EXPECTATIONS & FRUSTRATIONS: HOW THE PUBLIC PERCEIVES
CORPORATIONS AND CEOS
Biographies of Contributors
Valerie Di Maria
Senior Vice President and Group Marketing Director
Willis Group Holdings Limited
Valerie leads worldwide marketing, executive communications, media relations, employee communications, government affairs, community relations, corporate philanthropy, events, and brand and reputation management for Willis Group, a leading global insurance broker.
Prior to her role at Willis, she held leading communication positions at Motorola and GE Capital and previously headed the New York headquarters of Grey Advertising's international public relations agency, GCI. She has significant experience in corporate, consumer and business-to-business public relations and marketing.
Valerie is a leader in the public relations field and currently sits on the Client Advisory Board of the Council of PR Firms and is a board member of the Arthur W. Page Society, among other affiliations.
Senior Partner and President
As president of Ketchum, Rob's role is to help set strategy for the agency and to develop business worldwide. He also oversees the agency's Global Corporate Practice and Global Research Network, and serves on the agency's 10-member Executive Committee.
During his 19-year career at Ketchum, Rob has specialized in corporate positioning and issues management. He has helped companies prepare for and respond to challenging situations ranging from data security and airline accidents to product liability and antitrust litigation.
He was previously responsible for all of the agency's global practices, including Brand Marketing, Corporate, Food & Nutrition, Healthcare, and Technology, and he was managing director of the firm's New York office.
Director of Executive Communications
Eli Lilly and Co.
As director of executive communications, Rob supervises a team of speechwriters and writes speeches for Eli Lilly's CEO and other senior executives. With 20 years of speechwriting experience, he also teaches communication workshops around the U.S. and is a former editor of Speechwriter's Newsletter.
Vice President, Communication and Reputation
Navistar International Corp.
Jon Harmon is vice president of communication and reputation at Navistar, the parent company of International Truck and Engine Corporation and producer of commercial trucks, mid-range diesel engines and school buses, and designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for pickup trucks, vans and SUVs.
Jon joined Navistar from Force for Good Communications, a public relations consultancy he founded in 2007. Previously, Harmon had worked for 23 years at Ford Motor Company in public relations, including senior roles in product communications, corporate reputation management and strategic communications.
Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Communications and Investor Relations
Bill Margaritis oversees all reputation management, investor relations, public relations, employee communications and community relations activities for FedEx Corp. and its subsidiaries. He has led communications for various crises, acquisitions, rebranding initiatives, employee change-management programs and new go-to-market strategies.
Prior to joining FedEx, he was vice president of Bechtel International, based in London, and was responsible for managing public relations and marketing communications for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Southwest Asia. He also worked in Washington, D.C., and Athens, Greece, for separate divisions of the company. In addition to his extensive background in international communications, he also has broad experience in government affairs.
Arthur W. Page Society
Tom Nicholson joined the Arthur W. Page Society as executive director in April 2007. He previously served in both business management and communications leadership positions, including as vice president and general manager for Avery Weigh-Tronix, LLC, one of the largest international manufacturers and sellers of industrial and retail weighing systems. Nicholson's communications and public relations experience includes senior management positions at HSBC North America, Sears and several public relations agencies.
Tom also was the founder of an Inc. 500 Fastest Growing public relations consultancy and served as a vice president at Edelman Worldwide. He began his career as a journalist, working in newspapers, radio and television.
Partner and Director, North American Corporate Practice
John has more than 25 years of experience in all facets of integrated marketing and corporate public relations. He has wide-ranging experience in corporate reputation management and international public relations, and has worked extensively in the telecommunications field.