Holly Brochmann, Georgia chapter

Brochmann Holly (002)Name: Holly Brochmann

Chapter: Georgia Chapter

Current position: Senior Account Director, Hope-Beckham Inc.

How long in current position: I’ve been in my current position for six months, and I’ve been with my firm, Hope-Beckham Inc., for 12 years.

First PR job: I worked as a communications associate for Bowman and Associates in Lufkin, Texas.

Where you attended college: Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas.

If you weren’t doing PR, you’d be: If I could choose, I’d either be a novelist, children’s book author or a songwriter.

Proudest professional accomplishment: Several years ago I had the incredible opportunity to serve on the planning committee for the legendary Hank Aaron’s 80th birthday party, which featured many esteemed guests including former president Bill Clinton.

What is your passion? First and foremost my family, especially my brand new baby girl. I also love writing, hiking, traveling, music, animals – I’m lucky to have a long list of passions.

Why you are a PRSA member? Because no matter how long you’ve been in the business, there’s always more to learn – and there’s no better place to learn than among your peers and mentors.

Each week, the PRSA Southeast District highlights one of its 2,700 members. To join PRSA, visit prsa.org.

Sonja Matanovic, North Carolina chapter

Sonja MatanovicName: Sonja Matanovic

Chapter: North Carolina

Current position: Director of Marketing and Communications, UNC School of Government

How long in current position: Three years

First PR job: Communications coordinator at the International Reporting Project, which is part of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. It’s a wonderful organization and a pioneer in the nonprofit journalism movement.

Where you attended college: University of Chicago

If you weren’t doing PR, you’d be…… studying user experience design. Or linguistics.

Proudest professional accomplishment: This year, I was appointed co-chair of the UNC School of Government’s Diversity Committee by our dean. I’m honored to be trusted with listening to our constituents, fostering productive dialogue, and taking action alongside fantastic colleagues doing the same across UNC-Chapel Hill and the higher education sector.

What is your passion? Good journalism. It’s not what I do for a living, but I can’t live without it.

Why you are a PRSA member? Being a member of PRSA helps me stay on top of industry trends, connect with others, and plot next steps in my career trajectory.

Each week, the PRSA Southeast District highlights one of its 2,700 members. To join PRSA, visit prsa.org.


Mark Tosczak, Tar Heel chapter

MTheadshot-2014Name: Mark Tosczak

Chapter: Tar Heel

Current position: Founder & Chief Strategist at Flying Car Communications

How long in current position: since September 2013

First PR job: My first full-time PR job was as communications director at a small economic development policy think tank. I had to manage everything from branding to media relations to direct mail.

Where you attended college: NC State University – BA in English; Elon University – MBA

If you weren’t doing PR, you’d be…… doing something to do with technology – maybe programming or web development. I’m endless fascinated by technology, how much it’s changed in my lifetime and what the future holds. And, increasingly, you can’t function as a PR professional without a fair degree of technological literacy.

Proudest professional accomplishment: Starting my own PR firm and being able to employ others.

What is your passion? Learning. I often think that if I won the lottery and didn’t have to work I would just go back to school and earn another degree just for the sheer pleasure of learning.

Why you are a PRSA member? To connect with other talented PR professionals.

Each week, the PRSA Southeast District highlights one of its 2,700 members. To join PRSA, visit prsa.org.

Janet C. Hart, APR, CFEE, Fellow PRSA, Charlotte chapter

Janet C Hart APR CFEEName: Janet C. Hart, APR, CFEE, Fellow PRSA

Chapter: Charlotte

Current position: Vice President of Public Relations & Communications, Better Business Bureau of Southern Piedmont

How long in current position: 9 years

First PR job: Public relations has been one of my essential job functions of almost every position that I’ve held during my career. However, it became my primary job function when I was hired as Vice President of Marketing for Goodwill Industries in 1999. In that role, I was responsible for conveying Goodwill’s message about how donations of clothing are sold in Goodwill’s stores and that provides the money to pay for Goodwill’s job training programs. In short, “You donate stuff. We put people to work.”

Where you attended college: UNC Chapel Hill, B.S. in Business Administration; Wingate University, MBA in Marketing; Duke University, Certificate in Nonprofit Management; and Wake Forest University, Certificate in Business Essentials for Nonprofits.

If you weren’t doing PR, you’d be……planning major events and festivals. I have produced several of the largest festivals in the country and co-produced many local festivals. I am fascinated by logistics. When I go to an event or festival, I silently critique the event layout, crowd flow, access, security and more.

Proudest professional accomplishment: My proudest professional accomplishments involve helping people. At Goodwill, I got 900 cars for low-income families who needed transportation to work. I also spearheaded Goodwill’s efforts to provide donated clothing and household items for Hurricane Katrina evacuees who were brought to Charlotte. At Better Business Bureau, I have helped hundreds of thousands of people avoid becoming the victims of scams.

What is your passion? My passion is making a difference and helping people. I faced tough obstacles growing up, so I can relate to people who are struggling with life circumstances that are unjust or unexpected.

Why you are a PRSA member? I have been a member of PRSA since 1999 and it has been such a wonderful experience. I have met people who are working in public relations across different industries, grown my network of contacts, earned Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) and taught Accreditation classes for APR candidates. I was honored to have the opportunity to serve as President of PRSA Charlotte and to be inducted into PRSA’s College of Fellows.

Each week, the PRSA Southeast District highlights one of its 2,700 members. To join PRSA, visit prsa.org.

Kimberly McGrath, Tar Heel chapter

McGrathName: Kimberly McGrath

Chapter: Tar Heel

Current position: Associate director of news and communication, Wake Forest University

How long in current position: Five years

First PR job: Wake Forest University, University Editors Office

Where you attended college:  Loyola University-Maryland

If you weren’t doing PR, you’d be.., PR is all about relationships so if I wasn’t in PR I’d likely be doing something related to mediation or counseling or maybe teaching… there are lots of careers that would be interesting and challenging, but I can’t imagine anything more fun than public relations in higher education.

What is your passion? People and stories….I guess I have two passions!

Proudest professional accomplishment: Working with New York Times Magazine writer Susan Dominus on a feature story about Wake Forest’s Office of Personal and Career Development. She was fantastic. I not only enjoyed helping her connect with the people she needed to talk with, but learning first-hand during her two-day campus visit how a top-notch writer explores a topic from a variety of lenses.

Why are you a PRSA member? Connections and perspectives. Attending PRSA events is an excellent way to meet others in PR but most interestingly those who are doing PR in a field other than higher ed. There’s so much to learn from everyone’s experiences.

Each week, the PRSA Southeast District highlights one of its 2,700 members. To join PRSA, visit prsa.org.