Communications Advisory Board convenes with Dean Rochelle Ford for first time

Seventeen members and guests of the School of Communications Advisory Board visited campus on Sept. 28 to discuss their professional industries, share their expertise, and speak with eight classes.

During their fall 2018 campus visit, members of the Communications Advisory Board participated in a group exercise to discuss the school’s branding and communications initiatives.
Communications Dean Rochelle Ford presided over her first School of Communications Advisory Board meeting on Sept. 28, welcoming 17 board members and guests to campus. During their daylong visit, the board members discussed trends in their respective industries, examined the school’s strategic priorities and communications initiatives, and spoke with eight undergraduate classes, as well as a cohort of Live Oak Communications students.

Photos of the board’s visit are available on the school’s Flickr page.

Ben Davis, CEO and founder of Phizzle, Inc., participates in a conversation with students in Assistant Professor Mark Cryan’s Research Methods in Sport class. A new member of the Communications Advisory Board, Davis was joined by fellow board member Jeff Blumb (far left) and board guest Kim Parsons (not pictured).
The day kicked off with Dean Ford providing a welcome and a recap of the school’s upcoming priorities and initiatives. The board members then transitioned into a group breakout session to discuss the school’s own branding and communications objectives.

Barri Rafferty, president and CEO of Ketchum, spent nearly an hour with members of Live Oak Communications during her visit, discussing trends in the public relations industry. 
The board then dispersed to visit classrooms across the communications complex, dropping in on both communications and sport management classes. Barri Rafferty, president and CEO of Ketchum, and Angela Connor, founder and CEO of Change Agent Communications, also met with members of Elon’s student-run strategic communications organization, Live Oak Communications.

During the event’s luncheon, Dean Ford and new Advisory Board Chair Roger Bolton, president of the Arthur W. Page Society, offered welcomes and President Connie Ledoux Book provided an in-depth university update.

During his address, Bolton commended the university for its selection of Dean Ford and President Book to lead Elon moving forward.

A friend of Dean Ford’s for nearly two decades, Bolton called her “one of the most dynamic, ethical, focused and inspirational leaders in our profession. And I think Elon is extraordinarily lucky to have her and President Book here.”

Addressing the students and faculty, Bolton said he drew inspiration from the school’s Elon 11 posters, which call for students to pursue the truth, accuracy and fairness. “It has never been needed more than it is today,” he said.

In the afternoon, the board reconvened to discuss several of the school’s programs, including the Imagining the Internet Center as well as the Sunshine Center, the educational arm of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition. The day’s conversations closed out with a discussion about recent trends in the communications and sport industries.

Board members who participated in the fall meeting were:

  • Jeff Blumb, a partner at Nation Consulting, a Wisconsin-based public strategies firm
  • Roger Bolton, president of the Arthur W. Page Society
  • Ann Camden, principal and managing director of G&S Business Communications
  • Angela Connor, founder & CEO of Change Agent Communications, a marketing communications consultancy in Raleigh’s Research Triangle Park
  • Ben Davis, CEO and founder of Phizzle, Inc., an engagement marketing software company based in San Francisco
  • Renee Kopkowski, president and partner for strat-igence Inc., a communications consultancy
  • Kathy Lewis, senior vice president of communications and marketing for NYU Langone Health
  • Jack MacKenzie, executive vice president of Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), a global research-based consultancy
  • Sunshine Overkamp, chairman of Overkamp Overkamp-Smith, a consulting firm in Atlanta
  • Barri Rafferty, president and CEO of Ketchum, one of the world’s leading communication firms
  • Lee Rainie, director of internet, science and technology research for the Pew Research Center
  • Troy Senkiewicz ’98, founder and CEO of DigiMax Consulting, a Los Angeles-based company
  • Hugh Stevens, a nationally recognized First Amendment and media lawyer
  • Norby Williamson, executive vice president for production at ESPN

Invited guests at the fall meeting were:

  • Scott Bradford, an entertainment attorney for Selverne & Company
  • Abbie Charette, former executive producer and showrunner for Fox Family TV Studios and owner of Big Hill Properties, LLC
  • Kim Parsons, chief financial officer of Seating Solutions, a New York-based company that specializes in custom-designed spectator seating