Eastern Michigan University names Kraft vice president for communications

Eastern Michigan University has named Walter Kraft as its new vice president for communications, his appointment effective August 10, 2009.

“I’m pleased that Walter will be joining Eastern Michigan,” said Susan Martin, president of EMU.  “His knowledge of the media landscape locally and nationally, and his background as a leading communications executive in the region will help us tell the stories of Eastern’s impact in Michigan.  He brings energy and passion to the position and will help us to effectively communicate the excellent education, accessibility and programs Eastern Michigan University provides.”

Kraft said, “Eastern Michigan University plays a vital role among Michigan’s universities.  Given the economic and education environment we are in, it is more important today than ever before to provide thoughtful and intelligent information about the University and its programs.  I’m looking forward to working with Dr. Martin and the entire Eastern Michigan team.”

Kraft has been executive vice president of Caponigro Public Relations in Southfield, Mich., since 2002.  His experience includes working with clients in education, health care, banking and transportation where his responsibilities included leading media relations efforts, strategic planning, crisis management and a wide range of external and internal communications activities.  Kraft started at Caponigro as a vice president in 1998.  He was named senior vice president in 2000.

From 1992 – 1997, Kraft was news director at WXYZ-TV7 in Detroit, where he was responsible for day-to-day editorial coverage and supervised a staff of 100.  During his time at WXYZ, he created award-winning special projects/ investigative units, which won several national awards including the Alfred I. DuPont Columbia University Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.  Prior to his work as news director, he was a writer and producer at the station and earned three Detroit Emmy Awards.

He received a bachelor’s degree in telecommunications from Michigan State University. Kraft has been active in several community organizations.  He is on the board of the Mental Health Association in Michigan and is past board chair and current advisory board member of Volunteer Impact.  Previous board involvement includes Habitat for Humanity-Detroit, the American Red Cross of Southeastern Michigan and the International Association of Business Communicators.  He also is a graduate of Leadership Detroit.