The accreditation program aims to improve the practice of public relations by assessing competence in 60 areas of knowledge, skills and abilities associated with the profession including theory and application, communication law, and advanced skills in research, strategic planning, implementation and evaluation.
Starkey completed a rigorous process including an oral presentation of her portfolio to a readiness review panel and a computer-based examination.
"Practitioners who achieve the designation are demonstrating their commitment to not only our profession, but also to a strong code of ethics and to the betterment of their organization and clients," said Felicia Blow, APR, 2009 chair of the Universal Accreditation Board.
Starkey joined the NTCC in 2009 and was recently promoted to communications manager. She is responsible for the development and implementation of a comprehensive print and online marketing communications strategy, including external promotion, content creation, and social media outreach.
"The NTCC is thrilled to have someone with the APR designation as a staff member," said Melissa Morinello, director of marketing and communications. "Jennifer has been instrumental in the development of many marketing communications projects and we know her skills will be beneficial in marketing the Niagara USA destination."
Starkey is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in integrated marketing communications from St. Bonaventure University and holds a Bachelor's Degree in communications studies from Buffalo State College.
All accredited professionals are required to continue education, pursue professional development activities and advance the profession through mentorship or volunteer work relating to public relations, in order to keep their APR status active.