News Desk

Ken Koprowski, Strategic Communications

Professional and Educator, Passes Away

 

Kenneth M. Koprowski, age 69, of Stamford, Connecticut, died at Stamford Hospital (Conn.) on Friday, September 7, following a long and courageous bout with cancer.

Ken, a distinguished corporate public relations executive, communications consultant, writer, poet and educator, was best defined as a giving teacher, guiding mentor, selfless volunteer, devoted husband and wonderfully loving father. He was long a leader in the public relations professional community in the Stamford-Westchester (New York) area and led a team of PR volunteers who helped Stamford set national and world records for training citizens to perform CPR.

Born May 28, 1949, in Pulaski, Wisconsin to Mitchell and Lorraine Koprowski, Ken grew up in Chicago and central and northern Wisconsin. He married his beloved wife, Pamela Cardinale in Stamford, Conn.

Ken earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and a master’s in Creative Writing from Syracuse University.

For the past 40 years, he lived and worked in New York, southwestern Connecticut and southern Vermont, building an enviable career in public relations.

Ken was a communications leader at GE Energy Financial Services from its inception in early 2004 through 2009, and prior to that headed communications for GE Structured Finance for six years, managing all aspects of internal and external communications. He also served as a GE crisis manager for three years.

Before GE, he was a communication consultant and managing director with River Communications, a financial public relations firm, providing strategic advisory services to major corporate clients including American Express and Wells Fargo. Prior to that, Ken led U.S. marketing communications for Price Waterhouse, U.S., was a lead communicator for Primerica Corporation/American Can Company (now Citigroup), and held communications management positions with Texaco, PepsiCo, International Paper, and United Parcel Service.

Most recently, Ken taught advanced public relations writing and a range of public relations subjects in the master’s programs at New York University, Iona College and Manhattanville College. In addition, he taught crisis communication and reputation management – courses he designed – in the MBA program and business communications at UConn Stamford. His students valued his “real world” experience which he used to illustrate best practices.

Ken volunteered with a number of community organizations and held leadership roles with a number of professional associations in Southwestern Connecticut. He served as chair of DomusKids for many years, working to ensure its long-term sustainability. 

He also was treasurer, president and past president of the Westchester-Fairfield Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and led the chapter’s effort that won first place in the 2012 National PR Serving America Award competition. Called Hands for Life Stamford 2012 (HFL), the campaign set a new U.S. record for training in hands-only CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) and a new world record for training in the use of AEDs (automated electronic defibrillators). Today, nearly one in every 20 adults in the Stamford area is able to perform bystander CPR, which research shows can double the survival rate for cardiac arrest victims. The PRSA awards are considered the “Academy Awards” of the public relations profession. 

Ken also served as informal leader of a group called Thursday III, a self-created group of veteran public relations executives who gathered monthly in Stamford to exchange ideas, share stories and enjoy camaraderie.

His 2016 collection of poetry, “Fathers—Collected Poems 1973-2015” from Ravenswood Publishing explores the mysteries, triumphs, magic, humor, pain and loss that are part of being a son and father.

Ken is survived by his wife, Pamela; his daughter, Lauren and her husband, Christian; his three sons, Jacob, Joseph and Anthony, and nine grandchildren. Surviving also are his mother, Lorraine, two brothers and a sister and their spouses. His father, Mitchell Koprowski predeceased him. 

A memorial service for Mr. Koprowski will be held on Saturday, September 22nd at 10 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 1101 Bedford Street in Stamford, Conn. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Truglia Thumbelina Fund/Family Centers, 40 Arch Street, Greenwich CT 06830 in Ken’s name.

The Koprowski family would like to thank the staff of the Stamford Hospital for their kindness, help and support, and extend its deepest appreciation to all their friends for their outpouring of love and support.

Peter Giles, Giles Communications

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Contact:      

Chereese Jervis-Hill
(914) 218-3968  
eventscjh@eventsremember.com                         

 

WESTCHESTER/FAIRFIELD PRSA CHAPTER ELECTS OFFICERS AND DIRECTORS 

WESTCHESTER NY AND FAIRFIELD CT counties, Jan. 16, 2018 – Six local public relations professionals have been elected officers and directors of the Westchester/Fairfield Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), the largest organization in the region dedicated to advancing the public relations field. The newly elected leaders, whose terms began January 1, will serve on a 10-member board with previously elected members.  

Stephanie Harwood of New Canaan, Conn.,was elected as president. She is an accredited (APR) member of PRSA and principal of S. M. Harwood Consulting, which provides internal, corporate and marketing communications and strategic planning. She has headed national communications for the March of Dimes, based in White Plains, N.Y., and been vice president of corporate communications for Porter Novelli, a global public relations firm and subsidiary of publicly-traded The Omnicom Group, based in New York. She holds a bachelor’s degree from United States International University and attended graduate school at the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University.

“The PRSA-WF chapter has been serving the region since 1965, serving the changing communications landscape and needs of our membership,” she said. “We’ll draw on the talents of our members as well as expert resources in the Greater New York region, to help our constituents learn the latest and meet industry leaders.”

Others elected officers for 2018 are:

Vice President: Colleen Brathwaite ofHartsdale, N.Y., currently manages communications, PR and marketing for WJCS, based in White Plains, N.Y. She has spent the past decade in the non-profit sector after spending most of her career as director of corporate communications at The Dannon Company, Cadbury Schweppes’ Mott’s Division and in PR and internal communications positions at IBM. Colleen also served as vice president in the corporate practice at Shandwick PR. She holds a master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor’s degree in English from Brandeis University. She is a board member of Westchester Women’s Agenda, an advocacy organization and marketing committee member of NonProfit Westchester, which works to make Westchester a more just and caring community.

Secretary: Michael A. West, Jr., of Fairfield, Conn., vice president of corporate communications at energy services company AVANGRID, based in Orange, Conn. He is responsible for the strategic direction and implementation of all communications, advertising and public relations for the publicly-traded company and its nine subsidiaries. He was previously with Ameren Corporation and prior to that was press secretary and assistant director of communications for the Office of The Mayor in the City of St. Louis. He has also worked on national communications campaigns at AT&T world headquarters in New Jersey. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Southeast Missouri State University and a Master of Business Administration from George Herbert Walker School of Business at Webster University. He is also board member for New Reach in New Haven, Conn.

Treasurer: Ken Koprowski of Stamford, Conn., principal of Koprowski Communications. Koprowski is a consultant, writer and educator who advises organizational leaders in business and the not-for-profit arenas. He specializes in strategic, crisis, and marketing communications, reputation management and constituent relations.  He teaches communications at the master’s level at NYU, UConn Stamford and Manhattanville College. At Syracuse University, he earned his master’s degree in creative writing, completed his doctoral coursework and was a teaching fellow. A past president of PRSA-Westchester Fairfield, he has served the organization since 2008.

The following people were elected to serve three-year terms as directors:

John Brannelly of Fairfield, Conn., senior director of development for the American Heart Association, in Norwalk, Conn., overseeing Connecticut Heart Walks in Westport, New Haven, Hartford and Uncasville.He was previously with the American Cancer Society in Connecticut and California and was director of major gifts for Connecticut and Westchester County, N.Y. Brannelly worked in public relations at The WorkPlace Inc. and was planning and communications director for the Central Connecticut Coast YMCA. He was a Bridgeport City Council Member from 1991-1997 and 1999-2001.  He is studying for a Master of Public Health degree at Southern Connecticut State University and is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and Fairfield Prep.

Anne Ryan, founder and principal of Danika Communications, in Greenwich, Conn., which specializes in the in the luxury category, including campaigns for leading independent hotels, consumer lifestyle brands and philanthropic causes. She is a graduate of Stonehill College, with a Bachelor of Arts in communications and a minor in journalism, and holds a Master of Arts in communications from Fordham University.

The newly elected officers and directors will serve with the following directors whose terms are continuing: Zeynep Altinay, Ph.D., assistant professor in mass communication at Iona College, in New Rochelle, N.Y.; Jennie Donohue, senior professional lecturer and director, Center for Social Media, Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; and Kathleen Saluk Failla, of Weston, Conn.

The board is also served by volunteer senior advisors Don Levin, APR, Fellow, PRSA, principal of Levin Public Relations and Marketing in Larchmont, N.Y., and Kathleen Larey Lewton, APR, Fellow PRSA, principal of Lewton, Seekins and Trestor, LLC, of Stamford, Conn. Lewton is a past president of PRSA at the national level.

The Westchester/Fairfield Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), founded in 1965, is the local chapter of the world’s largest public relations professional association and the largest organization in the region dedicated to advancing the public relations field. The chapter provides professional development and relationship-building opportunities in Westchester and Fairfield counties. It also supports the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapters at Iona College and at Marist College. For more information, visit www.prsa-wf.org.