Crystal Vogel

Crystal Vogel joined LFPR in October 2018 and earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Professional Communications with a minor in theatre from Georgia Southern University. She also completed a semester-long study abroad program in Siena, Italy studying travel writing, advanced composition, anthropology, and art history. At LFPR she works with writing and issuing news releases, design, media coverage evaluation, research, and social media management and content generation. Prior to joining the LFPR team, Crystal completed an internship with Mamie Ruth, a local clothing brand that is found nation-​wide, doing their PR, social media management, ​ event planning, content creation, and blog writing. ​

Allie Robinson

Allie Robinson was born and raised in Savannah, GA and joined LFPR in August 2020. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations from Georgia Southern University where she was an active member of the Public Relations Student Society of America and Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She also completed an internship with the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority where she managed their social media, wrote and distributed news releases, and organized events for the community. Allie enjoys going to the beach, trying new restaurants in town, watching The Food Network, and taking her dog Ace on walks. At LFPR she works with writing news releases, media coverage evaluation, research, social media management and content generation. ​ 

Krystin Fielding

Kristyn joined LFPR in 2016. She earned her Bachelor of Science in public relations and marketing from Georgia Southern University, where she was an active member of the Public Relations Student Society of America and co-host of a weekly radio show on WVGS 91.9 The Buzz. Kristyn currently serves on the Bryan County Bark Park Board of Directors and is a member of the Richmond Hill Kiwanis Club. She manages writing news releases and placing media coverage, client liaison, research, media coverage evaluation, client event coordination, and social media management and content generation at LFPR. ​ 

Hollie Barnidge

Hollie Barnidge holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri. She joined LFPR in 2015. Hollie has worked at a number of publications, including daily newspapers and lifestyle magazines, and served as a regional editor for Morris Multimedia Inc. for seven years. Through her time spent as a Main Street Program manager, Hollie amassed experience in small business and economic development, marketing, planning and preservation, design, and volunteer management.

Lesley Francis

Lesley Francis has over thirty years’ experience in public relations. British-born Lesley founded her first agency in London, England in 1998, and over nine years she grew it into the 14th-largest in the UK. After selling her business to a global media group in 2007, she ran their global PR division for two years until relocating to Savannah, Georgia, where she became a naturalized American citizen. Lesley set up LFPR in 2011, and the agency has grown every year through its “can-do” attitude and the team’s ability to design and execute integrated campaigns that target the right audiences and key influencers. This approach provides LFPR’s clients with a solid and ​measurable return on investment.​ 



MACON, GA. – December 7, 2021 – Beyond The Bell Macon-Bibb County has partnered with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office to host the “What To Do when You See Blue” town hall event at 11 a.m. Saturday, January 22 at Glorious Hope Baptist Church, located at 3805 Napier Ave. Macon, Ga. 31204. Law enforcement and leaders of the Macon-Bibb community will inform attendees about what to expect and the processes of getting stopped by a police officer with advice on what to do.

Lt. Reggie Thomas of the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office will be the featured speaker for the event and will be joined by Judy Gordon, Neighborhood Watch Coordinator for the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, and Jeremy Grissom, Safety Net Project Specialist for the Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office. There will be a Q&A session with all three speakers following the event and lunch will be provided to attendees as well as free information materials.

“It can be intimidating for citizens, especially youth, to interact with law enforcement due to a lack of understanding and trust. The goal of this free town hall event is to encourage honest conversation and positive interactions between law enforcement and the citizens of Macon-Bibb County,” said Executive Director Sandra Dean. “We are thrilled to be working with the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office to inform our community’s youth about what to do when they interact with law enforcement.”

Beyond The Bell, along with the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) provides tools and evidence-based strategies to train, educate, and support youth and families in the prevention of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco use and abuse.

Beyond The Bell offers programs to the community including the “Botvin Life Skills Training”, which consists of a 7-week groundbreaking substance abuse and violence prevention program which is designed to promote mental health and positive youth development. They also implement the “Positive Social Norms” campaign which focuses on the fact that people’s behavior often is influenced by their perceptions of what is “normal” or “typical.” The problem is that people usually severely misperceive the typical behaviors or attitudes of their peers. For example, if people believe that the majority of their peers drink, then they are more likely to drink. Using social norms marketing to inform people that most of their peers do not drink can potentially lead them to avoid drinking.

For more information about Beyond The Bell and its programs/resources, please visit

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For media inquiries, please contact Lesley Francis at, Allie Robinson at or 912-547-3100 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).



SAVANNAH, GA. – Dec. 6, 2021 – Throughout the month of November, Savannah Classical Academy (SCA) students collected canned food for America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia Food Bank. SCA accumulated 2,723 pounds of food, which equates to 2,269 meals for families in need. SCA’s donation is the largest amount of food collected by any school in Savannah this year.

“We are so proud of our students for their dedication in leading this food drive for our local Second Harvest Food Bank,” said Barry Lollis, CEO of SCA. “Ms. Pando’s third grade class deserves special recognition for collecting the largest amount of food items.”

According to studies from the Georgia Department of Education and Feeding America, 175,540 residents in Coastal Georgia, including more than 45,090 children, are at-risk for hunger. Last year, Second Harvest food bank provided more than 19.8 million meals (more than 25.5 million pounds of food) to hungry people in our area. Support from the community and collaboration with partners, like SCA, make it possible for the organization to reach those in need.

Established in 1981 in Savannah Georgia, America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia is a locally inspired, volunteer driven nonprofit food bank and community partnering organization. Second Harvest serves as the food safety net for tens of thousands of children, senior citizens, low-income families, and people with disabilities who are at risk for hunger throughout Southern Georgia.

It is the philosophy of Savannah Classical Academy that all students benefit from a rigorous, content-rich, educational program that develops academic potential and personal character. The school provides an environment that fosters academic excellence through the habits of thoroughness, the willingness to work, and the perseverance to complete difficult tasks. Through a defined traditional, Classical-Liberal curriculum, students are prepared to become active, responsible members of their community.

For more information about Savannah Classical Academy, please visit

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at or 229-393-6457, Lesley Francis at or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).



SAVANNAH, GA – December 6, 2021 – The Center for Education Integrating Science Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC) has been awarded just under $1 million in funding by the Georgia Department of Education through their BOOST Grant Program. This grant will be allocated over three years and will specifically enable Georgia Tech-Savannah to extend access to their Saturday STEM/STEAMlabs and summer programs to rural Georgia communities and students who qualify for free/reduced lunch. The funding will help K-12 students overcome barriers to participation including registration cost, food, and transportation. Georgia Tech-Savannah campus offers high-quality and uniquely themed programs for K-12 students that are designed to inspire and enrich curiosity and enthusiasm for science, mathematics, engineering, art, and technology. Students can have fun while learning through experiments, hands-on activities, creative projects, and more.

The BOOST grant was applied for by Sirocus Barnes, CEISMC Student Programs Director at the Georgia Tech-Atlanta campus and Timothy Cone, CEISMC Program Director at the Georgia Tech-Savannah campus.  Around 25% of the funding will be allocated to the Savannah campus each year to enable rural students from counties such as Bryan, Effingham, Liberty, and Evans to participate in summer and Saturday programs. Students from throughout coastal Georgia who qualify for free/reduced lunch can also apply to participate. BOOST grants are allocated over three-years and renewed annually, to support community-based organizations that operate comprehensive out-of-school time (OST) programming year-round, over the summer months, or after school during the academic year. The goal is to provide evidence-based afterschool and summer enrichment programs that target learning acceleration and support whole child development. This grant is sponsored by the Georgia Department of Education through Georgia’s American Rescue Plan education allocation and administered in partnership with the Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network.

“We are very excited to have been awarded this grant and bring in students who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to attend. Our programs are designed for students in 3rd-12th grade who are interested in discovering more about science, technology, engineering, and math through our applied and project-based learning. We hope to spark new interest and creativity within every student and look forward to expanding our impact,” said Timothy Cone, CEISMC Program Director at the Georgia Tech-Savannah campus.

Programs take place at the Georgia Tech-Savannah campus, 210 Technology Circle Savannah, Georgia 31407. Campus adheres to all COVID-19 policies and procedures in accordance with safety guidelines from local, state, and federal health officials.

For more information about CEISMC and these programs, please visit

For more information on the Georgia Tech-Savannah campus, please visit


Georgia Tech-Savannah provides educational experiences for learners of all ages. Our multitude of learning platforms are tailored to meet the needs of a diverse population, from working professionals pursuing career development and those seeking specific certifications to children eager to explore and discover. Georgia Tech-Savannah’s professional education, training and military programs encourages participants to challenge themselves and meet goals by sharpening existing skills and picking up valuable new ones. We’re proud to bring cutting-edge technology, applied research capabilities and innovation to the Coastal Empire, where our campus also serves as a home for various Georgia Tech affiliates, institutes, and centers. To learn more, visit us at




RICHMOND HILL, GA – December 6, 2021 – Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church would like to celebrate the season of Christmas with the community by inviting them to their midweek Advent events at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 8 and 15, as well as their Christmas Eve service on December 24 at 7 p.m.

Spirit of Peace’s Advent services will combine their traditional Advent worship service with their Bible study group, “Faith Builders,” which includes a free dinner followed by a delightful music worship service called Holden Evening Prayer. The homilies will focus on how God’s prophets can help everyone get ready for Christmas. The Christmas Eve service involves guests singing their favorite Christmas carols, sharing Communion, and will conclude by singing Silent Night in candlelight.

“The advent season is put in place to remind everyone of the true meaning of the holidays. We aim to make our worship time feel bonded, like we are one community, and we invite people – Lutheran or not – to join us in praise,” Pastor Devin Strong said. “Our church relishes the Christmas spirit, so our advent and Christmas Eve services full of joy and song is not to be missed!”

The community is welcome to attend all services but should contact the church administrator at to reserve a space and learn about the required safety protocols.

For more information on Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church, please visit

Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church’s mission is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through ministry, promoting a lifestyle of worship and loving service through word and prayer so that all of God’s children will know Christ’s transforming joy.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at or 912-272-8651 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).




By Lesley Francis


Like most people, I have my strengths and weaknesses.  Regrettably, a good sense of direction is not something I am blessed with.  I was reminded of this the other day when my voice activated GPS refused to understand my English accent, so I had to park the car and enter the address I wanted manually.   I could write an entire column on my own personal challenges with standardized American Voice Recognition Technology here in the US.  I have actually had to resort to handing the phone to my husband or another nearby American accent to get an automated telephone operator to understand what I want!  Now that I think about it, sometimes I have a similar situation at say a fast food drive up window where a human Georgian is having similar troubles understanding me.

Anyway, back to my poor sense of direction. As I was born in the late 1960s, I am very much of the generation that was taught and then relied heavily on map reading as a skill. I remember in the early days of my career asking for directions to be faxed to me so I could carefully follow them when heading to a meeting or conference.  In fact, I had a glove box stuffed full of these faxes as handy reference material on how to get to my client’s offices.  I also had a substantial size collection of maps, especially the famous ‘London A to Z’ (pronounced ‘zed’ not ‘zee’) which showed every one of the thousands of tiny streets and alleys across London, my then- home city of almost 10 million people! 

Of course, the invention and utilization of the Global Positioning System (GPS) has changed the world completely.  Did you know that the Global Positioning System was invented by the U.S. Department of Defense (D.O.D) and the brilliant physicist and electronics engineer Ivan Getting?  Getting was the NYC-born son of Slovak immigrant parents who showed a real talent for science and engineering at an early age.  While serving as the vice president of research and engineering at the Raytheon Corporation during the 1950s, he advanced the concept of using an advanced system of satellites to allow the calculation of exquisitely precise positioning data for rapidly moving vehicles, ranging from cars to missiles. 

Originally called Navstar, today the GPS is a satellite-based system owned by the United States government and operated by the United States Space Force. It provides geolocation and time information to GPS receivers anywhere on Earth provided that the receiver has an unobstructed line of sight to at least four of its satellites. The GPS does not require the receiving device to transmit any data, and it operates independently of the internet. 

Although the United States government maintains and controls the system, it is currently freely available to anyone with a GPS receiver.  However, the US government has at times only provided what they call “selective availability”, such as during a war when they have denied access to one or the other sides.  This has led to other countries developing their own similar technologies, and today Russian has their Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS), China has it’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, India has NavIC, Japan has QZSS, and the European Union has Galileo.

Back in the UK and Europe, we usually refer in general terms to our Galileo system as ‘satellite navigation’ or simply ‘SAT-NAV’.  This system is under civilian control, and since Brexit the UK’s participation in the program has become far too complicated to cover in this modest column.

So today every smart phone and modern car comes equipped with the amazing function of a voice directing you to your destination of choice.  But is our reliance on this technology (and others) contributing to the dumbing down of society? Have we been lulled into a false sense of security by the reassuring voice of our GPS telling us when to turn right or left, without enough consideration of what is actually around us?  An online search shows funny and tragic real life examples of how people depended so thoroughly on this technology that observation and common sense get thrown out of the window.  A funny one example involves a busload of schoolkids in the UK who wanted to visit Buckingham Palace for the day, but satnav was asked to take them to Buckingham Place, which was a tiny apartment building in a bad neighborhood! The more tragic tales generally involve drivers paying more attention to their GPS than the real road conditions around them and driving into other traffic, or off the end of closed bridges, and the like.  Rangers at Death Valley National Park in California see problems resulting from a lack of awareness of real-world conditions so often that they have a name for it: “Death by GPS”. 

There is a lot more information from the Smithsonian Institute at and also at

I say goodbye this week with a quote from Swedish author Fredrik Backman, which for some reason amuses my husband!  “Your grandma always had a terrible sense of direction. She could get lost on an escalator.”

God Bless America!

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Lesley grew up in London, England and made Georgia her home in 2009.  She can be contacted at  or via her PR and marketing agency at