Thank you for your years of leadership as CEO and President of IPR.
Last month, Frank Ovaitt retired from the Institute for Public Relations after serving an incredible nine years devoted to promoting IPR and research that matters to the practice. Frank is also the first CEO of IPR to have retired twice from the organization. Frank has bought a beautiful horse farm in Kentucky with rolling green pastures and a porch where he can sip sweet tea and eat derby pie.
I met Frank during his first run as CEO in 2004 when he would annually attend one of the top public relations research conferences, the International Public Relations Research Conference . At the Miami-based conference, more than 100 people present in roundtable sessions over a three-day period. Frank would attend every single session, participating and asking insightful questions. He truly cares.
I’m fortunate to have been able to spend time with Frank the past few months during my transition. Frank is professional and thoughtful. For me, he is a calm ship in the storm, and he’s always happy to help. Frank also has a terrific sense of humor, and he’s just great to be around.
IPR is better because of Frank, and he has helped the organization grow tremendously both externally and internally. But Frank’s legacy is much more than that. He has had a true impact on the profession. The programs he has spearheaded and his service to the public relations community has made a difference. We are grateful to him for that.
Last month, the IPR team took Frank to lunch, and gave him an engraved silver horse platter to remind him of how much we appreciate everything he has done. He will be missed at the IPR office in Gainesville, and he has left big shoes to fill.
Frank will continue to serve as an IPR Trustee, and we look forward to his continued involvement in the profession. If I could give him a standing ovation in this post, I would. Thank you, Frank, for all you have done. The public relations profession is better because of you.
Tina McCorkindale, Ph.D., is President and CEO of the Institute for Public Relations. Follow her on Twitter@tmccorkindale.