Company: Texas Southern University
Location: Houston, Texas
Known for her forward, outside-the-box thinking, Eva K. Pickens thrives as associate vice president of communications and community outreach at Texas Southern University. Drawing upon seven years of experience in the position, she directs efforts in communication, media, and public and community relations for the university. Ms. Pickens was first introduced to public relations when she participated in an Executive on Loan program while pursuing her education, and she never looked back when she discovered her career passion. Having worked her way up in her career, she consistently brings compassion, deep knowledge of the university, exemplary customer service and unique fundraising suggestions to her workplace.
A lifelong learner who appreciates the value of networking, Ms. Pickens pursued a master’s degree in her field after earning a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College at Baton Rouge. She has also completed casework and is involved in a council for the advancement of women. Ms. Pickens feels that women always want to go the extra step, and she has learned to have her voice heard in the workplace. In addition to her work for Texas Southern University, she is the president and chief executive officer for Kalatrese Candy Bouquet & Gifts, a specialty gift shop featuring homemade pecan candy and gift baskets.
Ms. Pickens feels that her greatest professional accomplishment was overcoming the odds when planning Michael Strahan’s Football Hall of Fame induction. Inspired to provide the induction with musicians and informed that there was no funding available, she inventively raised $300,000 in fundraising to bring a 200-member band to the event. Due to her commitment to her field, Ms. Pickens is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and a board member for the Houston Minority Business Council. She has also been the recipient of many awards, including the Associated Press Feature Writing Award and the Staff Person of the Year Award from Texas Southern University.