Posted tagged ‘communications contest’

Meet a Member: Karen Galanaugh

June 1, 2015

When I think of a public relations professional, Karen Galanaugh is one of the first people I think of. She is a bundle of creative energy and always looking for ways to do things better. One of the highlights of the pre-tour before the NFPW conference in Idaho in 2008 was getting to know Karen’s sisters who joined us for the trip. What a great family. We had so much fun on the trip and I have enjoyed our friendship through NFPW for many years. Meet my friend, Karen Galanaugh.

Karen Galanaugh

Karen Galanaugh

Name: Karen Galanaugh, APR

City and State: Wellington, FL and Wilmington, DE

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

Delaware Press Association, NFPW National Communications Annual Contest, Director 2006-2008

Years a member of NFPW: Joined 1999

Tell us a little about you

I am the youngest of a large Irish Catholic working class family from Southwest Philadelphia. There are 24 years between me and the first born. My older siblings broke out of the neighborhood and shared interesting and diverse journeys with little sister Karen. Wow, what a ride. Among my siblings: VOGUE cover model, a celebrated artist, lesbian minister, baseball players, news guys—a weird mix of wonderful. I brought my sisters with me to the NFPW conference in Idaho a few years ago and they joined members on the tours. What a hoot.

I have been accredited in Public Relations since 1993: I had been in public relations for nine years at that point and had worked in New York City on some very high profile issues—thrown into the fire immediately after college. I am presently a member of three PRSA chapters: Philadelphia, State of Delaware, and Palm Beach. I served as president of the State of Delaware PRSA Chapter and for many years was the PRSSA (student association) professional liaison to PRSSA college students in both Philadelphia and Delaware. I loved working with the students and helping them succeed in living their dreams.

If I was not a public relations professional, I’d probably be a journalist. Funny, with the downsizing of major newspapers across the U.S., laid off journalists are filling jobs in public relations. I remember a few purist journalists who thought all PR people were “hacks.” Boy, things have changed. We are respected.

I love to learn. I feel pretty darned lucky to be in a job where every day presents a new topic and learning opportunities. PR is not boring.

Idaho pre-conference tour group near Sun Valley. Karen Galanaugh and her sisters joined the tour they are back row from left, Lynne Kelley in white, Joyce Berger light green, Kat Ward, Karen Galanaugh and Carole Lavin

Idaho pre-conference tour group near Sun Valley. Karen Galanaugh and her sisters joined the tour they are back row from left in matching hats: Lynne Kelley in white, Joyce Berger light green, NFPW member Kat Ward, Karen Galanaugh and Carole Lavin.

Any career advice you would give?

Don’t post anything on the web that you wouldn’t want your employers to see. Never betray a colleague or friend. And, listen to your heart. Learn Spanish.

Which talent would you most like to have?

I would like to speak Spanish. Spanish language is common where I live and I want to be a part of the community.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

I selected where I am living now, Wellington, Florida, the winter equestrian capital of the world. It is beautiful here and I like being around horses. If I had more money, I’d have a place at the Delaware shore too—closer to my siblings.

What book are you reading?

The Real Life MBA by Jack and Susy Welch. I am finishing my real life Masters in the Science of Management ( MSM) at Wilmington University in June. It’s been a long hard journey. My studies continued through a terrible marital separation, divorce, and move of 900 miles away to start a new life in Florida. I remember filing a class paper while on the road to Florida with my dog and cat in the back seat. Glad I had this scholastic anchor to help me focus on something positive for my future.

I am a guest lecturer at several colleges. I am told I am good at teaching, but if I ever wanted to come onboard as staff, I should have a Master’s Degree. My plan is to teach college level courses in my retirement: public relations, marketing communication, and organizational leadership.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I love horses, horse sports and just being around horses. I used to ride. I actually trained racetrack horses for other careers as hunter/jumpers and pleasure horses. I was an inner city Philadelphia kid and mucked stalls for ride time. I was a fearless hack with horsesence, but it wasn’t until I could afford formal lessons in my forties, that I began to show in regional shows. I had to stop riding because of the pull of gravity—too many falls off resistant horses, too many concussions. The doctor said, “Take up golf.” I took up tennis and eventually became a very good club player.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

DPA is like a family. It’s a small world business environment and it’s nice to be a part of it. NFPW is the same. I am fond of the people I have met through NFPW.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.,

Twitter @KarenGalanaugh



Potter shares writing and photography talents, wins NFPW sweepstakes honor for third time

September 22, 2014

Mary Pat Finn-Hoag takes a picture of Lori Potter and Potter’s NFPW contest sweepstakes award at the NFPW conference in South Carolina.

Lori Potter is a talented writer and photographer who has captured sweepstakes honors three times in the NFPW Communications Contest including 2014 in South Carolina. She is the immediate past president of NFPW and now leads the NFPW Education Fund. She spends countless hours supporting NFPW. This spring I was able to spend time with her in her hometown of Kearney, Nebraska, visiting the newspaper where Lori and fellow NFPW member Mary Jane Skala work. One of the best parts of being an NFPW member is the friendships we form all over the country. Meet my friend, Lori Potter.

Name: Lori Potter

City and State: Kearney, Neb.

Affiliate and any leadership positions:

I’m currently the Nebraska Press Women legislative/First Amendment director and serve on the finance committee, but I’m the only candidate for treasurer in our Oct. 4 fall convention election. That will be my third term. I’ve also served two terms as president in the early 1990s and have been contest director numerous times, COA director, conference co-host several times, planned the 2011 NFPW Conference pre-tour, and helped judge state high school contests and select scholarship winners.

NFPW: I’m NFPW’s immediate past president and Education Fund director, having come up the ranks from second vice-president. In past years, I also chaired or served on several contest review committees, was an Education Fund board member and was a president’s adviser a time or two.

Years a member of NFPW:

I received my 35-year-certificate the 2014 NFPW Conference in Greenville, S.C. I joined in the fall of 1978, but was credited for those few months as part of my membership starting in January 1979. I don’t think I’ve ever missed an NPW convention and I’ve attended 25 NFPW conferences, starting with the 50th anniversary celebration in Williamsburg, Va., in 1987. Since then, I missed only 1988 and 2001, when the 9/11 terrorist attacks grounded flights for several days.

Tell us a little about you.

I grew up on a Franklin County farm in south-central Nebraska, 11 miles south of Wilcox, population 350. I graduated from Wilcox High School in 1974 in a class of 17, including my fraternal twin sister, Lisa, and received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kearney State College in December 1977.

My higher education has come on the job, at NPW and NFPW conferences, and as a member of the 2000-2002 LEAD XX class. LEAD is a two year leadership and learning program for Nebraskans in agriculture and related fields that includes monthly seminars at college campuses across the state and a second-year overseas travel seminar. My class went to Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

I’ve been a Nebraska daily newspaper writer, photographer and columnist (Potter’s Wheel) my entire career, first in the Panhandle at the Alliance Times-Herald for one year, the York News-Times for nearly eight years and the Kearney Hub for 28 years, with a focus on agriculture and natural resources.

Any career advice you would give?

Understand who you work for. We all have bosses, but my goal is to inform and entertain readers, especially rural Nebraskans whose lives and livelihoods as food producers depend on news about agriculture and our natural resources.

Also, getting better at something may be as simple as practice, practice, practice. If you are a writer, write and also read work by talented writers. If you’re a photographer, take lots of photos and practice using different angles and points of view to tell stories visually in more interesting ways. Take pride in your work, but consider ways to do it better the next time.

Count your blessings if you look forward to doing your job on most days and can’t imagine doing anything else.


Lori Potter, top right, joined other NFPW board members in a trip to Yellowstone National Park following a spring board meeting in Idaho Falls. Participating in the trip are from left: Cathy Koon, Barb Micek, Teri Ehresman, Katherine Keniston, Potter and Cynthia Price.

Which talent would you most like to have?

That’s a long list. I often say my knowledge and talents are like the Platte River of pioneer days, a mile wide and an inch deep. I would like to be handy in a MacGyver sort of way. I cannot fix anything that is broken, torn, worn, leaking, dripping, hanging down or that makes a funny noise. The range of my fix-it skills is limited pretty much to sewing on buttons and restarting locked-up electronic devices. It also would be nice to have a great memory with a retrievable archive for people, faces, names and events.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

For me, like most NFPW members who have responded to this question, home is home. I’m a rural Nebraska girl who loves country roads and the people who live and work along them. I need a 360-degree view of the sky, enjoy the changing seasons if they aren’t too severe and get excited when I hear the first call from one of the hundreds of thousands of sandhill cranes that stop in the Central Platte Valley each March. I enjoy visiting places with mountains, forests, coastlines and other natural beauty. So the best answer might be to have my permanent home in south-central Nebraska and somehow find the financial means to travel as much as I want and/or own a vacation home in each of the other 49 states.

What book are you reading?

I don’t read many books, but I always have a newspaper or magazine with me, including TIME, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Nebraska History Quarterly (which my oldest brother edits) and Nebraska Life.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

Although speaking in public doesn’t bother me, I’m an introvert who avoids social events that require small talk with people I don’t know well. I have a fourth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do that took me 10 years to complete, from ages 46 to 56. It was a bucket list thing, or more like a do-it-or-forget-it thing. I can whistle really loud hands-free, which is a skill my late farmer brother taught me, and like many NFPW members, I’m mentored at home by two shelter-adopted cats, Thai and Tas.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

I honestly don’t know if I would have stayed in journalism without the support I felt from Nebraska members from the moment I joined. I was amazed as a 22-year-old rookie journalist that a professional organization wanted me as a member. I love what I do, but the pressure of deadlines and a lack of appreciation (monetarily and otherwise) at work sometimes can seem overwhelming. No one understands those issues better than people in the same or similar professions. Many of the best friends I’ll ever have are NPW and NFPW members. I see a few regularly, but I wish I could be with all the others more often than our twice-a-year state and annual NFPW conferences that are like family reunions.

Ways to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

I am not social media literate, mostly because that’s not the way I need to or prefer to communicate on the job or personally. I look at Facebook from time to time to see what NFPW members post, especially during and after conferences. Email ( or is my friend, and I write a blog for which there is a link on the website. My Hub stories, photos, columns and occasional videos are posted at