Ron Culp, a public relations consultant and professional director of the graduate public relations and advertising program at DePaul University, recently received the PRSA Gold Anvil Award, the Society’s utmost honor. The award was presented during the Opening General Session of the PRSA 2015 International Conference on Nov. 8 in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Gold Anvil is the Society’s highest Individual Award. It is considered to be PRSA’s lifetime achievement award and is presented to a PRSA member and public relations practitioner whose accomplishments have made a major contribution to the profession.
“Ron’s tireless devotion of his professional life and career to the field of public relations is to be commended and I’m honored to have the opportunity to present this incredible distinction to such a deserving recipient,” said Kathy Barbour, APR, PRSA 2015 National chair. “He has provided so much to the public relations community as a professional, a thought leader and an educator. Ron has served as a trailblazer and a mentor to many in our great profession.”
“It seems like I attended my first PRSA meeting in Indianapolis just a few short years ago, but it was 1982,” stated Culp. “Public relations has grown and improved dramatically over the past three decades, and I am deeply honored to be recognized for the cameo role I’ve played in this amazing and honorable profession.”
During Culp’s 40-year public relations career, he has served in a variety of senior communications roles in government, consumer products, business-to-business, pharmaceuticals, retail and education.
Before his current role as an educator, Culp headed the North American Corporate Practice and served as Managing Director of Midwest operations for Ketchum, a global public relations firm. Prior to Ketchum, Culp opened and led the Chicago office of Sard Verbinnen and Company, a leading financial communications firm.
Prior to his agency career, Culp was a corporate officer and Senior Vice President, Public Relations and Government Affairs, for Sears. Before Sears, Culp held senior communications positions at Sara Lee Corporation, Pitney Bowes, and Eli Lilly.
Following his graduation from Indiana State University, Culp became involved in politics as the education and political reporter for The Columbus Republic. Later, he became press secretary for Indiana House Majority Leader Richard Boehning and provided PR and constituent support for New York State Assembly Speaker Perry Duryea.
Culp is active in several civic organizations including the Economic Club of Chicago where he is a former board member and vice chair. He serves on the boards of Gilda’s Club Chicago, the Indiana State University Foundation and the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, which he chairs. He recently finished 25 years of service as a board member, vice president and marketing committee chair for the Lincoln Park Zoo. He serves on the advisory board of Shields Meneley Partners, a C-suite transition services firm.
Among his many awards, Culp was honored with PRSA New York Chapter’s John W. Hill Award, PRSA Chicago Chapter’s Outstanding Public Relations Professional of the Year Award, PRSA National’s David Ferguson Award for outstanding contributions to PR education by a practitioner, and was named to the PR News “Hall of Fame” in 2008. For the past six years, Culp has been listed in Crain’s “Who’s Who in Chicago Business.”
Culp authors the public relations career blog, Culpwrit, along with popular corresponding social media accounts. Culp is co-author of “Business Essentials for Strategic Communicators” and is featured in the book, “Legacies from Legends in Public Relations.”