B&E Speaker Series
Author, PR Executive, and Former Journalist
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
6pm in the Mountainlair Ballrooms
This event is co-sponsored by the WVU Reed College of Media
Ahrens is the author of “SEOUL MAN: A Memoir of Cars, Culture, Crisis, and Unexpected Hilarity Inside a Korean Corporate Titan” (HarperCollins), the story of his three-plus years running the Global Public Relations operation of Hyundai Motor in Seoul as the only American at headquarters.
At Hyundai, Ahrens promoted the brand to media members around the world, traveling to every continent except Africa and Antarctica. His travels took him to Sao Paulo, Paris, Frankfurt, Muscat, Singapore, Beijing, Monaco, Dubai, and Delhi. At Hyundai HQ, he created the company’s first English-language corporate media site, hired the company’s first English editor, helped establish the company’s first PR operation in the Middle East in Dubai, and won numerous positive newspaper front-page and magazine-cover articles.
Ahrens returned to the United States in 2014 and is currently a Vice President at BGR Public Relations in Washington, D.C. He is a member of the West Virginia University Reed College of Media’s Visiting Committee.
Ahrens previously worked for 18 years as an editor and reporter at The Washington Post. He covered the global financial crisis of 2008-2010 as well as the media and entertainment industries, interviewing heads of television networks and movie studios and even William Shatner (twice). Ahrens appeared frequently as a media industry expert on CNBC, MSNBC, PBS and other networks.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University and was editor of The Daily Athenaeum.