Sandra Harbrecht Ratchford Alumni Profile

Sandra Harbrecht Ratchford headshot
Centennial Alumni Award

President & CEO, Paul Werth Associates

Sandra Harbrecht Ratchford is President and CEO of Paul Werth Associates, a 60-year-old family business and one of the nation’s oldest and most respected public relations firms. Sandy leads a team of communications, marketing and research professionals who serve prominent clients in education, corporate, healthcare, and government throughout the eastern and midwestern United States.

Sandy is an adviser to senior executives, providing counsel and strategy on issues and reputation management, corporate positioning and public policy advocacy. She brings to Werth clients strategic counsel and oversight as well as contacts and long-standing relationships with state and local policymakers, economic development officials, and local and county civic leaders. Under her leadership, Werth has received 10 Silver Anvils — the industry’s highest recognition for outstanding public relations programs.

Sandy is a former chair of the board of Kent State University, chairing the presidential search committee during her board tenure. She is a past president of the Columbus Metropolitan Club and of the University Club of Columbus.

An accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and a founding member of the PR Council, Sandy is a past chair of the PRSA’s Counselors Academy. In 2010, she was inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame and in 2017 was named a CEO of the Year by Columbus CEO magazine. She has been recognized by the Kent State University Alumni Association for her service to the university and received The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business Pace Setter Alumni Award for distinguished community service. In 2020, she received The Ohio State University College of Engineering’s Meritorious Service Citation.

Sandy graduated at the top of her class with a Master of Business Administration degree and earned a master’s in education from The Ohio State University. She is a magna cum laude graduate from Kent State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in special and elementary education. She taught elementary and special education for 10 years in the Worthington City School District. During her teaching career, she was recognized by The Martha Holden Jennings Foundation for outstanding teaching in Ohio.