Wed, Apr 10 | Quinnipiack Club/The Q Club

How to Be Prepared for the Unexpected (1)

Registration is Closed
How to Be Prepared for the Unexpected (1)

Time & Location

Apr 10, 2019, 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Quinnipiack Club/The Q Club, 221 Church St, New Haven, CT 06510, USA

About the Event


Join us for How to Be Prepared for the Unexpected, a professional development seminar brought to you free of charge by your PRSA CT Chapter.

Effective crisis management in the new media era is defined not only by your message, but by the speed with which you deliver it. And a single misstep in the moments following a crisis can prove impossible to overcome later. In short, it’s often not the crisis itself, but the way the crisis is handled, that determines success or failure.


Doug Pinkham

President of the Public Affairs Council, Washington, D.C.


Moderator - Hilary Fussell Sisco

Associate Professor of Strategic Communication at Quinnipiac University

Panelist - Kent Jarrell, APCO Worldwide

Executive Director and Global Crisis & Litigation Communication Practice Lead

Panelist - Paul Vance, Connecticut State Police

Retired Lieutenant, Public Information Officer, and Member of Governor-Elect Ned Lamont's Transition Team

Panelist - Joan Huwiler, Post University

Director of Communications at Post University

  • Seminar General Admission

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About Mark Contreras

Mark Contreras is President and Chief Executive Officer of Connecticut Public, the NPR and PBS community licensee for Connecticut.


He came to public media after a long career in local, mission-oriented news organizations.


His interest in local journalism began during his work with U.S. Senator Paul Simon on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, DC.


Mark began his media career with Capital Cities/ABC, Inc and after a number of roles at several of their newspapers served as President and Publisher of The Times Leader newspaper in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.


He was then named Senior Vice President of Pulitzer Newspapers based in St. Louis, Missouri. In this role he had profit-and-loss responsibility for the newspapers and digital properties in 13 markets from Illinois to Hawaii. Pulitzer was a publicly-traded company with a controlling interest by the Pulitzer Family.


He then became the head of the newspaper division (SVP/Newspapers) of the E.W. Scripps Company based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Scripps newspapers and digital operations were the 10th largest publisher in the US and had markets from South Carolina to Washington state. The company was publicly-traded and controlled by the Scripps Family.

In 2011, he became the Chief Executive Officer of Calkins Media based in Levittown, Pennsylvania which owned 3 ABC affiliated television stations in Florida and Alabama and 5 newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The company was privately-held and owned by the Calkins Family. The company was sold in 2017.


In 2017, Contreras was then named Dean of the School of Communications of Quinnipiac University.


He joined Connecticut Public in March 2019. While serving as President and CEO of Connecticut Public, the organization has undergone a reinvestment in local reporting resources as well as significant digital transformation including publishing its content today over more than 48 platforms, up from 3 in 2019.


He served as a past or current board member of a variety of media organizations including the Newspaper Association of America (chairman), The American Press Institute (chairman), Cincinnati Public Radio, Futuro Media, GFR Media (based in San Juan, PR) and Woodward Communications, Inc (based in Dubuque, IA).


He holds an A.B. in History from the University of Chicago and an MBA from The Harvard Business School.

He was also named a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute.


His father is a Mexican immigrant and his mother and Irish-American school teacher.


Mark has been married to Marybeth Sughrue for 36 years and their son, Michael, lives in Brooklyn, NY.

PRSA Antitrust Compliance Statement

PRSA’s policy is to comply with federal and state antitrust laws. Participants in PRSA meetings and programs are not to discuss industry-wide or individual company prices (current or projected) or matters relating to pricing such as costs, profits, wages, market allocation, or other competitively sensitive information. Compliance with the antitrust laws is a requirement for PRSA membership and responsibility for compliance rests with each member. Participants have an obligation to terminate any discussion, seek legal counsel’s advice, or, if necessary, terminate any meeting if the discussion might be construed to raise antitrust risks.