Cole Named Prima Civitas Foundation Scholar

Posted on: July 9, 2013

Richard Cole
On Tuesday, June 25, Prima Civitas Foundation (PCF) welcomed Advertising + PR professor Richard Cole as a new PCF Scholar. Cole will be lending nearly 40 years worth of experience in public policy, health care and university administration, advertising, public relations, teaching and research to PCF initiatives.

Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon launched PCF in 2006 as a part of her Boldness by Design initiative. Its role was to further engage MSU in the economic transformation in mid-Michigan by focusing on innovation, skill development and regional collaboration. As a PCF Scholar, Cole will provide advice on advertising, public relations and marketing. He will work with other PCF Scholars, project leaders and local leaders on several initiatives that include:

  • Digital Trails: a project designed to inspire development projects that highlight Michigan's great resources
  • Gigabit Ready: a regional initiative launched in 2012 to encourage development and adoption of ultra high-speed or "gigabit" broadband throughout Greater Lansing
  • Design Michigan: a separate nonprofit entity involving leaders in academics and private capacities to help brand the state as a place for up-and-coming design.

While PCF is independent from MSU, it operates within the "MSU knowledge orbit," says Holly Hetzner, PCF Communications and Grant Coordinator. "We utilize MSU knowledge resources, such as faculty expertise, student interns and economic tools for our various programs."

Cole has held a variety of executive-level positions including serving as the Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Detroit Medical Center where he directed major corporate staff functions including human resources, public and media relations, marketing and advertising, development and philanthropy, international services and state and federal government relations. Before joining the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), Cole had retired as Senior Vice President for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan where he had been a corporate officer overseeing a number of divisions and subsidiaries since 1991. Prior to that, Cole had been Vice President for University Advancement at Ferris State University.

Professor Cole has served as a member and officer in a variety of national, state and local governmental and civic organizations. He is a member of the national child maltreatment task force for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta. In 2005, Cole was named Chair of the Metropolitan Detroit Division of the March of Dimes, a position he held through 2008. He is also a founding board member of The Center for Michigan, a "bi-partisan economic development think and do tank" in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Cole's writings have been published nationally. He is a contributing author to the "Handbook of Strategic Public Relations and Integrated Marketing," McGraw-Hill (1997) and the "Handbook of Research on Effective Electronic Gaming in Education," Information Science Reference (2008).

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