ICM History

The story of ICM history began when Robert Irvine, APR founded the Institute for Crisis Management® in Louisville, Kentucky in 1990.

Not surprisingly, the story of ICM history began when Robert Irvine, a veteran public relations leader, made his mark providing crisis consulting in the aftermath of a variety of industrial and environmental accidents, including the Exxon Valdez oil spill.  Mr. Irvine recognized the need for highly specialized communications skills to help organizations prepare for, prevent and respond to organizational crises.

Over the years, ICM and its team of crisis experts has provided communications planning, training and consulting services across scores of industries and virtually every kind of crisis.  Our clients range from smaller public- and privately-held companies to multi-billion-dollar global corporations, government agencies, educational and religious institutions and organizations of all kinds across North America and several overseas locations.

The Institute for Crisis Management has counseled executives and managed communications for clients through crises including allegations of discrimination and harassment, workplace shootings, violent strikes, executives facing indictment, criminal and civil investigations, bankruptcies, controversial development projects, white collar crime, data breaches, product recalls, massive layoffs and plant closings, unfounded rumors, wrongful death and patient abuse investigations, activist threats, boycotts, natural disasters, social and political issues and a variety of other business disruptions.

Strategis Management, LLC, a South Bend, Indiana-based firm acquired the Institute for Crisis Management in 2014.  Strategis’ CEO Deborah Hileman, SCMP had worked with the ICM for nearly 20 years as both client and senior consultant before taking the helm.  Ms. Hileman is a veteran business leader, public relations expert and crisis communicator, having successfully managed virtually every kind of crisis and serious business issue.  Under her leadership, the firm continues to expand its products and services across North America and abroad.


Deborah Hileman, SCMP
ICM President and CEO

CEO Expertise for Every Client

Deborah Hileman, SCMP, President and CEO. A globally certified strategic communication management professional (SCMP), business leader, coach and consultant with more than 30 years’ experience in public and private companies and non-profit organizations, Ms. Hileman has led high-performing communications and marketing teams in health care, manufacturing, insurance and financial services, nonprofits and higher education. Her most significant areas of expertise include strategic communications planning and reputation/crisis management, change management, employee engagement and communication training.