The Top Woman in Public Relations

Image The Most Influential Turkish-American Women #11 - Huma Gruaz is an internationally recognized leading public relations and marketing executive. As an innovative communications expert and an accomplished artist, Gruaz exhibits a professional passion for both spoken words and illustrated arts. Born in Istanbul, and educated in Europe and America, Gruaz defies modern conventions.
She is a talented painter who is fluent in English, Turkish, French and Dutch, and is the founder, president and CEO of Alpaytac, an award winning nationally recognized public relations and marketing communications firm based Chicago with offices in major cities across the United States.

Under her leadership, in the span of just 11 years Alpaytac has garnered an impressive array of industry honors, including the PR News Small Agency of the Year Honoree recognition for three consecutive years, the 2010 PR News Brand Marketer of the Year Award, and the 2013 Bulldog Media Relations Gold Level Award. Most recently, Gruaz was recognized as one of PR News’ Top Women in PR in 2014.

Today, Alpaytac boasts a remarkable client portfolio, beginning with its founding client Euro-Pro, manufacturer of the must-have housewares Shark and Ninja brand products. Eleven years later, Euro-Pro continues to rely on Alpaytac for its integral public relations and digital media counsel. 

In 2012, Turkish Airlines, one of the world’s largest and fastest growing international carriers and recently named “Europe’s Best Airline” for the third year, chose Alpaytac as its exclusive agency of record – the first time ever that the multi-national carrier selected a Turkish-American-owned PR firm.

That collaboration lasted three years and earned Alpaytac six industry awards including the 2013 Bulldog Media Relations Bronze Level Award for Excellence in Media and Publicity Campaigns, 2013 Honoree for Best Branding Campaign for PR News Platinum PR Awards, Agency A-List Awards and Honorable Mention 2013 Best Branding Campaign and Best Product Launch – PR Daily Awards. 

In 2014, Alpaytac added the Turkish Government to its client roster, for which it assists the Washington, D.C. embassy and consulates throughout the United States with media relations and public affairs strategic counsel. Alpaytac’s Washington D.C. office boasts seasoned public affairs and international relations experts that bring a fresh, innovative approach to the professional communications industry. Alpaytac is the lead U.S. agency of ECCO, one of the largest international communications networks in the world. With this alliance, Alpaytac is able to provide services in more than 40 countries.

Gruaz is also a board member of the Turkish Philanthropy Fund and donates her time and resources to building bridges between Turkish and American interests.

What may at first seem like a divided existence—painter versus CEO—is in fact part of a dynamic, ever-evolving continuum that has defined Gruaz’s life since childhood. She began painting when she was just two years old, and her work draws from an extraordinarily deep reservoir of experience spanning three continents and several decades—from her teenage years spent as a competitive swimmer for the Turkish National Team, to artistic apprenticeships in Paris and the Netherlands, to her arrival in America, to the struggles of a self-made woman seeking to define herself in a cutthroat corporate business culture.
Gruaz graduated Magna Cum Laude from Bryn Mawr College with a double major in Economics and Fine Arts, and earned both an Executive MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and a MFA from the Willem De Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

In 2012, Gruaz received PR Daily’s coveted Lifetime Achievement Award, which honored both Alpaytac’s success and her own extraordinary professional and personal journey.
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07