The Southwest Florida Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) honored six local public relations professionals as part of its Annual Chapter Awards program during the July 8 lunch meeting. These outstanding recipients were recognized for both their professional achievements and service to the Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA.

Rising Star awards were presented to Trish Robertson, Collier County Elections Communications Coordinator and Jessica Boles, director of community relations and development for Charlotte Behavioral Health Care. The Rising Star Award recognizes up and coming leaders in the Southwest Florida Chapter. These individuals show enthusiasm and passion for the profession and answered a call to action in seeking opportunities to get more involved in chapter activities and career pursuits.

Kara Winton, APR, CPRC, public relations consultant, was recognized with the Unsung Hero Award. This award was created to recognize the contributions of an individual Southwest Florida Chapter member for their hard work and dedication “behind the scenes” in helping to enhance and promote the public relations profession. Winton has served as the chapter’s credentialing chair for the past four years providing council and training to chapter members seeking their public relations accreditation – the designation of Accredited in Public Relations (APR) and Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC).

Heidi Taulman, APR, executive director for Lee Building Industry Association Builders Care, Inc., was named Chapter Member of the Year. This award honors someone who excels at their profession, enjoys giving back to the Southwest Florida Chapter to inspire future public relations leaders to learn and grow through FPRA and serves as a true ambassador to the community for the chapter. The recipient also goes above and beyond in their commitment and energy to ensure the success of the chapter. Taulman is the president-elect for the Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA and has been involved in many chapter activities and leadership roles in recent years.

Public Relations Professional of the Year was awarded to Victoria Moreland, Lee County Port Authority Director of Public Affairs. This is award is given to a member who exemplifies the highest standards of the public relations profession in Southwest Florida. The recipient displays a professional attitude with a determination to constantly support fellow public relations professionals and raise the professional standing of FPRA in our community. For the last five years, Moreland has been the chapter’s chair of Local Image Awards and has served in other board leadership roles since joining FPRA in 2007.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Amy Gravina, APR, of Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold. This award honors a longtime public relations professional who has dedicated their career to the profession and the advancement of the field. She has been active in the marketing and public relations field in Southwest Florida for more than 35 year and has been a member of the Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA since its inception in 1985.

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