New Roles for Communicators
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- The Leader’s Mindset: How to act as more of an advisor and chief of staff
- Technology and Channels: Organizational tools that turn chaos into order—how to think outside of the box when it comes to websites, social media and even podcasts
- Communicator as Futurist: How to stop “firefighting” and see around corners
- Crisis Response: How to build an agile, multi-tasking crisis team that responds with authenticity and sensitivity
- New Imperatives: How to implement purpose-driven CSR, ESG and D&I programs amid today's shifting zeitgeist and new hopes for the future
Ray Day is the vice chairman of The Stagwell Group’s marketing and communications agencies, which include Code + Theory, The Harris Poll, SKD Knickerbocker, Reputation Defender, Finn Partners, Sloane & Co and others. He has long been a fixture in PR’s leading power rankings. Before Stagwell, he worked for two years at IBM as chief communications officer and 28 years at Ford, where he was CCO for 10 years. While at Ford, he led the vision, strategy and execution that helped transform its communications model and grow its corporate reputation to the highest level ever. He began his career as a newspaper reporter and editor in the Detroit area.
Rachel Ferguson is Visit Philadelphia's chief innovation and global diversity officer. In this role, she helps grow the leisure tourism segment by identifying and leading marketing programs focused on multicultural and multigenerational travelers and new geographic markets. She leads the diversity, equity and inclusion program, communications and oversees revenue-generating partnerships. Under her leadership, the organization launched award-winning campaigns to attract Latinx travelers (Filadelfia—You Gotta Feel It), LGBTQ audiences (Philadelphia Pioneers on the Road to Stonewall), women (City of Sisterly Love) and manages multiple initiatives to attract African-American travelers. In 2020, she oversaw the creation and launch of Love + Grit, a podcast that she co-hosts. Before Visit Philadelphia, she worked as a communications executive at CBS New York for seven years. She's served on the board of directors of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Communications Advisory Committee of the U.S. Travel Association.
Nancy Bistritz-Balkan is the director of Cybersecurity Communications at McKesson, where she spearheads the communications efforts for the Information Security & Risk Management team under direction of the global chief information security officer. Before that, she was president of consumer education and advocacy, as well as director of PR and communications at Equifax. She previously was the manager of communications and content at CHEP, where she led all crisis communications efforts and served as a key member of the global communications team. Her strengths include brand strategy, media relations, industry analyst relations, strategic writing and editing, and crisis communications planning.
Catherine Hernandez-Blades is Senior Vice President, Chief Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Communications Officer at Aflac. She’s responsible for corporate communications, organizational communications, philanthropy and environmental, social and governance activities for the company, including its SABRE award-winning corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. She’s a Forbes magazine Top 50 Most Influential CMO and two-time Cannes Lion winner. LATINA Style magazine named her Corporate Executive of the Year. She’s also a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and an Institute of Public Relations Trustee.