Bolton leaves PRSA as new officers arrive

NEW YORK: Catherine Bolton has resigned as executive director and COO of the PRSA after almost six years. Her resignation is effective December 31.

NEW YORK: Catherine Bolton has resigned as executive director and COO of the PRSA after almost six years. Her resignation is effective December 31.

"I have to decide what I want to do with the rest of my life," she said, adding that she is considering a return to corporate PR. She previously spent four years at International Copper and seven years at Azko Nobel.

Bolton first joined the PRSA as chief PR officer, but took the reigns after then-COO Ray Gaulke left to form his own consulting firm following months of financial woes and internal conflict.

Bolton noted that in her time at the PRSA, she has seen a shift in both the PR industry and the organization itself.

"The industry has changed drastically and a lot of has to do with the circumstances of business," she said. "While [the PRSA is] a membership organization ... we run like a business."

PRSA's visibility outside of the PR community has increased, she said, adding that it has been involved in high-profile issues this year, including outgoing president Judy Phair's testimony on VNR labeling before a Senate Committee.

News of Bolton's departure comes as the organization elected new officers to its board.

Cheryl Procter-Rogers, regional corporate affairs director at HBO, will serve as president and CEO. Rhoda Weiss of Rhoda Weiss & Associates will serve as president-elect. Jeffrey Julin, president of MGA Communications, will serve as treasurer. Tom Vitelli, assistant VP of PR and advertising for Intermountain Health Care, was elected secretary.

Elected to serve three-year director terms are: Vincent Hazleton, professor at Radford University; Margaret Ann Hennen, system director, communications and PR at Fairview Health Services; Chris Lynch, SVP at Roberts Falls & Co Public Relations; and Ronald Owens, senior communications specialist at Kaiser Permanente.

"My goal is to create a culture of innovation and to reward strategic risk taking," noted Rogers in a statement. "We are going to invest in technology; review our current business model as well as financial policies and procedures; put measurement tools in place that will take the subjectivity out of much of our decision-making; continue to advocate for the profession; and become a resource for anyone looking to understand the value of having the communications function intricately linked to any business strategy."

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