The Next Generation of Communicators Provide Inspiration

By Emily Grunder, Communications Specialist at CareSource and PRSA’s 2018 Young Professional of the Year

I am truly honored to have even been nominated to receive PRSA Dayton’s 2018 Young Professional of the Year award. There are so many deserving, young professionals in the Dayton area who are doing amazing work.
This award is a reflection not only of my work, but on the work of the people around me. They have spent so much time teaching me and mentoring me, and they’ve made me the professional I am. I’d like to acknowledge the Corporate Communications team at CareSource for their willingness to share their knowledge with me. I will carry that with me throughout my career.
In my role at CareSource, I’ve had the opportunity to work on communications that are highlighting the company’s involvement in our community. I’ve been able to create media advisories that tell the public where a free food distribution is or organize a media interview to discuss the impact of local nonprofits. As a Dayton native, I love working on projects that showcase the great things happening both at CareSource and in the City of Dayton.
I’ve had so many positive influences in my life that it would be impossible to name them all, but I have to especially acknowledge Jenny Michael. Since I first met her five years ago, Jenny has encouraged me to always find ways to improve. I have learned so much from working with her, and I am inspired by her example as a leader.
Of course, I also have to give my parents, Marty and Lisa Grunder, credit. From early on, they have encouraged me to go after my goals and they continue to support me in everything I do.
My best advice for other young professionals is to continue trying new things and take a few risks. Early in your career, it’s hard to know exactly what you want to do and new experiences help you identify what you enjoy. Learning about myself has been every bit as important as learning new skills at this point in my career.
I’m inspired by the generation of communicators that will come after me, and I know that I can make a difference for them just as so many people have for me. I will continue to be a resource for others who are just starting careers in marketing and communications because the more people we have helping each other, the better the industry as a whole becomes.


As the most junior member of the CareSource communications team, Emily Grunder already has demonstrated impressive leadership and wisdom far beyond her years. She began her career job shadowing for a week at CareSource, quickly moving into a paid internship opportunity, and ultimately being offered a full-time position before graduating. The rest is history. Emily now is a critical part of the team, offering her services on high profile projects such as preparing presentations for the executives to present to Congress, maximizing publicity around multi-state CareSource Foundation gifts, and pulling off a holiday miracle for the Cleveland area Boys and Girls Clubs. With a big heart for those in need, she now is a Big Sister through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. Her passion for the young doesn’t end there. Having been an intern herself, Emily supports new corporate interns through the company mentoring program and serves as a great example of how to transition into a full-time employee. 

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