Council on Foundations Vice President of Content Design Recognized for Mentoring

Jesse Salazar Receives Plank Center’s Milestones in Mentoring Young Professional Award
Thursday, November 10, 2016

Council on Foundations Vice President for Content Design Jesse Salazar will receive the 2016 Milestones in Mentoring Young Professional Award from the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations at the University Alabama. This award recognizes young professionals in public relations “who are up-and-coming leaders who are already paying it forward.” It will be presented to Salazar by one of his mentees, Andres Peña, Director of Governmental Affairs, Kaufman | Killen, at the Plank Center’s annual Milestones in Mentoring Gala in Chicago on Thursday, November 10.

“Jesse’s commitment to mentorship is about so much more than helping others achieve success in the workplace or in their academic pursuits,” said Peña. “What makes Jesse an irreplaceable mentor – and a wonderful selection for this year’s Young Professional Award – is his dedication to developing moral leaders, challenging conventional thinking and practices, and helping those around him follow their life’s passions.”

The Milestones in Mentoring Awards, established in 2010, seek to honor those who lead by example, modeling the way through two-way communication and exemplary behaviors. The honorees are selected by their peers and the Honoring Milestones in Mentoring Host Committee or The Plank Center Advisory Board in one of six categories. This year’s honorees are:

  • Legacy: Ginger Hardage, Senior Vice President Emeritus, Culture & Communications, Southwest Airlines Co.
  • Executive: Dr. Stuart R. Bell, President, The University of Alabama
  • Corporate: Joe Evangelisti, Chief Communications Officer, Worldwide Corporate Communications & Media Relations, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Agency: Aedhmar Hynes, Chief Executive Officer, Text100 Global Communications
  • Educator: Dr. Linda Hon, Professor, The University of Florida
  • Young Professional: Jesse Salazar, Vice President, Content Design, Council of Foundations

“Jesse’s extraordinary and sustained contributions to the development of emerging public relations professionals have enriched and elevated the field and are extremely deserving of the 2016 Milestones in Mentoring Young Professional Award,” said President and CEO Vikki Spruill. “The Council believes in investing in and cultivating new generations of leaders, and Jesse embodies this commitment.”

The Plank Center was established in 2005 at the University of Alabama (UA) and was named for the late public relations leader and UA alumna Betsy Plank. The center develops and recognizes outstanding diverse public relations leaders, role models, and mentors to advance ethical public relations in an evolving, global society through a variety of initiatives. The center is housed in UA’s department of advertising and public relations, a division of the College of Communication and Information Sciences. 

“The Plank Center helps set high standards of excellence in public relations, and the Milestones in Mentoring awards shows its commitment to honoring those who give back,” said Jesse Salazar. “By putting a spotlight on those who cultivate others, they are ensuring that public relations professionals continuously reach beyond themselves to a greater good. At such a defining moment for our country, this kind of principled leadership is as important as ever.”

Salazar went on to say, “I’m humbled to be included among the other extraordinary honorees, and I hope to live up to the values embodied in this important award.”

More information on the awards and the Milestones in Mentoring Gala is available on The Plank Center’s website (


About the Council on Foundations

An active philanthropic network, the Council on Foundations (, founded in 1949, is a nonprofit leadership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. It provides the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance and sustain their ability to advance the common good. With members from all foundation types and sizes, the Council empowers professionals in philanthropy to meet today’s toughest challenges and advances a culture of charitable giving in the U.S. and globally.