The mission of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is to make communications professionals smarter, better prepared and more connected through all stages of their career. At the San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter, one of more than 110 chapters nationwide, we embrace this mission and work to recruit diverse board members who support it and are eager to carry it forward. 

Each year, the Chapter is responsible for developing professional development programming, putting on our annual Edward L. Bernays Awards ceremony, connecting professionals by hosting networking events, providing a robust mentorship program and addressing timely issues pertaining to the field of public relations. The tasks that each volunteer board member undertakes on a weekly basis goes largely unseen, but each individual plays an integral role in the success of our organization and betterment of the local public relations community. 

If you’ve been following the Chapter’s recent developments, you may have noticed that we added a second board member to our Diversity and Inclusion Committee. This will allow us to continue the good work that has been set forth by the committee over the past two years and ensure a smooth transition from chair to chair. We also added additional board members to our Communications and Community Relations and Advocacy Committees, which will allow us to better communicate with our members and target audiences and have a greater community impact. 

When recruiting for the 2022 board, we examined each applicant or nominee’s background and weighed their specific skill sets against our open board positions. We have several new folks joining us from various industries, from government and higher education to healthcare and museums. 

In addition to industry representation, greater diversity is also being achieved in our race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, abilities, age, experience level, political ideologies and religious beliefs. Our differences will serve us well this year, and in the coming years, as we bring many perspectives to the table. Moving forward, we will continue to make it a priority to diversify even further from year to year. 

With that, it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to the 2022 Board of Directors (read each board member’s biography, including why they are choosing to donate their time and talent to PRSA online here):

Executive Committee

President: April Tellez Green, Communications Manager, UC San Diego (2023)

President Elect: Barbara Cosio Moreno, Communications Manager, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (2024)

Past President: Hope Reilly, Senior Manager of Public Affairs and Chief Social Media Strategist, Southwest Strategies (2022)

Treasurer: Ryan Hall, Director, Caliber Corporate Advisers (2023)

Secretary: Giovanna Castro, Account Manager, Republic Services (2023)


Patrick Thelen, APR, Professor, San Diego State University (2024) 

Bernays Awards 
Jenny Mehlow, Senior Public Relations Manager, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (2024)
Kara Handley, APR+M, Public Information Officer, US Navy (2024)
Patricia Maxwell Robertson, Associate Professor, Grossmont College (2024)

Megan Pinna, Advertising Specialist, Sharp HealthCare (2022)
Shannon Boffa, Senior Account Executive, Southwest Strategies (2024)
Stephania Villar, Digital Communications Manager, San Diego Natural History Museum (2024)

Community Relations & Advocacy
Kim Coutts, Director of Communications and Outreach, Civilian (2022) 
William Lopez, Principal, Alternative Strategies (2024)

Diversity & Inclusion 
Jamie Hampton, CEO, Mixte Communications (2022)
Edgar Hopida, Civic Engagement Communications Strategist at ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties (2024)

Membership & Volunteer Engagement
Rachel McGuire, MBA, APR, CEO/Founder, RMG Communications (2022)

Professional Development
Amanda Nelson, Director of Communications, San Diego Housing Federation (2022)
Arturo Garcia Sierra, Marketing and Communications Manager, Museum of Photographic Arts (2023) 
Anne Buckley, APR, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, UC San Diego (2024)

Non-Voting Positions

Ethics Officer: Julie Smith-Taylor, APR, Owner/Creative Strategist, Taylor PR Strategies 

Associate Board Member, Bernays Awards: Elena Gomez, Associate Director of Media Relations, University of San Diego

Associate Board Member, Professional Development: Elizabeth Espinoza, Communications and Governmental Relations Officer, Imperial Valley College

Associate Board Member, Communications: Monica Gil dos Santos, Account Coordinator, Katz & Associates

Associate Board Member, Membership & Volunteer Engagement: Mariah Hugo, Junior Account Executive, Katz & Associates

We look forward to serving you this year! If you have any questions, please reach out to our Chapter Administrator Maggie Padilla at

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Written by: April Tellez Green

Posted on: January 1, 2022

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