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.


Post a comment to this story

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

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............