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31 May 2018

Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society returns with 2nd Annual PowerPR Conference

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May 31, 2018 Category: Local Posted by:

Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society 2nd Annual PowerPR Conference

Phillies Kenny Johnson and NBC10 anchor Erin Coleman to serve as moderators.

PR executives from Merck, SEPTA, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Senator Bob Casey office, Black Women in Sport Foundation, Harlem Globetrotters and more to participate on panels.

On June 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Liberty View Ballroom, Independence Center, 6th & Market Sts., Philadelphia Black PR Society (PBPRS) will hold its annual PowerPR Conference, a full-day conference for PR, non-PR professionals and entrepreneurs. NBC10/Telemundo62 is the exclusive television partner for the conference and The SUN is a media partner. Kenny Johnson from the Philadelphia Phillies and NBC10 news anchor Erin Coleman will serve as moderators.

“We are thrilled to have NBC10 participate in our conference again this year,” said the organization’s president, Monica Peters

“I began this conference as a major annual gathering to support African-American public relations practitioners in the Philadelphia region.  Although PBPRS mission is focused to support Black public relations professionals, our conference attracts panelists and participants from all backgrounds,” continued Peters.

Last year Peters and the organization received a citation from Philadelphia City Council for the inaugural event.

NBC10 is mutually excited to participate in the conference again.

“I’m delighted to once again participate in Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society’s #PowerPR Conference,” said Diana Torralvo, Director of Community Relations and Communications for NBC10 and Telemundo62. “It’s a great opportunity to connect with fellow communication practitioners serving the Philadelphia region and share best practices among our colleagues.”

Torralvo participated on the conference’s “Breaking into PR” panel last year along with public relations executives from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Kimmel Center. She will participate again this year on the panel.

“We received great feedback from our membership and the community at last year’s event, so we have expanded to a full-day conference,” said President Peters.

The full day conference, via speakers and panel workshops, will empower and provide communicators, executives, brand managers, students and entrepreneurs with the skills they need to be competitive and continue to execute excellence in their professions.

Attendees will hear from top leaders in the field and leave with practical and expert public relations knowledge that will help them heighten the visibility of their personal and business brands–and excel in their professions in the corporate world.

Kenny Johnson, coordinator and community engagement for the Philadelphia Phillies, who moderated last year, will also receive PBPRS Communicator of the Year Award.

“In its inaugural year last year, the Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society PowerPR Conference served as a great forum for bringing together many of the city’s best and brightest professionals,” said Johnson.

“Whether panelist, participant or moderator, everyone shared in the learning experience of hearing the pathways and practices employed by a variety of different industries, and later applying that knowledge within their own professions,” continued Johnson.

Phillies Director of Publicity, John Brazer, also participated last year on the conference’s Travel and Sports PR panel. Attendees from various organizations were able to make a direct connection with the sports organization and have their own event night later in the year.  For many attendees, the annual conference was their first time interacting with the Phillies.

This year, Brazer will participate on the Sports in the City Panel with Tina Sloan Green, co-Founder and Executive Director of Black Women in Sport Foundation and Lara Toscani Weems, Senior Director, Corporate Communications for the Sixers.

Phillies publicist Deb Rinaldi, who attended the conference last year described the impact it had.

“Inspirational and empowering … the [2017] #PowerPR Conference was all that and more. This was my first time attending the event, and it did not disappoint. The morning featured excellent speakers and great insight into various fields, as well as plenty of networking opportunities. From social media to crisis communications, thanks to the Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society for providing the forum for such important PR topics.”

There will be some new faces at the 2nd annual PowerPR conference this year including panelist Carla Showell-Lee, Director of Media Relations for SEPTA.

“I think it’s important to attend the Philadelphia Black PR Society’s 2nd Annual PowerPR Conference because not only is the topic important but because we live in such a FAST environment – it’s just nice to have forum that forces us to slow down and hear what each other has to say.”

The annual gathering is designed to help PR professionals (and those in similar fields) at every level discussing topics from social media, market trends, jobs, how to break into PR and more.

The event will also honor Vashti Dubois, Founder and Executive Director of the Colored Girls Museum which she runs with Ian Friday and Michael Clemmons.

The conference added a new panel this year: “Entrepreneurship, Community & PR—Turning Your Dreams Into Reality & How To Build And Maintain Your Brand From The Ground Up.” The panel will feature Philly entrepreneurs who turned their businesses into an international success. Hair care mogul Natasha Somalia, Saudia Shuler owner of internationally renowned Country Cookin restaurant in North Philadelphia and attorney Toni Moore will serve on the panel.

The conference will celebrate and empower communications practitioners while providing networking opportunities. Conference is for PBPRS members, all professionals (including non-PR professionals) and members of the community to attend. 

PBPRS mission is support to African American public relations practitioners in the Philadelphia region through workshops, annual conference and networking.

Conference Lineup

BREAKING INTO PR (9 a.m.-9:45  a.m.)

Ebony Staton Weidman, Southeast Regional Director U.S. Senator Bob Casey

Diana Torralvo, Director of Community Relations and Communications for NBC10 and Telemundo62

Leni Uddyback-Fortson Regional Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Labor


Shawnee Brown, Associate Director, Global Social Media Strategy, The Merck Manuals – Merck

From Social Media to the Corporate Office: Managing the Brand, Reputation Management and Achieving Positive Outcomes in Perception (11 a.m.-11:45 a.m.)

Stephanie Humphrey, Tech Contributor, Good Morning America, Harry Show

Carla Showell-Lee, Director of Media Relations, SEPTA

Donna Alston, Communications Manager, AQUA

Tiffany Weber, Marketing Manager, Creative Services for American Association for Cancer Research

Sports in the City (1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m.)  Moderated by NBC10 news anchor Erin Coleman

John Brazer, Director of Publicity Philadelphia Phillies

Tina Sloan Green, President and Co-Founder of Black Women in Sport Foundation (First-ever African American head coach in women’s collegiate lacrosse, featured on ESPN)

Eric Nemeth,Senior Director Publicity, Harlem Globetrotters


Attorney and Business Coach Toni Moore, owner of Legally Chic Services, author of “Handle Your Business, Power Moves to Make Your Business Dreams A Reality”

Natasha Somalia, Founder and CEO of COVERED the salon and Natasha Somalia hair care products

Saudia Shuler, owner of internationally renowned Country Cookin restaurant in Philadelphia


Kenny Johnson from the Philadelphia Phillies will receive the Communicator of the Year Award

Vashti Dubois, Founder & Executive Director of internationally renowned The Colored Girls Museum featured in Essence Magazine and Smithsonian Magazine will receive the Organization of the Year Award.

Philadelphia Black Public Relations Society 2nd annual PowerPR Conference, Friday June 8, 8 a.m. to noon at The Liberty View Ballroom at Independence Visitor Center, 599 Market St., Philadelphia. Tickets are $85 for PBPRS members and $100 for non-members. Sales end June 7, no walkins. For information or to register visit



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