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Karla D. Thomas, executive director for media relations, St. Xavier University

Karla D. Thomas has been named executive director of media relations for St. Xavier University. She is charged with developing and directing St. Xavier's media relations efforts and serving as a university spokeswoman. The Chicago native began her career in consumer marketing, with clients including McDonald's, KFC, Baskin-Robbins and S.C. Johnson Wax. She shifted to cause-related marketing at the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation and has spent the past 15 years as director of communications at the Chicago Foundation for Women, One Hope United and Old St. Patrick's Church. Thomas has a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Columbia College.