CHICAGO—After almost a quarter of a century as president of Chicago’s Public Communications, Inc., Richard Barry will step down as president of the 43-year-old firm on March 1 and will retire from the company this September. Dorothy Oliver Pirovano, a senior owner and herself a 25-year veteran of the firm, will succeed Barry as president and chief executive officer
Barry, 71, joined PCI in 1970 as executive vice president and two years later was named president and creative director, leading the firm as it grew to rank among the top 50 independent firms in the U.S.
Pirovano will be joined by two other PCI principals, Ruth Mugalian and Jill Allread, to form the new ownership team, making PCI one of the largest woman-owned public relations firms in the Midwest.
All three are former print journalists. Pirovano worked for the Daily Herald chain in suburban Chicago before moving into public relations and specializing primarily on healthcare clients. Mugalian, who joined PCI in 1984, was also a Daily Herald news and feature writer. She will assume Pirovano’s post as corporate secretary. Allread, formerly metropolitan editor of The Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and in her 13th year with the firm, will succeed Barry as treasurer.
Barry will continue as a senior consultant on special client projects and will serve as a pro bono communications consultant for Holy Family parish as Chicago’s second oldest church celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2007.
“For nearly four decades, I’ve been privileged to help scores of PCI’s corporate and non-profit clients tell their stories with accuracy and clarity,” he says. “I’ve now elected to trigger the firm’s long-standing succession plan to place PCI’s management in the very capable hands of three experienced principals. I look forward to an active retirement that will include continued service as communications counsel for many of our firm’s very same clients.”