NEW YORK—Veteran corporate communications executive Jack Koten, the first president of the Arthur W Page Society, passed away last week. He was 84.
Koten was the first chairman (then called president) of the Page Society and was inducted into the Page Hall of Fame in 1995. He had been a regional communications vice president for AT&T before it was broken up in 1984, and was among the former AT&T executives who created the Page Society, named in honor of the former AT&T corporate VP of PR.
Ed Block, who was the head of AT&T communications at the time, remembers, “After the first meeting, Jack said, ‘This doesn’t have any shelf life as a Bell PR alumni association.’ Jack had the vision that Page could be a centerpiece for a public relations community and he was dead right and alone, not only in thinking, but in insisting, as only he could.”
After his term as chairman ended, Jack remained on the Board of Trustees for 20 years, holding a number of key positions.
He also served as the senior vice president of corporate communications for Ameritech, which was divested from AT&T in 1984 as one of the seven “Baby Bells.” He headed the team that successfully created a new independent identity and reputation for what became overnight one of the 30 largest corporations in the U.S. He also served as president of the Ameritech Foundation.
After he retired, Koten organized The Wordsworth Group, a consulting firm dedicated to helping non-profit organizations improve their management practices, reputation and revenues.