Passing the baton. . .

By David Landis, LCI President

Last week, I had the distinct pleasure of traveling to Miami to attend the bi-annual meeting of the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN).  Our agency is the San Francisco member of this renowned association of independently-owned PR agencies.  For the past year, it’s been an honor and a privilege to lead this August group of PR professionals from all over the globe.  But now my time is done. It’s been a whirlwind, so how about reflecting on the accomplishments of that past year?

Miami – scene of PRGN’s latest meeting

  • First and foremost, I am proud that together with my partners, our association is the healthiest financially that it has ever been in its 21-year history (and yes, this from a liberal Democrat!);
  • Our incoming President, Uwe Schmidt of Germany, has taken the lead to re-vamp and debut a modern new website;
  • Our Marketing Committee, under the direction of Cleveland-based and President-elect Ed Stevens, has developed a contemporary new e-brochure to help market the network; and they are working on a groundbreaking new way to distribute client news via the network;

PRGN Presidents past, current & future: Landis, Schmidt & Stevens

  • During the past year, thanks to our Canadian partner Esther Buchsbaum (head of our PR Committee), we’ve developed great new partnerships with industry guru Paul Holmes and The Network One;
  • Our business committee, under the guidance of Germany’s Michael Diegelmann, has initiated a unique business development approach that we are implementing in what those of us in Silicon Valley call “a disruptive way”: by being proactive about client wins and also reaching out to new partners with win-win strategies;
  • Our Site Committee, under the supervision of Boston-based Wendy Spivak and Sandy Lish, have produced two great meetings: one in Sydney with the help of Mark Paterson and the Currie Communications team; and one in Miami with the help of C.L. Conroy and Jorge Martinez and the gang at Conroy Martinez.
  • Mariusz Pleban, heading the Knowledge Committee, has created a new Directory for our association to better access member capabilities;
  • Philadelphia’s Anne Buchanan has taken the charge to help PRGN become more involved with Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, which resulted in a terrific volunteer activity at the Barnyard in Miami;

LCI’s Sean Dowdall with next-generation PR pros at the Barnyard in Miami

  • Treasurer Joe Ledlie and his trusty second-in-command Maria Vigil (from Atlanta) have instituted new financial procedures and kept our finances in impeccable order;
  • Milan’s Alessandra Malvermi and her Membership Committee have persevered in identifying, vetting and pushing forward new potential member candidates and helping us grow to what is now the fourth-largest global PR network;
  • Phoenix’s Scott Hanson, wordsmith extraordinaire, has made sure our bylaws accurately reflect the values and the mission of our network, even as it grows and matures;
  • Thanks also to Secretary C.L. Conroy from Miami for tirelessly taking the minutes each and every month for our meetings; I know it’s not the most glamorous job, but it’s a necessary evil.
  • We’ve been able to tap into some new talent to help us as we grow in the coming year: Seattle’s Aaron Blank, who will head up PR efforts; and Phoenix’s Abbie Fink, who will be heading up the network’s social media initiatives
  • Perhaps most of all, a huge thank you to our former President, Mark Paterson, whom I consulted almost daily for his sage advice; you kept me going, mate.

With Mark Paterson and the Currie team in Melbourne

I guess the net of this year is you’re only as good as your team.  I had the best team ever.  Without them, I couldn’t have accomplished any of the above.  With them, I always felt like the sky was the limit.

Now it’s time to pass the baton.  The gavel is now in the hands of Uwe and his new team.  I’ve always believed new blood is critical to an organization’s renewal.  I know he’ll do an amazing job.  And maybe now I’ll have a little more time for my wine country adventures. . . Cabernet, anyone?

Please comment below or send me your thoughts: [email protected].

10 thoughts on “Passing the baton. . .

  1. What great accomplishments. Thanks for sharing David. It’s all very inspiring. And best of luck Uwe!

  2. David,
    I know how hard you worked for PRGN during your term and how much everyone appreciates your dedication. Great Job!!!

  3. David, congratulations on your very successful term as PRGN president! It’s a pleasure to be part of this growing, international PR network! Cheers, Hilary

  4. What a great year…and a great foundation for 2014. I know we can’t wait to work more with our partners at LCI and all over the PRGN network!

    1. Chris – we’re going to get a chance to try that out with your talented team at Fearey Group. Looking forward to working with you, Aaron, Heather, Nandi and the TFG team. Cheers, David

  5. Well said David and thank YOU for your service to this distinguished organization. Needless to say it’s impressive to think back to all that this group has accomplished and the genius that is still yet to come! Looking forward to being a part of it all. Best of luck to Uwe!

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