In August, Florida marketing executive Jana Rucker became the vice president for University communications and marketing, a newly created position on the president’s cabinet. Rucker joins 13 other members of the cabinet, an advising body made up of vice presidents and the athletic director, to offer insights to President Bruce McLarty throughout the school year.
Historically, the University has had a director of public relations. McLarty said Rucker’s new role as vice president reflects the growing importance and complexity of communications, including marketing and branding for the University.
“When I became president, one of the moves I made was to make the public relations director report straight to the president because communication is just that vital,” McLarty said. “In the course of interviewing for a replacement for David Crouch [former director of public relations], it became obvious to me that this person needs to be at the cabinet table to really do his or her job and to have unfettered access to all information needed.”
Rucker was formerly the senior director of global brand and marketing for Satcom Direct, a global connectivity provider with international headquarters in Melbourne, Florida. Satcom Direct provides worldwide communications services and technology to business and general aviation, military, government, emergency response and media organizations.
Rucker held various senior leadership roles in marketing in the insurance industry with companies such as Willis North America and Crump Group Inc. Prior to those positions, she spent several years in marketing leadership at Sprint and AT&T.
She is a 1988 graduate of Oklahoma Christian University with a degree in marketing. Rucker also attended the executive leadership school at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.
“Jana Rucker brings to this position wonderful skill sets in communication that have been developed at some of the most cutting-edge technology companies in the world,” said McLarty. “She has extensive experience in internal and external communications, marketing, branding and social media. She’s had her hand in all the things that are very important to us in communications right now.”