Rene A. Henry got an early start on his career during his junior year at William
& Mary when he was named to succeed the Sports Information Director who
left for a job in the National Football League. Upon graduation in 1954, he
became Sports Information Director at West Virginia University for two years.
Born in Charleston, West Virginia, his interest in sports began in junior high school
writing for the school newspaper and then free-lancing for a weekly newspaper. At
Granby High School in Norfolk, Virginia, two years in a row he was honored by the
Quill & Scroll journalism society for writing the best sports story in Virginia. In high
school, he worked part-time in radio and free-lanced for United Press International
before entering William & Mary and working in sports information.
He received his A.B. degree in economics from the College of William & Mary, did
graduate work in marketing at West Virginia University and took executive courses
at Harvard Law School and Georgetown Law School. He was elected in 1994 to
the College of Fellows of the Public Relations Society of America and was Chair
the College in 2001. His biography appears in Who's Who In America, Who's Who In The World and Who's Who In
the West. Since 1978 he has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Academy of
Television Arts & Sciences.
His first agency job was in 1956 with Flournoy & Gibbs in Toledo, Ohio. Following 21 months of active duty military
service, where he was assigned to the athletic department at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. In 1959 he
joined Lennen & Newell in San Francisco, then the 10th largest advertising agency in the country. In 1967 he opened
the Los Angeles office for Daniel J. Edelman and was named Vice President. Four years later, in 1970, he established
his own public relations agency in Los Angeles. In 1974 he merged as a partner to form Allan, Ingersoll, Segal and
Henry and a year later with McFadden, Strauss & Irwin, to create ICPR, the second largest public relations firm in the
West. With headquarters in Los Angeles, the firm had its own offices in New York, Washington, D.C. and Paris. In
1976 ICPR was the first agency in the U.S. to establish full service Hispanic Marketing and Sports Marketing divisions.
In 1980 he reestablished his own counseling firm, relocated in 1985 to New York City, and then made a career move,
leaving public relations in 1986 when he was named President and CEO of the National Institute of Building Sciences in
His experience in sports spans five decades and includes Olympic, international, collegiate, professional and
recreational sports. His areas of involvement encompass all disciplines. As a volunteer he worked with Los Angeles
Mayor Tom Bradley and John Argue, president of the Southern California Committee for the Olympic Games, and
directed the international media campaign that led to Los Angeles as the site of the 1984 Olympic Games. He first
became involved in 1968 with the Los Angeles effort bidding for the 1976 and 1980 Olympic Games, prior to the award
being made in Athens in 1978 for the '84 Games.
From 1985-1989 he was a volunteer Assistant to the President of the U.S. Olympic Committee. He served on the
Media/Public Information and International Relations Committees and co-authored A Look at the U.S. Olympic
Committee In 2000, the report of the Long Range Strategic Planning Task Force of which he was a member. He
Chaired the organizing committee for the 1988 meeting of the USOC's House of Delegates in Washington, D.C.
He was a member of the Aquatics Management Committee for the Los Angeles organizing committee which developed
the prototype model for organization and conduct of all sports for the '84 Games. He was involved with organization,
management and promotion of the 1984 Olympic cycling trials and pre-Olympic events in 1983 in swimming, diving,
water polo, synchronized swimming and cycling. During the 1984 Games he was Venue Press Chief for water polo.
In 1980 the U.S. Soccer Federation gave him only 60 days to organize, plan and supervise the first meeting in the
U.S.of the 23-member nations of the Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Associations of
Football (CONCACAF), held at the United Nations in New York. In less than five months he then organized and was
Tournament Director and Chief Operating Officer for the FIFA World Youth Cup CONCACAF championships. At the
time, it was the largest international soccer tournament ever held in the U.S with venues in Los Angeles, New York,
Princeton, Dallas, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. It was modeled for the U.S. World Cup bid.
His sports marketing clients including various associations and organizations including the Association Generale des
Federations Internationales de Sports (AGFIS/GAISF), the organization of all international sports federations; British
Olympic Association/USA; Melbourne (Australia) Olympic Committee on its strategy seeking the '96 Games; Anchorage
(Alaska) Olympic Committee on its bids for the 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympic Games; the U.S. 1994 World Cup
Organizing Committee; and the America's Cup Festival of Sport, Perth, Australia, in 1985.
He was involved in management, marketing and sales of world cups and world championships in sports including
gymnastics, swimming, water polo, wrestling, cycling, synchronized swimming, diving, boxing, soccer, rowing and
athletics/track and field. From 1975-79, for AMF-Voit, he created and launched a campaign to popularize the sport of
racquetball. In 1981 he created and managed the first Great Mohawk Carpet Cycling Classic in Atlantic City, which
resulted in the first nationwide, one-hour telecast of the sport of cycling in the U.S.
The late "Hall of Fame" football coach George Allen named him Special Advisor to the President's Council on Physical
Fitness and Sports from 1981-1988 and Special Consultant to the National Fitness Foundation at the same time. He
authored a white paper on fitness and sports for then President-elect George H.W. Bush and in 1990 consulted the
Bush Administration White House of National Service on the use of athletes and a program involving sports leaders.
He counseled Southland/7-Eleven for its Olympic sponsorship and all sports activities including its competitive cycling
team, Olympia Award and co-produced the company's national tour and tribute to the 1984 U.S. Olympic medal
winners, including a ticker-tape parade in New York City which was the largest in the city's history until the one
honoring the Desert Storm veterans.
Henry used sports to promote three movies: The Longest Yard for Paramount Pictures, International Velvet for MGM
and a film about race driver Shirley Muldowney for 20th Century-Fox. As a "thank you" to give back to where he began
his career, in 2005 he established an endowment in the Office of Sports Information at the College of William & Mary.
Housing, Construction and Real Estate
Henry has worked at every level of the industry with builders and developers of residential, commercial and industrial
properties; architects and design professionals; building materials manufacturers' building codes organizations;
government regulatory agencies; industry trade associations; elected and appointed policymakers and federal, state
and local levels; lenders and investment bankers. He has consulted internationally on systems technology
development, financing and marketing.
He was President and CEO of the National Institute of Building Sciences, Washington, D.C., 1986-1988, and worked
directly with executive and legislative branches of government and testified before Congress on matters of significant
public interest. In two years he launched four major projects: 1) using vacant and foreclosed buildings to house
homeless and low-income families; 2) forums to discuss regulation of factory-built housing; 3) foreign influences and
impact on the U.S. construction industry; and 4) development of new national land use guidelines, the first since 1926.
Other projects included work involving abatement of asbestos, radon and lead-based paint hazards; modular and
factory-built housing; and indoor air quality.
From 1968-1977, while in the agency business, he also was Executive Director of the Council of Housing Producers, an
organization of the nation's 15 largest community developers. In 1974 he created and launched a program to attract
pension fund investments in residential mortgage securities and brought together leaders of key financial agencies,
government and private sector policymakers and leaders. The program concepts led to the creation of a viable
secondary mortgage market in the U.S.
He developed a program to standardize rules of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the
Accounting Principles Board to account for profit recognition in real estate, created a home owners warranty program
for large volume builders and was a Delegate to President Gerald Ford's Conference On Inflation.
In 1980, the Government of Chile asked his help to counsel and lecture on manufactured housing technology and
recommendations included the creation of a secondary mortgage market system, central catalog system to establish
quality and size standards for all building materials and consumer marketing concepts.
He worked in government in both political and career positions. Following a year of volunteer service in the campaign
that elected George H. W. Bush as President, he was briefly at U.S. Department of Agriculture and then Designate
Assistant Administrator at the Agency for International Development, an appointment he withdrew. At Farmer's Home
Administration at Agriculture, he contributed significantly to a position paper for the Economic Policy Council on Rural
Development for the President's Interagency Rural Development Strategy Task Force.
I n 1991 he was in the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at the U.S. Department of Labor where he was
worked on programs to create employment opportunities for women and minorities. He was part of the team that
created, launched and implemented the Glass Ceiling Initiative. From 1996-2001 he was Director of Communications
and Government Relations for the mid-Atlantic States Region of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He was
"lead region" and represented his colleagues in the other nine EPA regions with policies involving headquarters. In
2000 his efforts resulted in a regional policy that all publications be printed on 100% recycled paper with 100% post
consumer fiber using vegetable based inks. In 2001 this became an agency-wide policy.
Henry was Executive Director of University Relations and one of six members of the President's Executive Cabinet at
Texas A&M University from 1991-1996. During this time his office was honored with regional and national awards 75
times for creative excellence. He created a campaign involving all Texas public universities to win public support for
higher education and head off a mandated 10% budget cut to colleges and universities. One of his strategies used
sports to reach the public. The aggressive, proactive marketing communications program led the lawmakers to not
decrease, but increase the higher education budget 6.8%, or $560 million, a positive swing of more than $1 billion.
At Texas A&M, he was the first in higher education to use video for fund-raising in a package of materials for a $500
million capital campaign, at the time, the largest ever by a public university. He created and produced an award-winning
video featuring President George H.W. Bush as part of an $82 million fund raising effort for the Bush Presidential
Library at the university. His office also was the first in higher education to use video as a means of communicating to
alumni around the world. His first use of video news releases was in 1955 when he was Sports Information Director at
West Virginia University. This also was a first not only in higher education, but in sports marketing.
Henry has frequently given of his time to volunteer organizations and was honored in 2005 with the Paul M. Lund
Award for Public Service from the Public Relations Society of America. In 1998 he gave two weeks of his time, and at
his own expense, to Global Volunteers to teach conversational English to high school students in Ostuni in Puglia,
Italy. In 2004 he again gave two weeks to Global Volunteers to teach conversational English to college students in
Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico, where the students needed to pass comprehensive English examinations and obtain intern
positions before graduating.
In September 2007 he spent two weeks in Xi'an, China, as part of a Global Volunteers team teaching conversational
English to students at Eurasia University, a 10-year-old private university with some 20,000 students. While there he
also was asked to give lectures and presentations to faculty and students on customer service and also crisis
management and consulting. Xi'an, considered a mid-size Chinese city with only 8 million population, has more than
100 universities and 800,000 students. In China today more people are learning English than the entire population of
About Rene A. Henry