Truth: I Wasn’t Expecting This.

Truth: I Wasn’t Expecting This.

by Mayra Vasquez Chavez, PR Executive at 10 to 1 PR

Let’s play a quick game of two truths and a lie:

  • I was the first person in my family to go to college
  • I have been in the same room as First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden
  • I helped secure over 50 local broadcast and print features for one announcement in under 48 hours

Could you guess the lie? I’m sure you’ll get it by the end of your reading.

Since joining 10 to 1 PR just over one year ago, I’ve gotten to support or lead campaigns that make a positive impact on our clients across the country. Seeing the results has always been my favorite part of the job. I knew it was going to be no different when Intel and Maricopa County Community Colleges District partnered together to build a skilled, diverse workforce through their new semiconductor manufacturing Quick Start program at Mesa Community College. Through the accelerated program, students are prepared with important career-ready skills in two weeks.

I felt especially connected to this project because I’ve experienced the benefits of community college firsthand. When I was in first grade, I got to see my older sister walk across the stage and get her diploma. She was the first person in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree because community college made it possible for her to get there. I even sacrificed my summers during high school to take classes at Chandler Gilbert Community College and earn credit through a scholarship program so it would also be possible for me to earn my bachelor’s degree. Community colleges deserve more credit (no pun intended) for their affordability and accessibility.

During our previous meetings it was decided that the press release announcing the program would be ready for distribution in late March. But suddenly late Friday afternoon, we learned the process had to be rushed through because an extremely special guest came into the mix. Here’s a hint: She’s the most famous community college professor and married to the President of the United States of America.

Although I always feel confident in my talent and writing skills, I would be lying if I said I was not absolutely terrified of sharing my draft with Intel and MCCCD which would also be reviewed by the press team at the White House. 

Before the White House sent their formal invitation to media later in the night, I was tasked with calling every station in Arizona and highly recommending that they should set aside a crew for Monday afternoon for an event they would not want to miss… without revealing exactly what or who that was. Saturday was filled with editing the release and getting closer to a final version to be distributed on Monday after the event. I also got to attend a meeting working through the logistics on Sunday. Because of the late weekend notice, I called stations again Sunday morning to ensure they did not miss this incredible opportunity. I also worked closely with other PR teams to assist with media who wanted to RSVP after the deadline or did not receive the information they need to get to attend. 

When the day of the event finally arrived, I was tasked with helping check in media and continue editing the draft. Finally, after numerous versions we had our finished product hours before the distribution was set to happen. Lastly, I got to witness Jill Biden’s empowering speech and hear Intel’s Quick Start program be announced to the world live before finally distributing the release and images moments after.

If you told me a year ago that I would write a press release for one of the biggest companies in the world, I would not believe you. If you told me a year ago that I would be in the same room as the First Lady of the United States promoting her involvement at a media event I helped coordinate, I would also not believe you. But after March 7th, I can now say that both statements are indeed true and the experience was incredible.

And now I have a fun ice breaker at parties!

A Passion for Storytelling: Michelle Bolden of 10 to 1 PR

A Passion for Storytelling: Michelle Bolden of 10 to 1 PR


In this series, we flip the script and put 10 to 1 PR team members in the interview seat. Get to know Michelle Bolden, PR Coordinator at 10 to 1 PR:

Tell us a little about yourself.

I recently graduated from Arizona State University with my BA in Communication. Creative expression is my safe space so naturally I’ve always loved writing and storytelling. Some of my passions are music, health and wellness, and trying new things.

What song would you sing during karaoke?

Emotions by Mariah Carey

What is your favorite way to spend a day off?

I’m a self care enthusiast so I would say doing activities that make me feel happy and recharged like practicing yoga, spending time in nature, reading, and listening to music.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Bubbly, determined, caring, detail-oriented, imaginative.

If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?

I would like to have the ability to teleport. That way I could skip the traffic to work and go to Paris for my lunch break.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Slow down and savor all the tiny moments because they make up some of the best parts of your life.

Connect with Michelle on LinkedIn or michelle@10to1pr.com.

Staff Goals for 2022…

Staff Goals for 2022…


With 2021 coming to a close, members of the 10 to 1 Public Relations team respond to the question, ‘What are some personal and professional goals or wishes for 2022?’

Professionally, I want to take better advantage of the opporutnity I’ve been given to write columns for Entrepreneur Magazine. While I submitted several in 2021, I’d love to get ahead and write even more in 2022. Personally, I’d love to get back into the habit of playing my guitar more regularly. I’ve been playing since I was ten, and while I never have been particularly good- I always enjoy strumming a few cords.

Josh Weiss, President

Professionally I hope to continue to forge great bonds with my coworkers! Personally, I hope to find more time for drawing so that I can improve my skills.

Mackenzie Nintzel, PR Coordinator
Joanne and Smriti in the office

Professional wish: I would like to put more effort into keeping up with the news. So much is changing daily in Arizona’s business landscape that new opportunties can be found every day. Personal wish: I’d like to spend more time outside. We live in a beautiful region that can be enjoyed all year long and I aim to take better advantage of the weather.

Laura Slawny, PR Director

Professionally to attend more career development events and opportunities to learn more about my clients’ industries. Personally my wish is to read for fun!

Rachael Clifford, PR Executive
Eirca, Josh and Mackenzie hold some recent awards earned in 2021

Professionally I want to continue learning and indentifying new, creative story angles. There are so many ways to tell a story and I want to be able to explore all the possibilities for our clients. Personally, I want to continue letting my family and friends know how lucky I am o have them in my life, but also to make more big life changes on my own like finishing paying off my car, move into my own place, and travel more (and also to hang my clothes/put laundry away immediately!).

Mayra Vasquez-Chavez, PR Coordinator

Knitting it All Together: Rachael Clifford of 10 to 1 PR

Knitting it All Together: Rachael Clifford of 10 to 1 PR


In this series, we flip the script and put 10 to 1 PR team members in the interview seat. Get to know Rachael Clifford, PR Executive at 10 to 1 PR:

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Rachael, and I’m a PR Executive at 10 to 1 PR. I’m curious and enjoy learning what makes others unique, two qualities I think make me well-suited for a career in PR. I graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Strategic Communications, PR and Advertising. Before I joined 10 to 1, I interned and worked at various nonprofits in many marketing roles, but I always found myself most at home in a PR function. I like the variety of team members, clients, and industries I get to work with at 10 to 1. Every day is a new day!

Rachael (center) with some 10 to 1 PR team members
What is one lesson you’ve learned from your time in PR? 

Doing a SWOT analysis, a quick one or a deep one, will help you better understand a situation and will help you determine the best course of action. You can’t always control a situation, but you do have agency over your response.

What is your favorite way to spend a day off?

Going on a morning hike and then coming home to knit and watch the Great British Baking Show.

What song would you sing during karaoke? 

I think singing any ABBA song would guarantee a good time.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given? 

Don’t overthink it. I’m the type of person who is all about the details, and I like to think through my next steps always, but sometimes it’s necessary to zoom out and go with my instincts.

If you had a superpower, what would it be and why? 

I would want to be able to speak any language. I’d love to be able to go anywhere in the world and be able to converse with people. Language also encodes a lot about culture, and many barriers would vanish if we took the time to understand where another person is coming from. 

Connect with Rachael on LinkedIn or rachael@10to1pr.com.

Media Maven: Mackenzie Nintzel of 10 to 1 PR

Media Maven: Mackenzie Nintzel of 10 to 1 PR


In this series, we flip the script and put 10 to 1 PR team members in the interview seat. Get to know Mackenzie Nintzel, PR Coordinator at 10 to 1 PR:

Tell us a little about yourself.

Hi there, my name is Mackenzie and as of August of 2021, I have been a PR Coordinator at 10 to 1 Public Relations. I became interested in public relations due to my love for hearing about others’ passions and using my writing abilities to be able to translate them into words through press releases and articles. I graduated summa cum laude from NAU with a degree in Strategic Communications with an emphasis in public relations as well as a minor in Cinema Studies. I have a big love for all media including movies, music, and video games and have always thrown myself neck deep into every interest I’ve ever had which now extends to my career in PR at 10 to 1!

What is your favorite thing about your career in PR?

I love working collaboratively with a team and getting to learn from others every day. The whole team at 10 to 1 has different backgrounds and experiences that I love being able to hear about and learn from as I find my place in the PR industry.

What is your favorite way to spend a day off?

I love to draw and wish I had more time to do it. So, when I do have a day off, I let all the inspiration I have bubbling up inside me from the week manifest by drawing. There is something really special about having a hobby that has such visible results to make my day feel productive.

What is your favorite movie?

My favorite movie is Ex Machina! I love stories that keep me guessing and have a lot of mystery surrounding them and this movie does that type of suspense perfectly.

Who inspires you?

Both of my parents inspire me daily. My dad has worked in the public relations field for my entire life and has been extremely helpful through my journey in college while my mom helps me learn life lessons by sharing her own experiences for me to grow from. They both show me what real kindness and love look like every day and I am forever grateful to them for all that they have done for me as I’ve grown into a young adult.

If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?

Teleportation. I would love to travel more than I’ve gotten the chance to, and I would love to make it even easier by being able to be anywhere I wanted instantaneously.

Connect with Mackenzie on LinkedIn or mackenzie@10to1pr.com.

Pilates & Publicity: Joanne Sgro-Killworth of 10 to 1 PR

Pilates & Publicity: Joanne Sgro-Killworth of 10 to 1 PR


In this series, we flip the script and put 10 to 1 PR team members in the interview seat. Get to know Joanne Sgro-Killworth, Sr. PR Executive at 10 to 1 PR:

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am Joanne and my passions are Pilates and publicity. I have an amazing family. We are blessed with kids who are great at sports and the arts. I have 20+ fitness certifications and love to sing. I also have a secret love of 80’s hairband rock.

Joanne with her Emmy
What is your most memorable PR experience?

Having a client live on CNBC from the NYSE.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Winning an Emmy and being on the cover of Women’s World Magazine.

What is something on your bucket list?

To sing with my daughter on stage.

What song would you sing during karaoke?

Dancing Queen

What is your favorite movie?

Moonstruck

What is your favorite book?

How to Clean and Care for Practically Anything

What is one way to instantly make your day?

Getting Starbucks

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Dynamic, social, inclusive, diplomatic, understanding

If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?

To teleport so I can see my parents more often.

Connect with Joanne on LinkedIn or joanne@10to1pr.com.

10 to 1 PR is Thankful For…

10 to 1 PR is Thankful For…


To celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, members of the 10 to 1 Public Relations team respond to the question, ‘What are you thankful for this year?’

I’m grateful for the personal life achievements and collective health of my family, as well as my work family! Even with all the challenges related to the pandemic, we continue to thrive and support each other in our efforts! Oh, and I’m also thankful for coffee.

Josh Weiss, President

I am thankful for my family who have supported me through this past year as I finished up my bachelor’s degree and started my career with 10to1!

Mackenzie Nintzel, PR Coordinator
Mayra, Mackenzie, and Rachael at the 10 to 1 PR office

I am thankful for all the individuals on our wonderful team at 10 to 1 PR who bring positive and creative ideas every day to help one another so we can be our very best for all our clients.

Laura Slawny, PR Director

This year I’m thankful for my good health, joining an amazing PR team, and being able to see my loved ones in person for Thanksgiving.

Michelle Bolden, PR Coordinator

I’m thankful for my family’s/my sister Aimee’s dog named Marla. She keeps me company on my work from home days and she gives me an excuse to go on a walk.

Rachael Clifford, PR Executive
Marla the Dog

I am so thankful for the incredible year I’ve had. I got to travel to new places, landed my dream job, and made special memories with my family and friends.

Mayra Vasquez-Chavez, PR Coordinator

I am thankful for my children and husband, who put a smile on my face everyday. I am also thankful that I was finally able to visit my parents and siblings this year.

Joanne Sgro-Killworth, SR. PR Executive

I moved to Arizona this year and I am very thankful to everyone who supported me and made me feel welcome. I am grateful for a healthy work environment, great team, wonderful clients, and the super nice journalists who make me want to do better professionally, every day. From the best bunch of PR nerds – Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Smriti Shakargaye, PR Executive

I am thankful for my health, the health of my family and friends, and for my sister’s Thanksgiving mashed potatoes.

Erica Fetherston, PR & Ops Manager

10 to 1 Public Relations Wins 2021 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics

10 to 1 Public Relations (10 to 1 PR), a Scottsdale-based strategic communications firm, was named the winner in their category at the Better Business Bureau Pacific Southwest region’s 2021 BBB Torch Awards for Ethics. The award, presented on November 17th at an awards ceremony held at the Waldorf Astoria’s Arizona Biltmore Resort, honors top greater Arizona businesses for ethics and integrity.

“We want our employees, customers, partners, and members of the media to trust us, which allows us to do our jobs most effectively and efficiently,” said Josh Weiss, President and founder of 10 to 1 Public Relations. “Winning the BBB Torch Award for Ethics is a true honor and testament to the integrity and excellent work our team does every day.”

Finalists were selected by an independent panel of volunteer community leaders based on criteria established by the International Association of Better Business Bureaus. It is the organization’s highest award designed to highlight outstanding ethical businesses.

“Honesty builds trust, which is a vital aspect in the success of a business. For 19 years, BBB has been recognizing outstanding companies in Greater Arizona for their solid commitment to doing things the right way and we are so proud of our 2021 winning businesses,” said Shelley Bradley, Director of Signature Events at BBB Serving the Pacific Southwest.

All finalists completed an evaluation where they demonstrated their commitment to ethics and trust in four categories: Character, Culture, Customers, and Community. Finalists also illustrated the character of their organization’s leadership, how an authentic culture is being fostered, how the company prioritizes its relationship with customers, and the impact the organization is making in their community.

10 to 1 PR received high marks in all categories for its efforts to build a team culture where everyone supports each other; investing heavily in the professional development of its employees; a ‘No Jerks’ policy that applies to both team members and clients; transparent and honest client communications and media relations; and supporting the local community with in-kind services.

Weiss added, “We’ve been fortunate to win several industry PR awards over the years, but this award from the Better Business Bureau is special since it’s based on more than the results we achieve for our clients, but how those results are achieved.”

10 to 1 PR has built a diverse clientele of businesses across the U.S. and the globe from numerous industries including financial, health and wellness, professional services, real estate, manufacturing, mechanical and construction, technology, and transportation. The company collaborates with each client to develop a custom strategic communications plan built around achieving the client’s desired results.

Laura Slawny of 10 to 1 PR Admitted to Global Leadership Academy

Laura Slawny of 10 to 1 PR Admitted to Global Leadership Academy


Nine-month Program Provides Participants with Access to a World-class, One-of-a-kind Educational Opportunity 

10 to 1 Public Relations, a strategic communications firm serving clients in varied industries such as healthcare, technology, transportation, finance, and more, has announced that Laura Slawny has been accepted into a leadership development program for emerging PR and marketing professionals in IPREX, a premier global communications network of independent, partner agencies with 1,220 staff and 110 offices worldwide.

Laura Slawny, 10 to 1 PR’s Director of Public Relations

Slawny, Director of Public Relations at 10 to 1 PR, is one of 18 members in the inaugural class of IPREX Academy, a nine-month program that exposes participants to top industry practitioners and seasoned agency principals from the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific as they engage in international staff exchanges, a mentoring program and robust course modules that delve into subjects beyond marketing and communications, providing holistic business management skills. 

“IPREX Academy harnesses the expertise of both members and outside experts to build a unique professional development opportunity for agency professionals who have been recognized as emerging leaders,” said Alexandra Mayhew, IPREX Executive Director. “The seasoned professionals and independent agencies that make up IPREX represent some of the world’s foremost brands, so tapping into that experience is powerful and provides participants with diverse perspectives and learnings that have extremely relevant applications. We are thrilled to have Laura as part of our inaugural class.”

A former television reporter, news producer, and executive producer, Slawny is a gifted storyteller that has earned numerous awards including four regional Emmy awards and the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award. Most recently, Slawny worked as a publicist for another firm where she earned noteworthy local, regional, industry, and national coverage for clients’ media coverage and is excited to bring these talents to assist our clients. Slawny joined 10 to 1 PR in 2018 and was recently promoted to Director of Public Relations to oversee the company’s strategies and direction in serving clients across multiple industries and markets.  

“IPREX Academy has been an eye-opening experience for me, as over the last few years, I’ve learned to leverage my extensive journalism career to generate successful public relations campaigns and initiatives,” said Slawny. “I look forward to applying what I learn in the Academy to support 10 to 1 PR’s continued growth into new industries and markets.”

IPREX received applications from all over the map – from Washington State to New York, from Ireland to Tokyo – for its inaugural class and has tapped more than two dozen experts from different regions of the world to deliver the Academy’s curriculum.

In addition to the IPREX Academy course modules – which encompass business strategy, financial management, leadership skills, and sessions on the importance of diversity and cross-cultural communications – the program offers Academy members a dedicated session in IPREX’s annual Emerging Leaders Conference; a mentoring program; international staff exchange; a global group project; and virtual social meetups, which can range from coffee chats to happy hours depending on participant time zone.

Upon completion of the leadership program, participants will receive IPREX Academy accreditation. Mayhew added: “Dynamic learning opportunities such as this are increasingly valuable as communications and marketing professionals navigate a rapidly evolving and extremely competitive industry. We’re thrilled to launch this unique leadership development opportunity to help keep our members ahead of the competition.”

About 10 to 1 Public Relations

For nearly a decade 10 to 1 Public Relations (10 to 1 PR) has been offering public relations services that are targeted, compelling, and achieve our clients’ goals. 10 to 1 PR’s creative plans and messages are distinctive and memorable with original, highly relevant approaches to storytelling that break through the noise and grab the attention of media outlets and target audiences. 10 to 1 PR offers a variety of services including media relations, product launches, crisis communication management, awards submissions, trade show media, and more. Learn more about 10 to 1 PR’s extensive services and success stories at 10to1pr.com.

About IPREX

IPREX is a $420 million network of communication agencies, with 1,220 staff and 110 offices worldwide working across the spectrum of industry sectors and practice disciplines. For more information or to connect with an IPREX partner agency throughout the world, visit iprex.com