Previous Honorees

The following mentors were honored at the Milestones in Mentoring Banquet at the Union League Club of Chicago.


  • LegacyGinger Hardage, senior vice president emeritus, culture & communications, Southwest Airlines Co.
  • ExecutiveDr. Stuart R. Bell, president, The University of Alabama
  • CorporateJoe Evangelisti, chief communications officer, worldwide corporate communications & media relations, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • AgencyAedhmar Hynes, chief executive officer, Text100 Global Communications
  • Young ProfessionalJesse Salazar, vice president, content design, Council on Foundations

In addition to honoring five dynamic leaders, the Center awarded its first-ever Betsy Plank Award. The award is a special recognition for lifetime efforts in mentoring and leading. Honoring those who have shaped the future, the award recognizes the dedication and impact of individuals who have fostered relationships with their organization, community and profession.

  • Betsy Plank Mentorship AwardRalph Campagna, executive director, Off the Street Club in Chicago


  • LegacyTom Hoog, vice chairman, Hill+Knowlton Strategies
  • ExecutiveHeide Gardner, senior vice president, chief diversity and inclusion officer, Interpublic Group
  • CorporateDave Samson, general manager, public affairs, Chevron Corporation
  • AgencyBarri Rafferty, senior partner and CEO, North America, Ketchum
  • EducatorDr. Glen T. Cameron, professor, University of Missouri
  • Young ProfessionalDanny Rubin, vice president, Rubin Communications Group


  • LegacyPatrick Ford, worldwide vice chair, chief client officer, Burson-Marsteller
  • ExecutiveAylwin Lewis, CEO, Potbelly Sandwich Works
  • CorporateWendi Strong, executive vice president, enterprise affairs, USAA
  • AgencyAndy Polansky, chief executive officer, Weber Shandwick
  • EducatorDr. Lynne Sallot, professor, University of Georgia
  • Young ProfessionalJose Rivera, lecturer, Cal State San Bernardino


  • LegacyDon Kirchoffner, senior communications consultant, Don Kirchoffner & Associates (posthumously)
  • ExecutiveShelly Lazarus, chairman emeritus, Ogilvy & Mather
  • CorporateMike Fernandez, corporate vice president, Corporate Affairs, Cargill
  • AgencyJohn Deveney, president, Deveney Communication
  • EducatorDr. Judy VanSlyke Turk, professor, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Young ProfessionalNick Lucido, senior account executive, Edelman Digital


  • LegacySteve Harris, former VP, global communications, General Motors
  • ExecutiveJon Iwata, senior VP, marketing & communications, IBM
  • CorporateNick Ashooh, global VP, corporate affairs, Alcoa
  • AgencyMargery Kraus, founder and CEO, APCO Worldwide
  • EducatorDr. Elizabeth Toth, professor and chair, department of communication, University of Maryland
  • Young ProfessionalRyan McShane, account executive, Taylor


  • Legacy: Ann Barkelew, former senior counselor, Fleishman-Hillard
  • Executive: Peter Hirshberg, CEO, The Re:imagine Group
  • Corporate: John Onoda, member, Advisory Board, Fleishman-Hillard
  • Agency: Howard Paster, former chairman, CEO, Hill & Knowlton (posthumously)
  • Educator: Dr. Rochelle Ford, associate dean for research & academic affairs, John H. Johnson School of Communications, Howard University
  • Young Professional: Joseph Tateoka, associate, Burson-Marsteller


  • Legacy: Harold Burson, founding chairman, Burson-Marsteller; Dan Edelman, founder and chairman, Daniel J. Edelman, Inc.; Al Golin, chairman, GolinHarris
  • Executive: Billy Shore, founder & executive director, Share Our Strength
  • Corporate: Marilyn Laurie, former executive VP, public relations & management, AT&T (posthumously)
  • Educator: Dr. Cully Clark, dean, Henry W. Grady College of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of Georgia
  • Young Professional: Kevin Saghy, public relations & marketing specialist, Chicago Cubs


Follow the day devoted to the "Milestones in Mentoring" Gala, honoring six public relations leaders on their commitment to mentoring, via #PlankMentor.