Date: Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Price: $30 for members | $40 for future members | $25 for students
Location: Dave & Buster’s
13499 S. Cleveland Ave. Ste 400, Ft. Myers, FL 33907
Topic: “A high level view from the grassroots – two ways to do it” with Karen Ryan, APR, CPRC Public Relations Manager at LCEC and Steven Brown-Cestero, Owner of the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen – Ft. Myers.

About the Program:

Grassroots public relations campaigns do not involve high budgets, sophisticated ad campaigns. Rather, they enlist groups of people working together to make a change. When used correctly and ethically, grassroots efforts can have a highly positive impact on a campaign. 

The Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association will present two case studies of grassroots campaigns at its seminar on March 10, 2020.  
We’ll hear from:

  • Karen Ryan, APR, CPRC, Public Relations Manager at LCEC about their efforts to keep utility prices low for Cape Coral residents and advocating for their business when the city council began to make other considerations
  • Steven Brown-Cestero, owner of the The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen and founder of the Southwest Florida Food Truck Association about their tactics in influencing changes to outdated ordinances in Bonita Springs.

“Singly, grass is ineffective; in large numbers, grass is powerful, even invasive. This is the idea behind a grassroots campaign. In large numbers, even individuals can affect great change.” ~George Washington University

Our Speakers:

Karen Ryan, APR, CPRC has been the Public Relations Manager for LCEC, a non-profit electric cooperative, for 24 years. She and a small public relations team have helped to make LCEC a recognized name in Southwest Florida and throughout the electric utility industry. The LCEC Public Relations Team was named as a finalist for Small Communications Team of the Year by PR Week magazine and has received multiple FPRA awards throughout the years. Karen served as the President of the Florida Public Relations Association and was honored as the Public Relations Professional of the year in 2002 and continues to be active in the chapter. 

She is a graduate of St. Leo University and has a diverse background in public relations, which includes positions with Lee County Government, USA Cable Professional Boxing, Edward J. Debartolo Shopping Centers and American Airlines. A major part of her twenty-eight years of public relations experience comes from performing volunteer work for non-profit organizations such as the United Way, American Heart Association, Foundation of Education for Lee County Public Schools, Community Cooperative, Edison Festival of Light and various Chambers of Commerce.

Steven Brown-Cestero is the owner of American Grilled Cheese Kitchen – Fort Myers and is the president of the SWFL Food Truck Association.


  •  March 10, 2020
     3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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