“There is no off switch for a leader.”
Björn Edlund uses these words to describe great leaders. The expression very definitely applies to Björn and Frank Ovaitt, winners of career achievement awards at last night’s Arthur W. Page Society annual recognition ceremony at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.
Björn Edlund, Hall of Fame
After a dozen years as a staff correspondent, bureau chief and regional news editor with UPI and Reuters in Europe and Latin America, Björn moved into corporate communications in 1989. He worked for 11 CEOs at three global corporations where he was Chief Communications Officer–Sandoz AG, ABBD Ltd. and Royal Dutch Shell. He is recognized as a leading thought leader on the societal role of business. Björn currently is a senior adviser at Kreab, an international public affairs and communications strategy consultancy.
Björn is a Visiting Fellow at Henley Business School and a trustee of the Institute of Human Rights and Business. Prior awards include a Sabre Award for outstanding individual achievement and the Alexander Hamilton medal from the Institute for Public Relations. A native of Sweden, Björn is fluent in English, German, French and Spanish.
Frank Ovaitt, Distinguished Service
Public relations veteran Frank Ovaitt is CEO Emeritus of the Institute for Public Relations (IPR), an independent research foundation. He served two separate stints as president and CEO of IPR before buying retiring and buying a farm earlier this year. Previously, Frank was EVP at Makovsky + Company, and Managing Director of Crossover International Inc. He also served as Chief Marketing Officer for BTM Corporation, a business technology management company. Earlier in his career, Frank was Vice President of Corporate Affairs for MCI. Prior assignments also included communications positions with AT&T, Monsanto and Southwestern Bell Corporation.
A University of Missouri journalism graduate, Frank received his MBA from New York University. He has taught applied public relations at The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. Long active in Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Frank has received numerous awards, including the PRSA David Ferguson Award for contributions to PR education by a practitioner and the PR News Measurement Hall of Fame Award.