Hall of Famers Credit Mentors, Teams for Success

2018 PRWeek Hall of Fame Inductees: Lynn Casey, Harris Diamond, Joanne Bischmann, Dave Samson, Rochelle Ford and John Graham.

PR icons inducted into PRWeek’s Hall of Fame last week attributed their success to their mentors and teams.

Summing up the consensus of most of the six honorees, Chevron’s Dave Samson said, “I am forever grateful to those who opened doors for me–to those who invested in me and to those who showed confidence in me, when I was uncertain in myself.”

Padilla Chair Lynn Casey accepted the personal recognition, but insisted on giving full credit to her team for making it possible. “The plinth that I stand on tonight – and why I can accept this honor willingly — was built by the 220 members of the Padilla team. They are remarkable practitioners; more importantly, they are exceptional human beings. What more could a leader ask for?”

Harley Davidson’s Joanne Bischmann also thanked her team, noting that she is “blessed to be surrounded by amazing people.

“My team at Harley-Davidson, from my communication team, my colleagues and my fellow Harley-Davidson leadership team members,” Joanne said. “These are people who not only are outstanding in what they do, but are really, really, good people.  Matt Levatich, Paul Jones, John Olin and Jenny Crowbridge are with me tonight and I cannot express how important it is for me to share this with you.  Each of you have made me a better leader and team member.  And you are my friends.  I cannot thank you enough.”

Rochelle Ford, PhD., Elon University School of Communication dean, thanked those who mentored, coached and sponsored her over the years, including her parents. Three key messages from Rochelle’s acceptance remarks:

  • Take a risk, move outside your comfort zone even if you might be the only one, but bring others along as you grow.
  • We must invest in our talent pipeline, entry-level, mid-level, senior and executive level. It takes paid internships, livable entry-level wages and support and encouragement for talent to prepare for and earn management positions.
  • Create inclusive environments where diverse talent can excel and grow to lead holding companies and be CCOs, and not desire to leave the industry.

The PRWeek Hall of Fame ceremony at the start of the holiday season has become a fixture of the PR calendar and PRWeek Editor-in-Chief Steve Barrett says it is important to pause for this sort of recognition. “As our 2018 honorees said from the stage during their comments, it is more important than ever that we do this in these increasingly febrile and challenging times.”

Read PRWeek’s interviews with all six 2018 Hall of Famers.

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