Mills ’96 to Address Benjamin Hale Dinner – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Mills ’96 to Address Benjamin Hale Dinner

Michael P. Mills ’96 will deliver the keynote address at the annual Benjamin Hale Dinner, which recognizes students’ outstanding academic achievement and social contributions to Hobart College.

Bringing together students and distinguished alumni to recognize the best of Hobart’s traditions and achievements, the dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 13, in the Vandervort Room of the Scandling Campus Center.

An expert in the field of public relations, Mills is founder and president of VALEO, an Atlanta, Ga., and Rochester, N.Y.-based company where team members serve as embedded partners in the planning, engagement and evaluation of communications activities. As executive to his virtually-embedded team members, Mills serves to: build strategic communications plans; influence and support implementation of stakeholder engagement through public relations and public affairs; and evaluate, monitor and fine-tune campaign outcomes.

Prior to VALEO, Mills worked as executive director at Golin Harris, where he launched public affairs (crisis, issues management, corporate social responsibility, community engagement) and sustainability practices for the Atlanta office. In 2008, he launched PR1776, a full-service communications agency providing corporations, non-profits and individual brands with full 360-degree communications solutions. He also has extensive political experience in Georgia, narrowly missing the Secretary of State Democratic Primary runoff as a candidate during election in 2010, and worked as an aide to former Secretary of State Lewis Massey and campaign press secretary for former two-term Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor.

Mills’ book, Battling Democracy’s Decline, examines the history of American civic participation and explores his own engagement in public affairs, including service in the political arena, non-profit sector, public relations/public affairs agencies and corporations like Wal-Mart, where he was regional director of corporate affairs.

As a student at HWS, Mills majored in political science and minored in sociology. A four-year member of the Hobart hockey team, he served as a Hobart Student Court Justice and was a member of Delta Chi fraternity. He went on to Georgia State University, where he earned an M.A. in communications, and the University of California-Berkeley, where he earned an advanced certificate in management.

As an engaged alumnus, he has served as an alumni adviser to Delta Chi, vice president for the Southeast Region of the National Regional Network and a member of the Hobart College Alumni Council. He currently serves as class correspondent for the Hobart Class of 1996.

In addition to Mills’ speech, the Benjamin Hale dinner will feature presentations of departmental awards in the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. For information about Hobart College traditions and celebrations, visit: