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Member Listing

CURRENT COUNCIL MEMBERS

Kim Adler Mark Kendall Dole Brian Jones Kevin Shinkle
John Ambler Kyle Farnham Matthew Koch T.R. Straub
Ted Birkhahn Rob Flaherty Dutch Mandel Gina Stouffer
Kathleen Blomquist Mary Garrett Michael Moore Rick Swagler
Dana Bolden Bruce Haynes Michael Neumeier Cat Taylor
Tony Cervone Jim Hickey Scott Novak Alicia Thompson
Brent Colburn Aaron Hite Topper Ray Mike Touhill
Tim Doke Nehl Horton George Regan Patty Tucker

EXECUTIVE ADVISORS

Meredith Artley Mike Fernandez Ruth Kinzey Hayes Roth
Edward Barbini Jon Harris Tim Klein Greg Schneiders
Jeannie Bunton Bill Heyman Keith Lindenburg Brad Shaw
David Campbell Andy Hilton Thomas R. Martin**
Dan Solomon
Steve Cody** Bradford Horn Mike McCurry Nadine Vogel
Tucker Eskew Constance Hubbell Phil Noble, Jr. David Webster**
Michael Fanning Bill Hughes Kelli Parsons
Judy DeRango Wicks

**Lifetime members

Topper Ray (chair) is President of Communications, Bravo Group. He leads the firm’s campaign-style approach to public relations, advocacy and creative services. Under his direction, Bravo Group’s communications practice initiates and delivers innovative solutions that help clients achieve their toughest goals. With Ray’s high level engagement in community and business issues, especially across the energy and life sciences industries, he drives growth opportunities for Bravo and its clients. His network of relationships and alliances with stakeholders across the firm’s key verticals ensures that Bravo -- and thereby each client -- is always ahead of the game. Prior to joining Bravo, he served as Chief Communications Officer for Blank Rome LLP, helping to build the firm’s global brand across the U.S. and Asia. In addition, he was a principal in Blank Rome Government Relations LLC, where he provided media strategy and crisis communications counseling for CEOs, civic leaders and public affairs efforts. Ray also served as a Senior Vice President at Tierney Communications, where he led teams in the creative development and execution of integrated public relations programs for Fortune 500 clients. He began his career in Washington, D.C. as a press aide to President George H. W. Bush in the Office of Presidential Advance, and as a press lead during the 1992 presidential campaign working for the Republican National Committee. He is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College.

Kim Adler Kim Adlerleads the Global Communications function at Alcon including the development and execution of a communications strategy for the division. Her focus spans several key areas, including internal and external communication activities and stakeholder management, Corporate Giving and the Alcon Foundation, management of Alcon’s corporate brand, media relations and social media strategy and activities. Previously Adler was at Novelis Inc., the global leader in aluminum rolled products and the world’s largest recycler of aluminum, where she was most recently Vice President, Communications and Government Affairs. Prior to joining Novelis in 2010, Adler served as Director, Corporate Communications, for Freudenberg-NOK and Freudenberg North America, responsible for the communications function for 10 companies, including a joint venture sealing company owned by Freudenberg in Germany and NOK Corporation in Japan. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

John Ambler John Ambleris Senior Vice President, Kimberly Public Affairs. He has extensive experience in crisis communications, public affairs, government and international relations, corporate communications and issues management. Prior to joining Kimberly Public Affairs, Ambler held a number of leading communication roles, including Chief Communications & Public Affairs officer for Memorial Hermann Health System, Vice President Corporate Relations for BNSF Railway and Senior Vice President and Partner with Fleishman-Hillard. He also served as Vice President Marketing, Communication & Public Affairs at Enron and in senior government affairs, public affairs and international positions at Texaco. He has been a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, The Seminar, IABC and PRSA. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College. 

Meredith Artley is Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, CNN Digital. As editor in chief of CNN Digital worldwide, Artley oversees the creation, programming and publishing of content for CNN.com, CNNi.com, CNN Politics and CNNMoney across mobile, social, desktop and a variety of emerging platforms and products. She leads a global team of more than 250 talented reporters, producers and editors to fuel one the world's top digital brands. Under Artley’s leadership, CNN Digital has become #1 in unique users across mobile and desktop, #1 in video, and the most followed and fanned news organization on social. Before joining CNN and moving to Atlanta, Artley led digital editorial efforts, strategies and teams for the Los Angeles Times, the Paris-based International Herald Tribune and The New York Times. She is the former president of the board for the Online News Association. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri.

Edward Barbini is Vice President of Corporate Communications for IBM, leading all of the company’s issues-related and C-level communications strategies for media, analysts and key influencers worldwide. He is also actively involved in all corporate external relations in diverse fields such as shareholder communications and the execution of Social Media communications. Ed is a veteran of IBM, and has worked in many of IBM's operating units, with executive positions including head of communications and public relations for various IBM units, where he has been responsible for overseeing media relations, executive and internal communications and IT analyst relations. Prior to joining IBM, Ed worked as a reporter for the Newhouse News Service and in government, where he worked in the press offices of New York City Mayors Edward I. Koch and David Dinkins, and served as Press Secretary to New York State Attorney General Robert Abrams. Ed also oversaw the media relations efforts for the National Association of Attorneys General during his government work. He is a graduate of Columbia University.

Ted Birkhahn is President and Partner, Peppercomm. As President of Peppercomm, he is in charge of client services and managing agency operations. He regularly counsels and trains senior level executives at global corporations on issues ranging from crisis communications, media interviewing and presenting to groups of all sizes in all different formats. Birkhahn is a member of the Counselors Academy, a professional interest section of the Public Relations Society of America, and serves on the public relations committee of the New York Chapter of the Legal Marketing Association. He also has the pleasure of serving as a national advisory board member for Youth About Business, a leadership-training program for youth in underserved communities. Before joining Peppercomm, Birkhahn was the Press Secretary for the New York City Department of Buildings in Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s administration. Previously, he worked as a reporter at WOR-AM Radio and as a production assistant at 1010 WINS Radio in New York City. He is a graduate of the University of Vermont.

Kathleen "Kat" Blomquist is Director of Communications, Breakthru Beverage Group. Blomquist joined Breakthru Beverage Group, one of the country’s largest beer, wine and spirits wholesalers, this year as its new Director of Communications. This move follows her first role in the beverage alcohol industry working for Diageo as its Director of Internal communications. Prior to Diageo, she managed media relations for clients of Rubenstein Associates in New York. Blomquist joined Rubenstein after serving as Senior Counsel and Spokesperson in the U.S. Department of Justice’s public affairs office in Washington, D.C. Previously, she held communications roles in the U.S. Department of Education, the Department of the Army in Germany, Burson-Marsteller, National Review magazine and national and state-wide political campaigns. She graduated from the College of Charleston and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York.

Dana Bolden is Group Director at The Coca-Cola Company. Bolden is the director of the Public Affairs and Communication function for the Company’s Bottling Investments Group. In this role, he develops and implements public affairs strategies for the internal bottling busines. He develops and implements BIG's tax strategies and leads a team of 20+ individuals on five continents (North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia) with operations with more than $20 billion in revenues and more than 100,000 employees. He is a graduate of Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va.

Jeannie Bunton is Executive Vice President, Communications and Marketing, Chief of Staff, Consumer Bankers Association. In this position, she leads the team which shapes the communications aspects of CBA’s advocacy for the retail banking industry; its corporate marketing and positioning as a modern trade in the hot soup of Washington policy. Bunton formerly served as Vice President of the External Relations Group for the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), a global think tank (headquartered in Washington, D.C., with an Asia Regional Office in New Delhi, India and project offices in Mumbai, India and Nairobi, Kenya) dedicated to improving the lives of women in developing countries. Prior to joining ICRW, she was Vice President of Strategic Communications at the Securities industry and Financial Markets, Wall Street’s trade association, where she designed and executed long-term, integrated media and outreach strategies to raise awareness of SIFMA and the Foundation for Investor Education. Before joining SIFMA, she was a senior counselor at Policy Impact, a public relations and lobbying firm, and before that, she was Director of Press and Public Affairs for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Before joining CPB, Jeannie served as a White House aide to President George H.W. Bush in the Office of Media Affairs and the Office of Presidential Speechwriting. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and American University.

David Campbell is President and COO, Chernoff Newman, one of the top full-service advertising, public relations and marketing communications firms in the Southeast, where he oversees day-to-day operations of the firm in Columbia, South Carolina and its branch offices in Charleston, Pawleys Island and Orlando, Florida. With more than 20 years’ experience in the financial industry, Campbell successfully negotiated and integrated the merger between Chernoff/Silver and Newman Saylor & Gregory, two of the largest integrated communications agencies in South Carolina, as well as the later acquisition of ASA in Charleston, South Carolina. Actively involved in the community, he was appointed by the Governor of South Carolina as the Commissioner of the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs; he serves on the Board of Directors for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Board of Trustees for Claflin University, the Advisory Board for the National Bank of South Carolina and is the Past Chair of Richland County CASA, which was formerly Guardian Ad Litem. He also is a member of the Columbia Rotary Club, Past Chairman and current board member for the South Carolina March of Dimes, Past Chairman of the Committee of 100 and current Chair of the International Committee, Board Chair for the National Kidney Foundation and Treasurer for the Richland County Public Library. He is a graduate of Mississippi State University and George Washington University.

Tony Cervone is SVP, Global Communications and Chairman GM Foundation, General Motors Company. In October 2015, Cervone assumed responsibility for the GM Foundation and corporate giving activities. He was named senior vice president, Global Communications, in May 2014. As GM’s top communications executive, he is responsible for the company’s overall global communications strategy. Prior to his current position, Cervone served since 2011 as executive vice president of Group Communications for Volkswagen Group of America in Herndon, Virginia, where he revamped the company’s communications activities for its VW and Audi brands. From 2009 to 2011, Cervone was senior vice president and chief communications officer for United Airlines in Chicago, where he helped manage the company’s eventual merger with Continental Airlines. From 1999 to 2009, Cervone worked at GM in several senior communications positions of increasing responsibility. From 1999 to 2000, Cervone worked as executive director of Corporate Communications, responsible for media relations, issues management and labor and employee communications. From 2001 to 2003, he served as executive director of Executive and Financial Communications; from 2003 to 2006, vice president of GM Europe Communications; from 2006 to 2007, vice president of GM North America Communications; and from 2007 to 2009, vice president of Global Communications Strategy and Operations. In 2000, Cervone served for a short period as vice president of Chrysler Group Communications for DaimlerChrysler AG in Auburn Hills, Mich. From 1985 to 1999, Cervone worked at Chrysler Corp. and then DaimlerChrysler AG in virtually every aspect of auto industry communications, from product and technology to supplier and crisis communications. Cervone is a member of the Arthur Page Society, the Public Relations Society of America and The Seminar. He is a board member of Detroit Public Television (DPTV) and The LaGrant Foundation. He is a former trustee of The Institute for Public Relations, and former board member of the Automotive Press Association and the Ad Council. Tony was also named one of the 2014 Automotive News All-Stars. He is a graduate of Central Michigan University.

Steve Cody is Co-Founder and CEO, Peppercomm. He is responsible for overall agency direction and management, new business development, new product development and agency marketing. Most recently, Cody pioneered the creation of the agency’s insights and strategy group, an internal consultancy at Peppercomm that bridges proprietary research and program activation to serve both current accounts and business development initiatives. He’s also been instrumental in shaping the culture that inspired Crain’s New York Business and was a finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award with co-founder Ed Moed. A prolific writer, Cody pens a weekly column for lnc.com; he was named the PRNews Blogger of the Year in 2011 and was a finalist for the same award in 2012. He was named one of Northeastern University’s 100 most successful alumni, and his podcast, RepChatter, won a Silver SABRE from Holmes. He is co-author of What’s Keeping Your Customers Up at Night? He is a member of the PRSA Counselors Academy’s executive committee, the Corporate Communication Advisory Board of Baruch College, the Civilian Corporate Affairs Committee at West Point, the Arthur W. Page Society, The Northeastern University Corporation, and the Institute For Public Relations. The agency was named after his family dog, Pepper. He is a graduate of Northeastern University.

Brent Colburn, a veteran of both Democratic political campaigns and the Obama administration, recently joined the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) as their first Vice President of Communications. CZI, established in December of 2015 by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and pediatrician and educator Dr. Priscilla Chan, is committed to unlocking human potential and promoting equality. Prior to joining CZI, Colburn spent a semester as a Fellow in Residence at Harvard University’s Kennedy School for Government’s Institute of Politics. Before accepting the position at Harvard, he most recently served as the Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, where he acted as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense and Deputy Secretary of Defense for communication strategy, media relations, public information, and community relations in support of Department of Defense (DOD) activities and U.S. service members and civilian employees. Colburn also oversaw the Department’s Public Affairs infrastructure. Colburn served in a number of other positions within the Obama administration before joining DOD, including as Chief of Staff at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He began his service with the Obama administration at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), where he was the Director of External Affairs, overseeing Public Affairs, Legislative Affairs, Intergovernmental Affairs, International Affairs and Private Sector Outreach. Colburn worked on the last four presidential campaign cycles, most recently serving as National Communications Director for President Obama’s re-election campaign and the Communications Director for the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee. In 2008 he served as Michigan Communications Director for then-Senator Obama’s first presidential run, following stints as Research Director for Howard Dean and as a member of the National Advance Staff for Gore-Lieberman in 2000. He is a recipient of the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service. He is a graduate of the College of William & Mary. 

Tim Doke is Principal, TJD Comm, LLC. Doke has more than 40 years of experience advising CEOs and executing on a broad range of communications challenges, opportunities and issues. Tim has held senior positions with some of the world’s largest companies, public relations agencies and two large academic medical centers including: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Carl Byoir & Associates in New York & DC, Dell, Inc., Elgin Syferd/DDB Needham, Freescale Semiconductor and Hill & Knowlton. In each of his corporate roles, Tim held the additional responsibility for corporate philanthropy and charitable giving. He also worked for the following nonprofits: Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the University of North Texas Health Science Center. He is a graduate of the University of Central Missouri.

Mark Kendall Dole is Head of Oncology Communications at Healthcare Business of Merck in Germany. Previously he served as Head of Communications, Biogen Research and Development, Biogen, the global discovery and clinical research organization for one of the world’s oldest independent biotechnology companies, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In this role, Mark directed Biogen’s communication, increased the organization’s visibility and reputation, launched new communication channels and digital platforms, and advised executive members on public relations, reputation and crisis management issues. Prior to Biogen, he worked in Switzerland for F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd. Also in Switzerland, Mark served as a communication manager at Novartis Pharma AG as well as the founder and managing director of zebrafish communication GmbH and medical director at Euro RSCG Life. He is a graduate of the College of Charleston, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Harvard.

Tucker Eskew is Founding Partner, Vianovo. Eskew has helped lead opinion during some of the nation's most intense public debates. He played leadership roles in both Bush-Cheney campaigns and in 2008 was counselor to the GOP vice-presidential nominee. He served as Deputy Assistant to the President from 2001-2003, heading Media Affairs and then Global Communications. After 9/11, Eskew served in London as the President's wartime communications representative to No. 10 Downing Street. He began working in technology marketing and web communications in the mid-90s, when he co-founded an electronic commerce business and then started a South Carolina-based public relations and business-consulting firm. Additionally, he served eight years as Press Secretary to South Carolina Governor Carroll Campbell. He began his career on President Ronald Reagan's 1984 re-election campaign. He is a graduate of the University of the South (Sewanee).

Michael Fanning is President, Business Partnership Foundation, Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. The Business Partnership Foundation (BPF) was established as a tax-exempt nonprofit in 1969 to serve as a partnership between business and academic communities. Prior to his role with the BPF, Fanning served as Michelin North America’s director of sustainable development. Additionally he served as vice president of corporate affairs for Michelin North America, responsible for corporate communication, government affairs, and media planning and buying. Before his work at Michelin, Fanning served in executive communication assignments with Liberty Corp., The Reader’s Digest Assn., IBM and the Associated General Contractors of America. Fanning is a past liaison-delegate to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, where he led the city task force for Sustainable Mobility Project 2.0 in Chengdu, China. He was also the company’s representative to the U.N. Global Compact and an advisory board member for the Initiative on Sustainability with The Conference Board. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland.

Kyle Farnham is Chair, U.S. Consumer and Brand Marketing Practice, Burson-Marsteller. In February 2017 Farnham became chair of the U.S. Consumer and Brand Marketing Practice for Burson Marsteller. In this role he is responsible for building the practice's extensive portfolio and helping grow consumer brands. Previously he served in managing roles at MSLGROUP Atlanta. While at MSLGROUP, he served as the U.S. account director for The Home Depot for more than six years and worked on communications campaigns and special projects for Arby’s Restaurant Group, NAPA Auto Parts, ING, The Krystal Company and General Motors Southeast Region. During his time with MSLGROUP, Kyle has spearheaded some of the agency’s largest PR-driven sponsorship activation programs, including Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, The Home Depot’s sponsorship of the USOC’s Olympic Job Opportunities Program in 2004 and 2006 and Chevrolet’s sponsorship of the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Torch Relay. Prior to MSLGROUP, Farnham worked as the director of public relations for Mizuno USA and Taylor Public Relations in New York. He is a graduate of the Catholic University of America.

Mike Fernandez is CEO, U.S. for Burson-Marsteller based in New York. Prior to joining Burson-Marsteller, he served as chief communications officer for five large U.S.-based corporations across diverse industries, including financial, technology, consumer goods and services, and health care. Most recently, he led global corporate affairs at Cargill, the world’s largest privately held company and one of the world’s leading producers and marketers of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Before joining Cargill, Fernandez was chief communications officer for four Fortune 500 companies, including State Farm Insurance, ConAgra Foods, Cigna and US West. He also held various global marketing and communications roles at Kodak. Early in his career, he served as Press Secretary to U.S. Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings, where at age 23 he was the youngest U.S. Senate Press Secretary ever and only the second Latino to serve in such a role. He is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Rob Flaherty is Partner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ketchum, one of the world’s top communications firms, with offices and affiliates in 130 markets in more than 70 countries. Flaherty was named Global PR Leader of the Year in 2016 by the International Communications Consultancy Organization (ICCO). Flaherty leads Ketchum’s 19-member Global Leadership Council to guide the strategy, client service and performance of the agency. Since joining Ketchum in 1989, Flaherty has been involved in all aspects of the firm’s business, including having successfully led its largest office, one of its global practices and several of its largest client engagements. Prior to Ketchum, he worked at Burson-Marsteller in New York and was a Director of Public Relations for the F.X. Matt Brewing Company in Utica, N.Y. He is a graduate of Syracuse University.

Mary Garrett most recently led Global Marketing for IBM Corporation, from 2009 until her retirement in December 2015. She joined IBM in 1981 as an electrical engineer and served in key positions including Vice President of Marketing Global Technology Services; P&L owner for the $6B Small and Medium Business for Global Technology Services; and Vice President of eBusiness hosting. She led teams across the software and services portfolios in 170 markets around the world. Garrett currently serves as a board member and on the audit committee of Ethan Allen Interiors, Inc. (NYSE: ETH), a manufacturer and retailer of home furnishings. She is nominated for board membership with Hill-Rom Corporation (NYSE: HRC), a global medical technology company. She is an active mentor in W.O.M.E.N. in America, a professional development group aimed at advancing promising professional women, and is also on the board of the American Marketing Association, serving as chair-elect. She is a graduate of Brown University and Boston University.

Jon Harris is Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for Conagra Brands. He is responsible for the strategic development, direction and implementation of corporate communication and reputation management programs across the organization. He also oversees the Conagra Brands Foundation, as well as corporate giving efforts. Harris joined Conagra Brands, formerly known as ConAgra Foods, in August 2015. Previously he served as Chief Communications Officer and Senior Vice President at Hillshire Brands and Senior Vice President, Global Communications for Sara Lee Corporation. Prior to Sara Lee, he held leadership positions at Bally Total Fitness Corporation, PepsiCo, Ketchum Public Relations and Medicus Public Relations. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and is an adjunct professor for PR & Marketing at the University of Chicago's Graham School.

Bruce Haynes is a founding partner of Purple Strategies, specializing in industry image and corporate reputation campaigns. As Purple Strategies President, Haynes leads Purple’s teams working with some of the world's best known brands in the areas of strategy and message development, research, advertising, media relations, and digital and social media monitoring and engagement. Haynes work has included leading efforts to successfully reposition companies and trade associations, and reputation management and crisis communications for leading brands in the telecommunications, energy, financial services and health care categories. Working in the public and political sectors, Haynes has advised large federal government agencies on public affairs campaigns, served as media consultant to the Republican National Committee’s 2008 US Presidential independent expenditure campaign. Prior to forming Purple, he served as Chief-of-Staff to South Carolina Congressman Bob Inglis and as staff counsel to two-term South Carolina Governor Carroll Campbell. He is a graduate of Francis Marion University and the University of South Carolina.

Bill Heyman is Founder, President and CEO of Heyman Associates, as well as Founder and Director of Taylor Bennett Heyman, an affiliated firm with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Melbourne. He has filled top communications roles for some of the most recognized brands in the world, including leading corporations, foundations, academic institutions and professional associations. With his diverse network and passion for executive search, he sets the example for HA and TBH in building top-performing communications teams around the globe: listen to our clients, get to know their unique corporate cultures, and deliver candidates with the right mix of hard skills and intangible qualities. He is a graduate of Gettysburg College and Adelphi University.

Jim Hickey is a veteran of 48 years as a radio and TV journalist, including 32 years with ABC News. Hickey retired from broadcastng in 2012 and since then, he created a voice-over business and narrates audiobooks. As the National Correspondent for ABC News Radio, Hickey was in the anchor chair for ABC News Radio’s special coverage of the terrorist attacks on September 11th,2001 and has reported extensively on the war on terrorism. His three decades of assignments with ABC News took him literally round the world covering news events that are now chapters in history books. He was the ABC News Bureau Chief in South Africa during the uprisings that led to the end of apartheid and reported on the triumphal return from prison of Nelson Mandela. He reported on the civil war in Lebanon from Beirut, the fall of the Soviet Union from Moscow, and the first war with Iraq, Desert Storm, from Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.  He also reported from Iraq developments leading up to that war. Other major stories he covered include the death of Princess Diana from Paris and London, the impeachment of President Clinton in Washington, the millennium celebration from Rome, the historic visit of Pope John Paul II to Cuba and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University. 

Andy Hilton is VP Communications, Content and Brand, ADP. Hilton plays a key role in helping give ADP, an HR technology and services leader, its voice in the marketplace. In this role, he leads a centralized communications, content marketing, brand and events team responsible for shaping ADP’s narrative and getting that story in front of audiences that matter. He joined ADP in July 2014. Before ADP, he led communications and corporate marketing efforts for the Water Solutions business of Xylem Inc., based in Stockholm, Sweden. Xylem was created following its spinoff from ITT Corporation in October 2011. Prior to the spin-off, Hilton led ITT’s corporate public relations function, and served as the company’s chief spokesperson. Early in his communications career, Hilton worked for 10 years at Ketchum and Peppercomm. He is a graduate of Syracuse University.

Aaron Hite is an Advertising Sales Executive at Google. In this role, Hite advises business technology brands on their digital advertising strategies across Google properties and platforms. Prior to Google, he spent 10+ years in the advertising agency space. Most recently, he was Vice President at Digitas New York, where he focused on developing customer acquisition strategy for American Express. This included communications planning, creative development and digital media strategy. He was also Digital Practice Lead at shopper marketing agency Saatchi & Saatchi X where he developed in-store digital integration strategies for brands like Smirnoff, Wendy's and SHARP. Before Saatchi, he was an account leader at digital marketing agency 360i, where he focused on digital media, search engine marketing and social marketing for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Fisher Price and Hot Wheels, among others. He has also worked on the brand side at Bank of America, where he was a founding member of the Digital Media Center of Excellence and been an adjunct instructor in E-Commerce Marketing at NYU. He is a graduate of College of Charleston and the University of Georgia.

Bradford Horn is Communications and Media Relations Director at U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. In this role he oversees and manages all aspects of USADA’s communications, publications, marketing, branding, advertising and public relations efforts, while serving as the organization’s primary media contact. Additionally, Horn serves as Principal of BradHorn PR LLC., where he works with clients to reach successful outcomes, through managed communications planning, inspiring messaging and complete brand creation. Previously he served in public relations management roles for Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers, the National Hot Rod Association, the Central Hockey League’s Fort Worth Fire, and most recently, as Vice President for Communications and Education for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. He is a graduate of Syracuse University and Texas Christian University. He spent the 2016-17 academic year as a graduate teaching assistant and PhD student in Mass Communications at the University of Florida.

Nehl Horton is President of the International Game Fish Association. In August Horton was named President. As IGFA’s seventh president since its founding in 1939, Horton will work with the IGFA Trustees to develop a new long-range plan for increasing the organization’s connectivity and relevance to anglers, improving its strong network of international representatives and building new revenue streams, while strengthening its commitment to worldwide conservation. He has 30 years of experience in business, government and journalism. Most recently he served as senior vice president and chief communications & government relations officer for food-service distribution leader Sysco Corporation. That followed nearly a decade at Miller Brewing Company and MillerCoors, where he last served as chief public affairs & communications officer. Early in his career, he held several senior government and political communications roles. He was press secretary for U.S. Senator Wyche Fowler, Jr. of Georgia; communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; and press secretary and director of legislative affairs for former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young. He started his professional career as a staff writer at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He is a graduate of Duke University.

Constance N. Hubbell is President and CEO, The Hubbell Group, Inc. The Hubbell Group is a full-service independent public relations firm she founded in 1995. An experienced corporate spokesperson and media strategist, Hubbell has advised numerous public and private sector companies as well as governmental entities during her career. Prior to founding The Hubbell Group, she was director of media relations and chief spokesperson at Fidelity Investments. Hubbell developed and directed proactive public relations activities, provided senior-level counsel, including crisis communications, and managed public affairs services at the federal and state levels. Previously, Hubbell was the chief spokesperson and vice president of media relations at Bank of Boston Corporation, where she provided media relations, crisis communications and product and service publicity. Before joining Bank of Boston, Hubbell was an account supervisor at Boston-based Cabot Public Relations, where she oversaw a variety of consumer and financial accounts including Bank of Boston. Earlier, she was an account executive and director of media relations in Boston Hill & Knowlton and also worked for Regan Communications in Boston. She began her career in the Elections Division in the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where she coordinated voter outreach campaigns. Hubbell is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts.

Bill Hughes is Chief Communications Officer, Pitney Bowes Inc. In this global role, he directs communications for employees, the media and other influencers. He also oversees government affairs and works closely with the marketing and investor relations groups. Hughes joined Pitney Bowes in 2013 with more than 25 years of communications experience, having worked at both large corporations and small companies, across information technology, pharmaceutical, financial services and consumer products industries. He also has extensive international experience. Previously, he was Chief Communications Officer at CA Technologies, one of the world's largest IT management software companies. Before that, he had served as Vice President, Global Communications and Public Affairs, at IMS Health, the world's leading market information company to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. Hughes also held several communications leadership roles at IBM. He was Vice President of Corporate Media Relations, as well as industry analyst relations and serving as the company’s spokesperson. He directed all communications programs for IBM's Global Sales and Distribution group. He also served as Vice President, Communications, for IBM Asia-Pacific. He first joined IBM as a Director of Public Relations for IBM's Personal Systems Group. Earlier in his career, he spent more than 12 years at Burson-Marsteller, WeberShandwick and Miller Communications.

In May Brian Jones became President of Fox Business Network (FBN). Prior to that he was Executive Vice President (2014-2017) and Senior Vice President (2003-2014) at FBN. Jones joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 1997 as Vice President of News Gathering where he was responsible for business development and later served as Vice President of News Affiliates. He also served as Vice President of SkyGlobal Networks for two years, where he was part of the team to purchase DirecTV for News Corp. Following that, he was named Director of Communications for the McGraw-Hill Companies, Information and Media Services. He returned to FNC in 2003 as Vice President of News. He was later promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations for FBN, where he managed news gathering, staffing and operations on the production side, as well as the acquisition of financial data. He has also worked in politics as the manager of communications for George W. Bush's Presidential Campaign, 1999-2000 and director of communications for the Republican National Convention at that same time. Jones began his career working as a producer and investigative producer in local TV markets. He is a graduate of Fordham University and The University of Tulsa.

Ruth Kinzey is President of The Kinzey Company. She is known for developing strategic and comprehensive communication strategies. Throughout her career, she has emphasized the importance of strategically linking communication, branding, marketing and corporate social responsibility. Always focused on protecting and enhancing an organization's reputation, she has led companies through crises as well as helped them actively enhance their reputations. She has worked in the grocery retail, trucking, natural gas, and computer software industries. During her prolific career, she has prepared change management communication, launched brands, developed government relations strategies, dealt with special interest groups, managed crises, established community relationships, supervised corporate foundations, educated consumers, engaged employees, created corporate citizenship platforms, supported investor relations activities, and executed public relations and marketing campaigns. She has also consulted in the banking, manufacturing, and travel and tourism sectors as well as assisted nonprofits with their communication needs. Her executive speech coaching sessions have helped business leaders improve their overall presentation skills as well as prepare for important meetings and events. In addition, she has been a radio news broadcaster. Additionally, she is an adjunct professor at Rutgers University, teaching graduate students in the online communication master’s degree program. At University of North Carolina - Charlotte, she taught public relations, public speaking and journalism; established and chaired the Journalism Curriculum Committee; and oversaw the Communication Department internships. Kinzey is a graduate of University of Iowa and Coe College.

Tim Klein is a communications and Public Relations Consultant. Most recently, Klein was Vice President, Public Relations for Equifax Inc., a global leader in information solutions and a member of the S&P 500 that provides financial, marketing and business data and services to banks, retail, marketing, technology, information and other companies throughout the U.S., Europe and Latin America. He directed the company’s external and internal communications strategies and was responsible for media relations, executive, financial, corporate, crisis and employee communications, for the corporation and its operations throughout the U.S. Canada, the UK, Brazil, Spain, Russia, India and eight other countries. Before joining Equifax, Klein created and headed the public relations department for Cingular Wireless, helping to merge 12 different regional wireless companies into one with a presence in every state. He was responsible for the reputation and strategic positioning and all internal and external communications of the company as it grew from 14 million customers to more than 50 million. He also led all communications efforts during the $45 billion merger with AT&T Wireless in 2004 and the integration of Cingular into AT&T in 2006. Klein is a graduate of the University of Missouri.

Matthew Koch is a Vice President at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy (Energy Institute). Koch is responsible for leading the Institute’s efforts to promote and expand support for the construction of energy infrastructure and development of Canadian and U.S. Arctic energy resources. He is credited for building and managing the Energy Institute’s successful Partnership to Fuel America, a multistate, pro-North-American energy small business advocacy network. Before joining the Chamber, he was director of Federal Relations at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where he was chief advocate and issue manager for all downstream and refining-related issues affecting the oil and natural gas industry. During George W. Bush’s first term, Koch worked at the Department of Energy and in the White House. At the White House, he served in the Office of Cabinet Affairs as liaison to the secretaries of Agriculture, Interior, and Energy and the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Koch has worked for two members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Governor of Texas, and for the minority leader of the New York State Assembly. He has extensive experience working on local, state, and national political campaigns and national political conventions. He is a graduate of Canisius College.

Keith Lindenburg is Partner and General Manager of Brodeur’s New York Office. In his role as Partner, Lindenburg serves as General Manager of Brodeur’s NY Office and drives business development efforts for the Mid-Atlantic region. He is a multidimensional leader and C-Suite advisor with both in-house communications and PR agency experience. He brings Corporate, Business-to-Business and Technology expertise to Brodeur, with more than 25 years of experience creating and executing high impact, strategic thought leadership campaigns for many of the world’s best-known brands, including Samsung, IBM, Deloitte, MasterCard, Canon, Guinness, United Way and EMC. For Lindenburg, this is a return to Brodeur after 15 years. During his last stint at the agency, he was the Global Account Manager for Brodeur’s largest account, IBM. Prior to his return, Lindenburg was Executive Vice President at Edelman. He joined Edelman from Deloitte, where he was Managing Director of Public Relations & Reputation. At Deloitte, he directed planning and execution for all external activities, including CEO communications, media relations, crisis communications, regulatory/legislative affairs, speaking engagements and reputation management. Keith began his career as a B2B journalist and spent more than a decade with IBM in various communications leadership positions, including in the software group. He was also a member of CEO Lou Gerstner’s culture transformation team while at IBM’s global headquarters. Keith is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Ireland. He is a graduate of Fairfield University.

Dutch Mandel is principal of LDM Atlantic, LLC where he creates commercial content for clients, including Actev Motors and he is an executive editor at large for Autoweek. Previously, he spent 32 years with Crain Communications, Inc. where he was in the role of publisher and editorial director for Autoweek Media Group. At the privately held predominantly business-to-business publishing company, Mandel’s liberal arts education took him from working on both sides of the aisle – editorial and commercial – for monthly consumer magazines (Detroit Monthly), weekly business publications (Crain’s Detroit Business, Automotive News) and the largest circulation media brand in the company, Autoweek. In 1994, Mandel helped to develop the enthusiast-car world’s first website, autoweek.com, and worked to create both “Autoweek on Speed” and “Autoweek’s Vinsetta Garage” television shows. He was the automotive consultant for Pixar’s CARS and CARS 2 movies. As a second-generation automotive journalist, Mandel’s apprenticeship began early at Northern California race tracks. By the time he was 15, he was transcribing long-hand written race reports and stepping between the worlds of hot-lead linotype machines, IBM Selectric typewriters and Radio Shack TRS80 computers. His early business career was wide and varied: He drove a motorhome, cooked and wrote press releases for a racing team while traveling around the country. He was a senior editor of a scuba diving magazine and associate editor for a cross-country ski publication, though he was unfamiliar with either discipline. He has written for Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Adventure Travel and Backpacker magazines, among others. Mandel is a graduate of Lewis and Clark College.

Thomas R. Martin is Executive-in-Residence, College of Charleston, Department of Communication. He was named to the position, the first of its kind, in 2007. Martin works with the students, faculty and administration of the College to enhance the relationship between the Communication Department and the business community and to help its students successfully transition into the business world. In 2016 he launched the Martin Scholars program, a selective mentoring, networking and learning program. The program develops a select group of ten seniors who are either majoring or minoring in Communication through a combination of exposure to effective communication leaders who serve as mentors and teachers, networking opportunities with Communication alumni and Advisory Council members, and experiential learning. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Arthur W. Page Center at Penn State University, a research center at the Penn State College of Communications dedicated to the study and advancement of ethics and responsibility in corporate communication and other forms of public communication. Martin retired in 2007 from ITT Corporation, where he served as Senior Vice President and Director of Corporate Relations. At ITT Corporation, Martin was an officer, a member of the company's Executive Council and was responsible for worldwide brand and reputation management, public relations, employee communications, government affairs, corporate advertising and community relations. Martin was formerly Vice President, Corporate Communications for Federal Express Corporation where he was responsible for worldwide public relations, investor relations and employee communications for the Fortune 150 Company. He was also responsible for the public relations and internal communications efforts for the launch of the FedEx brand in 1994. He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University.

Mike McCurry provides counsel on communications strategies and management to corporate and non-profit clients at Public Strategies Washington, Inc. He is also a Distinguished Professor of Public Theology at the Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. McCurry is a veteran political strategist and spokesperson with nearly four decades of experience in the nation’s capital. McCurry served in the White House as press secretary to President Bill Clinton (1995-1998). He also served as spokesman for the U.S. Department of State (1993-1995) and director of communications for the Democratic National Committee (1988-1990). McCurry held a variety of leadership roles in national campaigns for the Democratic ticket from 1984 to 2004. McCurry began his career on the staff of the United States Senate, working as press secretary to the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources and to the committee’s chairman, Senator Harrison A. Williams, Jr. (1976-1981). He also served as press secretary to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1981-1983). McCurry is co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates which sponsors the general election debates between candidates for President and Vice President of the United States. McCurry is a graduate of Princeton University, Georgetown University and Wesley Theological Seminary.

Dr. Michael Moore is Senior Vice President, Enterprise Messaging for Thomson Reuters. He is responsible for creating and coordinating strategic messaging; overseeing thought leadership and content marketing across Thomson Reuters businesses; and managing the company’s “owned” channels including Thomsonreuters.com, the AnswersOn blog, social media and the employee portal. Previous roles included leading internal, executive and digital communications for the company. Before joining Thomson Reuters, Moore led the worldwide internal communications function at IBM, managing communications with more than 300,000 employees during events ranging from Y2K to 9/11 to the launch of IBM’s global crowd-sourcing “jams.” Prior to IBM, he was a communications consultant with McKinsey & Co., helping large corporations manage change and working in the Firm’s Media, Energy and Healthcare practices, as well as managing thought leadership and other communications for McKinsey’s West Coast Offices. Earlier yet, he worked at RAND on a wide range of public-sector issues and taught management communications at the Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.

Michael Neumeier, APR, principal of Arketi Group, has more than 20 years of proven experience in public relations, marketing and analyst relations. A specialist in counseling clients on the best means to effectively convey business messages to market and media influencers, he has built an enviable record of creating and delivering plans that result in building the bottom line. The agency he co-founded, Arketi Group, is consistently recognized by Chief Marketer magazine as one of the nation’s “B2B Top Shops.” Previously he served as director of media and analyst relations for Interland (now Web.com), a web hosting and online services provider for small businesses. Neumeier has also served as a PR and marketing executive for two large independent marketing and PR agencies, as the director of news services for Mercer University, and as a writer at the University of Florida’s Health Science Center. Mike is a graduate of the University of Florida.

Phil Noble, Jr. has been deeply involved in the civic life of South Carolina for over 35 years. Phil Noble started three South Carolina non-profit groups - the Palmetto Project, One Laptop Per Child South Carolina and EnvisionSC -- a new College of Charleston initiative to support innovative ideas and people with a goal to make South Carolina ‘world class and globally connected.’  He has been a teacher, mentor for at risk youth, church school volunteer and served on over two dozen boards and commission including boards at Clemson, USC and the College of Charleston. He also serves as President of the SC New Democrats, an independent reform group started by former Gov. Richard Riley to bring big change and real reform. He is an award-winning documentary film producer and currently writes a weekly column about South Carolina for the state press association. He is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College.

Scott Novak is Head of Global Communications at Bruin Sports Capital. In this role, Novak oversees internal and external communications for the fast-growing entity. Bruin is an investment firm specializing in sports, media, marketing, and branded lifestyle businesses, such as Deltatre, Engine Shop, and Courtside Ventures. He was with Sports Illustrated and parent Time Inc. for the past decade, most recently as Senior VP/Communications & Brand Development for Time Inc. Sports Group. Since joining Time Inc., he oversaw communications for the company’s sports portfolio, including Sports Illustrated, Time Inc. Video, and The Foundry, Time Inc.’s in-house marketing and creative services agency. Novak also led communications for many of the company’s growth initiatives and marketing events, according to a statement. Prior to joining Time Inc., Novak was a Senior Vice President for DKG Public Relations, Integrated Marketing and Government Affairs. While helping build the agency’s most profitable division, his work included serving as lead communications counsel to Sprint Nextel on behalf of its $1 billion sports sponsorship profile; bring a global spotlight to the Tiger Woods Foundation’s state-of-the-art cooperative education program; launching College Sports Television Network (not CBS Sports Network) and he was a member of the award winning team supporting SONY/BMG efforts to reinvigorate the Elvis Presley brand. Novak is a graduate of Seton Hall University.

In September, Kelli Parsons began her new post as Chief Communication Officer at United Technologies, the aircraft and industrial manufacturing company. Previously Parsons was a strategic advisor at Proof, an analytics software company and a member of Proof’s customer advisory council. Parsons is one of the top marketing and communications leaders in the financial services industry. She most recently served as Chief Communications and Marketing Officer of New York Life, a Fortune 100 global insurance and investment company. In that role she was responsible for corporate communications, brand strategy and experience, employee experience, multimedia, events and creative services. Previously, Parsons led communications, marketing, community engagement and grant making as Chief Communications Officer at Fannie Mae. She previously served as Head of Global Communications and Marketing at Warburg Pincus and as Executive Vice President and General Manager at Hill & Knowlton where she led the corporate practice and the New York and Washington, DC offices. She also serves on the board of trustees of the Arthur W. Page Society. Kelli began her career as a television news reporter. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and Murray State University.

George K. Regan, Jr. is President, Regan Communications Group. Regan founded Regan Communications Group, Inc. in 1984. Today it is New England’s largest privately-owned public relations firm and the sixth-largest privately-owned public relations firm in the country, with more than 100 clients, and offices in Boston, Cape Cod, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Washington, D.C., Charleston, S.C. and Florida. Its client base is a virtual “Who’s Who” list of leading companies in business, sports, and entertainment, including, Suffolk Construction, Legal Sea Foods, New Balance Athletic Shoe, SBLI, Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, Boston magazine, Simon Property Group, Herb Chambers, The 99 Restaurants and Friendly’s Ice Cream. Prior to launching Regan Communications Group, he worked as a reporter at the Boston Globe beginning at the age of 17, earning his first byline at the age of 18. He then became a leading figure in the administration of Boston Mayor Kevin White for over a decade, first as press secretary and later as director of communications for the City of Boston. Regan also worked on numerous presidential campaigns, serving as national advance person for Jimmy Carter’s successful 1976 presidential campaign, and also working on presidential campaigns for Mo Udall, Henry “Scoop” Jackson, and Governor Michael Dukakis. He is a graduate of Suffolk University and Boston University.

Hayes Hayes RothRoth is principal and founder of H.A. Roth Consulting LLC, a marketing consulting firm specializing in strategic positioning, brand development and client/agency relationship building. In this latter capacity, he is a partner in the US practice of Relationship Audits & Management, a global consulting firm specializing in evaluating and advising on strategic client relationships. Previously, Hayes spent 19 years at Landor, one of the world’s most respected branding and design firms. As Landor’s Chief Marketing Officer, he was responsible for marketing and business development initiatives across the firm’s 24 offices worldwide. Roth is a frequent lecturer at Cornell, Columbia and Wharton, a former Adjunct Professor of Marketing at City College of New York, and a regularly cited spokesperson for the branding industry. He serves on the Cornell Johnson School Executive Advisory Committee, the Wharton Future of Advertising 2020 Council and is on the Board of Directors of the Advertising Educational Foundation. He is a graduate of the University of Miami. 

Greg Schneiders is the CEO and founding partner of Prime Group. He founded Prime Group in 1990. His long career in research and strategic planning included serving as Director of Communications in the White House and for the Democratic leadership in the U.S. Senate. Schneiders also led the communications efforts for several presidential campaigns. As CEO of Prime Group, he advised hundreds of political, corporate and non-profit clients on research-based communications strategy. These have included the U.S. Department of Education, MetLife, The China-U.S. Exchange Foundation, LinkedIn, UnitedHealth Group, UPS, LabCorp, TransCanada, The U.S. Golf Association, and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He has taught political communications at Georgetown's School of Foreign Service and the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a frequent speaker on politics and communications and has contributed commentary and columns to The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal among other publications. He is a graduate of Georgetown University.

Brad Shaw is the co-creator of the Atlanta-based podcast called "Crazy Good Turns." It is a podcast that tells inspiring stories about people who do amazing things for others. The podcast is currently in its second season and features 20 episodes so far. Prior to the podcast, Shaw spent more than 10 years as vice president and chief communications officer for The Home Depot, reporting directly to three CEOs during his tenure there. In addition to providing strategic oversight of the Fortune 35 company’s corporate communications and serving as the senior communications counsel to its leadership team, Shaw managed a number of high-profile communications events for Home Depot, including: two CEO transitions (Nardelli-Blake, Blake-Menear); the well-regarded handling of a massive data security breach in late 2014; the sale of its $8 billion HD Supply business; the company’s entry into and exit from China; and Home Depot’s disaster response communications during hurricanes Katrina, Sandy and others. Shaw also had oversight of Home Depot’s corporate giving and philanthropy efforts, most notably the Home Depot Foundation, which became a leader in veterans’ housing initiatives during Shaw’s tenure at the company. Prior to joining Home Depot in 2004, Shaw served as chief communications officer at Gateway, Inc. Before joining Gateway, Shaw spent six years at PepsiCo in jobs of increasing importance, lastly as director of global communications handling corporate and crisis communications and brand publicity for the company’s U.S. and international soft drinks businesses. Prior to PepsiCo, Shaw worked at Ketchum Public Relations and Doremus Public Relations, both in New York. He is a graduate of Washington and Lee University.

Kevin Shinkle is Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for the Knights of Columbus. Previously he was the former Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, Delta Air Lines. In that role he was responsible for external communications, media relations and employee and cross-divisional communications throughout Delta's global system. Prior to his role at Delta, Shinkle worked in journalism and was the business editor at The Associated Press (NY) and at The Star-Ledger in Newark, NJ, respectively. At the AP, he oversaw the Business News department of the Associated Press. It is an award-winning department of reporters and editors in the U.S., Europe and Asia that thrives on incisive, creative and definitive coverage of breaking news and produces, fresh, thought-provoking enterprise. The AP is the largest and most important news organization in the world, supplying content to newspapers, television and radio stations and digital outlets. As deputy business editor and then business editor at the Star-Ledger, he oversaw a department that was recognized as producing one of the five best business sections in the country for six straight years. Reporters in this division routinely won national and state awards. The section was known for its creativity -- a business section that didn't look like a business section -- and for hard-edged investigative coverage. He has diverse experience working as a reporter for outlets such as Bloomberg (NY), The Tampa Tribune (Florida), and The Chapel Hill Newspaper as well as The Gold Leaf Farmer, both in North Carolina. He is a graduate of Hillsdale College.

Dan Solomon is Managing Director, Litton Entertainment. Charleston-based Litton Entertainment has been creating and distributing quality television programming for over 20 years. Solomon leads the business development team and is responsible for initiatives with brands and non-profit institutions as well as digital distribution initiatives across interactive television, social, web, and mobile platforms. Prior to joining Litton, he was CEO of Virilion, a digital advertising and marketing agency, headquartered in Washington, D.C. with offices around the country. With clients such as eBay, PhRMA, Business Software Alliance and UNICEF, Virilion was on the INC 5000 list of fastest growing firms for three consecutive years. Virilion was sold in 2010. Solomon also served publisher of nationaljournal.com, National Journal Group’s “members only” Web site and general manager of National Journal’s Daily Briefings Group, which included The Hotline, CongressDaily and National Journal’s Technology Daily. In 1999, he held a political appointment with the U.S. Department of Commerce and for five years worked in senior legislative positions in the United States Senate for Senator Harris Wofford (D-PA) and Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI). He has also worked in a variety of capacities on state-wide political campaigns across the country. He also practiced commercial law with the firm of Hale and Dorr and clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Louis, Missouri. Solomon is a graduate of the University of Michigan and University of Minnesota Law School. 

Gina Stouffer is President--Charleston Office, Lou Hammond and Associates. Stouffer has been with the firm for 18 years. She began her public relations and marketing career in Washington, D.C. working for Odyssey Cruises and for the White House Personnel Security Office before moving to New York to join LHG in 1998. In 2002, she moved to Florida to open LHG’s Miami office and develop the agency’s brand in the Southeast, Caribbean and Latin America. Stouffer is now based in the firm’s Charleston, South Carolina office where she oversees a portfolio of accounts in the tourism, consumer products, culinary, arts and culture and technology industries. During her tenure, she has represented a number of cruise and train lines, hotel groups and golf resorts earning multiple Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International Awards for LHG clients. Stouffer is also LHG’s resident real estate expert, specializing in upscale vacation communities and high-rise developments. She serves as the LHG chair for spas & wellness and family lifestyle. She is a graduate of Baylor University.

T.R. Straub is Executive Director, Russell Reynolds Associates. Straub advises clients as a member of the Corporate Officers Sector, based in Washington, D.C. With over a decade of recruitment experience, he focuses on searches in corporate communications, public affairs and government relations. Recent work has included Chief Communications Officer and Chief Government Relations Officer roles for corporations, nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions. Straub joined Russell Reynolds Associates after seven years with Heyman Associates, where he most recently was a Senior Vice President, leading corporate communications and government relations assignments out of both New York and Washington, D.C. Previously, he worked with Teach for America, first as a Corps Member in the Baltimore City Public Schools, then as a Recruitment Director, organizing the strategy for college recruitment and awareness campaigns. He is a graduate of the University of Richmond and The Johns Hopkins University.

Rick Swagler is Executive Vice President, Director of External Affairs, Regions Bank. His responsibilities include corporate communications, corporate advocacy, government relations and economic development, reputation risk, corporate social responsibility and diversity. Regions is a regional bank that operates throughout the South, Midwest and Texas and is headquartered in Birmingham, Ala. Prior to joining AmSouth Bancorporation in 2000, Swagler served in senior editorial roles at The Tampa Tribune, The Birmingham News, and The Alabama Journal daily newspaper in Montgomery. He has also served as a staff attorney and director of publications for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Washington, D.C. Swagler serves on the boards of directors of the Alabama Bankers Association and the Alabama Business Charitable Trust. He is president-elect of the Comprehensive Cancer Center Advisory Board at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and chairman of the Alabama board of Operation HOPE. He is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and the Alabama State Bar. Swagler is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and Stetson University College of Law.

Cat Taylor is Partner, ByrdHouse PR. While an undergraduate at the College of Charleston, Taylor met Annie Byrd Hamnett and began working as her intern at ByrdHouse PR. It was Annie who showed her that she could make a living doing what she loved: talking about great food! She worked with Byrd Hamnett until she graduated, in addition to working as an intern at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, and then made her way to Chicago where she worked for several years at Wagstaff Worldwide, a national hospitality PR firm. In the Windy City, Taylor worked with the Midwest’s best chefs and restaurants, from James Beard Award nominees to Michelin‐starred establishments. With Charleston still on her mind, she packed up and headed back South to partner with her good friend and mentor, Annie. In 2015, the two established a professional partnership at ByrdHouse PR, melding their skills and connections to offer exemplary service to their clients by providing strategic plans, unique stories, and innovative ideas. Since returning to Charleston, she has helped build ByrdHouse’s client roster and has gotten involved in the community, serving on the Spoleto SCENE planning committee and as a mentor for the College of Charleston’s Martin Scholar’s program. 

Alicia Thompson, APR, is Managing Director--Atlanta Office, Porter Novelli. Thompson has more than 20 years of experience developing and implementing marketing, corporate and crisis/issues management communications strategy and programs for privately-held and publicly-traded companies and agencies including Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen (NASDAQ: PLKI), BellSouth Corporation, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO), Fletcher Martin Ewing and Cohn & Wolfe. She currently serves as managing director of Porter Novelli’s Atlanta office. In this role she is responsible for talent management and strategic growth while driving measureable business results for clients. She joined Porter Novelli from Edelman, where she was the general manager of the firm’s Atlanta office. In that role, she oversaw operations and talent and was responsible for developing and maintaining a dynamic client roster. Prior to Edelman, Alicia served as SVP – Consumer Marketing providing strategic counsel to clients and leading account teams in the delivery of results driven programs. She also served as the regional lead for the agency’s food sector. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Mike Touhill is External Communications, Novelis Inc., the global leader in aluminum rolled products and the world’s largest recycler of aluminum. In this role, he is responsible for external communications programming, media relations, social media, digital content and business segment marketing communications. Along with his team, Touhill also advises the organization on communication strategy related to executive visibility, financial earnings, corporate social responsibility and crisis communication. Previously, he led all public relations efforts for Kiawah Partners, a luxury residential real estate developer based in Charleston, S.C., whose properties include Kiawah Island, South Carolina, The Lodge at Doonbeg, County Clare Ireland and Christophe Harbour, St. Kitts. In this role, Touhill served as the company spokesperson, directed all international and national media relations, developed strategic public relations campaigns, prepared executive written communication and managed third-party consultants. Prior to serving Kiawah Partners, he worked for Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide in Washington, D.C. During his tenure, he developed and executed strategic communication plans, national media relations campaigns, client interviews, industry tradeshows and on-site media events. From 2003 to 2005, he was an account executive at The Martin Agency in Richmond, Virginia where he was responsible for national media relations across a number of consumer goods companies and higher education universities. In this role, he supported senior executive team members with client research, new business proposals and special event planning. He is a graduate of Virginia Wesleyan College.

Patty Tucker is a Corporate Communications and Corporate Parenting Counselor. She is an independent Corporate Communications strategist specializing in change and evolution. She partners with companies to deliver objective, insight-based strategic planning and activations at surgical moments of need. Her particular passion is helping companies hone trust, reputation and social responsibility, the increasingly obligatory aspects of “corporate parenting.” For years Tucker helped UPS International evolve from domestic “brown and ground” to a global logistics brand. She helped spin HanesBrands from Sara Lee, crafting its corporate positioning before CEO Richard Noll rang the NYSE bell on Day One. She helped VF Corp. CEOs Mackey McDonald and Eric Wiseman evolve their narrative about its complex consumer brand portfolio. Through Newell Rubbermaid’s transformation from CEO Mark Ketchum to Michael Polk, she provided strategies for marketplace relevance, Foundation strategy and purpose platforms. Most recently, Tucker was EVP and Americas Region Operations & Strategy Director with Edelman’s Global Corporate Practice. Patty stewarded 22 practices across the Americas, creating thought leadership content and highlighting innovation that influenced consistency and measureable client results. She formed Edelman’s Atlanta Corporate practice and grew it to over $6 million in annual revenue and 30 staff. Prior to Edelman, Tucker was EVP of The Headline Group, where she founded its Corporate and B-to-B practice and helped grow revenues tenfold.

Nadine Vogel is Chief Executive Officer & Founder of Springboard Consulting LLC, a global company working with national and multinational corporations around the world to successfully mainstream disability in the global workforce, workplace and marketplace and producing the world-renowned Disability Matters Conference and Awards Gala. She also serves as Founder and CEO of The Springboard Foundation, providing scholarships to college students with disabilities. In addition, Vogel is the CEO of Disability Mama & Co., celebrating, empowering and educating women around the world who have children with special needs. Prior to founding Springboard, Vogel held a variety of executive positions in both Corporate America and the non-profit sectors, including as a former Vice President of Marketing at MetLife. She is a graduate of College of Charleston and Golden Gate University.

David Webster the President and Founder of Aberdeen Strategies LLC. He is a senior communications professional who has advised CEOs and senior leadership teams in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, reputation management, building performance cultures, managing transformational change, proactive public relations, crisis management, investor relations, government relations and effective corporate giving. His 30+ years of domestic and international experience span several industries, including financial services, energy, manufacturing, retail, real estate and construction. Prior to founding Aberdeen Strategies, Webster was the chief communications officer and head of public affairs for Sunoco, Inc., a Fortune 100 energy company based in Philadelphia. Previously, he led communications for one of the nation’s largest homebuilders, Centex Corporation, and Regions Financial, a top-10 bank holding company based in the Southeastern United States. Webster also served as senior vice president of business affairs at Chase Card Services. While at JPMorganChase, he and his team created co-branded product and media relations campaigns in partnership with many of America’s best brands like Disney, Southwest Airlines, and Starbucks. Earlier in his career, Webster held senior communications positions at Bank One, First USA and Pennzoil Company. He is a graduate of Regent University, and the founding chair of the Communications Advisory Council at the College of Charleston.

Judy DeRango Wicks, APR, Fellow PRSA (Retired) was Vice President of Corporate Communications, Fiserv, Inc., a $4.5 billion global provider of financial services technology solutions, from 2009 to 2013. She had headed corporate communications for CheckFree Corporation, the leader in online banking and electronic billing and payment, since 1999. CheckFree was acquired by Fiserv in 2007 and she became head of communications for the integrated company in 2009. In these roles, Wicks managed global business, banking and technology trade and consumer media relations, executive visibility, speakers bureau, social media and monitoring, and crisis management. Prior to this, Wicks was Vice President of Ketchum Crescent, where she oversaw the IBM account, Cox Interactive, and helped Nokia launch its Nokia Sugar Bowl, fashion and entertainment programs. She joined Ketchum Atlanta in 1989 as Senior Account Executive, serving on Harris/3M, Lanier Worldwide, Sylvan Learning Centers and ATC Long Distance. From 1993 to 1997, she was Vice President, Crescent Communications, where she developed media and channel relations programs for IBM Software Group, and helped AER Energy batteries reach laptop manufacturers. Wicks began her career in Florida in the 1980s with Y&R/Zemp, Orlando, and Gary Bitner Public Relations, Fort Lauderdale. She is a graduate of the University of Florida and Stetson University.

In Memoriam

Tom Kowaleski (1951-2015) 

Tom was a mainstay in the auto industry where he held top public relations and communications positions at Chrysler, General Motors, BMW, and Lincoln.

John Palmer** (1935-2013) 

John, a longtime NBC White House Correspondent as well as an NBC Today Show anchor, was a founding member of the Council.