PRSA Silicon Valley Introduces Agency Advisory Board, New Board Directors and Strategic Partnerships

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives, Agency Programs and Signature Speaker Series Underscore Chapter Commitment to Deepening Industry Support and Connection  

SILICON VALLEY, March 9, 2021 – PRSA Silicon Valley, part of the nation’s largest professional organization serving the communications community, has expanded the 2021 Board with the addition of three Board Directors, a new agency advisory board and several strategic partnerships. 

The chapter has seen a significant uptick in community involvement as professionals across the sector seek new ways to give back, discovering that pro-bono work during these sensitive times is necessary for advancing the communications industry’s future. 

Board Leaders and Strategic Programs
The PRSA Silicon Valley board provides a network designed to build deep professional connections within a diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) framework. The programs that facilitate these connections include: 

  • Mentorship and scholarship programs
  • Signature speaker series
  • An agency advisory council 

New board members include Michelle Doss, former Director of Corporate Communications, Rackspace, Margot Edelman, General Manager, Edelman Bay Area and Priya Ramesh VP, Global Corporate Communications, Informatica. This year, the organization is also introducing a new agency advisory board including BOCA Communications, Bospar, Edelman, Highwire, Praytell and Ruder Finn, as well as in-kind strategic partnerships with The LAGRANT Foundation, SF Press Club, PR Daily and Researchscape International. All these relationships are designed to enhance its connection with the communications agency community and increase the value it provides to agency professionals at all job levels. Deepening these relationships through increased membership, agency partnerships and sponsorship, will help PRSA Silicon Valley community stay on communications innovation trends and better serve its dynamic community. To submit an agency for the advisory board, contact Ellie Javadi.

“Despite continued challenging times and new business realities, communications leaders continue to give back,” said Vanessa Yanez, PRSA Silicon Valley President. “We are thrilled that Board members, agencies and partners are stepping up and fully realizing how industry connections can work for a greater good. We are activating and reimagining our diverse group of industry experts as a communications think tank, analyzing and addressing the most pressing industry issues for the benefit of our communications community and its future.”

“To further expand the Chapter and access to its programs, we have also established a Club on the growing audio platform Clubhouse.  The “PRSASV Friday Forum” Club can be accessed directly through a member’s inclusion on Clubhouse. Message our members if you have any questions.  The PRSASV #FridayForums typically run at 11 am in the Pacific time zone,” noted Ms. Yanez.

Professional Development

PRSA Silicon Valley is committed to providing professional development opportunities that are reflective and inclusive of our society’s segments. Our goal is to provide communications programming that encompasses various ideas, perspectives, and cultural backgrounds. Through our events and resources, we aim to encourage, educate, and engage with diverse communications professionals while affecting change and fostering growth in the public relations industry. For more information contact our mentor team. 

This effort complements the Chapter’s APR program and weekly signature series, the “Industry’s Team Meeting” #FridayForum. Since launching in 2020, #FridayForum has welcomed industry leaders and tackled issues of importance to PR professionals such as recruitment, career development, diversity and inclusion, consumer trust, and public health. If you would like to attend and/or speak at a future #FridayForum, see our FB, Twitter, and LinkedIn and/or contact PRSA Silicon Valley’s Karen Smyth. 

Join Us and Sponsor

Join PRSA Silicon Valley and/or volunteer and/or become a PRSA Silicon Valley member. PRSA is a network of over 30,000 professionals through local and regional communities, high-quality events, and industry-specific groups. Members receive access to a suite of tools that foster professional development and enhance career growth. 

Our newsletters and #FridayForum programs reach thousands of industry leaders across the country. If you’re looking for a way to reach cutting-edge communicators, we have the tools to help. Contact us for details about sponsorship opportunities and learn more about how your support for the PRSA Silicon Valley Chapter supports Bay Area scholarships. 

2021 PRSA Silicon Valley Board Members


Vanessa Yanez President; Head of Brand Advocacy, Global Head of Print Communications, HP Inc.
Ellie Javadi, APR Immediate Past President; Marketing, Brand & Digital VP, Norwest Venture Partners
Shaun Saunders Secretary; Founder, Graffiti Creative Group
Meghan Fintland Treasurer; Director, Influencer Relations, Corp Comms, Early Warning, LLC


Margot Edelman, General Manager, Edelman Bay Area
Megan Grasty Phelan Account Director, Highwire PR
Robin Kim, Practice Head, Global Technology and Innovation, Ruder Finn
Syreeta Mussante Executive Vice President, Technology, Praytell Agency
Kathleen Shanahan, Founder, BOCA Communications
Curtis Sparrer, Co-Founder and Principal, Bospar


Laura T. Desmarais Publicity Lead; Principal, LTD Communications
Jeannie Entin Mentorship Lead; Vice President, Communications, Aclima
Jazmin Eusebio Diversity Equity and Inclusion, Scholarship Lead; Account Executive, Highwire PR
Camelia Gendreau Partnership Lead; Worldwide Print Communications, HP Inc.
Ellie Javadi APR Sponsorship Co-Lead, Agency Advisory Board Lead; VP Marketing, Brand & Digital, Norwest Venture Partners
Mar Junge Newsletter Lead; Founder and Principal, C3PR
Karen Noelle Smyth Signature Events / FridayForum Lead; Head of Content, Norwest Venture Partners
Scott Thornburg APR Sponsorship Co-Lead; Global Public Relations Director, Sojern


Jocelyn Breeland APR Exec Director for Strategic Comms, RD&E, Stanford University
Gerard F. Corbett APR PRSA Fellow and Past National Chair & CEO; Chair and CEO Redphlag 
Michelle Doss Director, Corporate Communications, Rackspace Technology
Kristin Harlan Partner PR Lead, AWS
Caroline James Founder, Forever Speaks PR
Brooke Kruger Communications Recruiter and Founder, KC Partners
Lauren Kwan VP Marketing, PlusAI, Inc.
Priya Ramesh VP, Global Corporate Communications, Informatica
David Vossbrink APR Communications Counsel
Alicia Nieva-Woodgate VP Corp Comms USA Technologies Inc.
JoAnn Yamani APR Director of Communications, NIO


Netta Conyers-Haynes VP Comms, Sequoia Consulting Group
Aarti Shah Chief Product Officer, Executive Editor PRovoke
Krista Todd VP Marketing and Comms, NortonLifeLock

Media Contact:
Laura Desmarais
(m) +1.207.590.7193