Courtney Ellett, Memphis chapter

nwbObsidian0056Name: Courtney Ellett

Chapter: Memphis

Current position: Founder/owner of Obsidian Public Relations

How long in current position: 10 years

First PR job: PR coordinator with Baptist Memorial Health Care

Where you attended college:  The University of Memphis

If you weren’t doing PR, you’d be.., writing novels, spending more time at home with my four kids and learning the fine art of being a domestic goddess (I have a LONG way to go in that department, by the way.)

What is your passion? Telling stories and mentoring young PR professionals

Proudest professional accomplishment: When Obsidian won Small Business of the Year in 2013

Why are you a PRSA member? PRSA is a wonderful professional community for our team here in Memphis, and the organization in general truly helps us remain cutting-edge in terms of professional development and industry knowledge.

Each week, the PRSA Southeast District highlights one of its 2,300 members. To join PRSA, visit prsa.org.

Ragan DuBose-Morris, PhD, South Carolina chapter

DuBose-Morris,Ragan-AHECName: Ragan DuBose-Morris, PhD

Chapter: South Carolina – Lowcountry Region

Current position: Director, Office for Telehealth Education, South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium (SC AHEC)

How long in current position: I have held several positions with the SC AHEC over the past 12 years and was named to my current position in 2015.

First PR job: Public Information Coordinator, Environmental Biosciences Program, Medical University of South Carolina

Where you attended college:  College of Charleston, BA; New College of California, MA; Nova Southeastern University, Ed.S & PhD

If you weren’t doing PR, you’d be.., Teaching elementary school or traveling the world with my boys

What is your passion? My passion is being a telehealth innovator.

Proudest professional accomplishment: Launching and sustaining a statewide telehealth network to help communicate with healthcare professionals, students and communities.

Why are you a PRSA member? I am a member of PRSA because keeping up with the best practices in communications is more than a necessity.  My colleagues depend on me to know how to employ strategic communication processes and use evolving communication methods to overcome barriers. The tools keep changing and it is vital for communicators to know how to combine them in an effective way.

Each week, the PRSA Southeast District highlights one of its 2,300 members. To join PRSA, visit prsa.org.

Marisa Rodriguez, Alabama chapter

Marisa RodriguezName: Marisa Rodriguez

Chapter: Alabama

Current position: Communications/Marketing Specialist at Auburn University, Department: Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning

How long in current position: Three months

First PR job: This is my first job! While I was going to school I held an internship for a year and a half at a public relations, marketing and design firm in Auburn, Alabama called createTWO.

Where you attended college:  Auburn University

If you weren’t doing PR, you’d be.., doing something entrepreneurial. I plan to pursue my MBA within the next year at Auburn University and dream of one day owning my own business.

What is your passion? ? I am passionate about connecting with people. Whether it’s professionally or socially, I enjoy meeting new people and learning about and from them.

Proudest professional accomplishment:As a young professional, I am proud to now be working alongside the same instructors that prepared me for the success I have seen in my current position.  ​

Why are you a PRSA member? To network and continue to develop professionally through the many programs and opportunities associated with PRSA.

Each week, the PRSA Southeast District highlights one of its 2,300 members. To join PRSA, visit prsa.org.

Meagan Swingle, Georgia chapter

Meagan SwingleName: Meagan Swingle

Chapter: Georgia

Current position: Owner, Mega Public Relations

How long in current position: Since 2014

First PR job: Public Relations coordinator for the Atlanta Braves

Where you attended college:  Clemson University

If you weren’t doing PR, you’d be.., a travel blogger and freelance writer.

What is your passion? Being a mom to my 5 year old son is my biggest passion, but I truly love my career too. I worked for the Atlanta Braves for over a decade and then FOX Sports, so clearly I’m passionate about sports as well (go Braves and go Clemson Tigers!). I am learning Spanish (me encanta mucho!), and I love to travel (a few of my favorite trips: Egypt, South Africa, China, Turkey and Thailand).

Proudest professional accomplishment: In 2014 I “made the leap” and started my own business. I left a full time corporate communications position at FOX Sports to pursue the dream of being my own boss, and I’ve never looked back. I love the variety of work and the freedom that owning my own business gives me. I love being a small business owner and having the chance to pursue my dreams, my way.

Why are you a PRSA member? The PRSA members I’ve come to know in my chapter are so incredibly supportive of one another. When I first started thinking about going out on my own and leaving the security of a corporate job, our local Independent Contractors group answered every question I had and gave me the confidence to make the leap. I will always be grateful to them for it!!

Each week, the PRSA Southeast District highlights one of its 2,300 members. To join PRSA, visit prsa.org.