Gainesville, FL – April 6, 2011 – The Institute for Public Relations (IPR), long known for its industry leadership in research and education, today announced leadership succession plans. Robert Grupp, who has served as IPR’s President and CEO for nearly two years, has decided to return to his consulting business. The IPR Board of Trustees named former President and CEO Frank Ovaitt to re-assume those roles which he held from 2004-2009, effective May 1, 2011.

“Bob Grupp assumed presidency of the Institute in 2009, expanding our global platform and providing important leadership through a challenging economic environment for all not-for-profit institutions,” said Matt Gonring, IPR Co-Chair. “We are fortunate in having someone of Frank’s caliber whose track record with the Institute makes him ideally suited to take the helm, after having recently served in this capacity for five years.”

Speaking on behalf of the Board of Trustees of IPR, Co-Chair Mike Fernandez said, “We want to thank Bob for his commitment and important contributions to IPR during his tenure and wish him well as he returns to consulting.” Grupp has been a Trustee since 2004.  Both he and Ovaitt will continue to serve as Trustees and collaborate to transition IPR leadership responsibilities over the next few months.

Ovaitt currently serves as Executive Vice President, Makovsky + Company and is an adjunct lecturer of public relations research at The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management.

About the Institute for Public Relations
IPR is an independent non-profit foundation that answers the need for evidence and accountability in public relations. IPR plays a critical role in bridging the academic world with the profession to ensure that the best thinking and knowledge are applied for the benefit of today’s demanding business world.  More information can be found at


Matthew P. Gonring
Institute for Public Relations Co-Chair

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Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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