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Comms industry leader Charlene Wheeless joins APCO Worldwide as Senior Counselor

by | Aug 19, 2020

Charlene Wheeless, current chair of Arthur W. Page Society and former principal vice president of global corporate affairs for Bechtel Corporation, joined APCO Worldwide’s International Advisory Council (IAC) as senior counselor, Margery Kraus, founder and executive chairman, announced.

“Charlene represents the highest standards in our industry, and we are thrilled to have the benefit of her expertise and counsel for ourselves and for our clients,” Kraus said. “She has never shied away from tackling challenging issues or using her life experiences to help organizations and individuals make better decisions,” Kraus said. “I sincerely welcome Charlene and I look forward to continuing our great work together to provide clients with astute counsel necessary to successfully navigate these uncertain times, and to help build more diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace environments and society for all.”

Wheeless is an award-winning communications executive with decades of experience in the industry. She was named by PRWeek as one of the most influential PR professionals for three consecutive years, and was inducted into the PRWeek Hall of Femme in 2016. She was previously recognized by the National Journal as one of “25 Influential Black Women in Business,” and has been consistently lauded for her professional excellence.

“As a CCO at global companies for more than 20 years, I’ve worked with many communications and crisis agencies across the spectrum,” Wheeless said. “Working with APCO was a highlight. They always brought their best talent and thinking to every challenge, immediately gained credibility and trust with our C-suite, and always delivered. I am delighted to join the APCO IAC and be among such a smart and gifted leadership group.”

At Bechtel, Wheeless was responsible for global communications, issues and reputation management, sustainability, stewardship and public affairs. Before joining Bechtel in 2009, Wheeless served as a vice president of communications for Raytheon’s Intelligence & Information Systems division and as the site executive at its 700,000 sq. ft. facility. As an active member of her community and industry, she is chairman of the board of trustees for HCA Reston Hospital, a member and past chair of the board for the Greater Reston (Virginia) Chamber of Commerce, and a board member of The Arthur W. Page Center, the Institute of Public Relations, and the board of advisors for Reputation Institute. Previously, she served on the board of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, and the George Washington University Virginia Campus.

Wheeless joins a diverse group of seasoned leaders in the Corporate Communications Strategies (CCS) subgroup of the IAC, including leading executives and professionals with distinguished careers with some of the world’s most important companies and brands, including chief communications officers of global Fortune-level companies.

APCO can help organizations leverage the sage insights of CCS subgroup members, including Wheeless, to navigate every phase of communications strategy development and implementation, and tap into APCO’s wealth of on-call resources, research and multidimensional insight and crisis management expertise to create, refine or test strategies, gain insights into global best practices and build functional excellence.

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