Getting your CEO to Support Public Relations and Marketing

In our busy and understaffed nonprofits, public relations and marketing campaigns are often left behind in favor of more immediate fundraising needs, especially in small shops or when one person is responsible for both. How do you get your board and CEO to buy-in and support your communications efforts? This session will explore successful CEO/PR professional partnerships and give you the tools to demonstrate the value of this work to your CEO and board. Since PR is often more about planting seeds than getting immediate results, we’ll show you how to set reasonable goals, track your progress along the way, and demonstrate success in getting your message out to the community.

BruceHeadshotBRUCE RANKIN, Executive Director, Westside Food Bank
Since 1989 Bruce Rankin has been the Executive Director of Westside Food Bank which annually provides more close to 5 million pounds of food to food assistance agencies on the Westside of Los Angeles County.
Bruce currently serves as a Board officer of the Westside Coalition on Housing, Hunger & Health. He is one of the founders of the California Association of Food Banks and is its longest serving Board member.
Prior to his work at the Food Bank, Bruce had experience working for the US Forest Service, a map making company, a recreation and parks department, and an immigrants’ services organization. He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara, and he holds a Master’s Degree in Geography from UC Berkeley.
Bruce’s wife, Catherine Wagar, serves as clergy at an Episcopal Church in South Los Angeles. For the past 15 years Bruce and his wife have shared their home with a succession of refugees and asylum seekers from countries around the world.

GenHeadshotGENEVIEVE RIUTORT, Chief Development Officer, Westside Food Bank
Genevieve Riutort has been at Westside Food Bank since 2004, and currently serves as its Chief Development Officer, managing a full time development coordinator and several interns. At WSFB she oversaw a comprehensive rebranding project, produced several videos and PSAs, increased the agency’s media appearances, and implemented a new donor database system including higher online giving functionality, mass emails, peer-to-peer fundraising as well as social media connectivity. She is responsible for all private foundation grant seeking, event planning, individual and corporate giving, communications, marketing and public relations. During her tenure the organization has gone from a budget of less than one million dollars to now close to two million and greatly increased its donor pool. Thanks in part to connections and experience gained while serving on the Board of Directors of the Nonprofit Communications and Media Network, she represented Westside Food Bank during dozens of radio and TV interviews, and helped to create hundreds of print media mentions for the organization including a regular column in the Santa Monica Daily Press.
For three seasons and 30 episodes, Genevieve was the volunteer producer and host of the City TV Santa Monica show NonProfit Profiles, which features interviews with Santa Monica based non-profit agency clients, staff and board members. She is familiar with both sides of the interview process and is well versed in the challenges of juggling both fundraising and public relations roles.

LeneeRichards_headshot.2016LENÉE RICHARDS, Communications Director, LeadersUp
Lenée connects strategy, content creation and stakeholder engagement to help amplify on-the-ground insights in the movement to end youth unemployment and close the opportunity-divide. Prior to joining LeadersUp, she served as a Community Engagement Specialist for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. After graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Mass Communications from Virginia State University, Lenée joined Fenton Communications in Washington, DC as a Public Relations Assistant. This opportunity provided a formidable experience in merging traditional and digital media engagement to meet a diverse range of progressive and corporate social responsibility goals for clients in both the public and private sector. Lenée’s advocacy for empowering communities of color to thrive is not limited to her professional experience, she is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and volunteer mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters Los Angeles.

Cynthia.Lezama_HeadshotCYNTHIA LEZAMA, Digital Media & Communications Manager, LeadersUp
Cynthia is a bilingual communications professional with experience driving multicultural PR initiatives and social media conversations. In her current role, she supports the overall implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of digital and PR campaigns.
Prior to joining LeadersUp, Cynthia worked on a number of campaigns for the social and private sector, spanning from St. John’s Well Child & Family Center, Strategic Actions for a Just Economy, got milk?, Nike, Domino’s Pizza and Verizon Wireless among others. A native and current resident of South Los Angeles, Cynthia is dedicated to securing long-term equitable opportunities in her community and is invested in creating workforce development solutions for young adults nationwide. Cynthia is a graduate of California State University, Northridge where she earned her Bachelors of Arts in Journalism.

Date:  Wednesday, January 17, 2017

Time:  Check-in and light breakfast 8:30-9 a.m.;
Workshop 9-10:30 a.m.; Wrap-up and networking 10:30-11 a.m.

Location:  Southern California Gas Co., 8141 Gulana Ave., Playa del Rey, CA 90293 MAP

*NCM Network Members = $40 – CLICK HERE to register
*Non-Members / Guests = $50 – CLICK HERE to register

Questions: Send an email to Joyce Harris at or call (800) 752-6515.

Your participation in this program helps fund NCM Network’s Lisa Davidson Memorial Scholarship for college sophomores and juniors majoring in communications, journalism, radio, or television at a four-year Southern California college or university. The scholarship program recognizes outstanding students who demonstrate excellent potential for improving the lives of the Southern California community through a communications career.

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