Tina McCorkindale Elected Effective May 11, Replacing Retiring CEO Frank Ovaitt


NEW YORK, NY, April 7, 2015 – The Institute for Public Relations (IPR) announced today the election of Tina McCorkindale, Ph.D., as the organization’s fifth chief executive officer since becoming an independent organization in 1989. McCorkindale, whose election is effective May 11, succeeds CEO Frank Ovaitt, who is retiring.

In choosing a candidate with deep knowledge of the profession and a strong research record, the IPR Board of Trustees reaffirmed its commitment to research that is relevant to the professions of public relations and corporate communications, and to the special role the organization plays in fostering a strong working relationship among the corporate, agency and academic worlds that are devoted to these fields.

“As someone who has been involved with IPR for 15 years, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead this organization forward,” said McCorkindale. “Research on measurement standards, behavioral and employee communications, and the deeper meaning of social media will remain among IPR’s top priorities. We will also work to invest more into our research efforts, while also building awareness of what’s already available to professionals and academics who share our passion for public relations and communications.”

With 10 years of experience in corporate communications and consulting, McCorkindale has counseled clients in technology, insurance, pharmaceutical, transportation and financial services.  Her current roles include serving as a part-time research analyst for Cision, serving as an IPR Trustee and senior research editor of its Social Science of Social Media Research Center, serving in leadership positions with PRSA and PRSSA, and serving as a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, the Commission for Public Relations Education, and the Universal Accreditation Board. She also has worked on fundraising and social media training with one of the largest land conservation nonprofits in North Carolina.

“Tina is a well-respected researcher who has been active in academic and professional organizations that are squarely aligned with IPR’s focus on public relations and communications, “ said Ken Makovsky, co-chair of the IPR board and president of Makovsky, a communications agency based in New York. “She understands public relations as a profession and as a focus of academic study, and has a global understanding of where research on our profession is heading. Stepping into the role, she already is a known leader in the communities that IPR is part of.”

“Our board also believes Tina’s an excellent choice to succeed the strong legacy of leadership that current CEO Frank Ovaitt is leaving behind,” said Oscar Suris, IPR co-chair and executive vice president of corporate communications at Wells Fargo & Co., based in San Francisco. “Under Frank, IPR’s influence grew among professionals and academics, and it has resulted in a strong and engaged board, and great respect throughout our profession. Tina is now poised to build on that legacy, as she works to attract a new generation of professionals and academics to IPR’s research, insights, and thought leadership.”

McCorkindale is currently associate professor at Appalachian State University, and is credited with nearly 100 academic presentations and publications.  She earned her doctorate at the University of Miami and has taught at Cal Poly Pomona, the University of Vermont, the University of Miami, Ramkhamhaeng University in Thailand, and West Virginia University.

McCorkindale will take over the reins of the organization on May 11, replacing Frank Ovaitt who is retiring after serving as IPR’s executive from 2004-2009 and 2011-2015.  “Frank’s dedicated leadership has allowed IPR to build a platform for even greater progress in the future.  I am humbled to be succeeding him, as we are all grateful for all that he has done for IPR,” said McCorkindale.

IPR is an independent nonprofit foundation dedicated to the science beneath the art of public relations™. The organization traces back to 1956, when it was chartered as the Foundation for Public Relations Research and Education under the auspices of PRSA.  In 1989 it became an independent organization and adopted a new name.  It focuses on research that provides timely insights and applied intelligence that professionals can put to immediate use.  Its Board includes 45 of the most recognized corporate and agency practitioners, academics and nonprofit leaders.

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For more information:

Jenn Moyer
1 352 392 0280

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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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