Carl Thompson takes an acronym.


CARL THOMPSON, whose Louisville public-relations firm of 16 years has made a name for itself producing company annual reports, is changing the firm name to CTA Public Relations Inc. from Carl Thompson Associates. Thompson said the rebranding emphasizes the PR functions of the firm -- getting clients free coverage in newspapers and magazines, for example -- and is intended to move CTA's reputation away from him as an individual and beyond investor-relations services such as the annual reports.

He said he's aware old Chicagoans might prick their ears or do a double take at the CTA acronym. It is still the longtime logo of the Chicago Transit Authority, the Second City's version of metro Denver's Regional Transportation District, RTD. But Thompson doesn't mind.

"Whenever I'm in Chicago, I have someone take a picture of me standing next to a CTA sign," he said. The initials also remind people of the California Teachers Association, he said.

As for Thompson, CTA has no ring of history. He hails originally from Miami.

One of Thompson's clients, PAUL REILLY, CEO of Mail-Well Inc., is one of Irish America Magazine's Top 100 Irish Americans in Business. That puts him in an emerald pantheon with JACK WELCH, PETER LYNCH and SCOTT MCNEALY.

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