Accreditation in Public Relations (APR)

Proven Value for 50 Years. Visionary leaders in 1964 established the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential as a way to recognize practitioners who have mastered the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to develop and deliver strategic communications. Decades later, as public relations evolved, the APR remains the recognized gold standard for the profession.

Recognized Standard. During the past 50 years, the procedures required to earn the APR have changed. However, one thing has not: The value behind Accreditation and the importance it plays in a society now driven by digital communications, rapidily emerging technologies and a 24-hour news cycle.

Learn more on becoming accredited in Public Relations here.

PRSA Rochester's APR Resources

PRSA Rochester looks to service its members by providing access to accredited professionals who can provide mentorship and guidance to those seeking to get their APR or take the next steps in their careers and long-term professional development. PRSA Rochester’s mentor team can be contacted at the following information below.

PRSA Rochester collaborates with PRSA Buffalo in their highly-coveted “APR Express Class,” which provides prospective candidates with a step-by-step overview of the entire APR process, and a toolkit of resources for becoming accredited. Register for the APR Express Class on April 25, 2015.

PRSA Rochester's APR Mentors

Kevin P. Kane, MS, APR, 2015 co-chair

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Kevin P. Kane, MS, APR, has held a variety of public relations, media relations and fundraising positions, both as day jobs and volunteer efforts in the Rochester, N.Y., area since the 1980s.

A native of Syracuse, Kane received his bachelor’s degree in communication/journalism from St. John Fisher College, and his master’s degree in communications management from the S.I. Newhouse School of Syracuse University (2009). Kane has worked at a few nonprofit health education agencies including the American Diabetes Association, at ViaHealth (Rochester General Hospital), and has been at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield since 2000 serving most recently as a Corporate Communications Special Projects Manager. At Excellus BCBS, he provides communications support to all areas of the corporation, oversees the content, writing, editing and production of member newsletters, assists with crisis communications and media relations, creates speaking points and departmental/project-based communications plans. Additionally, Kane has been teaching Business Communications since Fall 2012 as an adjunct professor at St. John Fisher College. As of Fall 2013 he’s serving as Acting Faculty Advisor (and professional volunteer advisor) of the PRSSA SJFC Proietti Chapter.

For PRSA Rochester, Kane began volunteering on the PRSA Rochester Chapter’s PRism Committee in the late 1990s, and has since had many subsequent years serving as a chapter and district leader and contributor. He is a winner of the Chapter’s Sharleen Bruse Award, whose recipients exhibit a distinct passion for professional perfection, impervious ethics and common sense Chapter leadership and stewardship. Kane has mentored numerous PRSA Rochester past/present board members and PRSSA student leaders, and strongly believes in this succession planning and training model for future professional development success.

Kane and his family reside in Webster, N.Y. Some of his more recent community volunteer efforts include chairing a parish/scholarship golf tournament, and membership on the United Way of Greater Rochester’s Community Investment Cabinet.


Barbara Pierce, APR, 2015 co-chair

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Barbara Pierce established Tipping Point’s Public Relations specialty after serving in multiple communication leadership roles at Eastman Kodak Company, including director of worldwide strategic communications, public relations director for worldwide brand marketing and communications, and associate director of corporate media relations.

In addition to managing and implementing global, national and regional campaigns for Kodak, Barbara has spent 15 years on the agency side of the business, working with organizations and institutions including Bausch & Lomb, DuPont Merck, Frontier Communications, Rochester General Heath System, Greater Rochester Health Foundation, Arc of Monroe County, BlueCross BlueShield of Greater Rochester, and Constellation Brands.

Barbara has received numerous awards and accolades tied to her communications work, including the coveted Public Relations Society of America Silver Anvil Award, PRSA Bronze Anvil, Rochester PRSA Sharleen Bruse Award for lifetime achievement, numerous PRSA chapter PRism Awards, and American Marketing Association chapter ADDY Awards. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester and her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from PRSA.

Christopher K. Veronda, APR

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During more than 30 years with Kodak, Chris has worked in nearly all facets of public relations, including media relations, community relations, marketing communications and employee communications. He now leads the Global Corporate Communications team, working directly with the company’s Executive Leadership Team to communicate with external and internal stakeholders.

He has been part of teams that have earned several Silver Anvil and Bronze Anvil Awards from the Public Relations Society of America. Chris is a past chairman of PRSA Honors & Awards Committee and a past president of the Rochester Chapter of PRSA, and served a two-year term on the PRSA National Board.

He holds a B.A. in communications and political science from Syracuse University and an M.B.A. from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Patty Corvaia, APR

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Patty Corvaia is a public relations and marketing professional with more than 20 years of communications experience. Her career includes working for two of Rochester’s top 10 employers and the community’s number one television station for broadcast news.

Patty began her career in 1990 as a news producer at Time Warner Cable, and was a member of the team that created “R News”-- one of the first local 24-hour news channels in the United States. She continued her journalism career, serving as a newscast producer at WROC-TV and WGGB-TV (Springfield, Massachusetts), and as executive producer at WHAM-TV.

From 2003 to present, Patty has held senior-level public relations and marketing roles at not-for-profits in the Rochester area, including the Epilepsy Foundation of Rochester-Syracuse-Binghamton, Unity Health System, the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, and the YMCA of Greater Rochester. Her areas of expertise include media relations, crisis management, employee communications, donor relations, community engagement, and brand management.

Patty holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication/Journalism from St. John Fisher College. In 1998, she was accepted into and attended the Poynter Institute's leadership program for journalists. Patty earned her PRSA Accreditation in Public Relations in 2009. She has won three PRiSM awards, was an Italian American Civic Center “Woman of the Year” nominee in 2008, and a Her Rochester “Woman to Watch” in 2014.

Patty has volunteered for several community organizations, including Penfield Little League and the African American Healthcare Coalition.

She lives in Penfield with her four children.

Accredited PRSA Rochester Members

  • Jeffrey S. Halik, APR
  • Anthony T. Hoppa, APR
  • Carolyn W. Hunt, APR
  • Michael L. McDougall, APR
  • Cynthia L. McVey, APR
  • Duane A. Pancoast, APR
  • Todd J. Pipitone, APR
  • Robert B. Salmon, APR
  • Lisa Marie Thompson, APR
  • Nancy R. Wayman, APR
  • Gretchen E. Weis, APR

Additional Resources

PRSA Comprehension Blog: “Learn from various practitioners in the field on the value of the APR in their profession, and tips on getting accredited a successful, rewarding process. Check out this blog for regular updates from APR candidates, and other relevant discussions in the communications industry.

Hear from PRSA Rochester’s own Michael L. McDougall, APR, and former PRSA Rochester Board member, on the value of getting accredited, during the APR’s 50th anniversary in 2014: