Ted Matthews, president and owner of Forum-Group, LLC, is a veteran public relations practitioner with broad experience in public and government affairs; media, marketing and internal communications; community and philanthropic relations; and executive support for presentations, speeches and other needs.
He formed Ted Matthews & Associates following a successful 20-year career with Springs Industries and Springs Global, then the world's largest manufacturer and supplier of consumer home furnishings. He previously worked for Duke Energy, one of the nation's largest electric utilities, and was a journalist for several newspapers, including the Chicago Sun-Times.
In 2009, Ted formed Forum-Group and assumed leadership of what was then three round table associations: Evanston Group, Global Forum, and VP Forum, of which he is a former member. He succeeded Jeff Kelley, who led the groups from 2004 to 2008, and Bob Peterson, who co-founded the groups.
Global Forum was founded in 1977; VP Forum and Evanston Group were organized in 1983 and 1984, respectively. The groups were combined into Forum-Group and a nonprofit chapter was added in 2017, during the association’s 40th anniversary.
That was also the year that co-founder Bob Peterson passed away at the age of 86.
Starting in the mid-1970s, Bob and several PR colleagues, mostly Americans on assignment in Europe, began meeting informally to share information and socialize. The sessions were private and membership was by invitation, limiting participation to senior-level colleagues. Eventually, the sessions grew in size and Bob volunteered to coordinate the European group. He added other European forums and established the first of three groups in North America in 1977, which became Global Forum, followed later by VP Forum and Evanston Group.
While members and their companies have changed over the years, the value of membership has been constant. Members share insights and learn from their peers in a private, intimate setting. Meeting agendas are customized to address their specific issues, which fosters insightful round table dialogue.