Advisory Board Biography
E. Ronald Culp
Culp & Co., Principal &
DePaul University, Professional in Residence
Ron Culp is the founder and principal of Culp & Co. and professional in residence in the graduate public relations and advertising program at DePaul University. Prior to starting his own PR consultancy, Ron was a partner at Ketchum, a global public relations firm, where he was Managing Director of the Midwest Operations of Ketchum. Previously, Culp founded and served as Managing Director of the Chicago office of Sard Verbinnen & Company, a leading financial communications firm. Throughout his professional career, Culp has created communications strategies for shareholders, employees, customers and the public through his roles as a corporate communications, public relations, and government affairs executive with four Fortune 500 corporations.
Culp’s vision, counsel and strategies have steered communications and government affairs at Sears, Sara Lee Corporation, Pitney Bowes and Eli Lilly and Company. Throughout his career, he has helped employers and clients manage through Congressional hearings, product recalls, financial restructuring, organizational transformation, mergers and acquisitions, and other high-profile activities. Behind the scenes, he also developed award-winning employee communications, corporate philanthropy, and community relations initiatives. He led the Sears Roebuck Foundation and earlier helped Sara Lee earn a worldwide reputation as a leading corporate sponsor of the arts.
Culp is active in several nonprofit and professional organizations, including the Economic Club of Chicago, the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, Gilda’s Club Chicago and the Museum of Public Relations. He has received numerous awards for his professional leadership, including top lifetime achievement awards from the Arthur W. Page Society and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). He’s the only individual to be recognized for career achievement by both the Chicago and New York chapters of PRSA.
Culp holds a bachelor’s degree in pre-law from Indiana State University and received the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002. He delivered the university’s Commencement address in 2018. Long known for his skills at developing talent and mentoring, Culp has created scholarships for first-generation students at his alma mater as well as DePaul University. He also has endowed a scholarship through the PRSA Foundation that recognizes student mentors.