Willard D. Nielsen

Nielsen_Willard-DSCHRANZ LECTURER 2003

Bill Nielsen retired as Corporate Vice President of Johnson & Johnson in December 2004, after a nearly 16-year career with the Company. He was responsible for public relations and corporate communications for the worldwide health care products company, and he served as an Officer of the Corporation. He is currently a special consultant to the Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson.
Mr. Nielsen joined Johnson & Johnson in 1988, following an 18-year career as a public relations agency consultant, first with Carl Byoir & Associates, from 1970 to 1986, and then Hill and Knowlton.  From the corporation’s headquarters in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Johnson & Johnson’s public relations and corporate communications division oversees the public affairs responsibilities and activities of a widely diversified and decentralized “family” of 200+ operating companies in 57 countries around the world.  Mr. Nielsen’s professional accomplishments include leadership of an eight-year public relations and advertising education program for the pharmaceutical industry, and a nationwide child injury prevention campaign, the National SAFE KIDS Campaign. This campaign has reduced the annual rate of unintended injury and death among children by nearly 30 percent.


Christopher Komisarjevsky

Komisarjevsky_ChristopherSCHRANZ LECTURER 2002

Chris Komisarjevsky is the Strategic Advisor to President and CEO, Richard Edelman, of Edelman, the world’s largest independent public relations firm.  Over a thirty-year career in public relations, Chris has been responsible for counseling global corporate clients in a range of industries, including financial services, entertainment, communications, health care and management consulting.
In 2005, Chris retired from his responsibilities as the worldwide chief executive officer of Burson-Marsteller, one of the world’s leading global public relations and public affairs firms. Prior to his worldwide leadership role at Burson-Marsteller, Chris was president and chief executive of the firm’s U.S. operations.  Before joining Burson-Marsteller, he held leadership positions at two other worldwide public relations firms, Gavin Anderson & Company and Hill and Knowlton, where, among other roles, he was president and chief executive of that firm’s Europe, Middle East and Africa operations serving in Geneva and London. Chris holds a master’s degree in business from the University of Connecticut, has undertaken graduate work in German literature and international affairs in the U.S. and Europe, and has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Union College.


Bradley Wilks

Wilks_BradleySCHRANZ LECTURER 2001

Bradley Wilks is Managing Director and CEO of the firm’s Chicago office. With more than 20 years of agency and corporate experience, his career spans a broad range of communications activities, including investor relations and financial communications, business-to-business and consumer products.

Wilks’ experience includes communications programs surrounding initial public and secondary stock offerings, mergers and acquisitions, proxy contests, crisis communications, new consumer product launches, corporate branding initiatives, senior management counseling, investor and media relations. Prior to joining Sard Verbinnen and Co, Wilks was Managing Director of the Chicago office of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, where he reported to the firm’s Chief Executive Officer and served on the firm’s Management Committee.

Prior to Ogilvy Public Relations, Wilks was Senior Vice President and Partner of Fleishman-Hillard, where he headed the firm’s financial communications and technology practices in Chicago. Wilks is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago. He has a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and a master’s degree from Ball State University, where he was the John W. Hill Fellow. Wilks was named Ball State’s Distinguished Journalism Alumni of the Year in 2003.


Daniel J. Edelman

Edelman_Daniel-JSCHRANZ LECTURER 2000

Daniel J. Edelman Founded Daniel J. Edelman, Inc., parent company of Edelman and PR21 in 1952 and serves as its Chairman of the Board. Mr. Edelman also Founded Edelman Public relations Worldwide and serves as its Chairman. Daniel was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1920. At the age of five, Daniel had already shown a strong interest in writing. While he was quarantined to his room with the mumps, he typed notes to his mother on what he’d prefer to eat. He also created a neighborhood newsletter at a very young age after his family had moved to Manhattan. As he grew older, Daniel excelled academically. He graduated high school at 15, then enrolled at Columbia University.

During World War II, Daniel Edelman had been drafted into the army, where he analyzed German propaganda. Following the war, he held a job at CBS, then at a record company called Musicraft. During his time at Musicraft, Toni, a hair care company, was sponsoring weekly radio spots for their product. Daniel had an idea to help promote their CD by making the disc itself look like one of the hair care products. After the campaign’s success Toni decided to hire Daniel on to their own PR staff in Chicago. For more than half a century, he has been at the forefront of the industry and is credited with pioneering many of the techniques that are now staples. He is the recipient of Columbia University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and the John Jay Award for Distinguished Professional Achievement.


Lord Chadlington

Chadlington_LordSCHRANZ LECTURER 1999

Lord Chadlington is the chief executive of the Hunstworth Group. He founded Shandwick in 1974, establishing it as the largest PR consultancy in the UK within seven years and holding that position without interruption for the next 17 years. He built the firm overseas and it was sold to The Interpublic Group of Companies in 1998, forming the group that became the largest PR consultancy in the world. Lord Chadlington is a former director of Halifax plc and has written and lectured extensively on communications, politics and public relations. He was created a life peer in 1996. He has spent his entire working life in communications, as a journalist after graduating from Cambridge University and later in public relations both in-house and consultancy. Lord Chadlington served as a non-executive director on a number of Boards including HBOS, Britax and Tempus.  He was also an active in the arts as a member of the Arts Council, Chairman of the Royal Opera House and was the first Chairman of the Lottery Distribution arm of the Arts Council of England.  He was also involved in a wide range of charities and benevolent organizations.


Tim Traverse-Healy

Traverse-Healy_TimSCHRANZ LECTURER 1998

Traverse-Healy is the first recipient of the IPRA Communications Award in 2008. Traverse-Healy is the only non-American to receive the honor from the Arthur Page Society for professional recognition. He also won the Ball State University National Public Relations Achievement Award in 1997. Traverse-Healy was Professor of Public Relations at Stirling University in Scotland, Honorary Professor at Cardiff University in Wales, and a Visiting Professor at Universities of Westminster and Lincoln. Traverse-Healy has acted as the president for the Institute of Public Relations in 1968. He is a Fellow of the Investor and Public Relations organization and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. Tim Traverse-Healy was a founding father of the International Public Relations Association in 1955, a was the longest serving president, in the position from 1969-1973.


Betsy Plank


Betsy Plank is the honoree of the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations that was established in 2005 at the University of Alabama. It was named for her distinguished career in corporate and agency public relations.  In 2000, Plank received the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arthur W. Page Society. Plank also assisted in the founding PRSA’s College of Fellows, an honorary group of national leaders in public relations.

Plank was the first woman to preside over the Public Relations Society of America in 1973. She was also the first woman to be the head of a division of Illinois Bell, which is now Ameritech.  In 1963, Plank was elected as the first woman president of the Publicity Club of Chicago. She was the first winner of PRSA’s highest awards: the Gold Anvil, for being the nation’s outstanding professional, the Lund Award for civic and community service, and the Jackson Award for distinguished service to the society. The Public Relations Student Society of America has named its annual scholarships after her to recognize her support in the public relations field. Plank graduated from the University of Alabama in 1944 with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in history and political science. She was elected to the University of Alabama Communication Hall of Fame in 2000.


Terrie Williams

Williams_TerrieSCHRANZ LECTURER 1996

As the president and CEO of The Terrie Williams Agency, a public relations and communications firm, Terrie Williams has counseled the best of the best in the world of entertainment, sports, business and politics. Williams’s philosophy for public relations is treating it as “people relations.” Her agency offers services of executive coaching, marketing and communications advice and individual and corporate counseling, among others.
In 1991, Williams was awarded the New York Women in Communications Matrix Award in Public Relations, making her the first and only woman of color to win in its 70-year history. She has also been awarded the PRSA New York Chapter’s Phillip Dorf Mentoring Award and The Citizen’s Committee for the New York Marietta Tree Award for Public Relations. Prior to founding her own agency, Williams worked as a medical social worker at New York Hospital, a program administrator for the Black Filmmaker Foundation, and as executive director for both the Black Owned Communications Alliance and the World Institute of Black Communications Inc. Williams was vice president and the director of corporate communications for Essence Communications before founding The Terrie Williams Agency. Williams earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and sociology from Brandeis University and a Master of Arts in social work from Columbia University.


Paul H. Alvarez


Paul Alvarez, a longtime executive with Ketchum Communications Inc., left Omnicom in 1997. Alvarez became vice chairman of Diversified Agency Services at Omnicom when Ketchum Advertising – Pittsburgh was sold to Omnicom in 1996. He was instrumental in the sale of Ketchum Advertising to Omnicom. Previously, Alvarez was chairman, president and chief executive of the advertising agency, the twelth largest independent advertising agency in the country. Alvarez had a long career with Ketchum Communications, serving also as vice chairman of Ketchum Communications Inc, chairman of Ketchum Public Relations, and president of Ketchum Specialized Communication in his 25 year career with the company. Alvarez also served as cochairperson on the Commission on Graduate Study in Public Relations by the public relations division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.


John W. Felton


John W. Felton, APR, Fellow PRSA is president and CEO of the Institute for Public Relations and a visiting professor at the University of Florida. He is the recepient of the Arthur W. Page Society’s third Distinguished Service Award. Felton was honored in1999 by the Educators Academy of PRSA with its first David Ferguson Award. Felton worked for U.S. Steel Corp. and Interstate Brands Corp. before becoming vice president at the McCormick Spice Co. in 1977. He is a former two-term president of PRSA and winner of its Gold Anvil. Felton twice served as national president of the Public Relations Society of America, and he is president and CEO Emeritus of the Institute for Public Relations. He has received numerous awards over the course of his career, and he currently serves as member of the Board of Advisors for The Plank Center, among many other activities.