Arthur W. Page Center elects 3 to advisory board

November 22, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.– In an effort to gain new perspectives within its field, the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication announced today that it has elected three communications industry leaders to its advisory board.

Ellyn Fisher, senior vice president of the Ad Council; Tom Martin, former vice president of communications at ITT and FedEx and now executive-in-residence at the College of Charleston; and Gary Sheffer, former vice president of communications at General Electric, join the Center’s nine-member advisory board.

“We are privileged to have icons of the public relations industry so actively involved in supporting the center and offering their expertise to help our cause,” said Denise Bortree, center director and associate professor of advertising-public relations.

Housed in Penn State’s College of Communications, the Page Center promotes and supports research that advances ethics and responsibility in all forms of public communication. Advisory board members provide guidance for center leaders throughout the year. They also assist in fundraising and building awareness across the industry.

Current board members have decades of experience in leadership positions in major global companies, including Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, Hilton and Aetna. Through their involvement on the board, they demonstrate the importance of integrity and ethics in the field of corporate and public communications.

Bill Nielsen, former head of communications at Johnson & Johnson and chairman of the advisory board, said the expansion of the board is a “significant” step in advancing the Center’s mission. “A wider and more vigorous discussion of ethics and integrity in public communication is urgently needed as our country has witnessed an explosion of media in all forms. Public skepticism and distrust of what is seen and heard is at an all time high. Our work will be greatly enhanced and fortified with the addition of Ellyn, Tom and Gary to our board’s advisory role.”

Ellyn Fisher

Fisher is the senior vice president of public relations and social media for the Ad Council. She promotes the organization and its more than 40 public service communications programs, including Smokey Bear and “Love Hates No Labels,” the Ad Council’s iconic diversity and inclusion effort. During her 15 years of experience, Fisher has developed an expertise in media relations, influencer engagement, community management, content development and strategic partnerships. She has served on the American Cancer Society’s Communications and Marketing Advisory Board. Fisher is an alumna of Penn State and has served on the Advertising/PR board of the University’s College of Communications and currently serves on Penn State’s Communications and Marketing Committee. She received Penn State’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2012.

Tom Martin

Martin has served as the executive-in-residence in the Department of Communication at the College of Charleston since 2007. He is a co-author of “An Overview of the Public Relations Function,” published by Business Executive Press. Martin retired in 2007 from the ITT Corporation, where he served as senior vice president and director of corporate relations. Martin was formerly vice president of corporate communications for the Federal Express Corporation. Martin graduated from Vanderbilt University. He serves on the board of the PRSA Foundation, and has also served as a trustee of the Arthur W. Page Society. He was president of the Society from 2004 to 2005 and received its Distinguished Service Award in 2011. Martin is also a member the PR News Hall of Fame.

Gary Sheffer

After 13 years serving as vice president of corporate communications and public affairs for General Electric, Sheffer is now helping senior leaders and boards communicate their company’s values, culture and character as a communications consultant. He served as GE’s chief global reputation officer, developing protocols for crisis, risk assessment and tactical execution. Sheffer also served as chairman of the Arthur W. Page Society. He is on the board of the Institute for Public Relations (IPR) and is a founder/board member of the GE-Reagan Scholarship Program. He is a graduate of Siena College.

Other members of the advisory board include:  Roger Bolton, president of the Arthur W. Page Society and former senior vice president of communications at Aetna; Marie Hardin, dean of the College of Communications; Jon Iwata, senior vice president of marketing and communications at IBM; Maril MacDonald, CEO of Gagen MacDonald; William Margaritis, business consultant and investor; John Nichols, emeritus professor of communications at the College of Communications; Bortree; and Nielsen.

Since its 2004 founding, the Page Center has become an international leader in research on ethics and integrity in public communication. Over the past 12 years, the center has funded more than 200 scholars and awarded more than $700,000 in research funding. Visit the Page Center website for more information about the center and its many initiatives.


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Last Updated June 02, 2021