History of the FPRA Treasure Coast Chapter

Indian River Chapter EST. 1984

Submitted by Eric Gill, updated by Sue-Ellen Sanders

In June 1984, founding President Virginia Moulton was tired of driving from her public relations business in Vero Beach to Palm Beach County to attend monthly meetings at the Palm Beach FPRA Chapter – a two-hour drive one way. The long drive back and forth started her thinking about establishing the Indian River Chapter.

Vero Beach and Fort Pierce public relations professionals were contacted to organize a chapter. About fifteen professionals from Indian River Community College, Southern Bell, United Way of Indian River County, Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, Indian River Memorial Hospital, Fort Pierce Jai Alai, Harbor Federal Bank, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Indian River Plantation, Riverside Bank, the Indian River County Chamber and the St. Lucie County chambers of commerce and several public relations firms were among the founding members for the chapter.

About five years later, the chapter expanded to Stuart/Martin County, bringing in several new members to the organization. That new group broadened the coverage of area of the chapter to include Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie and Stuart, the area that makes up the chapter today. In the early ‘90’s, the chapter changed its name to the Treasure Coast Chapter to include all of the communities being served.

Now facing its 38th chapter anniversary in 2022, it seems like the Treasure Coast Chapter has always been serving the Treasure Coast. Its membership has grown from those early years to fifty members, although at one time, it reached as many as seventy-five members. We also welcomed our first student member in 2022.
With professional development and networking as main goals for the chapter, the Treasure Coast Chapter has been dedicated to an annual COMShop, which turned into a Media Breakfast, which turned into its annual Media Conference, an all-day professional development seminar, active until COVID hit. Current plans include partnering with the Treasure Coast Business Summit or bringing the CommCon back this next year.

Other programs have included holiday fundraising projects to help local non-profit organizations learn about media relations and community partnerships (United Way and Children’s Services Council agencies included) and even coordinating a Day of Unity following the 9/11 attack.

In 1993, the Chapter started its first Image Awards program and about 10 years later, it decided to recognize community leaders in various communications fields with its Communicator of the Year Awards. In the early chapter years, five members became APR accredited, with the Treasure Coast Chapter now having twenty-three members accredited and three as CPRCs. Our Communicator of the Year program has grown to honor over 30 nominees with 7 different categories.

Each year at the annual Installation Celebration & Ceremony, the Chapter presents awards that recognize the dedication of its members. Those include the Virginia Moulton President’s Award, the Adrienne Moore Award of Excellence, the Rising Star Award, Community Service Award, Innovator of the Year Award and Member of the Year Award. Several members have been recognized by the State Association with Golden Image Awards, Awards of Distinction and Judges’ Awards, the Lt. Col. John W. Dillin Award, the Doris Fleischman Unsung Hero Award and the Member of the Year honors.

In addition, multiple chapter members have served on the State Executive Committee in positions such as VP of Golden Image, VP of Annual Conference, VP of Chapter Services, State President-Elect, State President and Immediate Past President. One member served as the Florida Public Relations Education Foundation Chair for two years.

Over the years, three chapter presidents have died – founding member Terri Monaghan, 1986-1987, of Indian River Plantation, Lee Murphy, 1988-1989, of Harbor Federal Bank and Adrienne Moore, APR CPRC, who served as president three times. In 2021, the chapter created a reef project, led by Jenny Tomes, and dedicated it to Adrienne for her dedication and commitment in her service to public relations, both at the local and state level.


2021 – 2022 – Sue-Ellen Sanders

2020 – 2021 – Sarah Prohaska

2019 – 2020 – Jenny Tomes, APR

2018 – 2019 – Cindi Green, APR

2017 – 2018 – Nancy McCarthy, APR

2016 – 2017 – Carin Campbell Smith

2015 – 2016 – Erick Gill

2014 – 2015 – Kim Waser Nash

2013 – 2014 – Adrienne Moore, APR, CPRC

2012 – 2013 – Ashley Mock Kidd

2011 – 2012 – Krista Garofalo

2010 – 2011 – Cara Perry

2009 – 2010 — Bryan Beaty

2008 – 2009 — Linette Trabulsy

2007 – 2008 — Karen Brown, APR

2006 – 2007 — Susan J. Naugle

2005 – 2006 — Jan Timon, APR

2004 – 2005 — Melinda L. Glasco

2003 – 2004 — Millie Wood-Goldsby, CFRE

2002 – 2003 — Beverly Bevis Jones, APR

2001 – 2002 — Anne Satterlee, APR, CPRC

2000 – 2001 — Kyle Ball, APR

1999 – 2000 — Misti Guertin, APR

1998 – 1999 — Marie Van Meerten, APR

1997 – 1998 — Robin Delgado

1996 – 1997 — Karen King, APR

1995 – 1996 — Patricia Austin, APR

1994 – 1995 — April Podnar

1993 – 1994 — Adrienne Moore, APR

1992 – 1993 — Mary Ann Harvey, APR

1991 – 1992 — Adrienne Moore, APR

1990 – 1991 — Kevin Oberbeck

1989 – 1990 — Ron Landry, APR

1988 – 1989 — Leola Murphy, APR

1987-1988 – Terri Monaghan

1986-1987 – J. Norton, Jr.

1985-1986 – Mary Beth Herzog