Rebecca Bentley: 40 Under 40 2014

Global director, corporate media relations, financial/IR communications, strategy communications, and M&As, The Dow Chemical Company
Age: 39

Rebecca Bentley leads communications for a company with more than $57 billion in annual revenue, 53,000-plus employees, and more than 6,000 products manufactured and marketed across the globe.

In her current role, she oversees the company’s global media relations platform, which encompasses traditional, digital, and social media channels. Bentley also drives communications for investor relations, corporate strategy, and mergers and acquisitions. Additionally, she is responsible for all of Dow Chemical’s financial announcements, including earnings.

Furthermore, nearly all senior executives at the company, including CEO Andrew Liveris, rely on her direct counsel.

Key achievements at Dow include developing an extensive advertising and reputation management campaign in Louisiana amid significant issues-management sensitivities. The result of this effort earned a public approval rating of around 80% in key communities where the company operates. Bentley also managed statewide media relations for Dow, one of Louisiana’s largest employers and contributors to economic development, through high-stakes events including Hurricane Katrina.

Meanwhile, amid the global economic crisis, during which Dow had to shut down sites and reduce staff, she led a global public affairs and branding initiative to revitalize the company’s building and construction business.

Before joining Dow, Bentley was a public affairs specialist with Georgia Gulf Corporation. In that role, she provided issues-management support for 11 manufacturing facilities and offices across the US.

Matt Davis, corporate VP of public affairs and government affairs at Dow, describes Bentley as a "world class professional" with an in-depth understanding of the chemical industry.

"Rebecca is one of the most talented PR pros I have worked with in my almost 30 years in the profession," he explains. "She has a 15-year track record of managing extremely complex, sensitive issues for a global Fortune 100 company and has earned a ‘seat at the table’ within the highest levels of Dow’s organization."

 

• Bentley is on the board of directors for the Midland Symphony Orchestra

• In addition, she has also served on the board of directors for Cancer Services of Midland, Michigan

• Bentley has volunteered for several Race for Cure events, organized by the Susan G. Komen Breast  Cancer Foundation

• She has also been an active supporter of the Greater Baton Rouge branch of homelessness charity Habitat for Humanity, including implementing "blitz builds," where homes are built in just seven days in  Louisiana communities

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