Meet the Board Monday: Scott Wintner
January 28, 2019
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Here's our latest edition of ‘Meet the Board Mondays’, a series to help you get to know your 2019 Board of Directors. This year, the San Francisco Bay Area chapter is led by a dynamic, passionate group of PR pros who are committed to help advance the profession and the professional in this foggy city! In our fourth installation, we bring you our Treasurer, Scott Wintner.
Give me a P-R-S-A!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I'm Scott and I currently serve as Treasurer. After three years on the board in the combined Secretary/Treasurer role, I'm pleased to hand off my secretarial duties this year and focus on helping our chapter sustain its amazing work with strong finances. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, I made my way to the Bay Area a little over five years ago by way of Boston; Washington, D.C.; and Metro Detroit. I'm now proud to call Oakland home and love life in the East Bay. Professionally, I spend my weekdays braving traffic on 880 to lead the marketing and communications team at Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC).
What’s the reason you joined and serve PRSA?
I've actually been involved in PRSA longer than I've worked in PR. My first PR professor at Boston University was a big proponent of PRSA (shoutout to Steve Quigley!). It was his enthusiasm for the association that encouraged me to join PRSSA as a sophomore, and then join PRSA immediately upon graduation. One of the first things that professor told my introductory PR class was that, as PR pros, we should prepare to spend the rest of our careers having to explain to everyone around us what we do. I've certainly found that to be true, and I have a strong appreciation for PRSA's role as a advocate for the profession – more now than ever given the near total erosion of integrity among some of PR's most high profile practitioners. Since joining the SF Bay Area Chapter in 2013, my involvement has deepened as I came to discover that our chapter, in particular, is full of some of the most genuine, committed and FUN people I've met anywhere.
What are your specialties in your personal and professional life?
The vast majority of my career has been in the public or not-for-profit sectors, particularly in local government. The easy answer would be to say I work in public affairs, although I've really had the opportunity to do just about about everything you could fit into the most broad definition of communications – from media and government relations to marketing to community outreach and customer experience management. One of the aspects of public sector work I love most is how varied the work in a government role tends to be. I also really enjoy telling stories about the not-so-sexy things that all of us are completely reliant upon but totally take for granted, namely public infrastructure. Perhaps it's the Cleveland sports fan in me, but I'm a sucker for a great underdog story. When I'm not at the airport working, you'll most likely find me on my bike, on the lacrosse field, or at home catching-up on an endless backlog of TV.
What advice would you give other PR pros?
If you love working in PR, find a way to do it in a field you love. I've been a storyteller on a variety of subjects, but it wasn't until I happened into a PR job in aviation – my passion for which predates my earliest memory -- that I really didn't feel like I was working at all. Fortunately, good communicators are needed in every aspect of life, so start with your passion and find an opportunity to tell the world about it.