Oral Histories

John (Jack) Felton

Interview Segments on Topic: Counselor/Counseling Advisor

John (Jack) Felton Biography

John (Jack) Felton was vice-president of corporate communications at McCormick Spice Company in Baltimore MD from 1977 to 1994.  Following his retirement from McCormick, Felton became The Institute for Public Relations (IPR) chief executive.  Prior to his corporate career, he served as a first lieutenant with the U.S.A.F. Strategic Air Command during the Korean War.

Felton joined the University of Florida faculty in 1993 as the Freedom Forum Distinguished Visiting Professor. He is a former two-term president of PRSA and winner of its highest award, the Gold Anvil, in 1992.  In 2002, Felton received the Arthur W. Page Society’s Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his contributions to strengthening the role of public relations.


Interviewer: Let’s talk a moment about counseling. The aim of the Arthur W. Page Center and the Page Society is to help individuals become counselors to leadership. How can individuals best prepare themselves for this role?

Felton: I think you have to have had some experience some good counseling yourself and recognize what someone did for you so that you can take that same kind of care to someone else. I think we need to let students and people know we believe in them. That we think they have strong abilities and that we are fair with them in saying. I think you are wonderful this way but how about you better do a little bit better on writing a news release. You might do better in doing a speech if we did it this way. And I think we have to assume that responsibility in trying to make students even better by working with them not a pal but being someone they are comfortable to come back with and say what am I going to do here. And you can help them. You want them to ask the question and not be scared or worried about. Again I think we need to be open and available and with a sense of humor. You know you can do so much more if you can laugh together even if it’s a problem, if you can make it enjoyable for everybody and fun to be around., Fun to work with.