Anchorage: Recession-Proofing your Career – How to build your personal brand, develop your skills, and take risks to succeed

Feb 24, 2017 | Past Events

Alaska is officially in a recession, and the state has been there before. PR and marketing are often the first departments cut, and a small pool of professional positions in communications gets smaller. Learn how three Alaska communicators have faced challenges and reinvented themselves for career success. Megan Baldino, Josie Wilson and Grant Johnston will share their tips on keeping your skills sharp, developing a personal brand, and how and when to take a big career risk.

In December of 2016 the Harvard Business Review said, “It’s important to cultivate a strong external reputation so that you have opportunities if you want them, and to remind your boss and colleagues that your abilities are sought after and appreciated by others.”

In the January 17, 2017 issue of the Economist it was quoted that, “In many occupations it has become essential to acquire new skills as established ones become obsolete … the biggest demand is for new combinations of skills.”

What you will learn:

  • Tips on preparing yourself for a new job (the expected and unexpected),
  • How to grow and maintain your personal brand,
  • Best resources for gaining new skills.



Blythe Campbell, NANA Development Corporation

Blythe Campbell has had a 30-year career in Alaska’s telecommunications, engineering, nonprofit, energy, and finance industries—surviving and thriving through acquisitions, reorganizations, bad choices and layoffs. Blythe was most recently Senior Director of Communications and Marketing for NANA Development Corporation, and now is pursuing her passion to train executives and emerging leaders how to communicate more effectively.



Megan Baldino, GCI

Megan Baldino is originally from Chicago, Illinois. She moved to Fairbanks, Alaska in 1999 to begin her career as a broadcast journalist at KTVF television. In the summer of 2000, she traveled the entire length of the Yukon River, and later wrote Two in a Red Canoe about her adventure camping for three months in the Alaska wilderness. In 2001, she moved to Anchorage and began working at KTUU. Megan has been honored many times by the Alaska Press Club and won an Edward R. Murrow award for her coverage of the Iditarod.

In 201, Megan began working for Shell Oil. During her tenure at Shell, Megan launched four social media platforms in her first year, and later served as the spokesman for Shell’s global offshore Arctic drilling project. In 2015, when Shell exited Alaska, Megan accepted a position with GCI as their Senior Director, External Affairs, where she remains today.

Megan has spent four years on the board of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and previously served on the board of Bean’s Café for four years. She’s also been a volunteer for Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Alaska.

When she’s not working, she likes to spend as much time as possible with her husband Rob and four-year-old daughter, Lucy.


Grant Johnston, Yuit Commutations LLC

Grant Johnston first traveled to Alaska 20 years ago for a two-week kayak adventure in Glacier Bay. His area code has been 907 ever since.

Grant is a co-founder of Yuit Communications LLC – a full-service PR and advertising firm based in Anchorage. He works with some of Alaska’s top brands as a true partner in their efforts to connect with audiences near and far. Yuit’s clients include Alaska Native corporations and businesses in the transportation, telecommunications and resource development industries. He also supports public policy awareness campaigns like Alaska’s Future.

A recognized strategist, Grant enjoys tailoring messaging to specific audiences while remaining true to brand and personal values.

Grant is a father to two daughters and a son. His favorite downtime passion is fishing near Homer.


Josie Wilson, Alaska Regional Hospital

Josie Wilson is Alaska Regional Hospital’s Healthcare Concierge, a brand new position to improve and develop patient experience programs.

Coming to the healthcare industry from the oil and gas sector, Josie has over eighteen years’ experience in marketing, public relations, external affairs, communications, and customer service. Prior to joining the Alaska Regional Hospital’s administration team, Josie served in executive roles for Fortune 500 firms and nonprofit organizations. Today, she continues to be very active in the not-for-profit sector serving on several boards and advisory groups.

Josie holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) with an emphasis in Organizational Behavior and a Bachelor of Science degree from Chapman University in Marketing and Management with a minor in Psychology, Dance, and the University Honors Program. She is also a successful graduate from the Disney Institute.

In 2011, Josie added “adjunct faculty” to her resume and teaches upper division courses at UAA in the College of Business and Public Policy. In 2010, Josie received “Volunteer of the Year” from the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and became a “Top 40 Under 40” recipient from the Alaska Journal of Commerce in 2011. In her spare time, Josie enjoys motivational speaking, corporate training, instructing violin students, competing in swing dance competitions, being active in her church, conducting the Summer Strings Orchestra, and golfing with her husband, Chad Wilson.

Registration closes FOUR business days before event. Luncheons are non-refundable after registration closes.

In order to honor our commitment with the venue, the PRSA Alaska Chapter will close registration for all Anchorage programs at noon, four business days prior to each professional development session. This will ensure your seat and meal at the session.

If you purchase luncheon tickets and are unable to attend, we suggest you offer your ticket to a colleague or student. If you would like the chapter to open the seats to others, please email Brooke Taylor. Once registration closes, all ticket sales are final.

At-the-door sales will only be accepted if space is available at the start of the meeting. If seats are not available, walk-ins may purchase a late registration ticket to the event and receive coffee service.

New pricing structure:
At PRSA Alaska, we often hear how valuable the local professional development opportunities are for professionals. We think so too! These opportunities, usually in the form of luncheons held each month, are a great way to improve your skills and network with peers in a similar profession. While PR professionals don’t always love math and budgets, we do know that our revenue must meet our expenses. So, beginning this month, there will be a modest price increase for all professional development opportunities in Anchorage and Fairbanks. As always, members will still receive a discounted rate. Non-members will pay a slightly higher rate. If you’re not a member and want to become one, learn more on our website.

Event Details

Price before March 9:

  • $34 PRSA members
  • $44 Non-Members
  • $10 Students

At the door tickets:

  • $38 PRSA Members
  • $48 Non-Members
  • $10 Students

Date: Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Time: Noon to 1 p.m. (Doors open at 11:30 a.m.)
Location: Crowne Plaza Anchorage-Midtown

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