The Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) awarded Laura Puerto, APR, senior public relations specialist at Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC), with the distinguished Doris Fleischman Unsung Hero Award at their 76th Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla. on Aug. 12, 2014. The award honors the heretofore unrecognized contributions an individual FPRA member has made to the public relations profession and the organization.

Puerto has served as the senior public relations specialist at LCEC for the past 11 years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Gulf Coast University. Puerto has been a member of the Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA for 11 years and has volunteered her time, including serving on the board of directors for 10 consecutive years. Puerto was honored by the Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA as the Rising Star in 2007, Chapter Member of the Year in 2009 and Unsung Hero in 2013.

The Doris Fleischman Award was established to honor the achievements and contributions of Doris Fleischman, business partner and wife of Edward L. Bernays, the “father” of public relations. In essence, this is an “unsung” hero award, intended to reward that individual who consistently provides support and assistance to the organization. The award recognizes those FPRA members, who, like Fleischman, make contributions to the field of public relations through their consistent, tireless efforts. The award is meant to honor a member for his/her “behind-the-scenes” work and FPRA volunteer efforts that go unnoticed by chapter members and are not recognized by other awards programs.

The Florida Public Relations Association was founded in 1938 and is the oldest public relations organization in the United States. FPRA is dedicated to developing public relations practitioners who, through ethical and standardized practices, enhance the public relations profession in Florida. The Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA is dedicated to programs and activities for public relations professionals in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. For additional information, please visit the Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA website at or Like Us on Facebook at