APR Members

PRSA Tulsa takes the lead in Accredited Members

The PRSA Tulsa chapter boasts one of the highest percentages of accredited members nationwide. Today, the chapter has 46 accredited members reflecting 33 percent of the membership, compared with a 19 percent national average.

  1. Michelle Allen, APR, 2015
  2. Ashley Antle, APR, 2010
  3. Ellen Averill, APR, 2014
  4. Charlene Bassett, APR, 1976
  5. Dana Birkes, APR 2002, Fellow PRSA
  6. Lauren Brookey, APR, 1990, Fellow PRSA
  7. LouAnn Buhlinger, APR
  8. Jeremy Burton, APR, 2003
  9. Carissa Bratschun, APR, 2016
  10. Melissa Clark, APR, 1998
  11. Tim Colwell, APR, 1986
  12. Kari Culp, APR, 2013
  13. Sheila Curley, APR, 2003
  14. Kelly Dunkerley, APR, 2014
  15. Leah Harper, APR, 2012
  16. Rachel Anderson, APR, 2012
  17. Erin Jacobs, APR, 2015
  18. Tiffany Kelley, APR, 2015
  19. Lynne Kennedy, APR, 1997
  20. Tracy Kennedy, APR, 1998
  21. Missy Kruse, APR, 1997
  22. Amanda McConnell, APR, 2015
  23. Joy McGill, APR, 2009
  24. Lori McKinnon, APR, 2001
  25. Beverly Moore, APR, 2015
  26. Pattye Moore, APR, 1989
  27. Nicole Morgan, APR, 2010
  28. Karen Mulkey, APR, 2008
  29. Amanda Murphy, APR, 2013
  30. Andrea Myers, APR, 2007
  31. Brent Ortolani, APR, 1997
  32. Chris Payne, APR, 1996, Fellow PRSA
  33. Morgan Phillips, APR, 2011
  34. Amber Remke, APR, 2007
  35. Lucinda Rojas Ross, APR, 2011
  36. Bonnie Rucker, APR, 2013
  37. Sam Sims, APR, 2005
  38. Rachel Weaver Smith, APR, 2015
  39. Barbara Sorochty, APR, 1984
  40. Lynn Staggs, APR, 2014
  41. Kristen Turley, APR, 2005
  42. Steve Turnbo, APR, 1976, Fellow PRSA
  43. Barrett Waller, APR, 2000
  44. Danielle Walker, APR, 2008
  45. Kristin Ware, APR, 2007
  46. Katie Williams, APR, 2013


What does it mean to be Accredited in Public Relations?

Many of our chapter's APRs were asked to provide some comments on "what being an APR has meant to them." Their responses are below.

Ashley Antle: "I believe Accreditation adds another level of credibility to your skill as a PR professional. In an often misunderstood and wrongly labeled profession, accreditation gives PR professionals a strong foundation where ethical conduct, competency and professionalism are the cornerstones. Having APR behind my name gives me a competitive edge in the industry as potential clients know that I am held to a certain professional standard and skill level."

Jeremy Burton: "Attaining my Accreditation in Public Relations was a defining moment in my career. This mark quantifies my knowledge and abilities as a practitioner. I am proud to be associated with the many great colleagues who share this accreditation."

Lauren Brookey: "Studying for and attaining the APR status is easily the best thing I have done for myself in my professional career. In the beginning, I was unclear as to the value attaining APR could offer me after several years of working in public relations. However, I knew people who were around me and whom I respected were APR, and that influenced my decision to study for the APR  I soon came to realize that public relations has a 'body of knowledge' that is essential to truly serve the profession, our employers or clients well.

"I relished the opportunity to learn communication theories and models that inform our public relations activities and I was impressed by public relations professionals who had come before me and their impact on our profession.  As a result of studying and taking the APR exam, I developed a sense of pride and confidence in the profession of public relations and the ability to articulate its value to others."

Shelley Campbell: "I have been involved in PRSA since attending college and being active in the student chapter. All during the early years of my career, the thought of pursuing my Accreditation danced in the corners of my mind. Finally I decided to try, and I was a success. I must admit that no angels sang, no secret doors opened, but what did happen is I now KNOW that I know my business. It has given me a confidence in my skills and a sense of accomplishment to see those three little letters at the end of my name."

Melissa Clark: "The Accreditation process taught me to approach my work strategically. And, I’ve relied on the Code many times over the years to do the right thing. While being recognized as a seasoned professional has been a great result of the process, the most valuable benefit has been getting to know the phenomenal people in our local chapter. Some were mentors as I went through the APR process. Others were study buddies or colleagues I’ve called on for different perspectives through the years. I am continually amazed at the knowledge, professionalism, camaraderie and mutual support within the Tulsa chapter. Our accredited members are the best examples of how we should practice our profession. I am proud to know them and continually learn from them."

Tim Colwell: "Accreditation has been a recognition and validation that I have achieved a level of competence and professionalism in the field of public relations. To those considering sitting for their APR, the designation is not an indication of specific talent or creativity,  but that a practitioner has committed a period of his life to be challenged and tested in a most stringent evaluation process.  It’s a great sense of accomplishment, and when I see APR behind someone’s name I know they, too, value the ethics and professional standards of our organization."

Sheila Curley: "As we all know in our profession, perception is reality. Since obtaining it in 2003, my APR status improved the perception of my knowledge as a public relations professional in the eyes of my leadership, co-workers and peers. During the study process, my lessons learned can most be attributed to three quotes from Will Rogers:  1) 'Never miss a good opportunity to shut up,'  2) 'When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging,” and 3) “Why not go out on a limb?  That’s where the fruit is.”

Rebecca Fast: "The APR process was a wonderful opportunity for me to expand my industry knowledge and hone my skills in strategy development and evaluation. Having the APR credential presents to clients and my employer my commitment to the fields’ best practices, professional conduct and ethical standards. It’s well worth it!"

Julie Gentz: "The APR gave me confidence and raised my professional skills to a higher level earlier in my career.  I think as a standard it provides a minimum level for the profession about the understanding of public relations as a management function and strategic discipline."

Liz Hunt: "To me, the APR demonstrates a commitment to my profession, integrity of practice and dedication to maintaining the highest ethical standards."

Lynne Kennedy: "Fourteen years ago, I made the decision to apply for public relations accreditation. That entire process involving months of reading and study, participation in an APR mentoring and study group, and the oral and written exams themselves was a defining time in my career. I knew that investing this much time and energy meant that I was serious about my career in public relations. Although I’ve been involved in marketing, advertising, communications and magazine publishing, I am most connected to the public relations field and proudly attach APR to my name in all venues. Colleagues often ask my advice about the APR versus an MBA. Of course, my response is APR first than think about an MBA later."

Missy Kruse: "My career has covered several aspects of communications. The APR designation assures clients that I am competent, credible, and committed to doing high quality work as a public relations counselor. Passing the test was like getting a second university degree."

Shelly Ledford: "Receiving the APR designation early in my career opened many new doors to me at a crucial time in my self development. Looking back now, I believe the open doors occurred in part due to a boost in confidence I received as a result of achieving the designation. The old adage, knowledge is power is true. Since receiving the designation in 1996, I have held several positions of increasing responsibility which have provided me with both intrinsic and monetary rewards. I encourage anyone in the field with a desire to learn and a passion to grow to achieve this important designation."

Lori McKinnon: "The APR designation indicates an understanding of both Public Relations history and modern day practice. It signals that an individual has gone above and beyond the basics to achieve and maintain expertise in the field of public relations. For me, APR brings credibility with practitioners, students, and academics."

Nicole Morgan: "From the day I started my career, I knew I wanted to one day earn my APR. For me, it symbolized a major milestone in becoming what we should all strive to be – a true counselor to our clients and employers. Being in an agency has allowed me to quickly gain valuable experience in a variety of areas within the field. When I began this process, I felt like I had finally built enough of a foundation of PR knowledge to be prepared for the APR.

"I expected I would learn more about the basics – research, planning, implementation and research. What I didn’t expect was a process that would stretch my knowledge to cover those gaps my career hadn’t filled. I also didn’t expect the new connections I would make with my peers and the mentors that would emerge throughout the process.

"I encourage other public relations professionals who want to expand their skills and take their careers to the next level to pursue the APR."

Pattye Moore: "Receiving my APR designation had an impact on me in two significant ways. First, for someone fairly early in her career, the APR designation gave me credibility and legitimacy - and placed me a step above my peers.   Secondly, it gave me more confidence about my capabilities. I was able to use both of those to my benefit in building my career, which has included being president of a $3 billion restaurant company, author of a book and now chairman of the board of a public restaurant company. Thank you, PRSA."

Karen Mulkey: "Having my APR means a tremendous amount to me, especially since I came to public relations by way of a marketing degree. I love what I do. I am proud that our profession sees the importance of this added credential. For me, it demonstrates another level of commitment and dedication I have for our profession."

Andrea Myers: "It’s a symbol of my commitment to the profession."

Brent Ortolani: "The APR designation helped me align my approach to public relations in a more strategic manner. It was almost like earning another college degree! It was invaluable preparation in advancing in the PR field."

Chris Payne: "With every passing year, I become more and more convinced of the value of APR. It has deeply impacted the way I serve my employer, clients and the many non-profits I have served. It has also made a lifelong impact on the friendships I’ve made. Teaching Accreditation for a long time in Tulsa has been one of the most rewarding activities in our chapter, and I’d hate to give it up. I will always be an advocate for Accreditation.” 

Morgan Phillips: "The process of earning my Accreditation was a challenging one that helped mature my strategic process, which has had a positive impact on my day-to-day interaction with clients and colleagues."

Jeff Pounds: "I think that the APR process is a must for all public relations professionals who want to maximize their potential in their career.  It’s about a commitment to a strategic, researched-based approach to communications that will add the most value to your client or your organization.  I think it also underscores the importance of continuous learning and education in our careers – of always striving to understand and apply the theory that underpins what we do every day.

"Going through the APR process, particularly preparing for the exam, demands that you really think about how you work every day and fills voids in your knowledge base. Also, developing your portfolio and preparing for the Readiness Review provides an opportunity to take stock in your career and focus on areas for development. I would highly recommend all PRSA members who are serious about deepening their knowledge base and enhancing their career to consider going through the APR process."

Amber Remke: "Earning the APR represents a significant chapter in my professional career. Going through the accreditation process was actually as gratifying as passing the exam. I learned so much from our amazing APR leaders, Kristen Turley and Chris Payne, as well as the members of my APR class. And, the journey doesn’t stop after you’ve earned the APR—it’s a learning process that teaches you to view your job from a more strategic perspective, rather than focusing solely on tactics. I know I’ll apply these principles throughout my entire career, and that’s what makes the APR such a worthwhile endeavor."

Lucinda Rojas Ross: "I think that being able to clearly apply the principles of PR beyond the college experience is an invaluable way to become a better PR professional.  When you are forced to think through all of the considerations, it makes you a more well-rounded practitioner."

Sam Sims: "The APR has taken me from the tactician to the counselor level. Knowledge I gain from the APR process gives me ability to conduct communication within the business model to ultimately impact organizations’ bottom lines and missions. The ability to align public relations strategies and action items to business objectives routinely garners direct influence to the decision making level within business."

Barbara Sorochty: "Having the initials 'APR' after my name has opened doors and offered opportunities beyond anything I could have imagined. It has also offered me the opportunity to educate those unfamiliar with those three letters what they symbolize: namely to practice, at the highest levels, the principles encompassed in the body of knowledge that informs the art and science of public relations. I am indebted to Dr. Tom Campbell, who also carries the APR designation, who served as my supervisor, mentor, and friend.  He encouraged me to embark on my APR journey and I, in turn, encourage young professionals to also pursue this goal."

Kristen Turley: "I have set personal and professional goals over the years and work hard to accomplish each. Earning my APR is one of those goals. Having worked with and for several APRs who provided me with strong examples of what a public relations professional should be, I initially thought that earning my APR would be one way I could show them how much I had learned under their tutelage. While that may be the case, I have evolved in my thinking and now see the APR as a personal achievement which helped me build confidence in my skills.

"The process one goes through to earn his or her APR is difficult, and I believe I am a more solid professional because of it. I now have the strength to sit at the proverbial table and persuade senior management toward the appropriate communication strategy. Whether or not those three letters mean anything to the others at the table, I honestly don’t care. In the end, I know I worked extremely hard to earn this certification and am extremely proud of my accomplishment."