March 4, 2011
Wynona Redmond is the vice president of corporate social responsibility and communications at Northstar Lottery Group, the Chicago-based private operator of the Illinois Lottery. She is also president of the National Black Public Relations Society, and has served as senior counsel to the PRSA Board of Directors. Prior to this, Redmond was public affairs director for Oakbrook, Ill.-based supermarket chain Dominick’s Finer Foods.
Name: Wynona Redmond
To write African-American romance novels because I never read any with characters that looked like me. I also wanted to do public relations to challenge the negative media coverage of inner cities like the West Side of Chicago where I grew up.
Vice president of CSR and communications for Northstar Lottery Group
What changed (i.e., how you became interested in public relations):
I found a book in the careers section of a library when I was a sophomore in high school — it was intriguing to learn about a profession that had few college majors in the field at that time.
First public relations job:
Assistant account executive at S&S Public Relations in Northbrook, Ill.
What you know now that you wish you’d known then:
To document and archive accomplishments and news clips better
Best piece of advice you’ve ever received:
My mother told my sister not to become too comfortable, and I took it to heart. I’m also a fan of “The Little Engine That Could” story.
Greatest professional accomplishment:
Volunteering for organizations like the National Black Public Relations Society and PRSA to mentor students and other professionals — seeing the success of many former interns and employees is rewarding
If you weren’t in public relations, you would be:
A professional public speaker, a life coach and a nonprofit consultant. I’m passionate about communication. I love championing people and causes that need a voice.
Sustained success in people and work that I’ve developed
Make a “business case” for public relations:
Successful public relations and communications allow a company to keep supportive employees, shareholders and customers whether sales results are positive or negative.