Our FPRA SWFL Chapter monthly luncheon meeting for April welcomed many past presidents, honoring them for their contributions. In coordination with the program topic, the SWFL Chapter welcomed FPRA President Lanette Hart, APR, CPRC, to town! She conducted a special recognition ceremony for our chapter’s past presidents, giving each who was there an official quotes logo pin and thanked them for their past, current, and future service to FPRA. Past Presidents recognized were:

o Mary Briggs, APR,CPRC 1991-92
o Susan Johnson, 1998-1999
o Tina Haisman, APR, CPRC, 1999-2000
o Kate Gooderham, APR, CPRC, 2001-02
o Karen Ryan, APR, 2002-03
o Barbara-Anne Urrutia, 2007-08
Lynn Schneider, APR, CPRC, 1989-1990 and Olivia Orth, 2006-07 were both present for the official photograph but were unable to stay for the meeting.

Lanette praised their experience and support as a rich history for us to learn and grow from. She encouraged new leaders to consider the opportunities and the incredible return on the investment that comes from chapter leadership – particularly as committee members, chairs, and board members. She officially opened up the nomination process. Immediate Past President Barbara-Anne Urrutia is leading the nominating committee.

Susan Johnson, the General Manager of Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre was the panel moderator. She introduced the topic of “When the President Comes to Town,” relayed a story of how the Broadway Palm handled an event featuring the future First Lady, Michelle Obama, and then introduced the panel:

Vicki Moreland, LCPA. RSW created the environment for the President to arrive and depart safely into Fort Myers when he came to town.

Marietta Mudgett, Director of the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. She was asked by White House officials to put together a list of 40 community members who would be personally invited to attend the Town Hall Meeting with President Obama.

Jennifer Hobbic , Public Relations Manager for the City of Fort Myers. Jennifer worked in coordination with the White House Press representative to corral media clamoring to gain access to the event.

Shelly Flynn, Public Information Officer for the Fort Myers Police Department. Was called to work closely with Secret Service personnel to ensure adequate coverage and safety in our area when President Obama visited. Was part of the coordination to get him from and back to the airport. Enlisted the help of neighboring resources with the Lee County Sheriff’s Department and the Cape Coral Police Department.

Rose Rundle, Director of the Harborside Event Center. Rose coordinated the efforts to host the Town Hall Meeting (1500 guests!) when her venue was selected. Worked closely with police and other city officials to ensure safety, crowd control and proactive public relations before, during and following the event. Behind the scenes commemorative Thank You to volunteers can be found on their website, and linked here.

Save the date for next month’s meeting at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre on Monday, May 4, 2009 at 11:15 a.m. We hope to see you there!