On December 4th, 2012, IABC-LA joined the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA), the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the California Chicano News Media Association: Latino Journalists of California (CCNMA) for a combined festive, loud and lively holiday mixer at the Los Angeles Brewing Company in downtown Los Angeles.

Mixing up all the professional associations was a truly fun evening to meet and greet new networking friends and contacts. I personally had some terrific six-degrees-of-networking-separation surprises. I was delighted to learn I know Stephan (Steve) Roth, PRSA-LA President-Elect and Founder of OutThink Partners through a mutual friend. I was equally delighted to learn that Delia L. Lopez, HPRA-LA Chapter President and I both have sons at the same high school who play in the same orchestra!

The evening was also attended by Oralia Michel, HPRA National Board President and Mindy Brundige, Executive Director for PRSA-LA, and Louis Sahagun, L.A. Chapter President of CCNMA among many other Los Angeles members of HPRA, PRSA and IABC.

Over sliders, super-spicy buffalo chicken wings, beer and wine, attendees enjoyed a very urban, funky atmosphere that made it fun to shout our introductions to old and new friends. IABC-LA Media Chair Mike Spasoff and I had a terrific conversation about introverts while we yelled over the music about how much we enjoyed quiet time! Yes, conversations were punctuated by “Excuse me? Could you repeat that?” yet it all added to the ambiance of a cheery, get-down mixer. And the past and present dual-association memberships made for some great “competitive rivals” team fun! PRSA-LA Board Member, Rebecca Mikkelsen, who was our past Social Media Chair dynamo is now working on membership for PRSA. “Oh no!” we exclaimed! (She’ll definitely bring new members to PRSA!)  Pamela Corante-Hansen was also a past IABC-LA board member and is now assisting with PRSA and HPRA. Our chapter is truly delighted to see such talent used in our fellow associations.

It was a pleasure to see IABC-LA Dana Edler, JPL’s Communications Specialist, who is graciously offering to do some volunteering for the board this year. Chris Cabrera, Past President and board member, enjoyed the evening decked out in a Santa hat. IABC-LA member attendees also included Vanessa Skillman, Bill Spaniel, Greg Cash and Kerry Bonner.  Our event organizer and Treasurer, Christie Ly, was in New York yet donated a beautiful painting to the raffle. Meanwhile our other board members, Past President Paula Cassin, and Communications Chair, Betty Henry, had schedule conflicts.

Raffle items included gift cards to spas, an art basket full of cool supplies, popular wine and food items. HPRA and PRSA donated to the Red Cross.

IABC-LA was delighted to have this opportunity to join HPRA and PRSA. HPRA-LA and PRSA-LA welcomed IABC-LA with tremendous camaraderie and graciousness. We hope to do another combined event in the future and thank everyone involved who helped put on the event.

Safe and Happy Holidays to all!