Ginger Hardage, 2016 Legacy Honoree

Ginger Hardage- Legacy

Ret. Senior Vice President Culture & Communications for Southwest Airlines Co.

ROLE: Ginger believes she had her dream job at Southwest Airlines, a Company that is known for its legendary Culture and reputation and a perpetual standout on Fortune’s Top 10 “Most Admired Companies in the World.” Ginger oversaw the activities that nourish that Culture and the internal and external Communications function for the largest domestic airline (most Customers carried). She was a member of various executive committees at Southwest and lead its “Best Place to Work” initiatives. Ginger is an avid public speaker at universities and organizations ranging from Google to Princeton University on topics related to “Building a Brand from the Inside Out.”

HONORS: PRWeek has named Ginger to its 2013, 2012, and 2011 Top 50 Power List and previously as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Public Relations. In 2010, Southwest Airlines ranked in the top 20 of the “Best-­‐in-­‐Class” category in a national Corporate Public Affairs Survey. As a nationally recognized public relations professional, Ginger was distinguished as one of Texas’ Most Powerful and Influential Women in 2010; received the National Public Relations Achievement Award in 2009; was named “Legendary Communicator” by Southern Methodist University in 2007; and was selected for the James C. Bowling Executive-­‐In-­‐Residence Lecture Series at the University of Kentucky in 2005. The Texas Public Relations Association (TPRA) named her its PR Practitioner of the Year for 2000. That same year, the Southwest Airlines Corporate Communications Team was named the Top Communications Department in the nation by PRWeek. In 1999, the Texas Public Relations Association also recognized Southwest Airlines with its highest corporate award, The Lone Star Award, for consistently placing a high priority on the practice of creative public relations. Ginger was named America’s Top Corporate Public Relations Practitioner in 1995 by Inside PR, a national trade magazine.

BOARDS/MEMBERSHIPS: Ginger currently serves on the International Board of Trustees for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Arthur Page Society, and is the President of the Trinity Commons Foundation. She previously served on advisory boards of Novartis in Basel, Switzerland; Business Civic Leadership Center, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Big Brothers and Sisters of Metropolitan Dallas; Southwest Cares; and the Council of Public Relations Firms. She is a past president of the Dallas Chapter of the International Association of Business Communications; a past member of the Southern Methodist University Public Relations advisory board; and formerly on the Texas Tech Rawls College of Business advisory board. Ginger is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and is a graduate of Leadership Texas.

EXPERIENCE: Before beginning her career at Southwest Airlines in 1990, Ginger held a variety of marketing and public relations positions at Maxus Energy Corporation, Diamond Shamrock Corporation, and Life Insurance Company of the Southwest.

EDUCATION: Ginger earned a B.A. in advertising/public relations from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas and was recognized as an outstanding alumna by the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University.

FAMILY: Ginger lives in Dallas with her husband, Kelly, and has grown stepsons, Patrick and Ross.

FIRST PAYING JOB: Mowing cemeteries

LEADERSHIP PHILOSOPHY: “Communicating the Mission; supporting your Team with the necessary resources; and getting out of their way so they can achieve great things.”

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