A View from the Window Seat

By Tom Garrity, Chairman of the PRSA Counselors Academy

The window seat is one of air travel’s great pleasures.  With the raising or lowering of the shade you are able to provide light for the cabin, get a visual weather report or just stare!  The latter is something I enjoy because the vastness provides a great backdrop to meditate, plan for the future while providing a unique perspective from 30,000 feet.

In the season of reflecting, when a lot of us are flying to visit loved ones my CAPRSA 30,000 foot view is the great work of your executive committee.  There are a number of great successes, highlighted with a successful Spring Conference in Seattle.


However, with permission of the board members who remain to serve Counselors Academy in 2018, I want to share some thoughts of the practitioners who will be rolling off of the board to spend more time building their practices, helping clients and contributing to their community:  Ann Barks, Lisa Gerber, Pam Golden and Martin Waxman.

If you don’t know Ann Barks, you are missing out.  She is a solid practitioner who lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Her background as a military photographer provided the foundation for her public relations know how.  She served as my Ex-Officio on the board and did a great job with membership and making sure that everyone felt welcome at Counselors. By the way, need a reference on where to get good eats in NOLA?  Ask Ann!

Lisa Gerber is someone whom I had the honor of meeting at CAPRSA in Palm Springs.  She is a digital nomad who lives in Sandpoint, Idaho.  Skiing in the winter, hiking in the summer and making all of us outdoor maniacs jealous year round!  Lisa is the person who helped to bring the CAPRSA.com website and blog to life.  She led the content committee with great success.  Oh, and if you enjoy skiing in deep powder with a penchant for foreign travel, ask Lisa about Northern Japan.

Pam Golden is amazing! Her leadership of the programming committee resulted in our professional development on either side of the Spring Conference.  Quite frankly, it is a tall order!  She led her team to develop informative webinars.  She also did a great job setting up the recent CAPRSA event in Atlanta, which was a hit and helped to oversee coordination of a roundtable event in Chicago.  What impresses me about Pam is how well traveled she is.  Before a recent visit to Las Vegas, Pam shared with me her list of places to go and places to eat.  It wasn’t a google search kind of overview, She was like Wikipedia meets Trip Advisor!

And last, but definitely not least, is Martin Waxman. Conference Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, Chair-elect, Chair and past chair. Yup, he has done it all and throughout has managed to successfully run a public relations practice, participate in a successful industry podcast, host digital media classes through Lynda.com and pursue a masters degree at McMasters University #OverAchiever #unassuming .  To know Martin is to appreciate his dry humor and fantastic storytelling.  While we’ve had a chance to play the board game Sorry in Ashville and attend Jazz Fest in New Orleans Martin’s best attributes are his gift of hospitality and friendship (many times co-existing). Thank you.

From my view at 30,000 feet, Ann, Lisa, Pam and Martin have made a positive mark to move CAPRSA forward and the public relations industry is better as a result of their respective leadership.