Ann Barkelew is a senior counselor of Fleishman-Hillard Inc., and the retired senior partner/founding general manager of the agency’s Minneapolis/St. Paul office. She has more than 35 years of top management experience with Fortune 100 and small – to mid – cap companies.
In 1995, she was named by her peers internationally as “Public Relations Professional of the Year;” in 1999, was named one of the Most Influential Women in Business in Minnesota by City Business; and in 2001, received Fleishman-Hillard’s Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2003 the Arthur W. Page Society Distinguished Service Award in 2003. With Fleishman-Hillard, Barkelew has provided counsel and project support to senior management of NYSE and NASDAQ corporations, professional sports organizations, and privately held companies. She personally conducts corporate- wide public relations needs assessments projects for CEOs, which includes recommending strategies and action plans for effective public relations, organizing public relations functions, and finding the right candidates for positions.
Barkelew was corporate vice president of public relations for Dayton Hudson Corporation (aka Target Corporation) from 1982 to 1994, responsible for all internal and external communications for one of America’s largest general merchandise retailers with annual revenues of more than $25 billion. In 1987, she directed all public relations support that helped defeat the hostile takeover threat to Dayton Hudson. Prior to joining Dayton Hudson, Barkelew was vice president of corporate affairs for Munsingwear, Inc., where she facilitated the smooth closing of half the company’s manufacturing plants nationally. Before moving to the private sector in 1981, Ms. Barkelew was chief public relations officer for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, California’s largest countywide public school population. She began her career as a high school English and journalism teacher and a school administrator in the Missouri and California school systems.