LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 19, 2004) -- Betsy Plank, the first woman president of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and considered the First Lady of Public Relations, will deliver the 2004 Bowling Executive-in-Residence lecture at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28, at the University of Kentucky William T. Young Library auditorium.
A reception in Plank’s honor will be held at 4:30 p.m. that day in the gallery of the library. The reception and the lecture are free and open to the public.
Also, as part of UK’s Bowling Executive-in-Residence program, Lois Mateus, senior vice president and executive director of corporate communications and services at the Brown-Forman Co. of Louisville, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award at a luncheon in her honor Friday, Oct. 29.
Plank, a graduate of the University of Alabama, also received the first two PRSA top professional awards ever presented: the Gold Anvil as the nation’s outstanding professional and the Lund Award for exemplary civic community service.
Plank was the first female to head a company department at Ameritech (formerly Illinois Bell), directing external affairs for 17 years. At Ameritech, she shaped and articulated the company’s response to the divestiture of the Bell System.
Prior to her work at Ameritech, she served as executive vice president and treasurer of Edelman Public Relations, an international consulting firm. She joined the Bell System in 1973 and later served as director of public relations planning for AT&T before joining Ameritech.
“We are so pleased and honored to have this public relations pioneer come to UK to work with – and hopefully influence – our students and to give this fifth Bowling Lecture,” said Beth Barnes, director of the UK School of Journalism and Telecommunications. The lifetime achievement award and lecture are sponsored by the school’s alumni association.
The lecture series honors James C. Bowling, the late retired assistant chairman of Philip Morris Companies Inc. Bowling attended UK and served on numerous university committees.
Mateus, the Lifetime Achievement honoree, is a UK graduate. She joined state government after graduation and later edited the Journal of Kentucky Libraries and directed the Kentucky Historical Events Celebration Commission for the Commonwealth’s 1976 observance of America’s bicentennial.
In 1978, she served in the Gov. John Y. Brown administration as commissioner of the Department of Tourism, Department of Public Information and the Department of the Arts. In this position, she worked closely with Phyllis George Brown promoting Kentucky’s economic development and tourism programs and creating the Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation.
In addition to her corporate service for Brown-Forman, Mateus serves on the board of Hartmann Luggage and has been involved in the restoration of the Labrot and Graham Distillery in Versailles, Ky.
She is president of the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft and serves on the boards of Kentuckians of New York, Leadership Kentucky, the International Association of Culinary Professionals Foundation, and many other foundations
To register for the luncheon, contact Julie Berry in the UK School of Journalism and Telecommunications, (859) 275-1730.