The Sierra Nevada Chapter of Public Relations Society of America was chartered in 1986 by a dozen public relations practitioners in northern Nevada. It was the second PRSA chapter in the state, complementing an older chapter based in Las Vegas and aimed at providing public relations practitioners in northern Nevada and the Lake Tahoe area with a closer professional connection to each other and to national public relations activities.
Impetus for the Sierra Nevada Chapter was provided by Janice Ayres of Carson City; John Baker, then of Porsche Cars of North America; the late Stan Berdrow of Sierra Pacific Power Company; and the late Mark Curtis of Harrah’s Hotel and Casino.
The Chapter has been recognized as a leader in PRSA from its beginnings. Formal recognition of that leadership was accorded in 1995 with national “Best of Chapter Excellence” award. Sierra Nevada Chapter members have held a number of regional and national PRSA positions, and two of its members – Curtis and another charter member, Jim Ellis of the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno – became Nevada’s first members of the PRSA College of Fellows in 1994.
The Chapter is active in professional development for its members and community-service service programs for organizations without formal public relations departments. It maintains a close working relationship with the Theodore E. Conover Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), helping the student organization toward a number of regional and national awards, including the prestigious Bateman Case Study championship.
Individual achievement of members is recognized through the Chapter’s annual Silver Spike Awards and the Nevada Public Relations Hall of Fame.