Arthur E. Lowell Award recipients

The Arthur E. Lowell Award is the highest honor given by KC/IABC. Named for the late Arthur E. Lowell, the first honorary lifetime member of the chapter, the award recognizes business communicators in the Kansas City area who have qualities of excellence, achievement and civic involvement. Candidates do not have to be an IABC member, but must meet the following criteria:

  • demonstrated expertise in organizational communication
  • given sustained support to organizational communication in the Kansas City area
  • helped foster an environment conducive to the professional growth of those involved in organizational communication
  • demonstrated Arthur E. Lowell’s high level of personal ethics and service to the community and the profession

2016 Recipient Dean Rodenbough

Dean is vice president of external affairs for Hallmark Cards, a role he assumed in July. Dean was formerly vice president, corporate communications and government relations for Hallmark.

In his new role Dean is responsible for elevating and protecting the reputation of the company and its portfolio of brands and businesses through public relations, as well as advancing the public affairs interests of the company on the local, state and national level. In addition, Dean has taken on management of the Hallmark Visitors Center and Kaleidoscope.

Dean joined Hallmark in 1997 as corporate communications director, following a 13-year career at Crayola where he led a public affairs and communications team. He serves on the board of directors for the Greeting Card Association and the Friends of the Kansas City Zoo. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Pa.

2015 Recipient Matt Anthony
A Midwest native and a graduate of Benedictine College, Matt Anthony now calls the entire continent of North America his official stomping ground. After several years with Sprint, he made a critical move, joining VML in 1995 as its fourth and managing partner before being elected VML’s first CEO in 1999.

With a deep background in traditional advertising as well as experience in promotions and media relations, he guided VML to explore the new world of interactive and digital marketing opportunities. Together with his leadership team, he led successful client partnerships with Colgate-Palmolive, Ford, Microsoft, Tom’s of Maine, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Sprint and many more.

The driving force behind VML’s amazing growth and enduring success, Matt helped grow VML from 10 employees in 1995 to more than 800 during his time spent as CEO. In 2001, he guided VML’s decision to join the WPP Group, a move that brought unprecedented expansion for VML. After 12 years as CEO, he served two years as VML Global Chairman and as Chief Digital Officer of Y&R. In 2013, he was named VML’s Chairman Emeritus after being named President and CEO, North America, for Y&R. He now leads Y&R’s continued evolution as a modern agency in the United States and Canada.

In addition to his impressive list of professional accomplishments, Matt is a passionate, tireless supporter in the fight against cancer. He and his family established the Head for the Cure Foundation to raise awareness and funding for brain cancer research in memory of his brother Chris, who died at the age of 37 of a glioblastoma brain tumor. Proceeds from Head for the Cure 5K Run & Walks, now in 15 markets, are directed to the Brain Tumor Trials Collaborative, a consortium of 24 brain cancer centers across North America.

2014 Recipient Michelle Keller
Michelle Keller got her start around here with some incredible employers: Hallmark and the Kauffman Foundation. She has served in numerous IABC board and leadership roles; you’ve likely seen her welcoming attendees to past BCS events, presenting to the chapter and picking up multiple Quill awards. She’s won at least two best-of-shows, she’s served as a Blue Ribbon Panelist to judge Gold Quills in San Francisco, and she has taught communications at Park University and at the University of Kansas Edwards campus.

Michelle frequently provides strategic communications advice to small business and nonprofit organizations. Two of the most important, for her, are the Unicorn Theatre and REGAP (Retired Greyhounds As Pets). This year she singlehandedly (or two-leggedly) raised more than $1,200 for them in one fundraiser: the Hospital Hill Run. She is a regular attendee at BCS and provided student scholarships one year. She served as program co-chair for a district conference, attends Tech/SIG meetings, is a lifetime member of IABC through the 500 Club and has assisted in brainstorming topics and speakers for the KC/IABC Masters group.

Michelle has served as the educational relations chair and twice organized student career conferences. She has taught multiple courses at Park University and is currently an adjunct faculty member at KU Edwards, where she developed and teaches two classes: Marketing the Nonprofit Organization and Media Relations 101. Her former students frequently contact her after class for career advice and help with resumes and portfolios. She’s helped at least two former students find new jobs through her network and has frequently arranged connections for students to meet other communications professionals.

To top it off, Michelle is known to advocate for honesty and transparency in all communications, especially those targeted to employees and in crisis situations. Her service to the community includes active membership in her church; mentoring of high-school girls for years, every Wednesday night during the school year, until they graduated; serving as a retreat and camp counselor to high schoolers; and more. She recently completed the City of Mission (Kansas) Citizens Police Academy and has served as neighborhood block president. She has been a board member of KC/IABC; a member of the Central Exchange, for which she hosted a series on social media to help members learn how to use LinkedIn and Twitter; she’s a KC Marathon Pacer (2009) and pace group leader for Runners Edge; and she founded the Kauffman Foundation Running Club.

2012 Recipient Mike Goff
KC/IABC recently named Mike Goff as the recipient of the Arthur E. Lowell Award, the highest honor given by the chapter. The late Arthur Lowell was the first honorary lifetime member of KC/IABC. Goff will be honored on Thursday, May 3 at the KC/IABC Bronze Quill Awards.

Goff is an accomplished communicator who was most recently vice president of corporate marketing for Sprint where some of his duties included overseeing brand, digital and retail communications. While at Sprint, Mike was named “One of the 100 Most Powerful People in Sports” by The Sporting News for orchestrating Sprint’s sports sponsorship program including being instrumental in crafting the naming rights agreement for the Sprint Center. Mike works with several non-profit organizations including the Ronald McDonald House, the Kansas City Area Development Council and Starlight Theatre. Mike is a graduate of the University of Kansas. He is married with two children and a brand-new granddaughter.

The Arthur E. Lowell Award recipients:

  • 2015 – Matt Anthony
  • 2014 – Michelle Keller
  • 2012 – Mike Goff
  • 2011 – Anne Canfield
  • 2010 – Tom Murphy
  • 2009 – Eric Morgenstern, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • 2008 – Gary Godbout
  • 2007 – Randy Williams, ABC
  • 2006 – Jeff Xouris
  • 2005 – Barb Schulte
  • 2004 – Lori (Joseph) Wiles
  • 2003 – Julie Bartels Smith, ABC
  • 2002 – Larry Wheeler
  • 2001 – Deb Turpin
  • 2000 – Chris Watkins
  • 1999 – Phyllis Tilden
  • 1998 – Weslynn Martin
  • 1997 – Mike Swenson
  • 1996 – Richard Barger, ABC, APR
  • 1995 – Larry Pfautsch
  • 1993 – Donald Forsythe
  • 1992 – Turner White
  • 1991 – Lavonne Seifert, ABC
  • 1990 – Marian Thomas, ABC
  • 1989 – Anne Baber, ABC
  • 1988 – David Seifert, ABC
  • 1986 – Gene Jacobs
  • 1985 – Elizabeth Solberg
  • 1984 – Floyd A. Walker, ABC
  • 1983 – Steve Doyal
  • 1982 – E. David Carlson