IBJNews

2011 WOMAN OF INFLUENCE: Myra Borshoff Cook

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Founder and principal, Borshoff

Sphere of influence: She founded the city’s largest public relations agency and has become a force in the not-for-profit world.

Myra Borshoff Cook founded Borshoff, which became the city’s largest public relations agency, in 1984. But she took a roundabout way to get there.

First she spent time as a teacher, a computer programmer and a banker. But all of those jobs had a common tie, she said.

“Communications has been at the core of everything I’ve done. Even as a computer programmer, I was communicating with the machine,” said Cook, 64.
 

cook-myra04-15col.jpg (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

“I never had as a goal: Own a business. There were just opportunities that presented themselves, and I decided to act on them and things worked, so I kept pursuing them.”

Today Borshoff employs 56 people. Clients include Eli Lilly and Co., the Indianapolis Colts, Indianapolis Power & Light Co. and Hurco Cos. Inc. Cook has developed special expertise in crisis communications.

The firm offers flexible and part-time schedules, as well as the unusual benefit of allowing employees to bring their babies to work with them until they are 6 months old.

Although many firms in the industry have suffered during the recession, Borshoff has hired 14 people in the last 18 months, and is expanding its space in the Majestic Building, Cook said.

She is perhaps as well-known for her community involvement as for her accomplishments as an entrepreneur. Her list of volunteer activities reads like a Who’s Who of local not-for-profits. Some of those volunteer experiences stand out for Cook:

• She serves on the board and the executive committee of the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce.

• She is president and a charter board member of the Indianapolis Press Club Foundation, which got its start 21 years ago. The organization provides scholarships to Indiana communications students. “I do believe that journalism and publications, TV … and radio are all so important to our country being as strong as it is,” she said.

• She sits on the board of the Phoenix Theatre. Cook said she has had a passion for theater ever since being in a production helped pull her out of depression many years ago.

She also has led industry groups, such as the Indianapolis chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, as well as sitting on the boards of The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee.

Cook has received a number of honors. In 2005 she became the first woman to be inducted into the Public Relations Society of America College of Fellows. She also has entered the Junior Achievement Central Indiana Business Hall of Fame.

She shares her views with young people by speaking regularly at Ball State University, her alma mater, as well as at Butler University, Marian University and Franklin College.

Cook was born in Wisconsin but grew up in Lake County. She has been married to Frank Cook for nine years and has two children: Tom, 32, and Amanda, 30, and one grandson.

She enjoys gardening and gathering persimmons on property she and her husband own on a lake in Morgan County, where they are remodeling a home that will become their permanent residence.

“We’ll live out the rest of our days in the hills of southwestern Indiana,” she said.•

_____

Click here to return to the Women of Influence landing page.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. If what you stated is true, then this article is entirely inaccurate. "State sells bonds" is same as "State borrows money". Supposedly the company will "pay for them". But since we are paying the company, we are still paying for this road with borrowed money, even though the state has $2 billion in the bank.

  2. Andrew hit the nail on the head. AMTRAK provides terrible service and that is why the state has found a contractor to improve the service. More trips, on-time performance, better times, cleanliness and adequate or better restrooms. WI-FI and food service will also be provided. Transit from outlying areas will also be provided. I wouldn't take it the way it is but with the above services and marketing of the service,ridership will improve and more folks will explore Indy and may even want to move here.

  3. They could take the property using eminent domain and save money by not paying the church or building a soccer field and a new driveway. Ctrwd has monthly meetings open to all customers of the district. The meetings are listed and if the customers really cared that much they would show. Ctrwd works hard in every way they can to make sure the customer is put first. Overflows damage the surrounding environment and cost a lot of money every year. There have been many upgrades done through the years to help not send flow to Carmel. Even with the upgrades ctrwd cannot always keep up. I understand how a storage tank could be an eye sore, but has anyone thought to look at other lift stations or storage tanks. Most lift stations are right in the middle of neighborhoods. Some close to schools and soccer fields, and some right in back yards, or at least next to a back yard. We all have to work together to come up with a proper solution. The proposed solution by ctrwd is the best one offered so far.

  4. Fox has comments from several people that seem to have some inside information. I would refer to their website. Changed my whole opionion of this story.

  5. This place is great! I'm piggy backing and saying the Cobb salad is great. But the ribs are awesome. $6.49 for ribs and 2 sides?! They're delicious. If you work downtown, head over there.

ADVERTISEMENT