Frank Ruggiero joined Samford University in April 2022 as the marketing and communication manager for the McWhorter School of Pharmacy and School of Public Health in the College of Health Sciences.
A self-described “recovering journalist,” Ruggiero brings more than two decades of media experience to his position, having worked in such sectors as news media, public relations and education.
Prior to Samford, he’d spent nearly seven years as director of marketing and communications for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the world-famous Grandfather Mountain nature park near Boone, NC. There, among other duties, he built and managed the organization’s internal and external communications strategies, oversaw wide-ranging marketing campaigns, expanded social media reach and helped boost park attendance to record heights.
During this time, he also taught public relations writing as an adjunct instructor at Appalachian State University, his alma mater, applying practical experience and engaging curriculum to facilitate the growth of future communication professionals.
Ruggiero has an extensive, 15-year background in journalism. He worked for the Mountain Times Publications media group in Boone, serving as editor (2010-2015), entertainment editor (2009-2010), news editor (2007-2009) and staff writer (2001-2007) for numerous publications and outlets. Throughout his tenure, he covered community and regional news, arts and entertainment, education, business and more, while gaining a local following as the area’s de facto film critic and garnering awards and recognition from the N.C. Press Association.
He graduated from Appalachian State University in 2003 with a B.S. in communication with a concentration in journalism and a minor in anthropology. In 2020, he received the professional designation of Travel Marketing Professional (TMP) from the Southeast Tourism Society.
He recently concluded terms on the boards of directors of the Hospitality House of Northwest North Carolina, a regional nonprofit homeless services agency, and the High Country Host, a regional tourism advocacy organization.
In spring 2022, he relocated from Boone in the Western North Carolina High Country to the Birmingham, Ala., area with his with wife, Meg; two sons, Milo and Henry; and wonder dog, Barney.
Degrees & Certifications
- B.S. in Communication, Journalism; Minor in Anthropology - Appalachian State University
- TMP (Travel Marketing Professional) - Southeast Tourism Society
Awards and Honors
- A&E Reporting Award - North Carolina Press Association (February 2012)
- Best Niche Publication - North Carolina Press Association (February 2012)
- Feature Writing Award - North Carolina Press Association (February 2007)