PR Pioneers

2023 East Central District Conference

Friday, February 17th, 2023
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Thank you for attending our district conference!

Thank you to everyone who attended our district conference in person and virtually this year!

We thank you for participating in our event, and we hope you took away valuable lessons you can use in your line of work.

By now you should have received an email with a participation certificate, survey, zoom links of our recorded sessions, and your headshot pictures. If you have not, please contact us!

Again, thank you for attending, and congratulations! You are now a certified PR Pioneer!

Thank you to our sponsors!

About PR Pioneers

Connect with leaders in the PR industry at the 2023 PRSSA East Central District Conference!

Ohio State PRSSA is proud to host the 2023 East Central District Conference – PR Pioneers! Learn how to succeed in this ever-changing career field and how you, as a pioneer can succeed in PR.


This conference focuses on the strategies, management practices, and campaigns that are shaping the face of the PR industry. It will teach attendees about the people pioneering the PR field and where the field is headed next.


Hear from top leaders about communication, PR strategies and management practices at this hybrid conference! OSU PRSSA is happy to provide both in-person and online options for those living near and far.


Network with Columbus professionals and expand your career with exclusive internship opportunities! This all-day event is full of in-depth speaking events that cover the PR industry.


From the fashion industry to sports, we are excited to have some of the top PR professionals in the 

Columbus, Ohio area! We hope to see you there!



Date: Friday, February 17th, 2023

Time: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.



Location: The Fawcett Center

at The Ohio State University

2400 Olentangy River Road Columbus, OH 43210

Free parking passes will be sent to attendees


Speaker Biographies

We will open with a welcome and keynote followed by a breakout session, lunch, two more breakout sessions and finally a fun networking mixer. There’s also a rumor Brutus will make an appearance!

What Should PR Pros Know About NIL?
Matthew Heichemer

NIL Business Development & Operations, Ohio State Sports Properties, and student athletes with NIL deals

Matt is the manager of NIL Business Development & Operations at Ohio State Sports Properties. LEARFIELD connects brands to passionate fans and athletes. The leading media and technology company is the number one provider of multimedia rights, licensing, ticketing, fan-targeted digital advertising, official athletic websites, original content programming, digital signage, social and more. Previously, he led as the senior coordinator of partnership services. He has a variety of experience in marketing. Matt graduated from Ohio State with a bachelor’s in new media and communication technologies. 

Matthew Heichemer
Christine King
Transforming Diversity in Communications
Christine King

VP, Digital Marketing, G&S Business Communications

Christine King is the Vice President of Digital Marketing for G&S Business Communications. G&S is a global independent business communications PR firm. Christine leads the G&S Digital Marketing Pillars, a team comprised of more than 30 data-driven, marketing experts in web, analytics, strategy, email, social and extended areas of digital marketing. She was previously director of digital marketing at TealBook, where Christine executed a full company rebrand. Before that, Christine co-founded CASK Communications, where she also served as a principal marketing consultant. She graduated with a B.A. in strategic communication from Ohio State and was vice president of the university’s PRSSA chapter.

Ohio State’s Brand Experience: Engagement Reimagined
Kevin Saghy

Head of Audience Engagement, The Ohio State University

(formerly with Ketchum and the Chicago Cubs)

Kevin Saghy is head of audience engagement at The Ohio State University, responsible for driving creative engagements during important moments for Ohio State’s various audiences that strengthen their connection with the Ohio State brand. Prior to joining Ohio State, Kevin worked for eight seasons at the Chicago Cubs, most recently as assistant director of communications. Under Kevin’s leadership, the Cubs’ social media team was nationally recognized for its compelling content, entertaining voice and focus toward personal engagement. Prior to joining the Cubs, Saghy worked as an account executive in the corporate practice of Ketchum, a global public relations agency. Kevin currently serves as an advisory board member for the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and previously served on the advisory board for Social Media Week Chicago.

Kevin Saghy
Alyson Hoffman
Future of Leadership in PR:
Alyson Hoffman

PRSSA National President

Alyson is the PRSSA 2022-2023 National President and is currently a senior at Ohio Northern University pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, triple majoring in public relations, communications and marketing with a minor in social media. Since high school, she knew she was passionate about people and PR media. While looking at schools, she knew she wanted to be involved with PRSSA and found that at Ohio Northern. She also served as their chapter president from 2020-2021 as the only second-year student in the chapter at the time. She is involved in their student-run PR firm, True North PR, and other leadership conferences. Outside of PR, she is deeply connected to the ONU community, helping with orientation weekend and serving as a Resident Assistant for the Office of Resident Life.

How to Book Your CEO or Clients on TV: The Fastest and Easiest Path to Boosting Any Brand
Meredith Liepelt

Media Relations Coach for Authors, Speakers, Consultants and Coaches at Rising Star Publicity

Since 2007, Meredith Liepelt, CEO of Rising Star Publicity, has guided hundreds of experts to become recognized authorities in the media that matter most to their message. When clients master the strategies she teaches, they earn their own publicity on TV, podcasts, print and online outlets, thereby advancing their thought leadership and attracting new clients without paying an expensive agency. Clients have landed recurring spots on TV, regular columns, high-profile article placements, TEDx speaking opportunities, emcee roles on international stages, and other opportunities to showcase their expertise in front of potential clients and influencers and make more money.

Meredith Liepelt
Tommy McClure
Slay the Runway with Columbus Fashion
Thomas McClure

Founder/Executive Director, Columbus Fashion Council

Non-profit founder making an in impact on Central Ohio and beyond through fashion. The Fashion Week runway is only the surface. Look deeper, and you’ll find small businesses trying to make a living by doing what they love. Authentic intentions in all that we do leads to a happier life and gives others permission to be authentic.

Core Skills You Still Need: AP Style
Katie Thomas

Senior Manager, Population Health Marketing at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Katie is the senior manager of population health marketing at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where she provides strategic counsel on community wellness and behavioral health initiatives. She served as president of Central Ohio PRSA in 2020, working with the board to pivot to virtual programming and revise the bylaws to include a permanent Diversity and Inclusion Officer. For her commitment to PRSA, in 2018, Katie received the Walt Seifert Award for Outstanding Service. Her work has also been recognized by the Ohio Society of Association Executives, Central Ohio PRSA, American Marketing Association – Columbus Chapter, Pensions and Investments Eddy Awards and the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association. Katie recently started teaching within the Ohio State School of Communication.

Katie Thomas
Emily Steinberg
Inside Look on Virtual Workspaces
Emily Steinberg

Account Assistant at Belle Communication

Emily is passionate about helping brands thrive, bringing deep experience in media relations, social media, company launches and branding. A Cleveland native finding a home in Columbus, Emily’s background ranges from CPG and restaurant to insurance and B2B. She is an advocate for mental health and strives to leave a positive impact on every life she touches. When she isn’t working, you can find her in the gym, listening to true crime podcasts or spending time with friends and family.

A Social Revolution: The Power of Innovative Social Media Branding
Dani Dean

Associate Director of Social Media at The Ohio State University

As the Associate Director of Social Media at The Ohio State University, Dani oversees the social media strategy for the enterprise social media accounts. She builds collaborative relationships across Ohio State by leading the Social Media Community of Practice. She also serves as a social media consultant for the university, concentrating on best practices, creating content strategies and guiding enterprise-wide social media campaigns. Dani was previously the Social Media Production Manager for Ohio State and led the creative direction and content production for the university on social. She has a background in sports media as a broadcast journalist, writer, social media manager and content creator for The Ohio State University Department of Athletics and local news stations. She graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism degree.

Dani Dean
Colin Wylie
A Social Revolution: The Power of Innovative Social Media Branding
Colin Wylie

Social Media Manager – Enterprise Leadership at The Ohio State University

Colin Wylie is the Social Media Manager for Enterprise Leadership at The Ohio State University. He’s a storyteller that is passionate about cause-driven marketing efforts and loves higher education. He graduated with a B.A. in public relations and nonprofit management from Brigham Young University and is currently working on an MBA at Ohio State Fisher College of Business. When work and school are over and it’s time to play, he’s normally with his kids watching Star Wars or building a LEGO set.

Positioning Wendy’s as the ‘Queen of QSR’ in the United Kingdom
Megan Hill

Global Communications Manager at The Wendy’s Company

Megan Hill is the Manager of Global Communications for The Wendy’s Company. She focuses on elevating Wendy’s brand reputation in markets around the world, leading external and internal communications strategies in countries across the world. During her three years with Wendy’s, she has led Corporate Communications and Public Relations strategies that contributed to significant milestones for the brand, including Wendy’s nationwide breakfast launch in Canada, supporting Wendy’s re-market entry into the United Kingdom, and attracting new franchisees in strategic growth markets. Prior to joining Wendy’s, Megan has more than a decade of marketing and communications experience representing high-profile brands in retail, CPG, healthcare, QSR and financial services.

Megan Hill


For more information or specific questions, please email

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