Gil Rudawsky | Vice President

Biography | The Real Story

Gil Rudawsky brings 20 years of communications and media experience to GFM. He worked as an award-winning editor on the business and metro desks at the Rocky Mountain News. Gil is no stranger to deadlines or the changing media landscape, and he helped introduce the emerging world of social media to the newspaper. This vast media experience translates into expert counsel for GFM’s clients, especially in the areas of crisis communication and reputation management, strategic communications, social media and messaging.

At the Rocky, Gil was part of the senior management team that helped reorganize the metro and business desks to reflect the changing communications landscape as the organization made the transition to a 24-hour online news operation while continuing to publish an award-winning 150-year-old newspaper. He helped train and institute the newsroomwide rollout of Twitter and Flickr during the Democratic National Convention, helping the Rocky break ground nationally by being the first metropolitan publication to send news over social media networks during a major political event.

Gil is as comfortable in boardrooms as he is in union halls, having spent plenty of time during his career in both. He has interviewed such numerous high-profile individuals as former President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Disney Chairman Michael Eisner. Gil oversaw coverage of the bankruptcies and reorganizations of United and Frontier airlines, the scandal surrounding former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio and the merger between beer giants Adolph Coors Co. and Miller Brewing Co. For eight years, Gil co-wrote the weekly “Denver Inc.” column in the Rocky.

Gil estimates that he’s been pitched by public relations folks no fewer than 50,000 times in his career as a reporter and an editor. This gives him an acute knowledge of what it takes to garner news coverage for a client as well as what not to do. He knows bells and whistles may grab attention but that good content creates long-term brand awareness.

A Colorado native, Gil has worked at newspapers in Aspen, Colo.; Florida; and Boulder, Colo., before being hired by the Rocky as a reporter covering the skiing and tourism industry.

He graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) with a philosophy degree and was a member of USC’s swim team. He also attended the University of Colorado Graduate School of Journalism. Gil is a member of the Society of Business Editors and Writers and was an Environmental Business Fellow for the Property and Environmental Research Center and a Business and Economics Fellow for the National Press Foundation.

Gil lives in Boulder with his wife and son. When he’s not at work or spending time with his family, he’s either on his road or mountain bike or trying to put together a foursome for 18 holes of golf.

Biography | The Real Story

Gonzo advice
A first-generation Israeli-American, Gil Rudawsky grew up eating hummus and baba ganoush long before they was considered “mainstream fare.” But then again, being ahead of the curve has always been a comfortable post for this former journalist and lifelong overachiever. Captain of Cherry Creek High School’s state-championship swim team, a member of the Copper Mountain ski racing team, a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in philosophy - Gil was destined to continue down the path of perfection.

But in the early 1990s, when he found himself in the lowest position on the newsroom totem pole at The Aspen Times, he managed to muster a fair deal of fear and loathing for his chosen profession.

Fortunately for Gil, it was around the same time that he was befriended by another Aspen-based writer. Good thing he was a swimmer, because after many nights of trying to drown his sorrows at the Jerome Bar alongside gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson, he received the best advice of his career. Gil was letting fly his frustrations about his role as a cub reporter when Thompson told him, “That’s exactly where you want to be. People will talk to you, and you’ll get the best stories and you’ll remember it as the best time in your career.” Gil still keeps a stack of their correspondence handy. Not for the celebrity factor, but because so much of Thompson’s advice was spot-on. In fact, Gil went on to receive several awards for excellence in journalism for stories in papers from Florida to Colorado.

Still, he doesn’t rest on past accolades and accomplishments. Instead, he attributes his success to credibility: “You can’t earn it overnight, and you can lose it in a heartbeat. It’s based on a lifetime of fairness, honesty and integrity.”

Top Five:
On the iPod: Eddie Vedder's "Ukulele Songs"
Collections: Baseball hats, favorite is a "Baltimore Colts" hat
Guilty Pleasure: Colorado whiskey
The inside scoop: Felt cool sporting a Speedo as his high school swim team captain