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OCPRSA Honors APRs at Protos 2014

New APR designates (left to right) Scott Starkey, Gina Depinto, Mary Platt and Erik Fallis, with OCPRSA's APR and Accreditation Chair Justin Glover (center)

New APR designates (left to right) Scott Starkey, Gina Depinto, Mary Platt and Erik Fallis, with OCPRSA’s APR and Accreditation Chair Justin Glover (center)

OCPRSA recognized professionals who achieved the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) at the annual Protos Awards event held last month at the Disneyland Resort’s Grand Californian hotel. Four professionals were honored including Gina DePinto, Erik Fallis, Mary Platt and Scott Starkey.

These OCPRSA members successfully completed the examination for APR, entitling them to use the APR professional designation. The official pronouncement was made by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), a consortium of nine professional communication organizations that directs this competency certification program.

The accreditation program aims to improve the practice of public relations by assessing competence in 60 areas of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) associated with the profession. The examination is designed for public relations professionals with a minimum of five to seven years of job experience and related education. Candidates who successfully complete the rigorous process, including presenting a portfolio to a readiness review panel of three peers and sitting for a computer-based examination, are granted the APR.

DePinto, account director at Westbound Communications, is responsible for the agency’s account with the Port of Long Beach and heads up the communications strategy for the $1.2 billion Gerald Desmond Bridge Replacement Project.

Fallis is senior manager of operations for university relations and advancement for CSU, a system of 23 campuses of almost 437,000 students and 44,000 faculty and staff. Fallis is top communications official working in the chancellor’s office with the CSU system.

Platt serves as director of communications at Chapman University based in Orange, the largest private university in Orange County serving more than 7,000 students annually.

Starkey founded his own public affairs firm, Starkey Communications, in 2013 after spending more than a decade with Laer Pearce and Associates.

OCPRSA offers an annual APR study for PRSA members in good standing. The class is a series of study sessions geared toward preparing candidates for the readiness review and computer exam. The next sessions will begin in the first quarter of 2015. The class provides candidates with a structured process to learn the material and study with other aspiring candidates. More information is available at To learn more about the APR, go to


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