Member Listing

CURRENT COUNCIL MEMBERS

Ted Birkhahn
Bruce Haynes Phil Musser Cat Taylor
Sangita Blomberg Jim Hickey Michael Neumeier Alicia Thompson
Kathleen Blomquist Aaron Hite Julia Race Patty Tucker
Dana Bolden Alex Jones Topper Ray
Brent Colburn Brian Jones Kyle Rees
Tim Doke Matthew Koch Linda Rutherford
Mark Kendall Dole Carrie Kurlander Matt Simeon
Mary Garrett Michael Moore TR Straub


EXECUTIVE ADVISORS


Kim Adler Rob Flaherty Keith Lindenburg Kevin Shinkle
John Ambler Jon Harris
Thomas R. Martin**
Dan Solomon
Meredith Artley Bill Heyman Mike McCurry Gina Stouffer
Edward Barbini Andy Hilton Phil Noble, Jr. Rick Swagler
Jeannie Bunton Bradford Horn Scott Novak
Mike Touhill
David Campbell
Nehl Horton Kelli Parsons Nadine Vogel
Steve Cody** Constance Hubbell George Regan David Webster**
Tucker Eskew Bill Hughes Hayes Roth
Judy DeRango Wicks
Michael Fanning Ruth Kinzey Greg Schneiders
Mike Fernandez Tim Klein Brad Shaw

 

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. Tom Kowaleski was a beloved member of the Advisory Council and passed away in January 2015. An incredible mentor in the Council's Mentor-Protege program, Tom's Protege, Katherine Gore, wrote this tribute in his memory.

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. John Palmer was named the first life-time member of the CofC Communication Advisory Council. In honor of his incredible dedication to the program, The John Palmer Communication Award was established after he passed away in August 2013.

 **Lifetime members


Meet the Advisory Council Members

 

T.R. Straub, Chair of the CofC National Communication Advisory CouncilTR Straub (Council chair) is Executive Director for Russell Reynolds Associates. Straub co-leads the firm’s Corporate Affairs and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Practices, based in Washington, D.C. With over a decade of search experience, he focuses on searches in government relations, corporate communications and public affairs and leads DEI consulting engagements. Additionally, TR is a member of the firm’s Social Justice Practice, serving progressive and impact-oriented organizations, primarily when advocacy is a core element of the organization’s work.

Straub joined Russell Reynolds Associates after seven years with Heyman Associates, where he 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 Johns Hopkins University.  (Back to Top)

Kim Adler is Vice President of Internal Communications at WestRock, a $20 billion global corrugated packaging company. Adler has decades of C-suite experience that span the healthcare, aluminum, automotive and public relations industries for large public and private companies. Her areas of expertise include community and government relations, corporate social responsibility and sustainability, executive communications, spinoffs, mergers and acquisitions, employee engagement initiatives and high profile meetings and events. Previously Adler was Vice President and Head of Global Communications for Alcon, the former eye care division of Novartis. Prior to that, Adler was Vice President, Communications and Government Affairs for Novelis Inc., where she had global oversight for the $10 billion company’s award-winning communications and public affairs functions. Prior to that, Adler held senior communications roles with automotive suppliers Freudenberg-NOK and ArvinMeritor. Before joining Novelis, she led Adler Communications, where she provided strategic support for a variety of clients including Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Ford Motor Company. She began her career in-house at Ford Motor Company and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She serves on the Institute for Public Relations Board of Trustees, and has completed an executive development program through Duke University.  (Back to Top) 

John Ambler is Vice President of Corporate Communications and Brand Management at United States Steel Corporation. He has extensive experience in crisis communications, public affairs, government and international relations, corporate communications and issues management. Prior to joining US Steel Corporation, Ambler held a number of leading communication roles, including Managing Director for Corporate Crisis Group, 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.  (Back to Top) 

Meredith Artley is Editor-in-Chief and Senior Vice President of CNN Digital Worldwide. 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.  (Back to Top) 

Edward Barbini is Vice President of External Relations 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.  (Back to Top) 

Ted Birkhahn is President and Co-founder of Hot Paper Lantern (HPL). His firm helps global brands and business leaders protect, shape and scale their relevance and reputation in a digital-first environment. Ted’s passion and expertise in reputation management is built on an approach that integrates strategy, content and technology to enable clients to respond to market shifts swiftly and purposefully. Prior to HPL, Ted spent 19 years at Peppercomm, where he oversaw the growth and development of the firm from a start-up public relations outfit to a major international firm serving global clients. During his time at Peppercomm, Ted rose through the ranks ultimately serving as agency President. Before joining agency life, Ted was Press Secretary for the New York City Department of Buildings during Mayor Giuliani’s Administration. He also worked in New York City as a field reporter for WOR-AM radio and an assistant producer for 1010 WINS radio. Giving back to the profession and global community is also a big part of Ted’s life. He is a proud board member of several leading organizations – including College of Charleston’s Department of Communication Advisory Council, Hands Up for Haiti, and Shames JCC on the Hudson. He also volunteers his time and expertise to YVote, a non-profit organization that helps young people understand the importance of voting and participating in elections.  (Back to Top) 

Sangita Blomberg is the Head of US Communications for AXA Investment Managers, a global multi-asset management firm with over $800 billion in assets under management. In this role, she manages the regional marketing and communications and strategy for the firm, supports the business development strategy, and protects the firm’s reputation. More specifically, she oversees the firm's strategic priorities, corporate narratives and proactive media strategy, content-led educational programs and client events, co-marketing and advertising programs, budgeting, and other related projects. Prior to joining AXA IM in 2015, she served as the Vice President of Communications and Marketing for the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) for five years, and managed Executive Communications as part of the Corporate Communications team both at GE Corporate and GE Capital. Blomberg has over fifteen years of strategic communications experience, and her specialties include the following: corporate communications, integrations, strategic communications planning and execution, marketing, advertising, brand development, journalism, broadcast, and digital media. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a Pre-Medicine concentration from The College of the Holy Cross.  (Back to Top) 

Kathleen "Kat" Blomquist is Senior Director of Corporate Communications for the Knights of Columbus. Previously she served as the Director of Communications, Breakthru Beverage Group, one of the country’s largest beer, wine and spirits wholesalers. 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.  (Back to Top) 

Dana Bolden is the Chief Communications Officer at Corteva Agriscience, a company created by the agriscience business merge of Dow Chemical and DuPont. Prior, he led the global communications function for E. I. du Pont de Nemours’s Agriculture Division. He is responsible for the Global Communications function for the Agriculture Division. Bolden joined du Pont from The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta where he held three different leadership roles over the past 11 years. Most recently, he held the role of global director for the Bottling Investments Group. He also held the positions of group director of the Eurasia and Africa Group based in Dubai and Istanbul, where he led all aspects of communications for the 90-country area, and served as group director for Finance Communications where he developed and executed global media strategies and tactics to effectively tell the business story and communicate financial results. Prior to Coca-Cola, Bolden worked with several multinational companies including Philip Morris, EDS and Cohn & Wolfe. He had a brief stint in public service with the Georgia Department of Labor and served as reporter for a CBS television affiliate, WPEC TV/Channel 12. He is a graduate of Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va.  (Back to Top) 

Jeannie Bunton is Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff for the Consumer Bankers Association. In this position, she contributes to operations and strategy to help shape CBA’s advocacy for the retail banking industry 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 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.  (Back to Top) 

David Campbell is President and COO of 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, Charlotte, North Carolinas 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 acquisitions of ASA in Charleston, South Carolina and Carolina PR in Charlotte, North 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 where he currently serves as Chairman; he serves on the Board of Directors for the Ronald McDonald Housing Corp, the Board of Trustees for Claflin University, the Advisory Board for the Synovus Bank and is the Past Chair of Historic Columbia. He is also the former Chair for the Council of Governors for the American Advertising Federation. He is a graduate of Mississippi State University and George Washington University.  (Back to Top) 

Steve Cody is Founder and CEO of Peppercomm, a fully-integrated strategic communications firm. He is responsible for everything from implementing strategy and counseling clients to leading business development and bringing new products and services to market. 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 the current chairman of the Institute for Public Relations, a longtime member of the Arthur W. Page Society, a member of the advisory councils of the College of Charleston and the University of Florida. His biggest passion is helping others - he enjoys mentoring students, guest lecturing at the universities brave enough to invite him to speak, and helping fellow mid-life marketing communications professionals. The Peppercomm agency was named after his family dog, Pepper. Cody refers to himself as a comedian, climber and dog lover, but not necessarily in that order. He is proud to have used his love of stand-up comedy to raise more than $100,000 for countless charities. He is a graduate of Northeastern University.  (Back to Top) 

Brent Colburn, a veteran of both Democratic political campaigns and the Obama administration, is the Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Prior, he was the first Vice President of Communications at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI). 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.  (Back to Top) 

Tim Doke is Principal for TJD Comm, LLC. Doke has more than 45 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.  (Back to Top) 

Mark Kendall Dole is the Senior Director of Product Communications for Apellis Pharmaceuticals. Previously he served Head of Oncology Communications at Healthcare Business of Merck in Germany, and before that 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.  (Back to Top) 

Tucker Eskew has been a Founding Partner of Vianovo since 2005. Vianovo is a strategy consultancy working at the intersection of high stakes crisis, business, policy and politics. 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).  (Back to Top) 

Michael Fanning is a senior executive with a background in sustainability, communications, public affairs, and internationally focused business school education. After a nearly 40-year career with several multi-national corporations, including Michelin Group, IBM and the Reader’s Digest Association, he was elected inaugural president from 2017 - 2018 for the Business Partnership Foundation, Darla Moore School of Business, at the University of South Carolina, the number-one ranked business school in the United States for international programs. Prior, Fanning was director of sustainable development for Michelin North America. Fanning is past liaison-delegate for Michelin Group to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Geneva, Switzerland, where he led the city task force for Sustainable Mobility Project 2.0 for Chengdu, China. He was also the company’s representative to the U.N. Global Compact and advisory board member for the Initiative on Sustainability with The Conference Board. Fanning is past chairman of the Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition, and he held national board positions with the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the Organization for International Investment, all based in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland.  (Back to Top) 

Mike Fernandez is the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability, as well as the Chief Communications Officer, for Enbridge (a Canadian multinational energy transportation company). Previously, he was the U.S. CEO for LLYC. In this role he leads the U.S. operations for the firm's public relations, strategic communication, and reputation management consultancy in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. He also served as professor of strategic communication at Boston University. Prior to joining LLYC, he served as chief executive officer or chief communication officer for six 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.  (Back to Top) 

Rob Flaherty is Chairman at 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.  (Back to Top) 

Mary Garrett is President of M.Power Coaching and Consulting, LLC, focused on developing executive leaders and helping organizations align brand and culture, customer experience and employee engagement for positive impact on business vitality. Prior, Garrett most recently was the CMO, Global Markets for IBM Corporation. She joined IBM as an electrical engineer and served in key positions in sales, as a P&L owner, and marketing, leading teams across the software and services portfolios in 170 markets around the world. Garrett currently serves on a number of boards, including Ethan Allen Interiors, Inc. (NYSE: ETH), Hillrom Corporation (NYSE: HRC), and Danbury/New Milford Hospital board. 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 the past chair of the American Marketing Association board. Garrett has extensive experience in the technology industry, including digital transformation, cognitive analytics, and cloud computing. She holds a patent for her work in speech recognition. She has a broad international background including Europe and emerging markets in Asia and Africa, and is inspired by driving transformational growth. She is a triathlete, married to a Brit with a great sense of humor, and is the proud mother of two grown sons. Garrett is a graduate of Brown University and Boston University.  (Back to Top) 

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.  (Back to Top) 

Bruce Haynes is Managing Director and Chairman of Public Affairs at Sard Verbinnen & Co. At the SVC global communications firm, he specializes in public affairs and strategic communications counsel on transformative high-stakes situations that affect reputation and value, including M&A (CFIUS, anti-trust and other regulatory matters), crises, government oversight and investigations, issues management, and policy positioning. Previously, Haynes was founding partner and President of Purple Strategies, specializing in industry image and corporate reputation campaigns. 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.  (Back to Top) 

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.  (Back to Top) 

Jim Hickey is a veteran of 48 years as a radio and TV journalist, including 32 years with ABC News. Hickey retired from broadcasting in 2012 and since then he has published two books including a novel of historical fiction; The General & The Lady: A True Story of Civil Love and War,  and a murder mystery; Naked Ambition: A Jack Hennessey Detective Adventure. Jim also occasionally narrates audiobooks. 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.  (Back to Top) 

Andy Hilton is the Chief Communications Officer and Head of CSR for GAF Roofing. Prior to his current role, he served as VP Communications, Content and Brand, ADP. In that role, he led 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.  (Back to Top) 

Aaron Hite is a Vice President, Client Partner at Merkle | DWA in Boston, where he works with business-to-business (B2B) technology companies to drive business growth through media. Prior to Merkle, Aaron spent 5 years at Google where he worked with some of Google's largest B2B advertisers, advising on digital strategy. Prior to Google, he spent 10 years in advertising agencies. He has been Vice President at Digitas (New York), where he focused on developing customer acquisition strategy for American Express. He was also Digital Practice Lead at shopper marketing agency Saatchi & Saatchi X where he developed in-store digital integration strategies for national brands. Before Saatchi, he was an account leader at digital marketing agency 360i, where he focused on digital media, search engine marketing and social media marketing. 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 has been an adjunct instructor in E-Commerce Marketing at NYU. He is a graduate of College of Charleston and the University of Georgia.  (Back to Top) 

Bradford Horn is a Professor of Practice in Public Relations at Syracuse University. He joined in fall 2018, following 25 years as an executive in communications management. Horn will teach classes focused on writing, specifically Writing for News and PR in a Digital Age.vPrior to joining Syracuse University, Horn served as the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s Director for Communications and TrueSport, USADA’s youth sports education program, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. From 2002-16, Horn led all public relations efforts for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY, becoming its Vice President for Communications and Education. Additionally, Horn has guided public relations activities for sports teams and governing bodies, including MLB’s Texas Rangers, the Central Hockey League’s Fort Worth Fire and the National Hot Rod Association. Horn is a graduate of Syracuse University and Texas Christian University.  (Back to Top) 

Nehl Horton a veteran business leader, communicator and public policy advocate with 30 years of experience in business, government, politics and journalism. He previously was the seventh president of the International Game Fish Association. He worked 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. Prior, 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.  (Back to Top) 

Constance N. Hubbell is President and CEO of 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.  (Back to Top) 

Bill Hughes is Chief Communications Officer at Pitney Bowes. 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.  (Back to Top) 

Alex S. Jones works as a scholar, journalist, and author and has made a specialty of addressing the evolving media landscape both historically and as a tumultuous contemporary issue. From 2000 to 2015, Jones was Director of the Shorenstein Center on the Media, Politics and Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School for Government at Harvard University. Before going to Harvard, he had been the Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Journalism at Duke University. In 1987, Mr. Jones was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his articles in The New York Times on the collapse of the Bingham family’s newspaper empire in Louisville, Kentucky. From 1983 until 1992, he covered the press for The New York Times, writing on a wide range of media issues from the ethical dilemmas to financial matters. He is a graduate of Washington & Lee University. Mr. Jones is a member of the fourth generation of a Tennessee newspaper family. He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy following graduation from Washington & Lee.  (Back to Top) 

Brian Jones is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of New Paradigm Media and Communications LLC. Previously he was President (2017-19), Executive Vice President (2014-17) and Senior Vice President (2003-14) at Fox Business Network (FBN). Jones joined FOX News in 1994 as Vice President of News Affiliates and helped to launch the Fox News Channel (FNC). Named in 1997 as Vice President of News Gathering where he was responsible for expanding the news infrastructure and business development of the fledgling network. Jones has also served in several executive roles at News Corporation. In 2002, 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 Programming and Operations for FBN, where he managed news gathering, staffing and production operations; 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.  (Back to Top) 

Ruth Kinzey is a retired Reputation Strategist. Known for developing strategic and comprehensive communication strategies. Most recently, she served as President of The Kinzey Company. Throughout her career, she has emphasized the importance of holistically 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. In addition to working in the grocery retail, trucking, natural gas, and computer software corporate environments, she founded the Kinzey Company and was a pioneer in promoting the concept or strategic reputation management. 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. Her consulting clients also included the banking, manufacturing, travel and tourism, and nonprofit sectors. Kinzey’s executive speech coaching sessions have helped business leaders improve their presentation skills as well as prepare for important meetings and events. Kinzey’s background includes radio news broadcasting. Additionally, she was an adjunct professor at Rutgers University, developing curriculum and 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 internship program. Kinzey is a graduate of Coe College with a triple major in speech, English, and secondary education and has her master’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations from The University of Iowa.  (Back to Top) 

Tim Klein is a senior communications strategist. He previously served as Interim Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Crawford & Company, Crisis Communications Consultant for Chick-fil-A Corporate, Executive Communications Consultant for Mobilitie, and Senior Communications Consultant for Cox Automotive Inc. Prior, Klein served seven years as Vice President of 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.  (Back to Top) 

Matthew Koch is a Vice President of External Affairs and Global Energy Institute at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 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.  (Back to Top) 

Carrie Kurlander is Vice President of External Communications for Chick-fil-A, Inc. Prior to joining the company in 2013, Carrie was Vice President of. Communications for Southern Company, a Fortune 500 company and one of the nation’s largest investor-owned utilities. She also served as communications director and press secretary for the governor of Alabama, worked as an account executive for a California-based public relations firm and was an award-winning news anchor, reporter and producer. Carrie is a member of the Arthur Page Society and previously served on the University of Georgia Grady School of Journalism Board of Trust and the Board of Advisors for the Plank Center for Public Relations.  She sits on the board of directors for The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Alliance Theatre and was previously on the board of the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund.  Carrie is a member of the International Women’s Fund, Leadership Atlanta and was awarded the “Dream Keeper Corporate Executive of the Year” by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management Executive Development Program.  She and her husband Brian have two children.  (Back to Top) 

Keith Lindenburg is Partner at Brodeur Partners. Based in the Southeast, Lindenburg drives business development efforts for the firm and also leads two of Brodeur’s largest accounts, Deloitte and FM Global insurance. Keith is a multidimensional leader and C-Suite advisor with both in-house corporate communications and PR agency experience. Keith has 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, MasterCard, Canon, Guinness and the United Way. This is a return to Brodeur for Lindenburg, who was previously the Global Account Manager for the agency’s largest account, IBM. Prior to his return, Lindenburg was Executive Vice President at Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm, where he led the NY Technology Practice. He joined Edelman from Deloitte, where he was Managing Director of Public Relations & Reputation. At Deloitte, he directed the planning and execution of 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. While at IBM’s global headquarters he served as a member of CEO Lou Gerstner’s culture transformation team. Keith is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Ireland and served as chairman of the College of Charleston Department of Communication's Advisory Council. He was a 2009 Finalist for PR Professional of the Year and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Fairfield University.  (Back to Top) 

Thomas R. Martin serves as the Executive-in-Residence for the Department of Communication at the College of Charleston. 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.  (Back to Top) 

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.  (Back to Top) 

Dr. Michael Moore is Managing Director of Core Narrative. Previously he served as President of Material Reputation Risk Management and Senior Vice President of Communications for Thomson Reuters. At Thomson Reuters, Moore was 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.  (Back to Top) 

Phil Musser is the Vice President of Government Affairs for NextEra Energy Resources, the world leader in renewable energy generation. He previously held the position of Chief Communications Officer for The Boeing Company and Senior Vice President of Communications. Musser was responsible for the company's global communications activities, including media relations, brand development and management, advertising, in-house creative services, and executive and employee communications. He also served as a member of Boeing’s Executive Council. Before joining Boeing, Musser served as president of New Frontier Strategy, a strategic communication and public relations firm, and co-founder of The Media Group of America, a diversified holding company with interests in media, technology and digital consulting. Musser has served as senior advisor to several presidential campaigns and brings more than 20 years of top-level experience in public relations, political strategy and digital advocacy to Boeing. He is a graduate of Kenyon College (Ohio).  (Back to Top) 

Michael Neumeier, CEO at 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.  (Back to Top) 

Phil Noble, Jr. has had a diverse 40-year career as an entrepreneur in the civic sector – in politics, media, government, NGOs and public affairs. He has worked in public and political affairs in all parts of the US and over 50 countries, in 350 political campaigns including those for 21 presidents and prime ministers. He is recognized globally as one of the leading experts in the uses of the Internet and new technology in the civic sector. His clients have ranged from startups to Fortune 500 companies, global media companies to international NGOs. Noble started over a dozen business and non-profit organization in South Carolina, nationally and globally. He was a Resident Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and has lectured at over 25 colleges and universities worldwide. Current, he serves as founder of World Class Scholars, a global real time online education and cultural exchange project. He is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College.  (Back to Top) 

Scott Novak joined Bruin Sports Capital as Head of Global Communications in 2017. In this role, Novak oversees all internal, external, corporate, and financial communications and marketing for the company and has strategic oversight of communications for its portfolio companies worldwide. 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.  (Back to Top) 

Kelli Parsons is the Global Chair of Corporate Affairs at Hill+Knowlton Strategies. Parsons provides strategic communication counsel and integrates corporate communication, public affairs and ESG strategies into solutions to create business and societal value. She also leads the firm's global capabilities across purpose and reputation, financial communication, crisis and issues management, social impact, employee engagement and change management. Previously, she served as Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer at United Technologies, strategic advisor at Proof, and as Chief Communications and Marketing Officer of New York Life, a Fortune 100 global insurance and investment company. At New York Life, she was responsible for corporate communications, brand strategy and experience, employee experience, multimedia, events and creative services. Prior, Parsons led communications, marketing, community engagement and grant making as Chief Communications Officer at Fannie Mae, 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.  (Back to Top) 

Julia Race is the Director of Strategy at Integral, an employee activation agency. She works with startups and large organizations to transform internal communications teams, re-imagine workplace technology and foster greater culture change. Previously Julia spent six years as the Senior Manager of Landor’s Culture & Engagement practice in New York City, where she worked with Fortune 500 executives to develop brand activation strategies for clients in North America and globally. As an ICF certified leadership coach, her passion for understanding human emotion and behavior influences the way she approaches every client challenge. Her coaching helps organizations and individuals step into their fullest potential and maximize their competitive advantage. Race has delivered people-centered strategies for clients including Aptiv, BP, Bose, Ford Motor Company, FedEx, Frito Lay, Intuit and S&P Global. She is a graduate of the College of Charleston, a Mentor-Protégé Program alumna, and has played an active role in serving the College of Charleston’s Martin Scholar’s program.  (Back to Top) 

Topper Ray is President of Communications at 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. Ray served as the Advisory Council Chair from 2017-2019. He is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College.  (Back to Top) 

Kyle Rees is Director of Research at Gartner, Inc., a global research and advisory firm. Rees directs and manages a team of researchers across a portfolio of Digital IQs, and other digital performance benchmark products, focused on retail brands (includes specialty, activewear, department stores, grocery, restaurant, and large format retailers). He also works with marketing leaders across industries to identify, develop, and apply best practices in marketing, brand management, strategy, and innovation. Kyle is an alumnus of the College of Charleston with a degree in a Communication Studies. He also holds a MBA from the George Washington University.  (Back to Top) 

George K. Regan, Jr. is Chairman of Regan Communications Group. He 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.  (Back to Top) 

Hayes Roth is principal and founder of HA Roth Consulting, 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.  (Back to Top) 

Linda Rutherford is Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for Southwest Airlines. In this role she is responsible for guiding the efforts of Media Relations, Employee Communications, Emergency Response and Business Continuity, Enterprise Risk Management, Strategic Public Relations and Issues Management, Social Business, Visual Communication, Culture & Employee Engagement, and Community Outreach and Philanthropy. Prior to her current position, Rutherford was Vice President, Chief Communications Officer and Vice President Communications & Outreach. She has been with Southwest Airlines since 1992. Before Southwest Airlines, she was a reporter for the Dallas Times Herald newspaper and has an extensive newspaper and magazine reporting background. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University.  (Back to Top) 

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.  (Back to Top) 

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.  (Back to Top) 

Kevin Shinkle is a 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.  (Back to Top) 

Matt Simeon is Principal at the Locust Street Group. Prior to his current role, he served as Director of External Affairs at the National Governors Association (NGA) and Vice President for Advocacy Communications at National Restaurant Association. In his role with the National Restaurant Association, he produced a strong narrative for America’s restaurant industry both in Washington, D.C. and across the country. Prior to his work at the National Restaurant Association, Simeon worked at Locust Street Group in Washington, D.C. where he began as Director of Business Development and then advanced to Principal and oversaw Republican focused advocacy and communications efforts on national campaigns. Simeon is a public affairs executive with high-level experience in developing and managing issue campaigns for political parties, trade associations, and corporate clients with an emphasis on communications efforts and grassroots mobilization in targeted Congressional Districts and local communities. He is an alumnus of the College of Charleston.  (Back to Top) 

Dan Solomon is the CEO of Wise Action. Previously, he served as Managing Director for 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.  (Back to Top) 

Gina Stouffer is President of the Lou Hammond Group Charleston office. Stouffer has been with the firm for over 22 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.  (Back to Top) 

Rick Swagler is an executive communications veteran. In 2020, he retired after serving as Executive Vice President and Head of External Affairs for Regions Financial Corp. His responsibilities included corporate communications, corporate advocacy, government relations and economic development, reputation risk, corporate social responsibility and diversity. Previously, he worked for six years at AmSouth Bancorporation as the Senior Vice President of Risk Communications, and the Vice President of Media Relations. Swagler also served in senior editorial roles at The Tampa Tribune, The Birmingham News, and The Alabama Journal daily newspaper in Montgomery. He served as a staff attorney and director of publications for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Washington, D.C. Swagler is the Chairman of the Board of the Alabama Business Charitable Trust, a foundation established by Alabama Power; a past president of the Advisory Board of the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham; former chair of the American Bankers Association Communications Council; and former chairman of the Alabama board of Operation HOPE. He is a member of the Alabama State Bar and a former member of the Arthur W. Page Society. Swagler is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and Stetson University College of Law.  (Back to Top) 

Cat Taylor is Partner at ByrdHouse Public Relations, LLC. 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.  (Back to Top) 

Alicia Thompson is the Vice President of Communications for recruitment agency Randstad U.S.A. Formerly, she was Vice President of Communications for Edible Arrangements. Alicia Thompson has over two decades of experience in public relations and corporate communications. Prior to Edible Arrangements, she worked for Porter Novelli, a global strategic communications agency, where she served as managing director of the firm’s Atlanta office.  In that role, she managed the office P&L, oversaw operations and talent and was responsible for developing and maintaining a dynamic client roster. Before Porter Novelli, Thompson served as general manager of the Edelman Atlanta office after being promoted from senior vice president in Edelman's consumer practice, working with clients such as Arby's Restaurant Group, Interface, Teavana and Nestle/Gerber. Prior to Edelman, she spent nine years leading the communications team at the multinational food chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. During this time, she managed the development and execution of all internal and external communications. Earlier in her career, Thompson held public relations positions at The Coca-Cola Company, BellSouth, Fletcher Martin Ewing and Cohn & Wolfe. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  (Back to Top) 

Mike Touhill is Corporate External Communications for 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.  (Back to Top) 

Patty Tucker provides high-level strategy for companies lacking best-practice Corporate Communications or specific event experience. She develops strategic plans and programs for positioning, employer-of-choice, and competitive growth challenges. And as part of the niche of her consultancy, Treehouse Counsel, LLC, she mentors and advises on the ideal talent needed for long-term activation. Her grey hair was earned as a veteran of multiple agencies, including 14 years with Edelman. There she built a $7 million corporate, business-to-business, and crisis practice from scratch, and stewarded innovation and Trust Barometer activation for colleagues and clients across the Americas. Passionate about business as a force for good, she serves on the boards of Conscious Capitalism Atlanta and the Inspire Brands Foundation. Her youngest graduated from CofC in 2019. Patty is a graduate of the University of Kentucky.  (Back to Top) 

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.  (Back to Top) 

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.  (Back to Top) 

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.  (Back to Top)