Tom Martin, 2021 Legacy Honoree

Thomas R. Martin serves as Executive-in-Residence in the Department of Communication at the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. He was named to the position, the first of its kind, in 2007. In this role, Martin works with the students, faculty, and administration of the College to enhance the relationship between the Communication Department and the business community and to help its students successfully transition into the business world. As EIR, Martin teaches undergraduate classes, organizes student trips, mentors students, and works with the Department’s Advisory Council of which he is a past chair. In 2016, he launched the Martin Scholars program, a selective mentoring, networking, and learning program. The program develops a select group of rising seniors majoring in Communication, through classroom instruction, exposure to experienced communication leaders who serve as mentors, networking opportunities with Communication Department alumni and Advisory Council members, and experiential learning. A total of 55 Martin Scholars have participated in the program and they are now living and working in New York, Washington, Boston, San Diego, Atlanta, Nashville and elsewhere in a wide range of successful positions in the communication field. There are an additional 15 students participating in the 2020-21 school year.

Martin is a co-author of “An Overview of the Public Relations Function,” now in its second edition, published by Business Executive Press. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Arthur W. Page Center at Penn State University, a research center at the Penn State College of Communications dedicated to the study and advancement of ethics and responsibility in corporate communication and other forms of public communication.

Martin retired in 2007 from ITT Corporation, where he served as Senior Vice President and Director of Corporate Relations at the diversified global engineering and manufacturing company. Martin joined the company in September of 1996. At ITT Corporation, Martin was an officer, a member of the company’s Executive Council and was responsible for worldwide brand and reputation management, public relations, employee communications, government affairs, corporate advertising, and community relations. Martin led the launch of an award-winning corporate brand identity and advertising program that featured the tagline, “Engineered for life,” highlighting the company’s strong engineering and manufacturing heritage. Martin was formerly Vice President, Corporate Communications for Federal Express Corporation where he was responsible for worldwide public relations, investor relations and employee communications for the Fortune 150 Company. He was also responsible for the public relations and internal communications efforts for the launch of the FedEx brand in 1994.

He served as a trustee of the Page Society, a membership organization for senior corporate communication executives, from 2002-2015, was President of the Society in 2004-2005, and was one of the founders of Page Up, an affiliated organization for rising leaders in the profession. He served on the Board of Governors of the Josephson Institute of Ethics from 2005-2015; he was a trustee of the PRSA Foundation from 2013 to 2018, and one of the early partners of SVP-Charleston, a philanthropic partnership investing in non-profits. In September of 2011, Martin received the Distinguished Service Award from the Arthur W. Page Society, one of the Society’s two top awards for lifetime achievement. In November of 2006 he was inducted into the PR News Hall of Fame. He and his wife, Wanda reside in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. They have two sons, a grandson, and a granddaughter.


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