Community Notes:

West appointed chair of PRSA National Advocacy Advisory Board
Mary Beth West, APR, principal of Mary Beth West Consulting – an independent public relations consulting practice in Maryville – was recently appointed 2007 chairman of the National Advocacy Advisory Board of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) by PRSA Chairman and CEO Rhoda Weiss.
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As chair of PRSA’s advocacy effort, West will lead a national team to enhance business, governmental and organizational management awareness of the role public relations plays in a free society and its significant contributions to public discourse on issues that affect organizational reputation as well as free and open communications in the U.S. and abroad.

Since its creation in 2002, PRSA’s Advocacy Advisory Board has engaged with public policy issues such as the corporate reputation-management implications of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the opposition of broadcast regulations proposed by the Federal Communications Commission. A primary focus in 2007 will include PRSA’s national media relations effort to advance dialogue on communications ethics central to political campaigns, specifically those already in progress for national elections in 2008.

An alumna of the University of Tennessee’s College of Communication and Information, West is now a member of the College’s Board of Visitors. She has taught as an adjunct instructor in UT’s public relations undergraduate program and is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) by PRSA’s Universal Accreditation Board.

The youngest director ever to be elected to PRSA’s national board in its 60-year history, West is a member and past president of the Knoxville, Tennessee-based Volunteer Chapter of PRSA.

Founded in 2003, Mary Beth West Consulting specializes in strategic public relations programs that enable organizations to reach financial and other advancement goals. With clients extending from Atlanta to Michigan, her growing base of consulting work includes accounts in the manufacturing, construction, research, financial services and non-profit development sectors.

West works and resides in Maryville, with husband Charles – president of West Chevrolet – and their two daughters, Elizabeth and Maggie.

Heritage High hosting forensic tournament
Heritage High School’s Forensic Team is hosting their 5th annual Appalachian Heritage Forensic Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 10.

Students from across the state of Tennessee will compete in acting and speaking events at the Heritage campus.

The tournament will last throughout the day as competitors compete in three rounds for a chance to advance to the finals round in the afternoon.

Trophies are awarded to the top six competitors in each of eleven different events, and "sweepstakes" trophies will be won by the top three schools, as well.

The Heritage Forensic Team is coached by Katie Amspaugh, theatre arts teacher, and is lead by Becca Durbin, captain of the forensic team and a senior at Heritage.


Workshop highlights struggle for equality
The "What Divides Us? What Unites Us?" workshop is planned from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 10 , at 223 Clarion Ave., Maryville.

Facilitators for the event are Attica Scott, coordinator with Kentucky Jobs With Justice and Isela Arras, immigration project coordinator for the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association. This workshop will discuss the commonalities between the Hispanic/Latino and African American struggle for equality.

Participants will discuss how the African-Americans and Latinos can work together to support civil rights and immigrants’ rights work through intentional alliances. This workshop will begin the process of building long term, sustainable relationships to further a grassroots social justice movement throughout the South. White allies and immigrant communities are encouraged to participate in this workshop.

Registration is $35. You can register online with a credit card at www.southernempowerment.org, or send an email with your name and address (with your organization if you represent one) to train4change@earthlink.net, or mail to Southern Empowerment Project, 343 Ellis Avenue, Maryville, Tennessee 37804. Call 865-984-6500 for more information.

The event is presented by Southern Empowerment Project and co-sponsors: the Appalachian Community Fund, Center for Strong Communities, Maryville College, Charter of Human Responsibilities, (US) - Nina Gregg, College of Social Work - University of Tennessee, Jobs With Justice of East Tennessee, Race Relations Center of East Tennessee, Save Our Cumberland Mountains, Solutions to Issues of Concern to Knoxvillians, Tennesseans for Fair Taxation, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition.

Kiddie Korner Pre-School accepts registration
Parks & Recreation is now accepting registration for Kiddie Korner Pre-School, open to children ages 4 and 5 years of age.

A limited number of openings remain in the Monday and Wednesday or the Tuesday and Thursday classes, which meet from 8-11:30 a.m. at the Springbrook Recreation Center. Registration is being accepted on a first come, first serve basis for the months of February through May. The cost of the program is $70 per month with a one time per school year registration fee of $25. Registration for the fall classes will open March 20.

Kiddie Korner has been in existence for over 20 years and offers a fun and exciting atmosphere for learning. The program includes hands-on science activities; verbal enhancement through music, puppets and role-play, creative art with focus on self-expression, kindergarten readiness skills to assist with the kindergarten transition, and enhancement of self-esteem and social skills in a nurturing, caring, and no-fail environment.

Faith Guinn has been the director for 14 years and is assisted by Shelby Watts. The program is licensed by the State of Tennessee Department of Human Services.

Registration is now being accepted on-line at www.parksrec.com or at the Parks & Recreation Office located at 316 South Everett High Rd. For more information call 865-983-9244.

American Red Cross offers free CPR class in March
In celebration of American Red Cross Month and the Blount County Chapter’s 90th Birthday, the Blount County American Red Cross will be offering free Adult CPR training at 9 a.m., Saturday, March 3, at the Blount County American Red Cross Chapter, located on 321 off Robert C. Jackson Drive in the Triangle Park business complex.

The four hour training provides students with the knowledge and skills to save lives. Please contact Jenny at 865-983-0821 to put your name on the roster today.

Following the training, the Chapter will be holding a Community Open House to show our new building to the public and share the Red Cross mission with the entire community. Please drop by anytime between 1- 4 p.m. to receive a tour and
learn more about what the Blount County Chapter does in our area.

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