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Linda Thomas Brooks named PRSA Chief Executive Officer

by | Jan 11, 2021

Linda Thomas Brooks has been named Chief Executive Officer of PRSA, the nation’s leading professional organization serving the communications community, it was announced by Michelle Olson, APR, PRSA 2021 Chair. The appointment is effective on Tuesday, Jan. 19 with Thomas Brooks based in New York.

Linda Thomas Brooks

Linda Thomas Brooks

In this role, Thomas Brooks will be responsible for all program, financial, and operational aspects of the organization. Reporting to and collaborating closely with PRSA’s Board of Directors, the CEO will guide the development and implementation of PRSA’s strategic vision and plan as well as the programs and policy positions necessary to support the membership.

“We are thrilled to welcome Linda to PRSA,” said Olson. “The search for PRSA’s next CEO was a very deliberative process to ensure we found the right person with the leadership and experience needed to guide the organization through this next era of growth. Linda’s vision for PRSA earned her the support of the Board and we all look forward to working with her as she assumes this new role and builds on the strong foundation of PRSA.

“I also want to thank the CEO Search Committee and the 2020 Board for their work and for always thoughtfully considering the needs of our members, countless volunteer leaders and professional staff. Their input and feedback were critical to the success of the search.”

“This is a tremendous opportunity and I’m excited to be joining PRSA at such a critical juncture for the communications profession,” said Thomas Brooks. “As the media and communications ecosystem continues to grow, the PR discipline includes the skills and perspective to be at the center of that universe. I’m very focused on media literacy and the impacts of mis/dis information; staying on top of that will take constant innovation and will be critical to the healthy evolution of the communications community. The work and output of PR and communications professionals can quite literally be life changing. I consider it an enormous challenge and privilege to work with the industry’s leaders on this and other critical issues.”

Thomas Brooks succeeds Philip T. Bonaventura, who has served as Interim CEO since July 2019. He will resume his full-time role as Chief Financial Officer, a position he has held since joining PRSA in 2007.

“I could not have imagined anyone else working alongside me in my year as Chair of PRSA – a year like no other in recent history,” said T. Garland Stansell, APR, PRSA Immediate Past Chair. “The Board, staff and our nearly 30,000 professional and student members were the ones to benefit from his guidance, expertise, calm demeanor and commitment. We owe him a great debt of gratitude.”

Thomas Brooks most recently was a consultant working with media, marketing and trade organizations on systemic change, structural alignment and member services. Her roles include being Interim Managing Director, Media and Publishing Divisions of SIIA, the Software & Information Industry Association, and a Corporate Fellow at GOOD/Upworthy.

Prior to that, Thomas Brooks was President & CEO, Association of Magazine Media. During her tenure, she delivered high-multiple ROI to all members, created data-driven insights for advertisers and prompted increased ad spending to member companies. Additionally, Thomas Brooks and her team developed industry branding campaigns which exceeded business goals and won numerous industry awards.

Thomas Brooks also was EVP, Managing Director at General Motors Media Works, and President, Ingenuity Media at The Martin Agency. She has also worked with innovative technology companies such as Trilogy and Gear Digital, an omni-channel, full-service agency which she co-founded and served as President.

An award-winning executive, Thomas Brooks has been named an Ad Age Women to Watch and was honored as one of Folio’s Top 100 Execs. She has also been presented an AWNY Impact Award for Mentoring and was inducted into the AAF Advertising Hall of Achievement.

Thomas Brooks was graduated from the Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. She resides in Westchester County, N.Y.

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