CCOM Board of Visitors
The Board of Visitors of the College of Communication (CCOM) support and advise the dean, faculty, and staff in realizing their mission of graduating majors and minors who are highly competent and culturally aware communicators and media practitioners. Merging the liberal arts with a pre-professional orientation, CCOM students are taught to evaluate issues critically, analyze problems systematically, and implement solutions that are ethical and humane as well as professional, useful, and profitable. Above all else, they learn a wide range of communication theories and skills, enabling them to survive and thrive in an increasingly diverse and technologically-complex world.
Richard Thomas Ash has a BA in Business Management with Media Studies and IT (Honours) from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom and a MBA with a focus on Leadership from Butler University. Mr. Ash started his career as a recording engineer / mixer in Los Angeles before transitioning into the business community working in a variety of roles from Strategist, to Consultant and Executive, Mr. Ash was a Visiting Professor at Butler University between May 2015 and May 2016 within the College of Business and College of Communications. He currently works as a full-time Lecturer in the Department of Management and Entrepreneurship at the IU Kelley School of Business with a focus on Strategy, Business Analysis, and Negotiation for both undergraduate and graduate / executive students.
Richard lives in Indianapolis with his wife and two children.
Daniel A. Cooreman is a senior staff editor in the financial news department of The New York Times. He has been at the Times for 20 years, and currently serves as production chief for the Sunday Business section.
A native of South Bend, Ind., he attended St. Joseph’s High School before enrolling at Butler, where he was part of the first freshman journalism class to be advised by the legendary Art Levin. At Butler, Cooreman worked in various capacities for The Collegian, serving as editor in chief in 1975–1976. His Butler experience led to a copyediting internship at The South Bend Tribune, where he later worked as a reporter, theater critic, and assistant managing editor/features. During the 1980s, he was an editor at The Birmingham (Ala.) Post-Herald and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Andrea Ellis-Bonk is a speech-language pathologist in a public school west of Chicago, serving the district's youngest students. She is the mother of a rambunctious boy, loves running (and wine!) and has two half marathons under her belt along with a number of 10k races. Andrea's love for helping others communicate evolved early in her childhood as sign language became an important and necessary part of her life.
A native of Zionsville, Indiana, Andrea graduated from Zionsville Community High School. She attended Butler as a 'non-traditional' student. During her tenure at Butler, Andrea developed a passion for augmentative and alternative communication and is regarded as somewhat of a techie by her co-workers. Andrea received her master's degree from Purdue University and School Administrator Certification from Aurora University. She is currently a member of her school district's contract negotiations team and a member of the Rising Star committee.
Kate Healey Snedeker, APR, has more than 20 years of experience in communications in Indianapolis, including serving as press secretary for the Mayor of Indianapolis and press secretary to the Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives. Prior to starting her own firm, Snedeker spent 10 years at Emmis Communications, where she served as senior communications counsel and led the company’s internal and external corporate communications efforts. Her current clients include Emmis, OneAmerica, the Town of Zionsville, Lumina Foundation and Mainstreet Property Group.
Snedeker is a member of the Hoosier Lottery Commission and the Westfield Public Works and Safety Commission. She earned a bachelor’s degree in public-corporate communication from Butler and was named among the Top 10 Female Students her senior year. She serves on the advisory board of the Butler Center for Faith and Vocation, and is a past president of the Butler Alumni Association board. She received the Joseph Sweeney Irwin Alumni Service Award in 2004.
Snedeker lives in Westfield with her husband, Alan, and two children. She can be reached on LinkedIn, and on Twitter: KateSned.
Roger’s career in broadcasting started while a student at Butler University when a part time job as a reporter/photograph for WISH-TV Indianapolis eventually lead to a fulltime reporting position in California. Roger coverage of Patty Hearst kidnapping, Symbionese Liberation Army trials, and assassination attempts on President Ford lead to a position as Washington Bureau Chief for Corinthian Broadcasting where he covered the Reagan White House and Congress. Roger followed his journalism career as Chief of Staff for Congressman Matsui of California. After leaving the Hill, Roger was a Senior Vice President at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide and Hill & Knowlton. Roger recently retired from his own PR firm after 42 years in broadcasting, government, public relations and marketing.
Roger graduated from Butler U. with an MS (Radio/TV) in 1970, and received an MA, in Government/Foreign Affairs, from California State University in 1978.
Heidi Eikenberry Mandich enjoyed a career spanning 37 years in the advertising community in Indianapolis, 35 of those years in broadcast sales/marketing and new business development. She retired in 2011 after 27 years with WTHR-TV13/NBC in Indianapolis, where she served clients and built customer relationships working with businesses and agencies on a regional and national level. Prior to that, she worked eight years for WISH-TV8/CBS in local and regional sales.
Mandich graduated Butler with a bachelor’s degree in radio/television and immediately started working in media with two local agencies, Carlson & Company (1974) and Adlib Advertising (1974-75).
Volunteering her time to help not-for-profits create marketing strategies counseling, and mentoring students interested in career opportunities in the communications field, have always been part of her way to give back to others.
A member of Kappa Alpha Theta, she has been married to Bob Mandich ’72 for 38 years. (He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Butler.) She spends her time enjoying their son Alec, a sophomore in college, and pursuing a career she used to do between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., metalsmithing in silver and other metals to create original jewelry pieces by hand. She teaches at the Indianapolis Art Center; her work can be found in art fairs in Indianapolis, Chicago, and Michigan, or online at MyChampagneCreations.com.
Using her metalsmithing skills, Mandich has also been actively involved raising money and awareness for “100 Voices of Hope,” which funds breast cancer research through the Mel and Bren Simon Cancer Center at Indiana University. She creates and sells individual hearts, and donates 25 percent of proceeds to the research fund.
Bill Neher is professor emeritus of communication studies at Butler University, where he taught for 42 years. Over those years he has served as Dean of the University College, Director of the Honors Program, Head of the Department of Communication Studies, the Chair of the faculty governance, and most recently as the first Dean (Interim) for the new College of Communication begun in June 2010. He is the author of several books dealing with organizational and professional communication, ethics, and African studies, plus several public speaking and communication text books.
Patricia Mays is the Executive Editor – Programming at ESPN.com. In this role she is responsible for implementing the digital editorial content strategy for all pro-sports coverage, programming of the ESPN.com home page, and collaborating with the sales and marketing teams to help identify and develop potential revenue-driving opportunities. She was part of the team that launched the expanded NFL Nation network by creating sites for all 32 NFL teams. She joined ESPN in 2009 and has served as Deputy Editor for ESPN.com’s home page then as Senior Director/Managing Editor - Programming.
Ms. May’s career started at the Associated Press where she was an intern in the Minority Internship program and then went on to become a reporter in Detroit. She also worked as an editor and manager on both the news and sports desks in New York during her 10 years with the AP. As a supervisor on the AP’s National Desk in New York, she served as lead editor for some of the biggest stories of the decade, including the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In 2003 she became the AP’s assistant sports editor, overseeing NHL, motorsports, women’s basketball, and Olympics coverage. In 2005 she moved to California where she was the sports editor for Press-Enterprise, a 180,000-circulation daily newspaper covering inland Southern California. According to the 2012 Associates Press Sports Editors Racial and Gender Report Card, Ms. Mays is one of the very few minority female sports editors in the United States.
Ms. Mays obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Butler University and a master’s degree in public Administration from the State University of New York at Albany. She was also a 2013 Punch Sulzberger Program Fellow at Columbia Journalism School.
Leslie Olsen is Public Relations Manager for the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. Prior to this, she was president of Olsen Communication Consultants. From 1981-2009, Olsen served as education reporter for WISH-TV 8 in Indianapolis, where she developed, covered, and produced education and general assignment news stories and conducted investigative reporting. She hosted the Peanut Butter Press Reports children’s magazine show for six years, and won a Vanderbilt University media fellowship. While earning her Butler degree in radio-television, Olsen was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity.
Deborah Paul is executive vice president/editorial director for Emmis Publishing Corporation, which produces Indianapolis Monthly magazine and other city/regional publications. Paul has been at Indianapolis Monthly for three decades, including the 23 years it has been part of Emmis Communications Corp. She served as president of the City and Regional Magazine Association and as IM’s editor-in-chief for 16 years before taking on her current responsibilities.
Paul has received several national awards for her personal column, which has appeared in Indianapolis Monthly since 1981. Other awards include Girls Inc. Touchstone Award for inspiring young girls to be "strong, smart, and bold," and an alumni award from Butler University.
Paul earned a bachelor’s degree (1969) and master’s degree (1970) from Indiana University. She completed coursework in journalism at Butler, where she has taught a course on magazine writing for the College of Communication. She and her husband, an attorney with Faegre Baker Daniels, are the parents of two sons and have three grandchildren.
John "JP" Schuerman currently serves as the President of the Western Region at MWWPR based out of their Los Angeles office. MWWPR is one of the nation's top mid-sized public relations firms and one of the five largest independent agencies. Mr. Schuerman rose to his current position after MWWPR acquired his former company, Enso Communications, in 2012. Schuerman founded Enso Communications in January 2011. Before that, he worked as Executive Vice President & General Manager at Los Angeles based Edelman from 2008 to 2011. He also served as Executive Vice President & Chief Strategist at CarryOn Communication from 2002 to 2008. Schuerman has also served as a consultant at Symantec from 2004 to 2008 and as an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Southern California from 2005 to 2007. He began his career as a Media Director at Smokefree Indiana in 1997.
Schuerman was named PR News' PR Professional of the Year in December 2014. He has previously served as a board member at Pathways, a community-based non-profit focused on access to early childhood education and child care.
Schuerman earned a BA in journalism from Butler in 1996 and served on the Collegian staff. He received the Alumni Achievement Award in 2002 and was named one of “50 under 50” in 2004.
Billie J. Scott Fouts is vice president of marketing and development for the International Center of Indianapolis. For many years, she directed public relations for Simon Property, the world’s largest owner and manager of shopping centers, prior to founding a communications consulting firm in 2008.
Her expertise extends into executive, branding, and employee communications; crisis and issues management; community relations; corporate philanthropy; and spokesperson and media training.
A summa cum laude graduate of Butler with a bachelor’s degree in speech and English, she was active in forensics and Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity. She holds volunteer and leadership positions in several professional and community organizations. She and Paul J. Fouts were married in May 2012.
Norm Wilkens is the president of Wilkens Consulting LLC of Indianapolis, which provides marketing, advertising, and public relations services to clients in health care. He also writes columns for the magazines Safe Money News and AAA Travel. He has received the Legend Award from Indiana Federation of Advertising Agencies, a lifetime achievement award from American Women in Radio and Television, and a Sagamore of the Wabash designation from Gov. Otis Bowen. Wilkens has taught at Indiana University, Indiana Wesleyan University, and Butler, in its radio-television program.
A graduate in radio-television, Wilkens chairs the CCOM Board of Visitors. He also serves on the boards of the Butler Alumni Association, the Central Indiana Butler Alumni Chapter, and the Ruth Lilly Educational Foundation. He is a consultant to Indianapolis Day Nursery and an elder with Second Presbyterian Church.
Mary C. Woolling is founder and president of Communi-cate LLC, an Indianapolis-based publicity and public relations company that provides writing and editing services and coordination of special events for groups and individuals. She is author of the Here’s to Life! book series, containing collections of her essays.
A registered nurse, Woolling holds a zoology-chemistry degree from Butler and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from DePauw University (1978). She worked in the field of nursing for more than 20 years, before starting Communi-cate LLC.
She serves on Butler’s Alumni Association Board of Directors. She is an elder with Second Presbyterian Church, and a member of its Joan B. Malick Seminary Scholarship Committee. She is a member of National League of American Pen Women, The Writers’ Center of Indiana, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, Indiana State Nurses Association, American Nurses Association, and Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity.