Live Webinar: Unlocking Your Brand Purpose to Drive Business Impact


According to a Forbes article by former contributor Cheryl Conner, developing brand loyalty takes “more than a good product” as “customers aren’t just looking to buy something. They are looking to buy into something.” Says Aaron Kwittken, global chairman and CEO of KWT Global in his PRWeek article, “the idea of good corporate citizenship has been around for years, but it’s more of a business imperative today than ever before.”

Also, recently CEOs of America's largest companies, represented by the Business Roundtable, made headlines when they reframed the purpose of business and corporations. No longer was it just about shareholder value but more about the responsibility to help build a strong and sustainable economic future in the United States.  

Let us keep this conversation ongoing and learn how leading organizations might be adapting their brand purpose during the COVID-19 pandemic.

PRSA Chicago will highlight the role of purpose-driven public relations and corporate purpose—and the surge in “purpose-washing” and inauthentic activations—with leading Chicago area communications professionals to explore:

  • how purpose-driven public relations supports company purpose and its impact on the public relations industry across different sectors including the nonprofit associations and the healthcare sectors; 
  • the role of PR practitioners and communicators in activating a company or organization’s purpose via corporate citizenship; and,
  • how purpose and corporate citizenship impacts employees and current and future work.

When: Wednesday, July 15; 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Where: Online Webinar (FREE for Chicago chapter members)
Registration Deadline: Wednesday, July 15; 5 p.m. (Registration is required to receive the virtual meeting link from Zoom Webinar.)


Steven Collens
Steven Collens is CEO of MATTER, the healthcare technology incubator and innovation center. MATTER opened in February 2015 and nurtures entrepreneurs and innovators building next-generation health IT, medical device, diagnostic and biopharma technologies. MATTER works with more than 200 healthcare technology ventures and the company partners with dozens of industry-leading companies, health systems and universities. Collens is also senior advisor at Pritzker Group Venture Capital.

Prior to assuming his current role, Collens was senior vice president at Pritzker Group, the investment firm led by Tony and J.B. Pritzker. In that capacity, he led the team that created 1871, Chicago’s center for digital startups that now houses more than 400 early-stage companies. He previously worked at Abbott in a variety of domestic and international functions, including product management, policy and public affairs. In 2005, Collens helped found to give patients control over their health data and allow healthcare providers to coordinate care of their patients. Prior to Abbott, Collens served as legislative assistant to U.S. Senator Carol Moseley-Braun.

Collens holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a BA from Washington University in St. Louis. He serves on the boards of 1871, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and the Chicago High School for the Arts, and is a member of ChicagoNEXT, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s council on technology and innovation. He is also a Leadership Greater Chicago fellow and a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the Commercial Club of Chicago.

Emily Dreke
Vice President of Development and Communications at Chicago Foundation for Women

Emily Dreke and her team are responsible for growing the resources and public profile of a foundation that has invested over thirty-six million dollars in organizations on the front lines, advancing basic rights and equal opportunities for women and girls in the Chicago region. Prior to joining CFW in 2011, Dreke served as the assistant director of alumni relations and annual giving at The University of Chicago, where she developed fundraising campaigns to increase annual fund support for the university. Prior to that, she served as U.S. Senator Russ Feingold’s Deputy Finance Director, helping raise over $10 million during the 2010 election. Dreke received her BA with top honors in Political Science and French from University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a 2016 graduate of the Allstate Foundation's Greater Good Nonprofit Leadership program, and has completed Executive Education in Nonprofit Finance at the Kellogg School of Management and coursework on Nonprofit Board Governance through the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education.  She lives in Chicago’s South Loop neighborhood with her husband, Vince and her three sons who are all under the age of six!

Laura Sutphen
Executive Vice President/Executive Director, Global Head of Social Purpose, Golin
Laura Sutphen helps brands find and keep their conscience. For more than 25 years, she has been behind some of the largest moments to create a sense of greater social purpose and works at the intersection of strategy, innovation and social good to help companies tell their social impact stories. She is an Executive Vice President and the Global Head of Social Purpose at Golin, where she guides clients through the development, strategy and framing of a larger social purpose that enhances and improves reputation. She has worked on global brands including leading the global responsibility efforts for Walmart, launching the largest cause campaign in the history of Warner Bros., launching the first universal health insurance program in the US for kids 0-18 regardless of immigration status, naming the emergency contraceptive drug Plan B and bringing it to women around the globe, and launching the Just Label It! Campaign, which advocated for the labeling of genetically modified foods. Other client leadership includes eBay, Netflix, Procter & Gamble, Pfizer, Clif Bar & Company, L’oreal, SunRun, Kellogg, Stonyfield Farm, General Mills, and Mattel. She is a graduate of Syracuse University, holding a B.S. in Critical Theory and a double minor in Speech Communication and Public Relations. She has been a Jivamukti yoga and meditation teacher for more than 20 years and has taught yoga and meditation on the South Side of Chicago and West Oakland. She is also an adjunct faculty in the College of Communications at DePaul University.Laura lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, a goofy hound dog, a German Shepherd puppy and her amazing 9-year-old son.


Natasha Vuppuluri
Vice President, Global Marketing & New Business Knowledge Management, Zeno Group
Natasha joined Zeno’s Global Marketing and Integration team in 2016. She oversees internal and external communications for the agency and as well as global new business efforts. Her work includes managing global and regional agency marketing; sponsorship and event coordination; employee engagement; media relations; executive visibility; and video production.

Prior to joining Zeno, Natasha worked at Northwestern Medicine and Presence Health where she leveraged her skills in finance and communications. During graduate school, she worked on a variety of startups in Chicago in a hybrid marketing and operations capacities. She secured a variety speaking engagements for the startups including a pitch at the Technori Showcase as well as media placements in Built in Chicago, the Chicago Tribune, The Big Plate, Silicon Prairie News, and the Omaha World Herald.

Natasha started her career at Edelman Public Relations, working in New Business and Marketing as well as the Health Practice, focusing on consumer health clients such as Abbott Animal Health, Amylin Lilly and Sara Lee Brands amongst others.

Questions? Please send an email to [email protected].

Program Details


$0.00 Chicago Chapter Member - FREE

$10.00 Non-member (Proceeds will support the Young Professionals Network)

All ticket sales are final. Substitutions may be made at any time.

July 15, 2020
5:30 PM CDT - 6:30 PM CDT

Live Webinar
(Registration is required to receive the virtual meeting link from Zoom Webinar.)