Ron DeFeo

 

Board of Advisors

Ron DeFeo was named vice president – Global Communications of American Airlines in August 2015. In this role, Ron oversees media relations, social media, employee communications, creative services, employee engagement and community relations for the airline.

Prior to joining American, Ron served as senior vice president – Communications for Darden Restaurants, where he led internal and external communications.  He was promoted to this role in 2014 after joining the company as vice president – Media Relations and External Affairs in January 2012.

Ron joined Darden from The Home Depot where he most recently served as senior director – Corporate Communications.  In this capacity, he was responsible for the creation and implementation of the company’s public relations and social media programs.  He joined The Home Depot in August 2003 as a public relations and community affairs regional lead. In June 2006, he was assigned to direct communications in support of the company’s issues management, crisis and legal work. He was promoted into the role of director – Corporate Communications in June 2007 before being named senior director three years later.

Prior to The Home Depot, Ron worked four years at the Atlanta office of Ketchum. He began his career at Cohn & Wolfe Atlanta.

Ron is a graduate of DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana where he earned a B.A. in Communication Arts & Sciences and completed the Media Fellows Honors Program. He holds an M.B.A. in Marketing and Management Information Systems from The Terry College of Business at The University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia.

Ron completed the Arthur W. Page Future Leaders Experience, a two-year leadership program for communications professionals, and formerly served as a member of the Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media board of external advisors at DePauw.  He serves on the board of advisors for The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and was a founding member of Page Up, the Arthur W. Page Society’s development organization for senior communications executives.  He is married and the father of two daughters.

 

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.