Kathy Tunheim Receives First Annual Aluminary Award

Tunheim received the award at the Master’s in Strategic Communication Annual Lecture

The Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Professional Master’s in Strategic Communication Program honored Kathy Tunheim (B.A. ’79) with the inaugural Aluminary Award during the program’s Annual Lecture, held at the Bell Museum on Oct. 25, 2023. The award, presented by Hubbard School Director Elisia Cohen, recognizes Tunheim’s storied career, her commitment to the industry, and her generosity to not only the Hubbard School but also the Professional Master’s Program, where she sits on the professional advisory board. 

When presenting the award, Director Cohen said, “Kathy, your relentless pursuit of excellence and your invaluable contributions to the strategic communication profession have paved the way for future generations. Your legacy at the Hubbard School is a beacon of inspiration, and it’s an honor to present you with the very first Aluminary Award.”

Kathy Tunheim co-founded the firm Tunheim Santrizos Co. in 1990 with four colleagues from Honeywell, Inc., and has served as chief executive officer throughout the firm’s evolution. She is a past global president of IPREX, one of the world’s largest networks of independent communications firms, which Tunheim joined in 2007. Prior to co-founding the agency, Tunheim gained experience in both the corporate world and the political arena that profoundly shaped her approach to creating value as an agency counselor. She served as vice president for public relations and internal communications at Honeywell. 

Earlier in her career, she handled media relations and speech-writing for Wendell R. Anderson – for both his time as governor of the State of Minnesota and during his tenure in the U.S. Senate. Collectively these experiences cause her to be particularly intrigued by the challenges of helping clients navigate the intersections of business, public policy and the media. 

Tunheim is a 2020 inductee to the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame by Twin Cities Business and was named a Top Woman in Communications by Ragan Communications and PR Daily. In 2018, Tunheim was named a Most Admired CEO by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal and her firm was awarded Best in Business: Small Business by the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce. 

The Aluminary Award is a symbol of outstanding excellence, a testament to the substantial impact one individual can have on the strategic communication profession and acts as a reminder of the inspirational legacy left by the School’s esteemed alumni. Congratulations to Kathy Tunheim. 

Find out more information about the Professional Master's in Strategic Communication

Kathy Tunheim