|June 7, 2010|
|Jones, Gaudet Address Seminar|
|By Jack O'Dwyer|
|Van Jones, an environmental advocate who was Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation for the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Dr. Tracy Gaudet, executive director of Duke Integrative Medicine, were the headline speakers on the first day yesterday of the 58th annual "Seminar" of top PR industry executives at the Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain.|
The group dropped "PR" from its name two years ago after using it for 56 years.
A sign at this year's meeting said Seminar is "The Annual Forum of Senior Communications and Public Affairs Executives."
Seminar tradition is that discussion of "PR" as such is forbidden. Instead, political, social and economic topics are explored by speakers and attendees.
Sources at the meeting said that virtually all those who registered came to the meeting, since only a very few Seminar badges had not been picked up when the meeting started yesterday.
Counting spouses and companions, attendance was more than 250.
Security for the meeting, attended by representatives of many of the biggest companies in the U.S., was tight.
No one was allowed into any sessions without Seminar badges. Tight control was also kept of the program and attendance lists.
Last year about a quarter of the members did not show up because of criticism of corporate meetings at plush resorts (AIG).
Attendance was only 127 vs. the 167 at the previous year's meeting.
By meeting after June 1, Seminarians were able to cut the room rate from the usual $409 to $249. Registration fee for couples was $3,350 last year.
No Spokesperson This Year
New York PR pro Michael Paul was spokesperson for Seminar last year but said he no longer performs that function.
Seminar leaders and members, including chair Johanna Schneider of the Business Roundtable, program chair Joan Wainwright of Tyco Electronics, and Kathleen Matthews of Marriott Int'l, wife of MSNBC's Chris Matthews, did not return phone calls and e-mails.
Jones is the author of "The Green Collar Economy" which became No. 12 on the New York Times Best Seller List.
According to Wikipedia, he became embroiled in a controversy in 2009 over past political activities. He allegedly made a comment disparaging congressional Republicans and was also said to have been a member of a "Marxist" group. He attacked such charges as "a vicious smear campaign."
Jones is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and a senior policy advisor at Green for All. He has a joint appointment at Princeton University as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Gaudet Is Obstetrics Professor
Dr. Gaudet is also assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Duke University Medical Center.
The Duke website says that "Under her leadership, Duke Integrative Medicine has opened a state-of-the-art healthcare facility dedicated to the transformation of medicine through the exploration of new models of whole-person healthcare."
She also worked on the development of personalized health planning and initiatives in research and medical student and resident education.
Before joining Duke in 2000, she was founding executive director of the University of Arizona Program in Integrative Medicine, helping to design the country’s first curriculum in this field.
She is the author of "Consciously Female," a book on integrative medicine and women’s health, published by Bantam Books in 2004, and Body, Soul, and Baby, published by Bantam in 2007.
She writes for numerous publications including a column for Body + Soul magazine and also appears on TV programs.
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