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A Message from the President

I recall the time when I first moved to the Bay Area in 2013 from New York. Given that I was so new to the area, I wanted to network with as many people as possible to get a better understanding of the landscape and to make new connections. One of the individuals who I would later meet a few years later was Michele Horaney. She was Chapter President at the time in 2015 and we met for coffee at the Nespresso Cafe over by Grant and Geary in SF.  I recall Michele letting me know about the PRSA-SF Bay Area Chapter and its mission to advance the PR profession and the professional by providing access to a wealth of professional development resources, as well as career and networking opportunities. I would later find myself attending chapter events and mixers, and then, I would be invited to join the Board for the 2016 year, to serve as Director of the Professional Development committee. A year later, I served as Director of the Social/Events committee. This past year, I was chapter President-Elect.

Throughout these past three years while on the board of the chapter, I’ve been blessed to meet and come in contact with so many smart, creative, friendly folks in the local PR industry, some who I now can confidently call good friends.

With the new year just started, I now find myself in the role of Chapter President and I couldn’t be more honored and privileged for the opportunity. Together with the 2019 Board of Directors, we are committed to ensuring that our chapter meets its goals of offering a variety of programs, events, mixers so that our chapter members feel that they are getting good ROI on their membership dues, and if we’re not doing that, then it’s on us to make that right.

While we pledge to do what we can for our chapter members, in turn, I would love to see more participation, collaboration, and engagement from our chapter members to volunteer on any of our committees, with the potential to one day serve as a board member down the road.

The PRSA-SF Bay Area Chapter is recognized by both our national headquarters and other chapters for being a model and resource to other chapters around diversity & inclusion (D&I) and making sure that all programs we do, or any potential event location adheres to D&I standards. In 2019, we’ll continue to do our part to increase and advance the visibility of D&I standards and to offer resources and best practices around D&I to create a more diverse profession.

In 2019, one of the areas that I see tremendous growth is around accreditation and we’ll look to increase the number of APR recipients this year. To that end, we’ll be hosting our first “APR Brown Bag Lunch” on Saturday, February 2nd (stay tuned for details).

This year, we’ll also continue to find ways to give back to the community. In the past, we’ve conducted a guest bartending mixer that raised funds for the Larkin Street Youth Services, a silent auction at our holiday party with the AMA-SF Chapter that benefited the North Bay Fire Relief Fund and more recently the Tenderloin After School Program. We also collected toys at the holiday party for the SF Firefighters Toy Program.

In closing, kudos to each and every one of you for the great work that you are doing in PR day in and day out. If you’re currently a PRSA member, we appreciate your support. If you’re not a PRSA member, do consider joining. Here's the link to learn more about the PRSA membership benefits.

If you have any questions or want to let us know how our chapter is doing, I can be reached on Twitter, LinkedIn, or you can email me at or text/ring at 646-280-8573.

Onwards and upwards to everyone for a fruitful 2019!

All the best,


John McCartney
2019 PRSA San Franciso Bay Area Chapter President