2019 CommEx // Alaska Communicators Exchange

It is our distict pleasure to welcome you, a member of the profession that builds, protects and advances Alaska’s organizations, to the fifth Alaska Communicators Exchange. This year’s theme Innovation and Solutions was sparked by the PRSA membership—thank you for your participation and passion. For 2019 we have a new venue (Alaska Pacific University campus), two dedicated tracks providing a deep dive into either Innovation or Crisis Solutions, the event is half the price with double the number of guest speakers, and parking is free.

We encourage you to mingle, mix, laugh, groan, and get your learn on.                                                PRSA CommEx Team.

Join communications and public relations professionals at CommEx, a full-day conference at Alaska Pacific University featuring national and local speakers. Sessions are designed by top communications professionals for those interested in emerging and current trends, crisis communications and more.

The conference will follow two tracks: Crisis Solutions and Innovation. Keep scrolling to find the full agenda!

Ticketing and RSVP Information

Location: Alaska Pacific University

When: Friday, Nov. 8

Early-Bird Registration (by Friday, Nov. 1, 2019): PRSA Members: $195 // Non-members: $225
Tickets: CLICK HERE.

Aurora Awards
Join us for the Aurora Awards, hosted by the Public Relations Society of America – Alaska Chapter. This event recognizes and honors the achievements of public relations professionals in our community.

Enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, music by Jared Woods and the company of fellow communicators from across the state while we highlight the best of Alaska public relations.

5:00 p.m. – Doors open and champagne reception begins

6:00 p.m. – Awards program begins

Need to reserve a table? Questions? Contact Heather Marron at Heather.Marron@acsalaska.com.

Aurora Awards Banquet Pricing:
PRSA Members: $60 // Non-Members: $75
Tickets: CLICK HERE.

CommEx accommodations are available with a PRSA group rate at the Marriott Anchorage Downtown for $169 per night during Nov. 4 to Nov. 12. The last day to book is Nov. 1. Reserve your room HERE.

Conference Program

Download the program: CommEx 2019 Agenda.



Sponsorship Opportunities

There still are a limited number of Sponsorship opportunities available. You’re just a click away from becoming one: 2019 Sponsorship Packet.

Breakfast Keynote Speaker

Jennifer Cho, Weber Shandwick Southwest

“When to take a stand on hot button-issues and how that weaves crisis and innovation together.”

Jennifer is General Manager and Executive Vice President of Weber Shandwick Southwest, the world’s top integrated marketing and communications firm.

Born in Korea, raised in New Jersey and educated in New York, Jennifer has established herself as a proven leader with a global perspective. She’s provided strategic, organizational, and financial leadership to companies and brands from Asia to America, and from Manhattan to L.A.

After more than 15 years of marketing and communication, Jen understands the evolving media and content landscape. She began her career by interning with Eminem’s law firm which led to the creation a record label selling over $12M units and landing a #7 ranking on the independent Billboard Chart. Her next five years was dedicated to leading the strategy and building a team to launch MetroPCS through experiential marketing as their AOR. With an eye on the future of industry, Jen pivoted towards the world of data and analytics, where she designed data solutions for every major U.S. sports league as well as the Universiade in Korea.

Her marcomm background has helped her combine storytelling with analytics to create data-driven campaigns. By using analytics tools, she’s learned how reduce guesswork. By increasing measurable efforts, she’s been able to grow a wide range of accounts. A graduate of Columbia University in New York, she was a founding board member of New Jersey Needs You, an education non-profit. She’s currently an advisory board member for Dallas Influencers in Sports and Entertainment (D.I.S.E.) and a board member for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). She also serves as Executive Chair of their DEI Chapter. She also sits on the Dallas Chamber of Commerce Board of Advisors and participates in the Southern Dallas, Corporate Recruitment and Innovation Task Forces. She is a member of IABC, ColorComm and the Asian Executive Network of Dallas in addition to being a member of the Orchid Sisters, a giving circle managed by the Texas Women’s Foundation.

Lunch Keynote Speaker

Elizabeth Edwards is our Lunch Keynote Speaker speaking on, “How to increase outcomes by basing communication campaigns on science-supported strategies.”

Elizabeth is an integrated communicator who has created a behavior-based communication method that was named by Forbes Magazine
as the #1 “Marketing Tactic and Tool That Will Shake up 2019.” President of Volume PR, a firm with an 18- year, award-winning track record, and 11th Octave, the first integrated communication agency in the U.S. to develop a modern-day communication model based on behavioral science and the psychology of the human mind, Edwards and her team daily improve upon traditional PR and communication outcomes. For brands from BMW to Transamerica to Charter, Volume PR and 11th Octave work with organizations of all sizes to harness the power of science to bring about positive audience behavior change and increased results.

Before founding Volume, Elizabeth was with Ogilvy PR and in the aerospace division of The Boeing Company. A graduate of Pepperdine University with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational communication, Elizabeth was awarded a full scholarship from New York Times best-selling author Tom Clancy (Hunt for Red October) and has won hundreds of marketing, communication, and PR awards. Her accolades include being named to the Denver Business Journal prestigious “40 Under 40” list, the Pepperdine University inaugural “40 Under 40” list, and ColoradoBiz Magazine’s list of “Gen XYZ” professionals. In 2018, the Volume Team was voted “Best PR Agency in the US” by an award organization with judging made up entirely of the media, and Elizabeth was named Ragan Communications and PR Daily’s “PR Professional of the Year.”

Elizabeth is the 2018 – 2019 Chair of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Technology Section, a member of the Forbes Agency Council, and the Colorado representative for the national PR agency coalition, Public Relations Consultants Group (PRCG).

Breakout Speakers

This year’s CommEx will feature two dedicated tracks providing a deep dive into either Innovation or Crisis Solutions.


Kent Cassella is our Crisis Solutions Breakout Speaker presenting a workshop titled, “Chaos and reputational damage are NOT ineveitable.”

Learn how to improve the quality and effectiveness of your crisis communications.

Kent has over 30 years of experience as a member of and working with executive leadership teams for large, complex, diverse and dispersed organizations developing strategy in crisis, conflict, emergency and highly hazardous conditions.

A retired U.S. Army officer with more than 20 years of active-duty service, Kent has held a variety of leadership positions and has directed public relations and crisis management and communication strategy around the world. His active service culminated with assignment as director of Public Relations at the United States Military Academy at West Point where he led all communications and reputation management activities for the nation’s premier military academy and national historic landmark campus.

Prior to joining the BMCG in 2018, Kent was the Associate Vice President for Communications and Brand Strategy at Michigan State University for ten years. He was responsible for developing and leading strategic issues planning, brand building, crisis management and crisis communications proactive planning to reduce reputational risk, for one of the world’s leading public research universities.

A graduate of West Virginia University’s communications school, Kent also holds a master’s degree in journalism from Marshall University and an MBA from Touro University International.


Katrina Cravy is our Innovation Breakout Speaker presenting a workshop titled, “Creating Stories that Sell.”

Katrina is an Emmy Award- Winning TV media veteran who wore headgear to high school. Her fun-loving but get the job done style has made her one of the most trusted and well- known names in Southeastern Wisconsin. With more than 20 years of experience on- camera as a consumer reporter, news anchor, and talk show host, Katrina has now started her own company as a motivational speaker and media training consultant. She has great stories to tell and will help you be a better story teller too.

Her book, On-Air – Insider Secrets to Attract the Media and Get Free Publicity aims to make you think like the media and transform the way you market your organization to any audience. Katrina is also an adjunct facility member for the University of Wisconsin’s School for Professional and Executive Development teaching crisis communication skills. This California native graduated from the University of Southern California with a double major in broadcast journalism and political science. She was chosen as an intern for the Office of Ronald Reagan in 1991 and received awards from the National Press Club and the Associated Press.

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