April Lunch Meeting - State Farm Arson Dog Program: An Arsonist’s Worst Nightmare
Heather Paul joined State Farm in 2001 and has been in the Public Affairs department for her entire State Farm career. In her current position as Public Affairs Specialist, Heather leads PR campaigns for State Farm focused on corporate responsibility, community engagement, and dog bite prevention. She also coordinates the State Farm Arson Dog Program, a program that trains accelerant detection canines and handlers throughout the U.S. and Canada. She also serves on the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud (CAIF) communication committee.
Prior to her work coordinating PR campaigns for Innovation and pet-related campaigns, Heather was responsible for loss mitigation and disaster preparedness PR efforts. She represented State Farm on multiple committees focused on loss and disaster preparedness messaging such as the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) and the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). Her work on turkey fryer safety campaigns with actor William Shatner and the Robertson’s from Duck Dynasty resulted in a Public Relations Society of America Silver Anvil Award and a PRSA Award of Excellence.
Outside of her corporate life, Heather works closely with many local non-profit organizations and boards. She is a founder and Executive Board Member for the West Bloomington Revitalization Project (WBRP) and has served on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity of McLean County and the Miller Park Zoological Society. She is a graduate from the University of Iowa where she earned a bachelor degree in Socio-cultural Anthropology. In her spare time, Heather has obtained the rank of third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, first degree black belt in Hapkido, and first degree black belt in Jujitsu. She is also an FAA certified drone pilot, a photographer, and videographer. Her son, Hunter, is a neuroscience student at the University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign student. Her other three “furkids” are 2 pit bulls and a pug - Jilly Bean, Gal, and Yoshi.
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