August 19, 2020 (New York, NY) — The PR Council (PRC), an association of the country’s leading PR and communications firms, today announced several changes to its Board of Directors, including the election of an interim Chair and Vice-Chair and the appointment of two new Directors.
Jim Joseph, President, Brand Solutions at BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe) and Chair of the PRC, resigned to become North America President at McCann Health, effective Monday. The remaining term of the BCW position on the Board of Directors (through December 2021) will be filled by Chris Foster, President, North America, BCW.
The organization’s bylaws state that the Chair must have served one year on the Board and be Board-elected. In an emergency meeting on Friday, the Board unanimously elected Heather Kernahan, CEO, North America, Hotwire as interim Board Chair.
“We’re sorry to see Jim leave, but I am excited to become interim Chair to help build on the indispensable role the PR Council has played throughout the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement,” Kernahan said. “Our industry has strengthened its position as the strategic counselor to the C-suite and we are eager to continue to solidify this, and rapidly diversify and embrace working in new ways.”
The Board also unanimously elected Evan Kraus, President and COO, APCO Worldwide, to serve as interim Vice-Chair, a position that had been vacant as the organization updated its bylaws.
According to Kraus, “The PRC’s 2020 plans include several initiatives to safeguard the economics and enhance the reputation of the industry, and those are more important than ever as firms embrace the ‘next normal.’ I’m delighted to work alongside Heather, Lee, Mike and the rest of the Board to set the PRC’s strategic priorities and do important work to serve Members.”
Kernahan and Kraus, who will serve in their new roles until December 31, 2020, are members of the Executive Committee, joining Secretary Lee Caraher, CEO of Double Forte, Treasurer Mike Santoro, President of Walker Sands, and PRC President, Kim Sample.
In addition, Michelle Flowers Welch, Chairman and CEO of Chicago-based Flowers Communications Group, is joining the Board. Michelle will take a seat that opened earlier this year.
PRC Board Members represent diverse regions of the country, areas of expertise and agency sizes, and serve three-year terms. Other Members of the Board include Julie Batliner (President, Carmichael Lynch Relate, Minneapolis), J.J. Carter (Global Chief Operating Officer and President, Americas, FleishmanHillard, San Francisco), Peter Finn (Founding Partner, Finn Partners, New York), Cheryl Gale (President, March Communications, Boston), Teneshia Jackson Warner (CEO, EGAMI Group, New York), David Jarrard (CEO, Jarrard Philips Cate & Hancock, Nashville), Michael Kempner (Founder and CEO, MWWPR, New York), Tom Lindell (Managing Director, Exponent PR, Minneapolis), Neil Mortine (CEO, Fahlgren Mortine, Columbus), Phil Nardone (CEO, PAN Communications, Boston), and Barby Siegel (CEO, Zeno Group, New York). Caraher, Kernahan, Kraus and Santoro also serve as Board Members.
“We thank Jim for his service and wish him all the best. We are excited to continue delivering outstanding value to our Member agencies under the guidance of these new leaders and with a Board of Directors that is more representative, ” said Sample.