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Meet the Board Monday: John Philip Vernon

Here's our latest edition of ‘Meet the Board Mondays’, a new 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 third installation, we bring you our Immediate Past President and Director of Ethics, John Philip Vernon.

Give me a P-R-S-A!



Tell us a little about yourself.

My name's John and I'm the Immediate Past President of PRSA-SF! I was born and raised in London, Ontario (near Toronto) and moved to the Bay Area a little more than 10 years ago. Back in the Fall of '08, I started working at a boutique agency, Vantage PR, which was acquired in Dec '15 by PAN Communications, the mid-size agency where I currently work! Outside of the office, I love watching the Warriors, listening to Green Day, eating epic food, and spending as much time with the fam as possible, especially my almost-2-year-old niece, Charlotte. Check out this #MyStoryIn365 video to learn more!



What’s the reason you joined and serve PRSA?

My main motivation for joining PRSA was to expand my world and connect with more people in the Bay Area's awesome PR community. Years ago, when I attended my first PRSA-SF networking mixer, I had just become a member and wasn’t sure what to expect. But I was psyched to quickly find the community I was looking for! One that would help me grow professionally and personally. One that would lead to me building relationships with some of the most amazing people I’ve ever been privileged to meet. That's why I wanted to give back. I first got involved on the board as Membership Director, and was then fortunate to serve as last year's Chapter President. It was such an incredible experience - one for which I'll be forever grateful.



What are your specialties in your personal and professional life?

Professionally, my world is business development. Every day, I get to build and nurture relationships with CMOs, VPs of Marketing, PR managers, social media managers, content marketing managers, you name it. I learn about their goals, their needs, their pain points - and chat about how we might be able to help 'em out. I'm lucky to work with an awesome business development team, and together we work with our colleagues to bring in new clients in the B2B technology and healthcare sectors for PAN.

On the personal side, I've enjoyed fundraising for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, making fun videos (like this snack review series I recently kicked off), running (did my third half marathon last Fall), and just trying every day to live life to its fullest!



What advice would you give other PR pros?

Interested in carving out your own career path? Speak up about it! Might seem a bit daunting, but being vocal about where you'd like to grow and what you'd like to accomplish in your career is important. About 4 years into working at Vantage, I was really interested in pivoting over from the client management side to the operations and business development side of the agency. I spoke up about it, and the rest is history!