The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations celebrated its 9thAnnual “Milestones in Mentoring” Gala at the Union League Club of Chicago on Thursday, Oct. 25. More than 300 public relations professionals, educators and students were in attendance, including more than 20 faculty, staff, students and alumni from The University of Alabama.
Each year, the Center recognizes influential leaders whose commitment to mentoring generates a powerhouse of influence and accelerates success in the profession.
Honorees at this year’s mentorship gala included:
- Legacy:Bob Feldman, partner and co-founder, PulsePoint Group
- Agency: Dale Bornstein, CEO, M Booth
- Emerging Leader: Eric Winkfield, public affairs manager, Pepco
- Educator: Cathy Rogers, Shawn M. Donnelley Professor of Nonprofit Communications, Loyola University New Orleans School of Mass Communication
- Corporate: Bob Jimenez, senior vice president, corporate affairs, Cox Enterprises
- Executive: Gregg Sherrill, chairman of the board of directors, Tenneco
- Mentorship: Tom Burrell, former founder and CEO, Burrell Communications
UA faculty, staff and students also had the opportunity to attend a mentorship panel at DePaul University prior to the gala as well as a diversity and inclusion summit Friday morning.
“The evening is not only an opportunity to honor the leading mentors in our field, but also to show off some of UA’s finest, especially our students,” said Dr. Karla Gower, director of The Plank Center and professor in UA’s Department of Advertising and Public Relations.
While some refer to it as “The Oscars of Public Relations,” others deem it “The Best Night in PR,” as the evening takes on an unmatched energy to inspire those in attendance to mentor the next generation of leaders.
More information on the Milestones in Mentoring Gala is available on The Plank Center’s website (www.plankcenter.ua.edu).
About the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations
In 2005, the University of Alabama Board of Trustees established The Plank Center. Named for public relations leader and UA alumna, the late Betsy Plank, the Center develops and recognizes outstanding diverse public relations leaders, role models and mentors to advance ethical public relations in an evolving, global society through a variety of initiatives.
In addition to national leaders in the practice and education, the Center’s Board includes an ex officio position for the president of the Public Relations Student Society of America that represents more than 10,000 members in 300-plus colleges and universities.