Meeting/Event Information

The Rewards and Challenges of Being an Independent PR Practitioner

March 26, 2013
8:00 AM to 9:00 AM
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Univera Healthcare
205 Park Club Lane
Williamsville, NY 14221

Ever wonder what it would be like to venture out on your own as an independent public relations practitioner? Looking for tips on how your organization could benefit from the help of an independent practitioner?

Join us for a candid discussion and Q&A with four local PR practitioners who are making a go of it.

Panelists will include:

Matthew N. Davison
AMDG Public Affairs, LLC.

Carolyn Human
Carolyn Human Communications

Karen L. Karaszewski, APR
KKPR Public Relations and Marketing

Philip J. Pantano
Pantano & Associates, L.L.C.

Registration begins at 7:45 a.m. Program will run promptly from 8 – 9 a.m. A light breakfast buffet will be provided.

About Our Panelists

Matt Davison
Founder and Principal, AMDG Public Affairs

Matt Davison launched AMDG Public Affairs in January 2013 as a public relations and advocacy consultancy service for prospective Buffalo Niagara area clients.

Prior to this new venture, Matt was the Director of Communications and Government Relations for the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority (also known as the Peace Bridge Authority), and also spent several years as the Director of Public Affairs for the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation.

He has experience with the North American steel industry as a Manager of Government Relations for the American Iron and Steel Institute, and worked on Capitol Hill as press secretary for a member of the United States Senate. Matt began his career as an Account Executive with Fleishman-Hillard International Communications handling U.S. Customs and Border Protection accounts.

Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and journalism from the University of Rochester, has studied legislative affairs at The George Washington University, and completed a Master’s degree in public relations management at Buffalo State College.

He is an active member of the Explore & More Children’s Museum board of directors as well as the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Government Affairs Committee. Matt also participates on the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council’s Binational Trade & Logistics subcommittee.

He is a past Excalibur platinum and gold award recipient, and lives in the Town of Hamburg with his wife and infant son.

Carolyn Human
Founder, Carolyn Human Communications

Carolyn Human’s ten years combined work experience in newsrooms and a public relations agency equals the perfect mix of expertise for clients looking to build and improve relationships with the media and key stakeholders.

After graduating from Syracuse University with a dual degree in Marketing and Broadcast Journalism, Carolyn was a producer in Plattsburgh, NY/Burlington, VT and Orlando, FL.

When offered an opportunity to return to Buffalo in 2007 and work at Travers Collins (TC), Carolyn jumped at the chance to return to her hometown. She was a lead member of the TC Media Training team and the Social Media Training team. Carolyn managed client relationships with Northtown Automotive Companies, Medaille College, Trocaire College, First Niagara and the Buffalo Home + Garden Show to name a few.

She is a member of the WNY Venture Association, volunteers regularly for Friends of the Night People soup kitchen and is on the board of the Cantalician Center for Learning.

Karen L. Karaszewski, APR
President, KKPR

Karen has more than 25 years’ experience in corporate, non-profit and agency public relations. A skilled communicator and experienced media spokesperson, she works with clients to create and deliver appropriate messages to key audiences.  Areas of expertise include strategic planning, crisis communication, social media, media relations and public relations writing. She has coached numerous senior executives for successful media interviews.

Prior to opening her own public relations practice in 2002, Karen worked as a senior practitioner at People Inc., Fleet Financial Group, Carr Marketing Communications and the Greater Buffalo Chamber of Commerce. She began her career at the Greater Buffalo Chapter of the American Red Cross. 

A native of Buffalo, she received a B.A. in Mass Communication from St. Bonaventure University and is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).  Karen is a past president and board member of the Buffalo Niagara Chapter of PRSA and was awarded the Chapter’s May C. Randazzo Outstanding Practitioner Award in 2006.

Phillip J. Pantano
Founder and President, Pantano & Associates, L.L.C.

Phil Pantano founded Pantano & Associates, L.L.C. in 2009. As an independent consultant, he provides strategic communications, media relations, issues management, crisis communication and media training services to a growing number of clients throughout Western New York.

Pantano & Associates has assisted a host of large corporations, organizations with facilities in multiple states, industry coalitions, professional service firms and non-profit organizations in achieving their communication goals. The firm has a diverse client base from multiple industries, including casino gaming, healthcare, economic development, legal, education, manufacturing, energy, and human services.

Throughout his career, Phil has worked with some of the largest and highest-profile organizations in Western New York as both a consultant and an in-house executive and spokesperson. His past experience includes serving as Director of Public Relations & Public Affairs for Seneca Gaming Corporation (now a Pantano & Associates client), as well as holding leadership positions at The Hamister Group, Rural/Metro Medical Services, e3 Communications and Trocaire College. Phil was recently honored with the 40 Under 40 award from Business First of Buffalo in recognition of his professional achievement and dedication to the community.

A graduate of St. Bonaventure University, Phil lives in South Buffalo with his wife and four children.


$25.00 PRSA Member Registration
$15.00 Earlybird rate before March 21

$45.00 Non-Member Registration
$35.00 Earlybird rate before March 21

$0.00 Student Registration

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