Roger Bolton is the president of the Arthur W. Page Society, the premier professional association for senior corporate communications executives. He has been named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America, a program of Next Decade, Inc. Previously, he served as senior vice president of communications at Aetna, a $35 billion provider of health care benefits, with responsibility for all internal and external communications, advertising, brand management and corporate public involvement. He also chaired Aetna’s Council for Organizational Effectiveness – a group of senior executives responsible for helping the company achieve high performance through culture change – and served on the board of the Aetna Foundation. Before Aetna, Bolton was IBM’s director of corporate media relations and director of communications for the IBM server and software groups.
Prior to his business career, Bolton served as assistant secretary of the Treasury for public affairs under President George H.W. Bush, assistant U.S. trade representative for public affairs in the Executive Office of the President under President Reagan, and special assistant to President Reagan in the White House, with responsibility for the president’s relations with business and labor. He is a recipient of the U.S. Treasury Distinguished Service Award.
Sandra Clark has been a vice president at WHYY, Philadelphia’s public radio station, since mid-2016. Prior to joining public media, she was a managing editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she rose through a number of editorial positions before joining the senior leadership team. In her spare time, she also serves as managing editor for the student blog, Because Arcadia, at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania, an opportunity to mentor and grow young writers. During much of the 1990s, Clark worked for the Peace Corps in Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, and for Africare in Mozambique running a variety of programs.
Clark is the former board president of the Pennsylvania Associated Press Media Editors and currently serves on the boards of the Associated Press Media Editors (APME) and William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and an M.B.A. from Arcadia University.
Dardarian joined Minneapolis’ Star Tribune in April of 2014 as senior managing editor and vice president, overseeing news and digital. Prior to that, she spent 15 years in senior management at The Seattle Times, including roles as managing editor and director of audience development/innovation. After graduating from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degrees in communications and political science, Dardarian reported for The Everett Herald, The News Tribune and The Seattle Times. She is also a former president of the Associated Press Media Editors.
During her time as managing editor at The Times, it earned two Pulitzer Prizes, for breaking news and investigative reporting. Also, a project she edited for the News Tribune was a Pulitzer finalist in explanatory reporting. In 2016, the Star Tribune was a Pulitzer finalist in local reporting for its examination of Minnesota’s treatment of people with disabilities. This year a Star Tribune project on the state’s failure to adequately handle cases of elder abuse was awarded the APME grand prize for Public Service.
Ellyn 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 Bellisario College of Communications and currently serves on Penn State’s Communications and Marketing Committee. She received Penn State’s Alumni Achievement Award in 2012.
Marie Hardin has been the dean of Penn State's Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications since July 2014. She joined Penn State's faculty in 2003, and previously served as associate dean for undergraduate and graduate education, capping levels of responsibility that grew regularly during her tenure at the University. Hardin’s research has focused on issues of diversity, ethics and professionalism in sports journalism. She is author of more than 80 journal articles and book chapters and is co-editor of a book on sports and digital media, published by Routledge. Hardin was also the director of the Arthur W. Page Center between 2010 and 2014.
Aedhmar Hynes is the former CEO of Text100, a global marketing communications agency that boasts a diverse list of clients, including IBM, Johnson & Johnson, American Express and AirBnB. She has become a recognized voice in global leadership within public relations. For decades, she has been described as a “natural disrupter” and an agent of change within the industry. Hynes graduated from The National University of Ireland—Galway and is currently a member of its foundation board. She is a member of Page Society board of trustees and its current chair. Hynes received the Global Technology Award for Communications and was named one of the top 50 most powerful people by PRWeek the past three years. She received the Page Society Distinguished Service Award, the Plank Center Milestones in Mentoring Agency Award, and was named 2018 Global Professional of the Year.
Maril MacDonald, CEO of Gagen MacDonald and past president of the Arthur W. Page Society, is well respected for her expertise in the field of communications and strategy execution. Prior to founding Gagen MacDonald, she led communication and brand strategy for International Truck and Engine Corporation, and with CEO John Horne, directed a cultural turnaround that eventually led International to the Wall Street Journal’s “Top 10 Performers” list and Business Week’s “Top 50 Companies”.
Chicago-based Gagen MacDonald offers clients leadership assessment and coaching, organizational design, diversity strategies and information flow management. The firm, formerly known as Matha MacDonald LLC, changed to Gagen MacDonald in honor of MacDonald’s father and to personify the integrity his name represents. She was named by PR Week as one of “the 50 Most Powerful Women in PR” and recognized as a “PR All-Star” by Inside PR.
William G. Margaritis
Bill Margaritis is a business consultant and investor. He oversaw corporate branding, internal and external communications, government relations and corporate responsibility programs for Hilton Worldwide. Margaritis previously served as senior vice president for FedEx Corporation for 16 years, overseeing reputation management, investor relations, public relations, employee communications and CSR programs for FedEx Corp. and its subsidiaries globally.
Prior to joining FedEx, Margaritis was vice president of Bechtel International, based in London and was responsible for managing public relations and marketing communications for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Southwest Asia. He also worked in Washington, D.C., and Athens, Greece, for separate divisions of the company. Margaritis also has broad experience in government affairs through positions with Occidental Petroleum, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce’s Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and the Michigan State Senate. In 1984, Margaritis served as deputy director of the Reagan-Bush re-election campaign for the state of Michigan.
Tom Martin has served as the executive-in-residence in the Department of Communication at the College of Charleston since 2007. In this role, Martin works with the students, faculty and administration of the College to enhance the relationship between the Communication Department and the business community, and to help its students successfully transition into the business world. As EIR, Martin teaches undergraduate classes, organizes student trips, serves as a mentor to students, and works with the Department’s Advisory Council of which he is a past chair. In 2016 he launched the Martin Scholars program, a selective mentoring, networking and learning program for graduating seniors in Communication.
Martin was formerly vice president of corporate communications for the Federal Express Corporation, where he was responsible for worldwide public relations, investor relations and employee communications for the Fortune 150 Company. He was also responsible for the public relations and internal communications efforts for the launch of the FedEx brand in 1994. He serves on the board of the PRSA Foundation, and has also served as a trustee of the Arthur W. Page Society. He was chairman of the Society from 2004 to 2005 and received its Distinguished Service Award in 2011. He is active in SVP-Charleston, a philanthropic partnership investing in non-profits. Tom is also a member the PR News Hall of Fame.
John S. Nichols
John Nichols, emeritus professor of communications, is the founding director of the Page Center. Nichols taught international communications at Penn State since he joined the faculty in 1977 and specialized in Cuban communication issues for nearly three decades. His current research focuses on international propaganda, the right to travel, and the role of media in conflict. Nichols is the co-author or contributing author of three books that have received the Choice "Outstanding Academic Book" award and is the author of numerous other publications in international communications and foreign affairs. He is a past chair of the University Faculty Senate and, in 1999, won Penn State's "Most Innovative Teacher" award. His Ph.D. is from the University of Minnesota.
Advisory Board Chair
Willard “Bill” Nielsen is a former corporate vice president of public affairs at Johnson & Johnson and a management communications consultant. He specializes in organizational vision and values, corporate communications, public relations, public affairs and corporate coaching, drawing on experience gained over 30 years in both industry and agency leadership positions.
Nielsen serves on the Boards of Trustees of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Josephson Institute of Ethics. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the TEDMED Conferences. He retired as corporate vice president of public affairs, at Johnson & Johnson in 2004, after 17 years with the company. He joined Johnson & Johnson in 1988, following 18 years as a public relations agency consultant with Carl Byoir & Associates and Hill and Knowlton. Nielsen served two terms as president of the Arthur W. Page Society and was inducted into that organization’s Hall of Fame in September 2003. He is a past chairman of The Seminar. He also chaired the board of the Institute for Public Relations and continues as an emeritus director, and served on the Board of Directors of the Global Public Affairs Institute. He is a member of, The Wisemen and the Public Relations Society of America.
Dave Samson has been the general manager of public affairs for Chevron Corporation since 2004. He oversees the multi-billion-dollar company’s communications strategies, from digital engagement and media relations to risk-mitigation and internal communications. Previously, Samson was head of worldwide communications at Levi Strauss & Co. He also led international communications at both IBM and Oracle, and was a partner and managing director at Ketchum Public Relations. A member of the Page Hall of Fame, Samson is the immediate past chair of the Society and past chair of the general committee for the American Petroleum Institute. He graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s in journalism and the University of Phoenix with an MBA.
Gary Sheffer is currently the Sandra R. Frazier professor of public relations at Boston University. Prior to this position, he was a senior corporate strategist at Weber Shandwick. Sheffer served as vice president of corporate communications and public affairs for General Electric for 13 years. He was GE’s chief global reputation officer, developing protocols for crisis, risk assessment and tactical execution. Gary 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.
Page Center Director
Denise Bortree is an associate professor in the department of advertising and public relations in the Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State and the director of the Arthur W. Page Center. She brings more than 10 years of industry experience to the position, including work as communications manager for two Fortune 500 companies. Bortree’s research focuses on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and nonprofit communication. Her research on volunteer communication led to her selection by the United Nations Volunteers to write for its State of the World’s Volunteerism study. Her work at the Page Center has resulted in two co-edited books and a number of peer reviewed publications.