College of Communication > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Ron Culp

Ron Culp

  • PRAD Professional in Residence, Instructor and Professional Director, Graduate Professional Program Director - Public Relations and Advertising
  • BS (Indiana State University)
  • Public Relations and Advertising
  • (312) 362-6212
  • ​​​14 E. Jackson Blvd., Room 1265​​​​

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 industries.

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. ​
Visit Ron's PRAD blog, Culpwrit, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter​.


Business Essentials for Strategic Communicators (2014, Palgrave Macmillan)​