Prior to joining DePaul and becoming an independent public
relations consultant, Ron Culp held senior public relations positions at
four Fortune 500 corporations and two major agencies. Culp’s career
spans a broad range of communications responsibilities in government and
business-to-business, consumer products, pharmaceutical and retailing
Culp’s two agency stints include being a Partner and Managing
Director of Ketchum’s Midwest offices and head of the agency’s North
American Corporate Practice. Prior to Ketchum, he opened and served as
Managing Director of the Chicago office of Sard Verbinnen and Company, a
leading financial communications firm.
Previously, Culp was Senior Vice President, Public Relations and
Government Affairs, for Sears. During his Sears career, Ron managed
internal and external communications, marketing public relations
support, state and federal government affairs and community relations
and the Sears-Roebuck Foundation. Earlier in his career, he held senior
communications positions at Sara Lee Corporation, Pitney Bowes, and Eli
Lilly. At Sara Lee, he handled corporate, event and internal
communications for the consumer products company. He oversaw a number of
Sara Lee’s arts sponsorships, including the historic, first-ever art
exchange between the Hermitage and Pushkin museums in Russia and the Art
Institute of Chicago and the Metropolitan Museum of the Arts in New
York. He also served for six years on the Art Institute’s marketing
committee, and was Executive Director of corporate sponsorship
activities for Sara Lee’s Olympics partnership.
As Director of Public Relations at Pitney Bowes, Culp oversaw all
aspects of internal, external and financial public relations. He also
was responsible for opening the corporation’s new I.M. Pei-designed
world headquarters. At Lilly, Culp was the company's primary media
spokesperson. Culp began his career as a reporter for The Columbus
(Ind.) Republic before moving to the New York State Assembly where he
served as Director of Member Services (the public relations support
unit) under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
Culp is active in several civic organizations including the
Economic Club of Chicago where he is a former board member and vice
chair. A member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Culp also
serves on the board of Gilda’s Club Chicago. He chairs the board of the
Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and is listed in Crain’s
“Who’s Who in Chicago Business."
In 2006, Culp received the Distinguished Service Award from the
Arthur W. Page Society, and in 2011 he was honored with the prestigious
John W. Hill Award by the New York Chapter of PRSA. A year later, he was
honored by the Chicago chapter of PRSA as PR Professional of the Year.
He also is featured in the PRSSA book, “Legacies from Legends in Public
Relations” (2007) and was named to the PR News “Hall of Fame” in 2008.
In 2012, Culp received the prestigious David Ferguson Award for
Outstanding Contributions to Public Relations Education by Public
Relations Society of America (PRSA).
Culp and his DePaul colleague Matt Ragas are co-authors of a
business basics book for PR professionals entitled “Business Essentials
for Strategic Communicators” (Palgrave Macmillan).
Culp and his wife, Sandra, are residents of Chicago’s River North neighborhood.