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Philly Chapter 70th Anniversary  PRSA Philly

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ICON: The Power of Influence Recap

Stephanie Byrwa | Published on 11/23/2022

WOW. Everything is bigger in Texas. I recently returned from the PRSA International Conference. I started my time at the Gaylord Texan, in Grapevine, Texas, just outside of Dallas, at the Leadership Rally. This is where chapters from across the country come together to share and exchange ideas, plus learn how to lead a chapter or lead a district. Next was Assembly, where delegates from across the country came together to vote on the bylaws and the national leadership for the following year. The Public Relations Association of America is strong, with 8,500 members! Cayce Meyers, from the Blue Ridge Chapter in Virginia, was elected to serve for the Mid-Atlantic District on the national board.

The Mid-Atlantic District comprises nine chapters in the area, including Delaware, Central PA, Maryland, National/Capitol, Richmond, Chesapeake, VA, Blue Ridge, and Hampton Roads. I helped plan a Mid-Atlantic Chapter Happy Hour. Thanks to the help of the Whova app, where all things ICON were found, we could easily plan a meet-up event. We had over 30 people attend. It was great to have Philly chapter members Alen Beljin, Blair Kahora Cardinal (past president), Stacey Hajdak, APR, Mike Gross, APR (past president) Rick Buck (current board member), and others. We had a fabulous time coming together in Texas.

We look forward to replicating a meet-up in the greater Philadelphia area soon.

From left: Blair Kahora Cardinal, Mike Gross, APR, Stephanie Byrwa, and Rick Buck

The conference had several great speakers; one of my favorite sessions was about user-generated content and reminding us that social media is a place to be social and interact with your users. I learned about new apps such as Yoodli, a communication coach to help you become a better speaker; think Grammarly but for speeches.

The keynote programming was terrific to listen to, and I feel inspired. To review a recap, here are the links:
Marlee Matlin on Learning to Dream Big
Katty Kay on the Key to Confidence
NFL Great Emmitt Smith on Success on and off the Field
How DE&I Helps Optimize Talent and Build Teams for the U.S. Military

I highly recommend looking to attend in the future. ICON 2023 will be in Nashville, Tennessee, at the Gaylord. If you are interested in learning more about the programming offered by PRSA, visit: