Saturday, February 4, 2012

After 28 years, PRAWNC takes its final bow

An old adage reminds us "All good things must come to an end." Thus is the situation which presents itself to Public Relations Association of Western North Carolina as it closes its 28th year. We would like to thank each of you from our hearts for three wonderful decades of public relations excellence.

To date, PRAWNC maintains its base operations, chamber membership, and member privileges. Our dues paying membership numbers ironically remain strong - even as member participation has dwindled over a period of several years.

The current fiscal year for PRAWNC continues through March 2012, but we regret that the board of directors has decided to disband the formal organization at that time due to the inability to fill vacant board positions, and lack of member participation. You'll see the changeover begin to take place now through March 30.

Please rest assured this decision was not made lightly. Four years ago, I had the privilege of serving on the "comeback board," the year PRAWNC faltered, then rallied. That excellent leadership has now been exhausted. None has risen to take its place, and the consensus is among all concerned that it's simply time to take our bows and leave the stage. The encore is over.

In 2012, you'll probably not see the work behind the scenes to gracefully conclude our ethical and financial commitments. I am beyond grateful to Vice President Chris Power, former board members Gary James and Jaime McKee, secretary Judy Davidson, and board member Brenda Murphree for standing fast long after we could see the writing on the wall.

The expression of gratitude would not be complete without honoring the memory of Jill Yarnall, our 2011 board member and most-awarded Best of the Mountains recipient. Jill worked tirelessly for PRAWNC as long as she possibly could. Our hearts grieved her passing. When all our commitments are met, it's our intention to use those resources appropriately in Jill's honor.

The newsletter will continue in 2012. I'd especially like to thank Debbie Griffith for offering to specifically publish the newsletter during 2012 so our members have an professional information source they can trust. Additionally, our existing email list will be maintained. An opt-in box on the website will allow us to continue to serve former members and friends of PRAWNC in this small but vital way.

What you will see also see in 2012 is the transition to a PRAWNC 'historic' website, a designated email address to answer questions, and an ongoing Facebook community to share news and job postings.

A separate committee will determine the future of Best of the Mountains, so please let us know if you have an opinion either way.

The hope of our board of directors is, from the cavern of this difficult decision, a PRSA chapter will rise, dragon-like and on fire with purpose, to grow and thrive in a future Asheville and WNC. To that end, a small group of like-minded individuals (not serving on PRAWNC's board) have been initiating conversations about making that happen. Please email us so we can put you in touch with those persons if that is a path you see yourself travelling.

My very best,
Sherri L. McLendon


  1. Having served on the board for several years it truly was a fine organization as I was honored to have been a part, albeit it a very small part. I made many great friendships and business contacts that remain with me today. All the best for fellow PRAWNC members past and present.

    1. Thank you, Stephen. Working with PRAWNC really encouraged me to come into my own through the advancement of the profession. Like you, I will leave with many great friendships, some of which will last a lifetime. I know the level of commitment you brought to your tenure with PRAWNC, and thank you for helping us make history.