Amy T. (Garcia) Ford, a 1996 East Central University alum who has spent the almost 11 years as ECU’s assistant vice president and director of communications and marketing, has been called upon to restore ECU’s Office of Institutional Advancement.
“The Office of Advancement is critical for increasing awareness which will in return help set the stage for improving alumni, donor and potential student relationships,” said ECU President Katricia Pierson. “Therefore, I am pleased to announce that the RUSO (Regional University System of Oklahoma) Board approved the creation of the position of vice president for institutional advancement and the promotion of Amy Ford to fill this position.”
Ford will oversee the offices of Advancement, Alumni Relations and Communications & Marketing, all with the underlying mission to increase awareness and enhance external relations to advance ECU.
“I’m completely humbled and honored to be able to serve in this capacity. ECU is near and dear to my heart” said Ford. “I’m excited to take on the challenge of advancing the visibility of the university.”
Dr. Pierson says Ford is a natural fit for the position with her 20-plus years in the public relations and marketing fields.
“She has developed the knowledge and skillset that are ideal for the additional duties for which she will be responsible,” Pierson said. “She has not only handled national public relations challenges but also managed successful marketing campaigns.
“I’m excited to work with other ECU alums and supporters because together I know together we can help current and future students. I had a great college experience at ECU and I truly want to be able to give more students the opportunity that ECU gave to me.”
Ford graduated from Sulphur High School in 1992, then moved to Ada to attend ECU that fall. As an active student at ECU, she was a member of several organizations including Media Club, Panhellenic and Students in Free Enterprise.
Ford, who majored in mass communication with a minor in marketing at ECU, served in leadership roles, including president of Alpha Gamma Delta, vice president of ECU Student Senate, co-editor of Pesagi Yearbook, advertising manager of the ECU Journal, BACCHAS officer and 1995 Pesagi Queen Court.
Professionally, after a year serving as morning show hostess and account executive for KOKT-UPN20, Ford moved to Altus to serve as the director of public information/internal affairs for Western Oklahoma State College. While in Altus, she married her college sweetheart, 1997 ECU Alum Brian Ford.
They later moved to Illinois where she served as the head graphic designer for the Mercantile Banks. After a couple of years, Mercantile Bank merged with Firstar Bank and they moved to the headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, where Ford served as a corporate marketing manager. During the next bank merger with U.S. Bank, Ford oversaw the community and rural rebranding of the banks which stretch from Kentucky to Washington.
The couple decided to move back to Oklahoma after the birth of their daughter in 2001. Ford served as the public information manager for the City of Oklahoma City - Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority/METRO Transit. After the birth of their son in 2005, the family moved even closer to “home” and Ford quickly applied for the director of marketing and public information at ECU, which led to the opportunity to manage the office she worked in as an undergraduate.
Over the years, Ford has received numerous awards state, national and international awards for advertising and marketing efforts. She has also received many awards and recognitions including 2013 Natalea Watkins Communicator of the Year. In the past 10 years, she has served in leadership roles in many state and local boards. She is an active member of the ECU President’s Circle and ECU Alumni Association.
She and her husband will be celebrating their 20-year anniversary this March. They have two children, Emily a junior at Ada High School, and Asher, a sixth grader at Willard. They are members of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.