Kim Stefansson is the Public Relations Coordinator for the Escambia County School District (ECSD), an organization responsible for the education of over 40,000 students in over 70 schools and other district-owned sites. ECSD is also one of the county's largest employers. Stefansson graduated from Towson University in Maryland with a B.S. Degree in Mass Communication and was commissioned into the US Navy. Her service was primarily as a Public Affairs Officer taking her literally around the world before arriving in Pensacola. She retired from the Navy and soon found a new adventure in education, earned a Master’s Degree from UWF, and taught for 10 years before becoming the District’s PR Coordinator five years ago. Her theme for this year is #NetConnect, short for Networking and Connections, and she hopes all members and friends of FPRA Pensacola will get out often to connect with one another and find the perfect people to network with for that next big project.
Vice President of Membership/President Elect
Josh Newby is the Marketing/Communications Director for Council on Aging of West Florida, where his responsibilities include media relations, event management, community advocacy, marketing and advertising, and overseeing fund development. Previously he served as editor at Ballinger Publishing and a communications specialist at University of West Florida.
Newby earned a master’s degree in Strategic Leadership and Communication from UWF in 2014 and a bachelor’s of public relations from UWF in 2010. He is a graduate of the Pensacola Chamber Foundation’s Leadership Pensacola program class of 2016, a board member with EscaRosa Coalition on the Homeless, the District 1 representative for Florida Association of Aging Service Providers, a committee member with the Escambia County School Marketing Advisory Council, and a member of Five Flags Rotary. In 2010, he and a team of UWF students won FPRA’s state Golden Image Award; in 2012, he and his colleagues won FPRA’s local Judge’s, Image and Grand Image Awards. Newby enjoys spending time with his dogs and wife (in that order), renovating his house, and being active in the community.
Sarah Whitfield is the assistant public information officer for Santa Rosa County. She is responsible for the dissemination of accurate and timely information to Santa Rosa County residents, the media and employees. She also conceptualizes, designs and distributes communication products which support the county's mission, programs and services. Whitfield earned a bachelor's degree in art with a specialization in graphic design from the University of West Florida.
Actively involved in her community, Whitfield serves as a co-leader of the Living Truth Church Soul Sisters, acts as a buddy for special needs children on Sundays and during monthly respite events and serves as the secretary for One Heart Outreach – a group that performs acts of kindness throughout Santa Rosa County each year during the week leading up to Easter. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, coffee dates with friends and spending time with her family.
Kaycee Lagarde is the Public Information Officer for the City of Pensacola, working in the Office of the Mayor to facilitate the city’s communications with the media and public. Kaycee joined the city in May 2019 from the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners, where she worked in the Community and Media Relations Office since 2016. She graduated from the University of West Florida with a bachelor’s degree in communication arts/journalism in 2011. Prior to working in government public relations, Kaycee worked at the Pensacola News Journal as a multimedia reporter and local government reporter. She was named a 2019 Inweekly Rising Star.
Kaycee is passionate about media and public relations, transparency in local government and government communications. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, traveling, listening to true crime podcasts, taking long walks around downtown Pensacola and drinking all of the coffee.
Vice President of Networking
Kristin O’Bryan graduated from the University of West Florida in May 2019 with a degree in Communications with a focus in public relations, a minor in marketing applications and a certificate in digital marketing. She is currently the senior communications associate for Pensacola Habitat for Humanity; a non-profit organization that focuses its efforts to provide affordable housing for the Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. On average, Pensacola Habitat builds 40 to 50 houses a year and is rapidly growing each year. Kristin’s main role is to coordinate all Pensacola Habitat events throughout the year including social media posts, sponsorships and logistics of events. She is currently hosting Pensacola Habitat’s newest Facebook Live series, HabiFriday, every Friday at noon.
Last year, as a student member, Kristin won a judge’s award and an award of distinction in both the Pensacola FPRA Chapter and the Northwest Florida FPRA Chapter's Image Awards. She was also a recipient of the Eileen Periggo Scholarship.
Vice President of Communications
Freddie Haydn-Slater has built a reputation as a dependable, determined and inventive marketing expert with a passion for effective storytelling over his six years of experience with communications strategy and execution. Freddie graduated from the University of Manchester, England with a bachelor's degree in Sociology before honing his communications skills at Edelman—one of the largest PR firms in the world—in both its London and Chicago offices with brands like Mars Wrigley Confectionery, Olive Garden, Xbox and IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts. Freddie specializes in developing integrated marketing campaigns and securing media coverage for key promotions and program activations.
Currently, Freddie is an Account Director at Ideawörks, a local full-service boutique agency. Freddie enjoys being active in the community through his work and through volunteer efforts at the local animal shelter and local cultural events. In his spare time, Freddie enjoys frequent travel, film photography, reading and cinema.
Lindsey Steck joined Visit Pensacola in 2017 and is currently serving as a marketing associate. Visit Pensacola supports the community vision of tourism by serving as the central body responsible for building tourism as an economic engine for the community through leadership, connection, collaboration and communication.
Steck earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of West Florida in 2016. She specializes in public relations and integrated marketing. Previously, she served in corporate communications for the Kansas City Chiefs, athletic communications for the University of West Florida and political communications for Florida House on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
She is actively involved in the community as a member of the Escambia County School District Business Advisory Council and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida. A Pensacola native, Steck enjoys hosting dinner parties, traveling, paddle boarding, and NFL football in her spare time.
Vice President of Image Awards
Michelle Salzman has been a community volunteer for about 15 years. As a community leader and advocate for children, she spends many hours a week serving the various non-profits along the Gulf Coast. Michelle is also the proud owner of Salz Studio in Pensacola for 12 years. The studio specializes in event photography and architectural photography. Salz Studio has won many awards over the years for their incredible customer service, philanthropy work, and breathtaking photos. Michelle’s background is in marketing and logistics but is also a decorated wounded warrior, who served in the US Army.
Michelle has a passion for public relations and believes that PR is a relevant topic for all components of both the business and personal life. Michelle is eager to help develop and grow the FPRA team in Pensacola as well as continue to learn from the various speakers and teammates here at FPRA.
Megan Chapman is the Outreach & Development Director for Gulf Coast Kid's House. Gulf Coast Kid's House is a child advocacy center in Escambia County, the agencies and professionals located within their facility offer a "one stop shop" for children who are victims of child abuse. Megan's role includes community engagement, event planning, fundraising, public relations and media relations. Megan joined Gulf Coast Kid's House in January of 2016, bringing experience from her former roles with the University of South Alabama Athletic Department, the Detroit Pistons, and Tiger Point Golf Course. She is a graduate of Gulf Breeze High School and the University of South Alabama and returned to Gulf Breeze in 2013, where she is an active member of the community through service on the Board of Directors for the Pensacola Beach Chamber and the Florida Public Relations Association, she serves on the Curriculum Committee for Leadership Pensacola and was a member of the Leap Class of 2019.
Megan is also a current member of the Powerful Women of the Gulf Coast, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is active with all three chambers in Escambia County. Megan won Loaned Executive of the Year from the United Way of Escambia County in 2017, was recognized as an InWeekly Rising Star and a Difference Maker from the Studer Group in 2017.