Principal, WCG Worldwide
WCG Worldwide is a public relations, marketing and communications counseling firm focused on integrated business solutions in the areas of product supremacy, innovation, change, organizational effectiveness and growth for the world’s leading organizations.A member of the executive team, Gary Grates G’99 oversees a team of professionals counseling senior leaders and boards of directors from global organizations in the areas of leadership transition, M&A integration, crisis, labor-management relations, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, function optimization, internal communications improvement, strategy implementation and change management.
He has more than 25 years of corporate, marketing/brand, labor and strategic communications experience with a particular expertise in organizational (change) management/employee (internal) communications. He has counseled more than 100 organizations and CEOs including PepsiCo, Caterpillar, Shell, Kraft, Nissan, GE, Carrier/United Technologies, Novartis, Mellon Bank, Exxon/Mobil, Shell, Global Foundries, AMD, Visa, Yum! Brands, eBay, Wyeth, British Airways, United Airlines, BASF, Pfizer, Coca-Cola, Denny’s/TW Services, ABInBev, Kimberly Clark, The McGraw-Hill Companies, ITT, Vale and Dell.
From 2006-2011, Grates established the global Change and Employee Engagement Practice at Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm, putting in place a network of specialists and developing a distinct portfolio around change management, internal communications, social media and employee engagement for organizations throughout the world.
Prior to Edelman, he served as vice president of corporate communications/North America at General Motors Corporation, overseeing brand, product, media, internal, financial and public policy communications for GM’s largest region. He was also the global process leader for internal communications and a member of General Motors’ North American Strategy Board. In addition, he was member of the teaching staff at General Motors University (GMU) and was selected to join the company’s exclusive Senior Executive Program, a leadership development program.
Prior to joining General Motors, he was chairman and president of GCI BoxenbaumGrates, a strategic communications consultancy specializing in change management/internal communications and corporate positioning; and executive vice president and managing director of GCI Consulting, a unit of GCI Group Public Relations, responsible for managing the firm’s global clients.
A frequent lecturer and author on issues facing corporate management and communications professionals worldwide, Grates has been referred to as the “thought leader” in change management communications and effective employee-management relations. He has published more than 200 articles and white papers on the strategic importance of communications in achieving business excellence.
He is an adjunct at the Newhouse School; a teaching professor at ABERJE, the Brazilian Public Relations Association; a Trustee of Utica College; and a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, PRSA, IABC, National Corporate Directors Association (NACD), and the Institute for PR Research (IPR). He is a 1999 graduate of the Newhouse School.