PRSA Georgia’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Continues to Move Forward in 2021!
Did you know that there’s a new Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee (DE&I) at PRSA Georgia? The dedicated DE&I committee not only highlights the Chapter’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; it also guides the organization in making sure our messages, images and engagement are inclusive and a part of everything we do as a professional group, leaving no one out, and bringing everyone in.
Watch out for all things DE&I coming to our Chapter this year and let us know if you are interested in volunteering!
If you would like to join the DE&I Committee please reach out to Denise Grant at Denise.Grant@prsageorgia.org for more information.
Meet the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee
Betsy Helgager Hughes, DE&I Committee, Co-Chair
“I believe we are stronger in our thinking and creativity when we bring different people with different lived experiences to the table and give everyone an equal voice regardless of title, and equally important is ensuring everyone who joins PRSA GA also feels like they ‘belong’.”
Betsy founded BLH Consulting, Inc., an Atlanta-based multicultural P.R. boutique firm in 2002 after an 8-year career at Ketchum where she led the African American Markets Group, preceded by a 2 ½ year career at Hallmark Cards, Inc. as a holiday spokesperson and launched the company’s first Kwanzaa Card. Being biracial and living in a bi-cultural family, along with her three years of living in Germany and going to an HBCU – Florida A&M University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism – Betsy’s life experiences and curiosities have always impacted how she celebrates and understands the similarities and differences of people and the way they live in the world. Those insights are used every day as she leads her diverse set of clients with effective marketing and P.R. strategies.
Karsten Burgstahler, DE&I Committee, Co-Chair
“Everybody has a unique perspective as a result of their lived experiences. We’re so much stronger as communities and businesses (even more so as P.R. practitioners) when we not only listen to those with different backgrounds from us, but also use what we learn from those conversations to make more inclusive decisions.”
Karsten is an Account Manager at Weber Shandwick. He is originally from Illinois and moved to Atlanta in 2017 to join the P.R. account team at Arketi Group. He is an alumnus of the University of Florida (master’s degree in public relations) and Southern Illinois University Carbondale (bachelor’s degree in news-editorial journalism).
Renae Madison, DE&I Committee Member
“Storytelling offers a creative way to share unique stories and experiences, as it allows us to involve people in our communication at a deep level. As communicators, we have the ability to lift up those stories, told and untold. Through our own listening and collective learning, we can develop and strengthen the skills necessary to effectively create diverse and inclusive messaging.”
Renae Madison is the Communications Manager/Public Information Officer for the City of Decatur. She is responsible for editing and managing the city’s community newsletter (Decatur Focus), website, social media and other communications initiatives including serving as the city’s public information officer. She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations and minor in Psychology from Xavier University of Louisiana, and recently received a master’s degree in Writing and Digital Communications from Agnes Scott College.
Jasmine Pochynok, DE&I Committee Member
“I was a nontraditional college student, and it is important to me to communicate that diverse experiences and career paths make the public relations profession stronger and more inclusive. That’s just one reason why I am passionate about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and why I was inspired to join the Committee.”
Jasmine separated from the United States Coast Guard in 2016 to pursue a career in communications. This career change required returning to school to complete a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations and gaining entry-level experience through multiple corporate and agency internships in the metro Atlanta area. Jasmine is excited to start her civilian career as a public relations professional and currently works as an account coordinator at The Wilbert Group.
Kiara Reynolds-Westry, DE&I Committee Member
“Each of us is valuable and important, and I believe that the only way we can reach a better future is to respect one another.”
Kiara serves as the Public Relations Manager for Randstad USA where she manages public relations and media relations for the organization. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University and a master’s degree in Public Relations from Full Sail University.
Rocio Rivera, APR, DE&I Committee Board Liaison
“We represent the voices of those emerging majorities that will shape our Chapter’s future. More than ever, our PRSA Georgia Chapter is committed to providing a forum where our voices are heard and providing resources and tools that will help our members have more diverse and inclusive dialogue.”
Rocio is a 20-year public relations and marketing veteran. She currently works for LexisNexis Risk Solutions as the U.S. Communications lead for the Insurance Vertical, managing and executing all external communications for more than 15 lines of business. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in Marketing from Loyola University, New Orleans, and a master’s degree in Media and Marketing Law from Emory University Law School.