Vice President of Communication and Outreach
Linda Rutherford is Vice President of Communication and Outreach for Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, one of the nation’s largest airlines in terms of domestic customer boardings. Responsibilities include overseeing media relations, special event planning, crisis communications, emergency response and business continuity planning, community relations and charitable giving, corporate community affairs, public relations, social and multimedia, legislative communication/grassroots activities, Southwest’s Speaker’s Bureau, employee communications, and graphic design and creative services. Prior to joining Southwest Airlines in 1992, she was a reporter for several Dallas-area suburban newspapers as well as with the Dallas Times Herald, and she began her career with Newsweek magazine in New York.
Prior Work Experience: Reporter, Newsweek Magazine; Reporter, Carrollton Chronicle (Harte Hanks Newspapers); Reporter, Irving Daily News (DFW Suburban Newspapers); Reporter, Dallas Times Herald; Public Information Writer, Collin County Community College District; and freelance magazine and newspaper contributor.
Honors: 2013 Tribute to Success honor by Connections to Success (Kansas City); 2012 inductee into the PR News Measurement Hall of Fame; 2012 Margaret Bush Wilson Lifetime Achievement
Award by the St. Louis NAACP; 2011 named a Top Executive in Diversity by Black Enterprise magazine; 2009 inductee in to the Texas Tech College of Mass Communications Hall of Fame; 2008 inductee into PR News’ Public Relations Hall of Fame; PR Week recently recognized Southwest Airlines as one of five companies that “gets social media”; PR News names Nuts About Southwest the best corporate blog for 2007, 2008 and 2009; and then inducts the blog into its Hall of Fame.
Education: Magna Cum Laude graduate of Texas Tech University; 1988 Outstanding Journalism Graduate; and named one of the 2002 Outstanding Alumni of the Texas Tech College of Mass Communications.