My Path to Serving on the PRSA Puget Sound Board of Directors
Karla Slate, APR
It was 2006, I was 26 years old and I remember starting a new “real” PR job after about two years in the industry. My boss told me to pick out a professional organization to become a member of and she would pay for it. After some research, I decided on PRSA. I didn’t know any members, but their line-up of monthly programs and professional development events are what sold me. I was a young PR professional and I wanted to learn everything I could!
Karla Slate (second from right) pictured with PRSA Puget Sound delegates, and representatives of the University of Washington PRSSA chapter, at the 2018 PRSA International Conference in Austin, Texas
I was nervous to attend my first PRSA Puget Sound Chapter event – a luncheon in downtown Seattle at the Columbia Tower. Back then, I was pretty shy and not as outgoing as I am now! I was looking out the window at the beautiful view when a very nice woman started a conversation with me (I found out later she was a board member). We talked about where we worked, what roles we played, and also about PRSA and what benefits I could look forward to. I left the luncheon that day happy about my decision to join and eager to sign up as a volunteer for the chapter.
My first volunteer stint was serving on the Totem Awards Committee and the Programs Committee in 2007. Then, in 2008, I co-chaired the Programs Committee. In 2009, I took the leap and nominated myself for an open board position. I was young and just five years into my PR career, but I thought – why not?
My time on the PRSA Puget Sound Chapter Board of Directors has been impactful and has furthered my career. I have served in roles including secretary, director, delegate, president-elect and president. It has encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone at times, and I am so thankful I did! I have met so many people, and have developed lasting relationships with colleagues, fellow board members and experts in the industry. I have also had the opportunity to interact with PR professionals from other chapters around the country.
The purpose of writing this look back at my time serving PRSA Puget Sound is to show chapter members, especially our younger professionals, what impact board service can have on your career. If I can do it, you certainly can! I hope you will consider serving! Please download the 2020 Board Nomination Form and Board Expectations.
If you have any question at all about board service or otherwise, don’t hesitate to reach out to me! You can reach me by email at kslate /at/ covingtonwa.gov, or 253-480-2402.