The Southern Public Relations Hall of Fame has added three new members, honoring them for their career accomplishments and contributions to the profession. The Class of 2011 inducted into the Hall of Fame includes Sherry Harlow, APR, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla.; William E. “Bud” Kirkpatrick of Hattiesburg; and Yvonne McGehee Sorge, APR, of Jackson.
Harlow has served as the marketing director of Eglin Federal Credit Union for 33 years, helping the organization become one of the top 100 of the 11,000 credit unions in the nation. In 1992, she was a founding member of the Emerald Coast Public Relations Organization (ECPRO) and has continued to serve in an official capacity for 20 years.
Kirkpatrick has been hailed as a pioneer of public relations in the Pine Belt region of Mississippi, having mentored or influenced the career of many of the area’s most successful practitioners during a career that spanned four decades. His retirement in 2002 marked the end of an era at the University of Southern Mississippi. In 1972, he became USM’s first director of public relations, building a department that produced programs that resulted in significant academic and athletic advancement for the school’s two campuses, as well as programs benefiting the entire community.
Sorge began her professional career at an advertising agency in Memphis, moving to Jackson when she became the advertising manager and fashion coordinator with Kennington’s Department Store. After several years, she went on to work at Jackson advertising agency Gordon Marks & Company, as account executive and senior vice president for advertising and public relations. In 1990, she opened her own firm, Yvonne Sorge Advertising and Public Relations, retiring in 2009.