6 Great Mentors Who Would Make Betsy Proud


When the late Betsy Plank first discussed the idea for the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, she envisioned creating an organization that would bridge the communications gap between academicians and professionals in order to better train and develop future leaders of the profession.  In order to recognize and encourage mentoring, she also wanted to host an Oscar-like recognition event.  Sadly, she died before she could see both dreams come true, including the awards program now entering its third year.

Here are the great mentors who will be honored at the “Milestones in Mentoring” gala in Chicago on November 1:

  • Legacy: Steve Harris, former VP, global communications, General Motors
  • Executive: Jon Iwata, senior VP, marketing & communications, IBM
  • Corporate: Nick Ashooh, global VP, corporate affairs, Alcoa
  • Agency: Margery Kraus, founder and CEO, APCO Worldwide
  • Educator: Dr. Elizabeth Toth, professor and chair, department of communication, University of Maryland
  • Young Professional: Ryan McShane, account executive, Taylor

As someone enlisted by Betsy into the Plank Center cause nine years ago, I know she would be thrilled with this year’s honorees who have made numerous contributions to the profession and to the many individuals they have mentored over the years.  All six have been beneficiaries of outstanding mentoring experiences during their careers, and, in turn, they are advocates of  the “pay it forward” philosophy that makes great mentors.  Congratulations Steve, Jon, Nick, Margery, Elizabeth and Ryan.

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