Gene Foreman spent 25 years out of his 41-year career as a journalist at The Philadelphia Inquirer. He served as executive editor, managing editor and deputy editor. During this time, the Inquirer received 18 Pulitzer Prizes and, even now, is referred to as its “heyday” for the amount of talent and reliability within its journalism and reporting. Foreman’s journalism career began at the age of 13, as a correspondent for the Phillips County Herald in his hometown in rural Arkansas. After returning from the Army, his career continued at the Arkansas Gazette in 1957. After his time with the Gazette, Foreman worked with numerous publications such as The New York Times, Pine Bluff Commercial, Arkansas Democrat and, as executive news director, at Newsday. Following his journalism career, Foreman became a member of the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications faculty at Penn State. Foreman was a part of the Penn State family from 1999 to 2006. He taught classes on journalism ethics, winning two awards for teaching and another recognition for the contributions he made to the college.
Ginger Hardage spent the last 25 years of her career at Southwest Airlines as senior vice president of culture and communications and a member of the CEO’s executive leadership team before her retirement. During her time at Southwest, Ginger was seen as one of the strongest female figures at the company. She led a team of 150 people in building and sustaining the company’s culture and enterprise along with launching her own brand, Unstoppable Cultures, that helps companies achieve their goals of creating and sustaining a company culture. Ginger was recognized for her hard work numerous times throughout her career: An induction into the Public Relations Hall of Fame, one of Texas’ Most Powerful and Influential Women, “Legendary Communicator” coined by Southern Methodist University, and multiple spots on PRWeek’s Top 50 Power list and 50 Most Powerful Women in Public Relations are among some of the recognitions Ginger earned. Currently, Ginger serves as a trustee on the global board of Ronald McDonald House Charities and serves on the board of The Trinity Park Conservancy. She was recently appointed president of the Trinity Commons Foundation.
Tom Kean’s political career started in 1967 when he was elected to the New Jersey General Assembly. Kean’s interest in politics goes all the way back to his visit to the 1948 Republic National Convention. He soon after began to write a semi-weekly political column for his school newspaper called “Sound and Fury.” In 1981, with an endorsement from Gerald Ford, Tom Kean was elected the governor of New Jersey. He won the closest gubernatorial election in New Jersey history. By the time he ran again in 1985, Kean won by the largest margin in state history and gaining 70 percent of the vote. After his time as New Jersey governor, Kean was appointed as president of Drew University where he focused on upgrading the facilities and academic programs. During his time at Drew University, Kean involved himself in national politics. In 2002, Kean was selected to lead the 9/11 Commission, which was responsible for a detailed overview of how the United States prepared and responded to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.