Ketchum Lost a Dear Friend on Monday Night. I did, Too.

Larry WernerLarry Werner led Ketchum’s office in Pittsburgh – the city where our agency was founded – from 1985 to 1999. Our office in the city he loved so much, thrived under his leadership and as Tuesday morning’s Pittsburgh Business Times reported, “he built a powerhouse business and a staff that went on to seed the local landscape in the corporate, agency and start-up sectors.” He was a mentor to so many and a trusted advisor in virtually every C-suite there, and as former Pittsburgh colleague now client Patrick Fitzgerald of FedEx wrote, “He was very much the heart and soul of Ketchum and public relations in Pittsburgh.”

Larry was a dear friend of mine and my family’s. Though our backgrounds could not have been more different, I, my wife Betsy and our children were blessed with Larry’s – and his amazing wife Mary’s – friendship through the years. No one could tell a story better or make us laugh harder.

During his three-year battle with cancer, he maintained that great sense of humor and lived with extraordinary courage, optimism and strength. He was a devoted, loyal and affectionate friend, husband, father, grandfather and brother and he embraced life and the people in his life. He showed us all what relationships and love can mean.

Thank you, Larry. We will remember you … always.

Ray started at Ketchum in 1983, was appointed CEO in 2000, and became its Chairman in 2012. During his tenure, he has overseen the expansion of the firm’s global client-service footprint, as well as the broadening and deepening of Ketchum’s offerings. He actively counsels clients, has been included in PRWeek’s Power List and serves in leadership positions across the industry.