Nationally prominent communication professionals will host an interactive crisis communication forum on Thursday, October 7, from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. in the Theodore S. Stern Student Center Ballroom on the College of Charleston campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The panel will include communication executives of the Department of Communication Advisory Council. The interactive forum will be structured as a two-part session. In part one, our panel of experts will provide observation and analyses of what was done well and what might have been done better in recent crises including the BP oil spill, Toyota brake failure and the egg salmonella scare. The second part will involve students, faculty and other advisory council members in attendance responding to the egg salmonella scare. Tom Martin, Executive-in-Residence, Department of Communication, College of Charleston, will moderate the event.

With sponsorship from the College’s Department of Communication and the Department of Communication Advisory Council, the forum will feature three panelists:

• Karen Kaplan brings more than 20 years of strategic communications experience to her position as General Manager of Fleishman-Hillard Atlanta. She has worked with many private and Fortune 500 companies across a broad array of industries and communications disciplines.

During her twelve-year tenure with Fleishman-Hillard, Ms. Kaplan has been a key figure in growing the Atlanta office into one of the city’s most respected communications firms. From corporate communications and brand positioning to public affairs and issues management, Karen has provided counsel to clients as diverse as Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Aventis, UnitedHealthcare, Abbott Vascular Devices, Georgia Tech and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

• Vice President of Corporate Communications for BMW of North America, Tom Kowaleski oversees management of the corporate communications department, after more than 30 years in automotive communications and marketing.

Prior to joining BMW of North America, Kowaleski served as VP, Global Communications, at General Motors. He joined General Motors in March 1999 as Executive Director, Product and Brand Communications. Prior to serving GM, Kowaleski spent 11 years with Chrysler Corporation and DaimlerChrysler serving in a number of executive public relations positions, as well as being the company’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications in Europe. He began his automotive career in 1979 with Renault USA, later transferred to American Motors and also spent time as a senior executive at Campbell and Company, an automotive public relations and marketing firm.

• Hayes Roth is responsible for directing all marketing and new business development efforts for Landor worldwide, as well as serving as senior manager on major global branding projects.

Over thirty years of broad-based marketing communications experience and a pragmatic approach to strategic business transformation have informed Hayes’ work with such organizations as Panasonic, Ryder, Pactiv, Royal Caribbean International, ITT, Columbia University, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the New York Stock Exchange, The Association of Zoos & Aquariums and The Cleveland Clinic. Most recently, he has directed strategic branding efforts for Citi, The United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the PGA of America, Altria, Bradesco, The Paley Center for Media, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Advertising Educational Foundation.

“This is a great opportunity for participants to learn more about the fundamentals of crisis communication and apply them to real world examples,” said Beth Goodier, chair of the Department of Communication. “It is easy to lose sight of the complexities of handling an emerging crisis – this forum will help to illuminate those challenges and engage the audience in resolving those issues.”

More information on this event and the Department of Communication Advisory Council.

With one of the largest undergraduate majors at the College of Charleston, the Department of Communication enrolls more than 800 students in its undergraduate and graduate programs. Students in the department study such topics as political communication, interpersonal communication, journalism, and public relations. The department is housed in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The Department of Communication Advisory Council promotes the recognition and progress of communication instruction at the College of Charleston. The Advisory Council is made up of an outstanding and nationally prominent group of communication professionals who aid the Department of Communication in developing curricula, creating and improving departmental programs, and calling attention to the many accomplishments of the department’s students and faculty.