It’s not difficult to pass the baton when able hands are there to accept it.
I think every successful entrepreneur should realize when the student has become the master and when it’s time to hand the baton and let the team soar to new heights, taking the company along with them.
That’s what is happening at PR Associates today. I am extremely pleased to appoint Megan Helmer as the new President of PR Associates as I take on the role of the Chief Executive Officer.
Megan’s not a new face at PR Associates; she has been with us for the past six years and is a well-established communication industry leader.
When Megan arrived at PR Associates after managing her own Investor Relations firm and a long stint in communications for the biotech and clean energy industries, her drive and determination was apparent. I remember during our first annual employee evaluation asking what her professional goals were? Megan’s answer, to my surprise, was “To have your job someday.”
Over the past six years, she has been focused on that goal. First as an Account Manager, Account Director and then as Vice President. Three years ago, she returned to university part-time to complete a Master’s degree in Communication while volunteering for almost every complicated assignment that came through PR Associates’ door. In doing so, she established a reputation for excellent client service and brought a large portfolio of new clients into the company.
As a result of her hard work, dedication and leadership skills, today Megan is taking over my current role and will be running the day-to day operations of PR Associates.
I am not sailing off into the sunset just yet. I will be taking on the CEO role in PR Associates and will still be guiding the team to provide great client service, outstanding strategic communication and measurable results.
I am also returning to my professional roots. I’ll be teaching and writing, while building PR Associates’ professional development practice in media training, spokesperson training, conflict resolution, presentation training and cross-cultural presentation training for STEM professionals.
Megan has already brought in renewed focus and direction to the firm with the strategic vision to hone our existing expertise within STEM industries. As the new President, Megan will be unveiling PR Associates’ new brand identity which is in alignment with our mission to communicate science, simply. She will be diversifying the company to include the STEM industries–mining, biotech, clean energy, technology and engineering to include a few, and she’ll be building the best team of communication professionals in the business.
In our press release distributed today I said, “Over six years, Megan has built an impressive track record of providing superior counsel and strategic guidance to clients and achieved excellent operational and commercial accomplishments for the firm. She has proven to be a successful and trusted leader and brings to this position a strong reputation for developing people and inspiring teams. Her wide knowledge base and experience, especially in the STEM industries is a valuable asset for our clients. I am extremely pleased to appoint her to this critical role,” and I meant it.
I believe the saying “when the student becomes the master” is from the culture of Japan, where a student trains under a master for a long time, until the student becomes the master. It’s the goal of every student then to add something to their shared craft and go beyond the master, and in this I have no doubt Megan will excel.
I’ll still be in the background as coach, chief cheerleader and backstop, and am confident clients and future clients will welcome Megan and continue to support the good work that she and our team does every day.
As for me, you’ll see me at periodic meetings and on the conference-cocktail circuit where I will still be boasting about PR Associates and the great work the company does.
Congratulations Megan, you have earned and deserve this opportunity.
We all wish you nothing but the best.