Thom Serafin, founder and CEO of Serafin & Associates, as well as noted political analyst, will be awarded the 2010 William E. Winter Award for Outstanding Advocate Leadership on Saturday, October 16, at the University of Illinois Springfield. The award is given to a volunteer who has shown extraordinary leadership in supporting the development of the goals of the University of Illinois.
Thom’s leadership to UIS has been evident for many years. An expert in public affairs, public relations, reputation management, media advising and strategic planning, Thom has generously advised the UIS Office of Development, UIS Alumni Relations and the campus leadership whenever asked. He has opened his firm’s doors to host Development meetings in the Chicago region and has helped build engagement and reconnect with UIS’ distinguished alumni.
Thom conceived and continues to shape the UIS Alumni Leadership Roundtable. Bi-annually—now five times in ten years—extraordinary leaders in business and public service from throughout the nation gather at UIS to discuss the realities and challenges UIS and higher education face. Insights gained have helped UIS’ successful direction along with increased support. The group also meets with students and speaks in classes.
Most recently Thom created a popular “speed advising” evening where students rotate locations, meeting one on one with multiple Roundtable members.
As a communications expert, Thom has advised Development regarding sensitive correspondence and assisted in writing compelling appeals to alumni for special initiatives. Most recently, Thom corresponded with all Public Affairs Reporting alumni to encourage them to provide student scholarships.
Generously and as a model to others, he established the Thom Serafin Public Affairs Reporting Endowed Scholarship fund. Along with building this endowment toward multiple scholarship awards, Thom provides annual support so that students receive assistance now.
Thom is dedicated to the advancement of UIS, leading alumni outreach along with alumni support. Thom has served since 2006 on the UIS Campus Alumni Advisory Board and now chairs this advisory board for 2010-2011.
Thom truly generously provides his time, his talents and his resources for the University of Illinois Springfield and exemplifies well the attributes and leadership of William E. Winter.