Arthur W. Page Society

Annual Conference Day 2 Recap: September 16, 2019

2019 Page annual conference participants

In case you couldn't join us at Annual Conference, here's a brief recap of Day 2 of the 2019 Page Annual Conference. See the Day 1 & Day 3 recaps as well. 


Induction into the Page Hall of Fame recognizes service in the profession, honoring those who have had a significant impact on the enterprises they have served or counseled.

A nationally recognized leader in communication, strategy and business transformation, Maril MacDonald served as the CCO and Executive Management Committee member for Navistar. In that role she led a complete overhaul of the company’s culture and employee experience, two notions not as common then as they are today.


The Page Distinguished Service Award recognizes service to the profession, honoring those who have strengthened the role of corporate communications and PR in business and society.

Bob Feldman has taught and mentored many graduate students, some of whom are now members of Page and Page Up. During his nearly 20 years in Page, Bob has been instrumental in developing educational opportunities for comms leaders, including the Future Leaders Experience and the Page Learning Lab.

Key Findings on Page Research | Roger Bolton, President, Page

Roger kicked off Day 2 with a summary of Page’s just-released research report, The CCO as Pacesetter: What It Means, Why It Matters, How to Get There. The results are undeniable: The CCO is at the nexus of enterprise transformation, producing new demands and requirements that, when met, elevate the function to be more essential and strategic than ever before. Oriented around a new way to engage stakeholders - CommTech - and three dimensions of Corporate Character the CCO can influence - Brand, Culture and Societal Value - Page now offers a new, hands-on way to experience and learn our research with the introduction of Progression Paths.   

Brand Case Study | Kelly McGrail, VP, Leadership and Family Communications & Community Engagement, Mars

Page research indicates two-thirds of CCOs now own corporate brand. This is likely because it entails the experience that all stakeholders have with the enterprise through every touchpoint, not simply the customer. 

Mars, best known for its signature Mars Bars, long focused on building such product brands over the past 100 years. Recently, it conducted an “architectural dig” into the master brand, concluding, “Profit without purpose is meaningless. Purpose without profit isn’t possible.” The results of the campaign have influenced everything from the company’s CSR and societal value creation efforts to its culture. LINK TO FB LIVE

Societal Value & Corporate Social Enterprise Case Study | Eileen Boone, Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy, CVS Health / Carrie Scott, Head, Corporate Brand and Reputation Management, Novartis / Stacey Jones, Managing Director, Head of Global Corporate Communications, Accenture / Moderated by: Denielle Sachs, Managing Director of the Tembo Group

Employees and even investors increasingly expect that companies address societal challenges and take stands on those issues. Attendees heard from these CCOs about how each has tackled social activism, societal impact and development of corporate purpose. The cases: CVS and its discontinuing the sale of tobacco at its stores, Novartis’ Access Principles promoting affordable disease-fighting drugs for all people, and Accenture’s quest for a corporate citizenship identity after going public in 2001.

Culture Case Study | Craig Buchholz, Chief Communications Officer, Procter & Gamble / Damon Jones, VP, Global Communications and Advocacy, Procter & Gamble

Enterprises are increasingly transforming their cultures as they strive to compete in a rapidly disrupted business environment. P&G is no different, having had to rethink its positioning in the midst of the global war for talent. It began its culture transformation journey by understanding the anatomy of a movement: dissatisfaction with the status quo, an acknowledgement that the existing paradigm has to change and alignment on a positive vision. As Craig said, “We need to be a force for good with the choices that we’ve made, and that will drive growth for the enterprise.” For P&G, this starts with candid conversations around bias, which it has stimulated through its Emmy Award-winning advertisement, “The Look.”

How the CCO Role Works Across the C-Suite | Christina Clohecy, Chief Financial Officer, / Alex Dimitrief, Retired President & CEO, GE Global Growth Organization, Former SVP & General Counsel, General Electric / Suzanne Rich Folsom, Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips; former General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer & SVP-Government Affairs, U.S. Steel / Marty Gervasi, Chief Human Resources Officer, The Hartford / Moderated by: Gary Sheffer, Sandra R. Frazier Professor of Public Relations, Boston University

One of the key roles of the CCO is that of integrator across the C-suite. As Gary Sheffer, longtime General Electric CCO notes, roles are overlapping with other C-suite executives. He brought to the stage other voices from within the C-suite, who explained how the CCO can offer greater value to her C-suite peers. Of note, the appetite for the CCO to play the role of corporate conscience is stronger than ever. 

Technology in Service of People: A Platform for Success | Alan Marks, Chief Communications Officer, ServiceNow

“Digital business thinks horizontally. Traditional business thinks vertically. This plays to the CCO’s strengths as we think horizontally across the enterprise.” ServiceNow caters to employees who increasingly expect a consumer-like technology experience at the office. That’s why it launched the Now Platform, because it understands that technology should work in service of people. Thus the origins of the company’s purpose statement, “We make the world of work, work better for people.”

The Progression Path Journey | Mary Lynn Carver, Former Chief Communications Officer and Global Vice President, Corporate Communications, General Mills / Alan Marks, Chief Communications Officer, ServiceNow

Attendees participated in candid table discussions around where they are on the Progression Paths. For more information on the Paths, visit

Window Seat on the World: Understanding Current - Connections between Diplomacy and Global Business | Glen Johnson, Former Journalist, State Department Aide and Author

Glen Johnson was sitting in the offices of the Boston Globe when he received a call from then-incoming Secretary of State John Kerry. The phone call took him from his lifelong calling as a journalist around the world as one of Kerry’s senior aides during his four-year tenure with the Obama administration. Johnson discussed his vantage point from the State Department, which he describes as “the most forward-deployed element of the United States government.”

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