Major General Mari Eder


Major General Mari Eder is Chief of Staff with the Reserve Forces Policy Board in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Eder has had additional joint experience, serving with the U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany, where she was assigned as the Deputy Director of Public Affairs. As a civilian, she served as the Director of Public Affairs at the George C. Marshall European Center for SecurityStudies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

She is an experienced speaker and guest lecturer and has served as an adjunct professor at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, the NATO School and Sweden’s International Security Command’s Training Center. Eder’s awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, six Meritorious Service Medals, four Joint Service Commendation Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, the Joint Service Achievement Medal and the Army Achievement Medal, among others. Eder was born in Grove City, PA. She holds a bachelor and master’s degree in English from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S Army War College. She is also a graduate of senior executive and leadership programs at the National Defense University and the Army War College.

Cheryl Procter-Rogers

Procter-Rogers_CherylSCHRANZ LECTURER 2005

With more than 23 years experience in the public relations arena, Cheryl Procter-Rogers is currently regional corporate affairs manager for Home Box Office where she is responsible for the development and implementation of public relations and integrated marketing communications strategies across 14 states in the Midwest and West. Prior to joining HBO, she worked for four years as a communications consultant in the Chicago area, supporting critical business objectives.

Prior to consulting, she served Nielsen North America, in Northbrook, IL, as director of public relations and advertising. While there, she managed a 2.2 million dollar budget and coordinated the PR and advertising activities for headquarters and all subsidiaries in the U.S. Before establishing her own public relations agency, she served as manager of public relations and advertising for Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company in Los Angeles. Her first job out of college was as a technical writer and administrator for Sperry Univac in Chicago. She received an M.B.A. from Keller Graduate School of Management, Chicago, IL; a B.S. in English and Journalism from Bradley University, Peoria, IL; an E-Business Certificate from the School of Business Administration, Loyola University Chicago.

Marilyn Laurie

Laurie_MarilynSCHRANZ LECTURER 2004

Marilyn Laurie is president of Laurie Consulting and retired executive vice president-brand strategy and marketing communications for AT&T Marilyn was responsible for AT&T’s brand-building worldwide, including several billion dollars of advertising and sponsorships. Prior to that, she led the company’s 500-person communications organization as senior vice president and then executive vice president of public relations. She also chaired the AT&T Foundation. She was a co-founder of Earth Day, which launched the environmental movement in America. She is currently vice chairman of the Board of Columbia University and a director of the New York City Ballet and New York Presbyterian Hospital. She was inducted into the Arthur W. Page Society Hall of Fame in 2002, previously served as president of that organization and chairman of the Public Relations Seminar.

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.