Wendy Kurtz, MBA, APR, CPRC
President and Founder
Wendy Kurtz is Founder and President of Elizabeth Charles & Associates, LLC, a business development firm that helps executives, authors and speakers build a business around their core expertise.
Billed as “the Empress of PR” by Mark Victor Hansen, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul publishing empire, Wendy has spent most of her career effectively promoting individuals, businesses and organizations in a variety of markets. An accredited professional and award-winning business expert with over 20 years of experience, Wendy works with clients to increase their bottom line through unique offerings, from published books and stage presentations to information products and signature events.
Named by the Orlando Business Journal as one of Central Florida's most influential people, Wendy is a skilled negotiator frequently applauded for her ability to devise win-win initiatives that result in increased exposure and/or substantial cost savings for her clients. Her talent for creating strategic partnerships has been recognized by her clients, colleagues and industry peers, many of whom credit Wendy with taking their business “to the next level.”
Throughout her career, Wendy has been extensively involved in leadership roles in her industry and the Central Florida community. She currently serves as a board member for Orlando, Inc. (formerly the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce), where she has also served as Vice President of Small Business for the Board of Governors, Chairman of the Small Business Chamber, Member of the Advisory Council for the Entrepreneurship Project, Founding Co-chair of the B.I.G. Summit (formerly the Central Florida Small Business Summit), and board member for the Leadership Orlando alumni association.
Wendy is Chair-elect of the Apopka Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Committee on Ministry for the Central Florida Presbytery. She is a past president of both the Public Relations Society of America’s Sunshine District and the Florida Public Relations Association’s Capital chapter and a past board member of the University of Central Florida alumni association.
Wendy holds her Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees in Business Administration. She is an accredited public relations professional (“APR”) and a certified public relations counselor (“CPRC”).
Highlights of just some of Wendy's extensive professional and community leadership and involvement include:
- Board of Directors, Orlando, Inc. (formerly the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce)
- Panelist, Inaugural Entrepreneur’s Academy
- Co-chair, 2008 Small Business Summit
- Member, Advisory Council for the Entrepreneurship Project
- Member, Board of Governors Executive Committee, Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Vice President, Small Business, Orlando Regional Chamber
- Past Chair, Orlando Regional Chamber's Small Business Chamber
- Member, Orlando Regional Chamber's Governance Task Force
- Member, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
- Past President, Public Relations Society of America's (PRSA) Sunshine District
- Past Chairman, PRSA Sunshine District QuickStart Leadership Training program
- Member, PRSA 2007 National Nominating Committee
- Member, Central Florida Presbytery Committee on Ministry
- Chairman-elect, Apopka Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
- Member, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Member, UCF Alumni Association
Master of Business Administration (MBA), Florida State University
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA), Marketing, University of Central Florida
Accreditations and Certifications
Accredited in Public Relations (APR), North American Public Relations Council
Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC), Florida Public Relations Association
An avid reader since childhood, Wendy is currently co-authoring Chicken Soup for the UCF Knight Soul with Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield and the UCF Alumni Association.
Wendy has shadowed local law enforcement, going to crime scenes and sitting in on suspect interviews, and even spent time with the medical examiner at a county morgue as part of her research for a homicide novel she is writing in her spare time. She loves rollerblading, traveling (anything involving the islands and a beach), and spending time with family and friends.
The family shares their home with their two beloved shelties: Rusty, whom they adopted from a sheltie rescue after she was abused then abandoned by her previous owner; and Faith, a puppy who truly knows the meaning of life - play hard, take frequent power naps, bark until you get attention and when you really want something, place your head on someone's lap and "look cute" so they easily succumb to your charm!