The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations Honors Seven Influential Mentors

The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations will celebrate, recognize and promote the critical role mentors play in helping to develop leaders and advance the profession at its ninth annual “Milestones in Mentoring” Gala.

Seven influential leaders, who by word and deed, have demonstrated a superior commitment to mentoring others, and are committed to accelerating the success of others in the field will receive awards during an induction ceremony at the Union League Club of ChicagoThursday, Oct. 25.

Honorees at this year’s event include:

  • Legacy: Bob Feldman, Partner & Co-founder, PulsePoint Group
  • Corporate: Bob Jimenez, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Cox Enterprises
  • Agency: Dale Bornstein, CEO, M Booth
  • Educator: Cathy Rogers, Ph.D., APR, Shawn M. Donnelley Professor of Nonprofit Communications, Loyola University New Orleans
  • Emerging Leader: Eric Winkfield, Public Affairs Manager, Pepco, an Exelon Company
  • Executive: Gregg Sherrill, Executive Chairman, Tenneco
  • Betsy Plank: Tom Burrell, Founder, Burrell Communications Group

“From academia to the C-suite, we’re pleased to recognize leaders who have displayed a world-class commitment to mentoring,” said Keith Burton, chair of the Plank Center and principal and founder of Grayson Emmett Partners. “These dynamic mentors are true examples of the positive impact and influence one can have on individuals, organizations and communities.”

Established in 2010, the “Milestones in Mentoring” Gala features a reception, dinner and awards ceremony. The honorees were selected by a committee for the following categories:

  • Legacy: Recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to mentoring others and who, through their mentoring, have touched the lives of countless public relations professionals over the course of their distinguished and exceptional careers.
  • Agency: Recognizes agency leaders who have been outstanding mentors in an agency setting or consulting role.
  • Emerging Leader: Honors young professionals who are up-and-coming leaders and already paying it forward, while also providing reverse mentorship to more senior professionals.
  • Educator: Honoring Dr. Bruce K. Berger, Professor Emeritus, Advertising and Public Relations Department, The University of Alabama, this award recognizes individuals who are, or have been, full-time educators who through mentoring have touched the lives and careers of countless students, whether in the classroom, in student-run firms and pre-professional societies (e.g., PRSSA) and/or in scholarly endeavors.
  • Corporate: The Jack Koten Corporate Mentoring Award honors this influential public relations leader and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to mentoring others. Honorees’ professional public relations roles have been internal to the organizations they support and could include positions in corporate, military or non-profit entities.
  • Executive: Recognizes non-public relations executives who make mentoring part of their leadership strategy, who encourage active mentoring at all levels of their organizations, and who recognize the critical role public relations professionals play in the organizations’ success.
  • Betsy Plank: Te Betsy Plank Mentoring Award honors exemplary professionals who are in a class by themselves. This award is given only to those who have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to mentoring and have had a profound impact on others, who in turn, have gone on to generate influence and foster relationships with their organization, community and profession.