Clara Sanderson is the Senior Public Relations Officer at The Arc of Anchorage. She provides guidance to the marketing and development team, and leads internal and external communications for the organization and families across Alaska. With more than 17 years of experience in the nonprofit, government, political and for-profit sectors, Clara has in-depth experience using creative methods to leverage branding that leave a lasting impact for community causes.

Carla attended a private college in Iowa and later transferred to College of Charleston, where she got on the communications industry track and became involved in PRSA. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the College of Charleston in 2004, with emphasis in mass media communication and public relations.

In 2008, Clara met her husband while he was stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER). After their last overseas tour, he retired from the Air Force and the family moved back to Anchorage in 2014. Clara and her husband have three children, Keithan, Caden and Avelyn; along with two adorable malti-poo (Maltese and miniature poodle mix) puppies named Daisy and Sweet Pea.

Clara believes the PRSA is important for local businesses because it provides support, training and a variety of networking opportunities right here in the Anchorage area. “Being a member enables you to connect with others, gain mentoring opportunities, to tap into experienced perspectives, and most important, to access relevant real-world information put into practice by people in your community,” said Clara.

“I also think CommEx is a huge resource for members, especially for employees of nonprofits that often cannot afford out-of-state training and conferences. Having a local conference is much more accessible for those in our industry,” she said. “Besides, in Alaska we’re a little weird and we’re proud of it. It’s always been a great experience attending CommEx and I truly have appreciated all the PRSA members of our chapter who step up each year to make the conference so engaging and relevant.”

About the #MeetPRSA feature: The diversity, membership and board development committees have joined forces to periodically feature PRSA Alaska Chapter members and volunteers in an effort to highlight the strengths and expertise of members. If you would like to be featured or if you would like to nominate someone, please email Katie Montanelli at KMontanelli@SouthcentralFoundation.com.