My purpose in life is to use what I know to leave a legacy of bold, compassionate leaders who will change the world.
What was your first PR Job?
My path to public relations had a sharp bend in it. I started out after college as a Naval Aviator but moved to public relations after medical issues made it impossible for me to fly anymore. I spent the last 23 of my 27 years in the Navy as a public relations specialist (PAO). I retired in 2001 as a Captain, one of 17 PAOs at that rank in the Navy, and immediately transitioned into academe.
What is the part of your job that you enjoy the most?
For the last 16 years as a professor I've had to joy of growing the future leaders of our profession. Seeing the light go on for a young professional or getting a thank you note from an alum is what has me leaping out of bed every morning.
What would you do if you were could not have a job in the communications field?
I would probably try and make a commercial success of my woodworking hobby. I love making arts & crafts/mission style furniture and have a "honey do" list that will take me 10 years to clear.
Why did you choose to be involved in PRSA National Leadership?
I've been involved with PRSA at the national level since entering academe and had the honor and privilege of being selected as the 2011 - 2015 PRSSA National Faculty Adviser. When I hit the term limit in that role I knew I still wanted to serve the profession and felt the time was right to serve on the Board. I feel very fortunate to be collaborating with such a great group of national leaders and fine professionals.
What is the most important quality of a leader?
Empowering others, providing them not just the responsibility but also the authority to accomplish their goals and objectives. I think it's important to give them the credit when the job goes well and provide the flak suppression shield when things don't. The greatest reward of leadership in my mind is when the protégé overtakes the mentor.
What are your thoughts on the future of PR?
My crystal ball is a bit hazy but certainly change will be a constant going forward. Figuring out how to stay up on and deal with those changes is a huge challenge but absolutely necessary if our profession is to remain relevant. At the same time, integration of professions will continue so finding a way to productively join in collaborating with others while maintaining the integrity of the profession of public relations is another challenge we must meet.