The Gonsoulin Group celebrated its second year in August 2012, with a number of milestones that built on the inital year’s growth and continued success of the firm. Formed in August 2010 in San Francisco, the business expanded and relocated its base of operations to Los Angeles in August 2011. Jean now splits her time between both cities serving clients throughout Northern and Southern California. The expansion to LA added a number of well-known clients to The Gonsoulin Group roster, including the University of Southern California, Edison International and Southern California Edison, and Union Bank. In addition to new clients, she has added new services including agency consulting around evaluating and implementing infrastructure best practices and senior-level support for clients and account teams. Jean returned to the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Chapter of PRSA and has been actively involved in the organization’s annual PRISM Awards program. With Year 3 underway, Jean is already adding new clients and projects, forming partnerships and continuing her involvement in supporting the PR industry with speaking engagements and leadership roles to advance the profession. Watch for more postings as the year progresses!

Jean Gonsoulin, a returning board member of the Los Angeles Chapter of PRSA, has been named Program Chairman for the 2013 year. She will be responsible for the professional development events that are the core of PRSA membership. With a committee already assembled and a calendar of diverse speakers and topics in development, the year promises to feature current or trending presentations and high-profile professionals who are experts in their field. The year will kick-off in January with the annual “State-of-the-State” industry overview which boasts a panel of public relations’ leading executives representing the cross-section of business, academic, agency and nonprofit sectors.

Gonsoulin has been a member of PRSA for nearly 20 years and has served on the Board of Directors for both the Houston and Los Angeles chapters. In Houston, she chaired the Excalibur Awards for four years, among other committees. In Los Angeles, she has served on the PRISM Awards committee and has drafted the awards presentation script for the last two years.

Jean Gonsoulin will be returning for her third time as speaker at the annual PRSA International Conference which will take place this year October 13-16, 2012 in San Francisco. Her topic, “Building an Infrastructure that Moves Your Business Forward,” draws from her more than 15 years in public relations agencies. Scheduled on Monday, October 15th at 10 a.m. at the San Francisco Marriott Marqis, the program focuses on best practices around people, programs, policies and processes that can help small to mid-size firms operate at the level of a larger, multinational agency. Session participants will learn how to evaluate their current infrastructure and identify areas for improvement; ways to organize current operations for greater efficiencies; practical strategies for developing and retaining staff; tools for better internal client account management; and tips for creating a culture that boosts employee morale. While every agency environment is unique, the challenges are often the same and this session brings real ideas and solutions that enable participants to build an infrastructure that works for them, their business and their employees.

The Organization for Women Executives, a Los Angeles-based group of senior women business professionals, recently extended an invitation for membership in the organization to Jean Gonsoulin, principal of The Gonsoulin Group. The group, founded more than 40 years ago and made up of business leaders across corporate, academic, nonprofit and agency sectors, boasts some of the most powerful women in the city. OWE meets monthly for professional development, social gatherings and other networking events, and its meetings feature a diverse range of current topics presented by some of the most influential executives in the country. Jean joins this peer group of women who “are motivated to succeed in their careers and personal lives – and who possess the experience, education, and personal characteristics commensurate with the achievement of their goals.”

Counterintuitive Career Advice for PR and IR Pros: Going Solo May Be the Right Move in This Economy

Check out an article I wrote for the Bulldog Reporter on the wisdom of starting – and successfully running – your own business.