Joseph Cohen, senior VP of MWW Group, seventh biggest independent PR firm in the O’Dwyer rankings with $38.6 million in 2011 fees, based in the New York metro area, is competing for chair-elect of the PR Society against Kathy Barbour, PA manager of the Mayo Clinic at its facility in Jacksonville, Fla.

Barbour, Cohen
Barbour, Cohen
If elected chair-elect, Cohen, who is based in MWW’s New York offices at 304 Park Ave. South, would be the first New Yorker to head the Society since Kathy Lewton held that post in 2001. The New Yorker who was chair prior to that was John Paluszek of Ketchum, who served in 1989.

Barbour is 2012 treasurer and Cohen is a member of the board.

Her application (PDF) says she is “a seasoned healthcare PR professional in a leadership role at Mayo Clinic.” She says she works with its CEO, legal and senior management team in supporting organizational objectives and develops “strategic plans, sets priorities, establishes and monitors budgets and lead and motivate employees and volunteers across geographical boundaries.

She says she values “ethics and diversity and am used to working with a variety of individuals at various levels.”

Cohen’s application (PDF) says that as chair he would “bring to the organization an established record of success as a leader at MWW, within the Society, and within my local community.”

He notes that MWW is “one of the nation’s top independent PR firms” where he is a senior VP and leader within the agency’s top-ranked consumer marketing practice. “I help guide department strategy, staff development and new business growth initiatives and manage more than 25 employees including 11 direct reports,” says the application.

He defines his leadership style by his values -- “accountability, transparency, collaboration, achieving results and having fun while doing so.”

No Candidate From Northeast District

No candidate showed up for the Northeast District. The board seat can now be converted to an at-large position.

Other candidates include Blake Lewis of Dallas, unopposed for treasurer; Marissa Vallbona of San Diego, unopposed for secretary; Sonja Popp-Stahly of Eli Lilly and Co., Indianapolis, unopposed for E. Central district; Felicia Blow of Paul D. Camp Community College, Franklin, Va., and Tracy Schario, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Washington, D.C., competing for Mid-Atlantic district; Anita Saunders, Yankee Gas Communications, Berlin, Conn., unopposed for Tri-State district, and William Robertson of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., unopposed for Western district.

Competing for director-at-large are Kelly Davis of Columbia, S.C.,; Brian Lee, Madison, Wis.; Susan Walton, Provo, Utah, and Brooke Worden, Minneapolis.