#PPRA Member Monday: Denise Spillane

Denise Spillanean , award-winning integrated marketer, has served as VP, Marketing and Communications at StayWell/Krames since 2018.

Denise Spillane is an award-winning integrated marketer, possessing 20+ years of experience serving diverse healthcare-focused businesses ranging from global Fortune 500 companies and not-for-profit, community-based healthcare providers. Board certified in health care management from the American College of Healthcare Executives, Denise holds a level 5 certification from the Pragmatic Marketing Institute. She received her MBA from Widener University and holds a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing from Emerson College. She is proud to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for One House at a Time and the Beds for Kids program.

PPRA: Who are your clients and/or what are you working on right now?
DS: I’ve served as VP, Marketing and Communications at StayWell/Krames, a 40-year-old provider of patient acquisition, education, and experience technology and solutions, since 2018. We were acquired by WebMD and rebranded in 2020, so now my team and I are focused on building out our new brand.

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?
DS: The pace & the people! It’s energizing to compete in a market like healthcare, which is constantly evolving and adapting due to internal and external forces. Our competitive set is diverse and never resting, which keeps us on our toes. And, then I think of healthcare clients, and their resilience and heroism fuels me to deliver for them. And it doesn’t hurt that I have the privilege of leading a very talented and scrappy team of marketing, design, and communications pros who have me laughing and learning all day.

PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?
DS: Every day – but especially in times like these – hold yourself accountable for the energy that you bring into a room. It’s an intense time for everyone right now, and, people will remember how you made them and others feel for far, far longer than they will recall your latest professional achievement.

PPRA: What is your favorite spot in Philly (museum, park, store, etc.)?
DS: Race Street Pier will also have my heart, since that’s where my husband & I shot our engagement photos. Lately, we are spending a lot of time at the newly opened Columbus Square Dog Park with our labradoodle puppy, Quincy.

PPRA: If you weren’t in PR, what profession do you see yourself in and why?
If I weren’t in this field, I could see myself in the field of sociology or social research. I am fascinated by different subcultures and the impact on language, symbols, fashion, and more.

PPRA: Favorite Philly food?
DS: Oh, the ever-polarizing Irish potato candy. Growing up outside of Boston with strong Irish roots, I had never heard of this tasty treat before moving to Philly in 2007. Now, every March, I’m on a hunt to find the best ones.

Remembering A Beloved PPRA Member: Sally Berlin


The Philadelphia Public Relations Association has lost a long-time and beloved member of its family. We are saddened to announce that Sally Berlin has passed away this past weekend on Saturday, October, 25th. Sally, a well-known PR pro in the Philadelphia area, served as PPRA’s President in 1976-77. She was one of the first women to become inducted into the PPRA Hall of Fame in 1986.

Sally stood only 4 feet, 10 inches tall but was known as a PR giant and ageless dynamo by those who knew her. She cherished the Philadelphia Public Relations Association, making it a high priority to attend PPRA programs. She eagerly volunteered her time and demonstrated her passion for the public relations industry by sharing her influential and creative ideas to help boost a city in which she loved, the city of Philadelphia.

Aside from her affiliation with PPRA, Sally worked hard to expand the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia, (PAL). Working as an adviser for PAL well into her 90s, Sally raised millions of dollars for the non-profit corporation throughout her career.

Sandy Harris, Senior Development Coordinator and Auction Manager at PAL as well as a long-time colleague and friend of Sally’s highlighted her powerful personality in a tribute post on the Philly PAL blog.“Working with Sally and getting to know her is something that I will always treasure.  I learned so much from seeing her in action.  If she called you in regard to a donation and you didn’t call her back, you can bet she would persistently call you until you told her when she could expect the check.  She never took no for an answer and knew how to make everyone she talked to feel special.”

“In all the years I had the privilege of knowing Sally, I never heard her say an unkind word about anyone. In fact, she saw the best in everyone and became their champion, spreading the word about their talents and achievements,” said Gloria Hochman.

Dan Cirucci reminisced on Sally’s unstoppable can-do attitude in a tribute post on his personal blog. “She was also a pioneer — part of a generation of women who broke through the glass ceiling before anyone even knew what the glass ceiling was. And then she went on to mentor countless others. She did it all without a second thought. In fact, it probably never occurred to her that anything could stop her — and nothing ever did.”

We have truly lost an extraordinary individual and vibrant personality. Sally will be missed by all that were lucky enough to cross path’s with such a genuine person.