillsets and personal career insights that enhance career versatility and viability.

PRSA Georgia is a strong supporter of the APR credential and APR candidates. Since 2005, approximately 80 Chapter members have earned accreditation with educational support from the Chapter. Nearly 15% of our current members are accredited, and in a 2015 member survey, nearly 50% of respondents said they were considering pursuing accreditation.

Members pursue accreditation for various reasons, including making themselves more competitive in their current workplace and in the marketplace; reinforcing public relations principles, and personal accomplishment. Regardless of the reason, accredited practitioners agree the pursuit and attainment of the APR credential is personally and professionally rewarding.


Who is eligible?

APR is a certification program open to public relations professionals. It is administered by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), a consortium of leading public relations organizations, including PRSA.

Any PRSA member in good standing can take on the challenge of earning accreditation. However, it is recommended that candidates have at least five years' experience in the full-time practice or teaching of public relations, and have earned either a bachelor's degree in a communication-specific field or have equivalent work experience.


Getting Started

Are you ready to distinguish yourself as an expert in the public relations field? The PRSA Georgia Chapter can help through its comprehensive program designed to help candidates prepare for and earn accreditation. Check the PRSA Georgia website and weekly emails for information about our local preparation sessions offered to Chapter members. Also visit the APR website,, for a wealth of information and resources.

Ready to get started? Contact Accreditation co-chair Melissa Smith, APR or board liaison Stephanie Fitzsimmons, APR.


Meet PRSA Georgia's Newest Accredited Members

Donald W. Felice, APR

For more than 20 years, Donald Felice has led marketing and communications teams for national corporate and non-profit faith-based organizations like Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Word, Incorporated, In Touch Ministries with Dr. Charles Stanley, and the United Methodist Church. 

Currently, Felice is the Director of Communications for The Salvation Army in Georgia. In this role, he plans, develops, coordinates, maintains, improves and supervises the day-to-day divisional communication operations with the purpose of improving both internal and public awareness and support for programs and services that advance organizational mission and goals. His wide array of responsibilities and expertise include public information and media relations, multi-media resources and technology, web and social media communications, emergency disaster services public information, product quality and compliance, and strengthening awareness and support for the national branding promise.

Felice earned a degree in Marketing and Music from the University of Miami.

"I love the communications world. It’s ever-inspiring and ever-changing. Obtaining the APR mark of distinction for public relations professionals reflects to professionals, peers and the public that I have successfully demonstrated the knowledge, skills and abilities to effectively practice public relations in today’s complex communications environment. It inspires confidence among those I work with and in myself."


Kimberly M. Starks, APR

Kimberly M. Starks is a public relations professional who has a strong print journalism background. Kimberly is currently the media relations manager at the Georgia Lottery Corp. In that role, she serves as the primary point of contact for the media, and works to proactively enhance the image of the corporation.

Starks has freelanced for and the Savannah Morning News, and has also worked as a government reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, government reporter at the Marietta Daily Journal, and editor and interim bureau chief of the Journal’s South Metro Neighbor publications. She has also worked under seasoned journalists at The New York Times.

Starks studied anthropology at the University of Ghana, and she is a graduate of Savannah State University.

“APR underscores my value as a public relations practitioner. My personal drive and willingness to invest in myself allowed an opportunity for me to gain fundamental knowledge of the practice, especially since having transitioned professionally. APR is a mark of distinction and reinforces my business acumen, certifying my competency.  My journey was significant. I was serious in my pursuit to learn more. This distinction adds credibility and is a tremendous source of pride. I am happy to have fulfilled my professional aspiration.”

PRSA Georgia Accredited Members

Joel Ames, APR
Jenny Lynn Anderson, APR
Jason Anthoine, APR
Jimmy M. Autry APR, Fellow PRSA, CCC
Kristie Benson, APR
Ellen G. Berman, APR
Myra Blackmon, APR (retired)
Katrina D. Blauvelt, APR
Debra S. Bloom, APR
Dana Bolden, APR
Judi B. Borgo, APR
Celia C. Boswell, APR, Fellow PRSA
Nancy Broe, APR
Stephen Brown, APR
Amanda Brown-Olmstead, APR, Fellow PRSA
Marleen Burford, APR, Fellow PRSA
Anna G. Burns, APR
Conrad H. Busch, Jr., APR
Kay Harle Cavender, APR
Angie Champsaur, APR
Pat Check, APR
Tacey Derenzy, APR
Vincent J. Dollard, APR
Marian Douglas, APR
Crystal Irene Drake, APR
Mary Dugenske, APR
Paul Dusseault, APR
Sherry Duvall, APR
Mark Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA
Mary Cammack Eitel, APR
Donald W. Felice, APR
Annette Filliat, APR
Stephanie Fitzsimmons, APR
Sarah Funderburk, APR
Roszell Gadson, APR
Carol Galbreath, APR
Coleen Gowen, APR
Lillian Govus, APR
Patty Gregory, MPA, APR
Jennifer Grizzle, APR
Michael Hagearty, APR
Elyse Hammett, APR
Roger Durant Hannah, APR
Beth Hardy, APR
Ellen Weaver Hartman, APR, Fellow PRSA
Sherrie Lynn Hauser-Simmons, APR
Jacob Hawkins, APR
Jessie Haynes, APR
Craig A. Heighton, APR
Randall W. Hines, Ph.D., APR
Neil Hirsch, APR
Richard E. Hodges, APR, Fellow PRSA
Jasmine Hoffman, APR
Justine Holcomb, APR
Jeffrey Huett, APR
Timothy L. Hussey, APR
Megan Jentz, APR
E. Juliann Kaiser APR
Pamela A. Keene APR
Sherri Kightlinger, APR
Nancy Klentak APR
Delos L. Knight, APR
Karlie Lahm, APR
Kent Landers, APR
Geri Laufer, APR
Diana L. Lewis, APR
Darrya A. Lipscomb, APR
Gayle B. MacIntyre, APR
Kate Maine, APR

Katherine Mason, APR (2016 UAB Member)
Victoria Barksdale McGhee, APR
Hillary McKean, APR
Gary W. McKillips, APR, Fellow PRSA
Elizabeth McMillan, APR (2016 UAB Chair)
Megan McRainey, APR
Lynn Harris Medcalf, MA, APR
Melissa Medori APR
Michelle Leff Mermelstein, APR
Kimberly Miller, APR
Carol P. Milliron, APR
Scott Mills, APR
Theresa Minella, APR
James M. Montgomery, APR, Fellow PRSA
Tami Randahl Morris, Ph.D., APR
Liza Mulkowsky, APR
Barbara Myers, APR
Mickey G. Nall, APR, Fellow PRSA
Kelley Nave, APR
J. Michael Neumeier, Jr., APR
Sandra N. Nicholls, APR
Mary Olsen, APR
Patricia E. Palmer, APR
Patricia A. Parker, APR, Fellow PRSA
Judith A. Parker APR, Fellow PRSA
Adacelis Perez, APR
Quiana Pinckney, APR
Tammy C. Poole, APR
Arleen Porcell-Pharr, APR
Don G. Reichardt, APR, Fellow PRSA
Kim Resnik, APR
Rocio Rivera, APR
Jason Rollins, APR
Susan Rosenberg, APR
Lynne M. Sallot, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA
Mimi Schroeder, APR
Nancy Schubert, APR
Jennifer Scott, APR
Amy Shaffer, APR
Tim Shannon, APR
Beverly Shepard, APR
Melissa Smith, APR
Ronn K. Smith, APR
Tiffany Mailen Smith, APR
Kimberly M. Starks, APR
Rich Steele APR (2016 UAB Chair)
Stephanie Stinn, APR
Jane Stout, APR
Jean Tate, APR
Rosemary Taylor, APR
Megan Terraso, APR
Alicia Thompson, APR
Ana Toro, APR
Barbara S. Touchette, APR
Dr. Joseph V. Trahan, III APR, Fellow PRSA
Sherry Treco-Jones, APR, Fellow PRSA
Lynn M. Wallace, APR
Michael L. Warden, APR
Judith E. Webb, APR
John B. White, Jr. APR
Judy DeRango Wicks, APR, Fellow PRSA
Malika Reed Wilkins, Ph.D., APR
Nancy K. Wood, APR, Fellow PRSA
William T. Wright, APR
Stephanie Zercher, APR


PRSA Georgia APR Committee Co-Chairs

Beverly Shepard, APR
Melissa Smith, APR

Board Liaison: Stephanie Fitzsimmons, APR