School of Communications Advisory Board adds new members

Eight media professionals & corporate executives are new members of the School of Communications National Advisory Board.

The School of Communications welcomes eight new national advisory board members. (Top row, l-r): Adele Ambrose, Roger Bolton, Julie Carey and Rich Cervini (Bottom row, l-r): Tim Franklin, Claudia Jepsen, Eric Kraus and Michael Tackett


Eight media professionals and corporate executives are new members of the School of Communications National Advisory Board.

The new members—from Bloomberg News, Merck, Covidien, NBC News4 in Washington, D.C., the Arthur W. Page Society, This Old House Ventures and CBS Television Distribution—join 25 current board members.

Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor of “NBC Nightly News,” is national chair of Elon’s School of Communications Advisory Board. Michael Radutzky, senior producer for “60 Minutes” and executive producer of creative development at CBS News, is the board’s vice chair.

Board members provide professional expertise to the faculty, internship and career networking to students, program support to the school and expertise with students in classes when on campus. The board meets each semester, and the spring 2013 meeting will be April 12.

“The advisory board has had a huge and positive impact on the School of Communications since our founding in 2000,” Dean Paul Parsons said. “Our students love having board members speak in classes, and the many ideas shared around the table have helped propel our school to greater quality and national prominence.”

The new members:

  • Adele Ambrose is senior vice president and chief communications officer for Merck & Co., based in New York City. She is responsible for Merck’s global communications with the news media, employees, financial community, stakeholders and the general public. Her team manages product public relations, corporate advertising and Prior to joining Merck in 2007, she was a corporate officer and executive vice president for AT&T Wireless, a newly public company with 21 million customers, and previously was vice president of public relations and corporate media relations at AT&T. She served as the company’s chief voice for nearly a decade, handling high-profile corporate restructurings, CEO transitions, business divestitures and acquisitions. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Roger Bolton is president of the Arthur W. Page Society, the professional association for senior public relations and corporate communications executives. Previously, he was senior vice president of communications at Aetna, a $35 billion provider of health care benefits, with responsibility for all internal and external communications, advertising, brand management and corporate public involvement. Before Aetna, Bolton was IBM’s director of corporate media relations and director of communications for the IBM server and software. Prior to his business career, he was assistant secretary of the Treasury for public affairs under President George H.W. Bush, assistant U.S. trade representative for public affairs under President Reagan, and special assistant to President Reagan in the White House. He is a graduate of Ohio State University.
  • Julie Carey is the northern Virginia bureau chief for NBC News4 in Washington, D.C. The station, WRC-TV, is NBC owned and operated and houses the Washington bureau of NBC News. Carey has been covering northern Virginia since joining News4 in 1992, ranging from political coverage to reporting on the trial of sniper suspect Lee Malvo. In the 1990s, she provided daily coverage of the impeachment trial of President Clinton. In 2009, she had a brief role as a news reporter in the movie “State of Play” starring Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck. Prior to joining News4, Carey reported for KSDK-TV in St. Louis, WTHR-TV in Indianapolis, and KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she began her career. She is a graduate of Indiana University. Her husband, Michael Tackett of Bloomberg News, also is a new advisory board member.
  • Rich Cervini is senior vice president of production and technical operations at CBS Television Distribution. In 2012, his duties expanded to include West Coast shows in production such as “Entertainment Tonight,” “Dr. Phil” and “Judge Judy.” Cervini’s career began as a broadcast engineer at WOR Radio-TV in New York City. He became director of broadcast operations at WNBC-TV before joining King World Productions as director of technical operations and eventually becoming vice president of production and technical operations. King World was a production company and syndicator of television programming in the United States until its 1999 incorporation into CBS Television Distribution. At that time, Cervini became vice president and then senior vice president at CBS Television Distribution. He is a graduate of Adelphi University.
  • Tim Franklin is a managing editor in the Bloomberg News Washington bureau, one of the largest news organizations in the nation’s capital. He joined Bloomberg in 2011 after serving as founding director of the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana University. Franklin began his career at the Chicago Tribune, where he rose from reporter to associate managing editor, eventually overseeing the sports and business sections. He went on to become the top editor at the Indianapolis Star, Orlando Sentinel and Baltimore Sun. The Sun won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize during his 2004-08 editorship. Franklin twice has served as a Pulitzer Prize jurist. He is national co-chair of the Freedom of Information Committee for the American Society of News Editors. He is a graduate of Indiana University.
  • Claudia Jepsen is executive director of marketing and brand development at This Old House Ventures, based in New York City. A 28-year veteran at Time Inc., the world’s largest publisher, she has held leadership positions in creative services, sales development and marketing at iconic brands including Time, Life, People, Money and Fortune. In her current role, she oversees a team responsible for growing the print, digital, television and social media advertising base of America’s No. 1 home improvement brand. Under her watch, This Old House defied the worst housing crisis since the Great Depression, experienced substantial revenue growth, and was named to Advertising Age’s coveted Magazine A-List in 2011. Jepsen is a graduate of the University of Colorado.
  • Eric Kraus is senior vice president of corporate communications and public affairs at Covidien, a $12 billion healthcare products company with U.S. headquarters near Boston. He directs global communications strategies for Covidien (formerly known as Tyco Healthcare), including corporate marketing, public relations, media relations, financial communications, crisis communications, issues management, public and government affairs, philanthropy and the company’s Internet/Intranet presence. Previously he was a vice president at Gillette (where he was instrumental in negotiating the sponsorship of Gillette Stadium, home of the NFL’s New England Patriots) and at Procter & Gamble. Before that, he was a Boston Herald reporter, account executive at PR agencies, and public relations manager for Miller Brewing Co. He is a graduate of Boston University.
  • Michael Tackett is managing editor of the Washington bureau for Bloomberg News, helping to oversee 250 reporters and editors in the nation’s capital. Before joining Bloomberg in 2008, Tackett was Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Tribune, where he spent 28 years as a reporter, assistant city editor, national correspondent and political writer. He directed coverage of the rise of Barack Obama. He previously served at national editor for U.S. News & World Report. Tackett is a recipient of the White House Correspondents Association Award for National Reporting for a series on the influence of lobbyists. He is a graduate of Indiana University. His wife, Julie Carey of NBC4 in Washington, D.C., also is a School of Communications Advisory Board member.