Board of Advisors


Summer 2015 Meeting

The Board of Advisors of The Plank Center consists of leading academics and practitioners who provide counsel, direction and oversight to the Center regarding strategic plans and programs to support its leadership mission. Current members of the Board are:

Dr. Nilanjana R. Bardhan, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Dr. Bruce Berger, University of Alabama

Joanne Bischmann, Harley-Davidson

Keith Burton, Grayson Emmett Partners, LLC

Bridget Coffing, Emeritus McDonald’s Corporation

Ron Culp, Culp & Co.; DePaul University

Ron DeFeo, American Airlines

Ellen East, Emeritus Time Warner Cable

Emma Finkbeiner, PRSSA National President

Pat Ford, Burson-Marsteller; University of Florida

Dr. Karla Gower, University of Alabama

Mark Harris, IBM

Bill Heyman, Heyman Associates

Julia Hood, formerly, Haymarket Media

Rick Looser, Cirlot Agency

Dr. Diana Martinelli, West Virginia University

Gary McCormick, GMc Communications

Dr. Mark Nelson, University of Alabama

Daniel O’Donnell, Brunswick Group

Dr. Bryan Reber, University of Georgia

Maria Russell, Syracuse University

Kevin Saghy, Chicago Cubs

Alicia Thompson, Porter Novelli

Rick White, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill


Dr. E. Culpepper Clark, University of Georgia

Dr. Linda Hon, University of Florida

Andre Taylor, Alagasco



John W. “Jack” Felton

John “Jack” Koten

Betsy Plank


Our Mission

The Plank Center’s mission is to help develop and recognize outstanding diverse public relations leaders, role models and mentors to advance ethical public relations in an evolving, global society. The Center works to achieve its mission by:

Advancing knowledge of leadership values and skills in the profession;

Supporting research, teaching, service, and professional educational efforts that help develop diverse, responsible and trustworthy leaders;

Bridging the interests and vision of the practice and education; and

Collaborating with other groups and associations to nurture the ethical and effective practice of public relations.