EXPERIENCE: Percepture Travel, LC Communications and AKA Public Relations
EXPERTISE: Media Relations and Public Relations
FAVORITE BAND & SONG: Muse; Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles)
Laura Cocivera is a senior communications and media-relations strategist with more than 15 years of PR experience working across consumer lifestyle, travel and hospitality, nonprofit, author, and tech client categories.
Based in the most competitive media market in the world, her talent for creative storytelling and cultivating media relationships have garnered brand awareness, impact, and award-winning PR campaigns. She's placed notable media features everywhere from ABC Good Morning America segments live from the top of a mountain to NBC Nightly News stories covering the country’s shores.
Throughout her tenure in PR, she has managed campaigns for a variety of clients including some of the country’s most historic resorts and destinations, national nonprofit organizations with celebrity supporters, and best-selling authors.
Laura’s expertise includes both traditional PR and digital and social media components, such as planning press events and hotel and restaurant openings, media relations, social influencer partnerships, and more.
For more information about Laura please visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-b-cocivera-a9029512/
EXPERIENCE: Weber Shandwick, American Airlines, Royal Caribbean and TGI Fridays
EXPERTISE: Media, Crisis, and Social Comms
FAVORITE BAND & SONG: Metallica; Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)
A natural storyteller since childhood, that enthusiasm has evolved into Brian’s more than 16 years of PR and Communications experience, working with brands of varying public visibility to identify and bring forth their unique stories in a way that compels audiences to action through the brand journey.
Brian is the Founder and Owner of Ascent Public Relations, an agency specializing in PR and Communications strategy, crisis communications, content strategy and creation, and media relations.
Brian’s experience includes developing and ensuring that brands’ PR and Communications architectures are on-brand with consistent content, as well as leading corporate crisis communications and issues management from planning to response and recovery.
Most notably, Brian’s account leadership for Breathe Right Nasal Strips (GSK) for the Belmont Stakes in 2014 earned a Cannes Bronze Lion Award for driving mass national media and consumer attention, ultimately leading to a 22% lift in sales for the brand.
In addition, Brian has provided strategic counsel to clients seeking to build or bolster their reputation and issues management programs. Expertise includes crisis team and framework development, corporate crisis planning, listening and analytics, and training clients to execute effectively during a crisis. Crisis experience includes American Airlines, Royal Caribbean, Asurion, Cathay Pacific, and Marine Well Containment Company. Brian was an integral part of American’s response to its now-infamous incident with Alec Baldwin and Words With Friends.®
His media relations experience spans Technology, Aviation & Travel, and Food & Restaurant. Formerly the head of Corporate Communications & PR at TGI Fridays and prior to that a Digital Director at Weber Shandwick. Past brand experience includes American Airlines, U.S. Army, Unilever, The Vision Impact Institute, GlaxoSmithKline, United States Postal Service, Essilor of America, and Royal Caribbean.
Brian holds a BA degree in Public Relations from Loyola University New Orleans and is an active member of both PRSA and the Allen Fairview Chamber of Commerce.
For more information about Brian please visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianrconway/
EXPERIENCE:: Weber Shandwick, American Airlines, Emirates, Ritz-Carlton and Toys R Us
EXPERTISE: Corporate, Media and B2C Comms
FAVORITE BAND & SONG: Queen; Somebody to Love
Elizabeth, or Liz as she more affectionately known by colleagues, has more than 21 years of experience in the combined areas of marketing, media relations, corporate communications and event management. Throughout her career, she has created and managed programs in the areas of food and beverage, packaged goods, consumer health, retail, fashion, beauty, travel and tourism and non-profit sectors, and has developed programs to reach the general market as well as targeted niche populations. Clients have included Starbucks Coffee Company, Hershey Foods, Georgia-Pacific and others. She also worked as Director, Corporate Communications for Toys"R"Us.
Prior to consulting, Liz served as a senior vice president at Weber Shandwick where she managed communications and media relations campaigns on behalf of major travel and lifestyle brands, including InterContinental Hotels Group, Royal Caribbean International, Ottawa Tourism and Ontario Tourism. She was also embedded in the Corporate Communications department at American Airlines in New York, one of the airline's top domestic markets and one of its most important international gateways. She served as the primary liaison for headquarters in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas and counseled the local leadership and operations teams on marketing and communications plans, including messaging, story angles, sponsorships, sales promotions and partnerships, and content distribution to the press, public and internal audiences. In addition, she cultivated relationships with and managed outreach to government officials, community leaders and press, securing positive news coverage for the airline in top-tier local and national media.
Previously, Liz served as senior vice president of a boutique travel public relations agency where she provided senior counsel and team leadership to the prestigious Emirates airline account as well The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Singapore Tourism Board and LodgeWorks Hospitality. Her work earned her two Gold Adrian Awards, presented by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), as well as a Cushman Award from the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW).
Liz holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from New York University. She also holds a Masters in Business Administration degree in Finance and Marketing from Baruch College’s Zicklin Graduate School of Business.
For more information about Liz, please visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabethgaerlan/
EXPERIENCE: M Booth, Ketchum and PepsiCo
EXPERTISE: Corporate Reputation, Issues/Crisis, Influencer Relations, Stakeholder Education
FAVORITE BAND & FAVORITE SONG: Steely Dan/Donald Fagan; America (Simon & Garfunkel)
Aurora’s career has an even balance of agency life and in-house corporate. Most recently Aurora was senior director in corporate communications at PepsiCo. In her 14 years at PepsiCo, she had various roles that were largely focused on corporate reputation. In her last role, Aurora was the first global comms lead on corporate issues and crisis. Aurora worked with global partners on a wide array of issues: litigation, regulatory affairs, public policy, product liability and corporate reorganizations and restructuring.
Prior to her issues/crisis role, Aurora worked at Frito-Lay on the business unit’s pivotal corporate initiatives in health & wellness and sustainability. The corporate reputation work she lead leveraged influencer outreach, media relations, internal relations and stakeholder education to change perception of the company and its products. She started her career at PepsiCo working on the company’s first health & wellness team, whose focus was to develop and implement the strategy to address the changing landscape in the food industry.
Prior to PepsiCo, Aurora worked at Ketchum in their Food & Nutrition practice in New York City for nine years. While at Ketchum, Aurora had a variety of clients from Roche Vitamins (B2B focused) to Frito-Lay, for which she developed some of the company’s first programming focused on health & wellness. Before joining Ketchum, she worked at M Booth & Associates supporting the partner and his roster of clients including Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital.
Aurora is a proud graduate of Kenyon College with a BA in Theater (since all the world’s a stage after all).
For more about Aurora, please visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aurora-m-gonzalez/
EXPERIENCE: International Airlines Group, British Airways, London Luton Airport
EXPERTISE: Strategic corporate and financial communications including M&A, reputation and crisis management, political and environmental media campaigning
FAVORITE BAND & FAVORITE SONG: The Proclaimers; Outside (George Michael)
Laura Goodes has more than 30 years’ experience in strategic corporate communications working in high profile global commercial companies, primarily in aviation. She specialises in financial media relations including pan-European mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and is an effective campaigner on political and environmental issues with considerable reputational/crisis planning and implementation skills.
Laura set up and led the communications team at FTSE 100/Ibex 35 listed International Airlines Group (IAG) which was the parent company created by the merger of British Airways and Iberia. During Laura’s tenure, IAG bought three other airlines and she was responsible for leading all the acquisitions’ media relations and integrating the airlines’ communications teams into the wider Group function.
Previous to that, she was responsible for corporate and financial media relations at British Airways including leading on the BA/Iberia merger. She gained considerable operational and crisis PR experience while at the airline and as head of media relations at London Luton Airport. Her early career saw Laura managing regional communication at the Automobile Association and specialist media at the Building Research Establishment.
Laura is based in the UK and is a keen football (soccer…) fan and advocate for female football supporters.
For more about Laura, please visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laura-goodes-67091356/
EXPERIENCE: JAJH Consulting, Finsbury Glover Hering, Motus One, The Hawksbill Group, Lilium Consulting, Ink Link Marketing
EXPERTISE: Corporate Reputation, Strategic Communications, Promotional Marketing, Digital and Social Media, and Research and Analytics
FAVORITE BAND & SONG: Aerosmith; It’s My Life (Bon Jovi)
Tara Hamp is a communications, marketing, and sustainability expert with over 10 years of experience in the industry. Driven by high-level critical thinking and a creative approach, Tara advises clients on their performance-led strategic communications, corporate reputation initiatives and paid-owned-earned promotional marketing executions. She also serves as the primary writer for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reports and is the liaison with the design team, both for layout of the report and website integration.
Working with clients across multiple sectors, she crafts communications strategies and techniques to bolster visibility and reputation tied to business objectives. Client experience spans industries as diverse as chain restaurants, food and beverage, nonprofits, academia, healthcare, biopharmaceutical, automotive suppliers, original equipment manufacturers, transportation and logistics, and consumer goods.
Additionally, Tara held the position of Senior Director of Corporate Communication for Motus One, a fleet management transportation and logistics company. Reporting to the CEO, her responsibilities included media relations, pitch creation and presentation, co-leading a media advisory board and implementing the company’s first ever media tracking and analysis process with Critical Mention on behalf of OEM clients.
Tara holds a bachelor’s degree in Interpersonal/Organizational Communications and writing from University of Central Florida and she lives in South Florida.
For more information about Tara, please visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tara-hamp-1178b2101/
EXPERIENCE: Tim Livingston Public Relations; Real News PR; Network Television Affiliates in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX and Dayton, OH; Radio Stations in Kentucky and Ohio; writing for The Dallas Observer and Fort Worth Weekly
EXPERTISE: Media Relations, Securing News Coverage for Clients
FAVORITE BAND & SONG: The Osborne Brothers with Red Allen; I'll Be Around (Howlin' Wolf)
After 25 years as an award-winning TV and radio reporter, producer and executive, Tim now helps clients tell their stories on multiple media platforms. He understands how newsrooms work because he spent more than two decades working in and leading them.
He identifies the story that will interest reporters, producers, and hosts. Then Tim pitches you as the subject matter expert to be interviewed. He has secured media coverage (TV, radio, print, online, podcast) and helped craft media strategy for hundreds of clients, including entrepreneurs, authors, attorneys, business strategists, mental health counselors, political candidates, doctors and other medical professionals, attorneys, finance professionals, inventors, etc.
For more information about Tim, please visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/timlivingston1/
EXPERIENCE: Weber Shandwick, EPIC Fuels, BBA Aviation, Oracle, VISA, and Esurance
EXPERTISE: Corporate Communications, Media Relations, Issues/Crisis Management, M&A, Executive Media Training/Coaching, Events, Change Management, and Marketing Communications
FAVORITE BAND & SONG: The Clash; London Calling
Ryan brings nearly 30 years of marketing and communications expertise from a wide array of industries including technology, oil and gas, aviation, telecom and financial services. He has extensive agency and in-house leadership experience for globally recognized industry leaders and pioneering start-ups and is able deftly manage high-profile projects or hotly-charged issues with calming ease.
He most recently provided onsite crisis and disaster relief communications counsel to the Bahamian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for Grand Bahama Island in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
As a senior-level strategic communications leader with success in developing and leading programs for organizations before, during and after transformative events, Ryan has counseled scores of CEOs and C-suite leaders on a wide range of issues and communication objectives. He is an experienced executive media trainer/coach to help executives prepare for critical media tours, interviews and speeches.
As Chief Marketing Officer for aviation supplier EPIC Fuels, Ryan’s expertise in brand marketing communications and corporate reputation building helped position the company for sale to BBA Aviation in 2018. Prior to that role, Ryan served as an Executive Vice President with global public relations agency Weber Shandwick, overseeing one of the firm’s top accounts, American Airlines, and previously held senior communications roles for Oracle during its acquisition of PeopleSoft, Esurance, VISA International, Harris Corp., and Verizon.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism-public relations from Fresno State University, where he was also a Division 1 student athlete and member of the 1985 Conference Championship team. He lives with his family in Southlake, TX.
For more information about Ryan, please visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/2020pr/
EXPERIENCE: H2PR, Waggoner Edstrom, Hallmark Cards Inc., Fannie Mae, H&R Block and Fleishman Hillard
EXPERTISE: Strategic Planning, Social Media, Media Relations, Analyst Outreach, Investor Relations, Internal Communications, Crisis Management, Media Training, Writing, Video Production, and Web Development & Maintenance
FAVORITE BAND & SONG: INXS; Save It For Later (English Beat)
Andrew is an award-winning communications executive with nearly 30 years generating results for global brand leaders in consumer and technology, as well as innovative start-ups in life sciences, online education and more.
His focus is to become a viable team member for clients by learning their business and objectives then creating the most effective strategies to meet and exceed those goals.
For more information about Andrew, please visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrewnaugher2019/
EXPERIENCE: Verizon, American Airlines and Walmart
EXPERTISE: Internal, Exec & Community Comms, and Media Relations
FAVORITE BAND & SONG: Queen; Don't Stop Me Now
Rhonda is a seasoned veteran of public relations at Verizon, American Airlines and Walmart including employee communications, executive communications, media relations, storytelling and community relations. Her understanding of how communications positively impacts a business, her top-notch writing skills, and her enthusiasm for effective communications are among Rhonda's strong assets. She brings a holistic approach to every communications issue, along with strong project management skills.
Rhonda is an accomplished project manager and planner – always intent on delivering results. As a seasoned pro, she has developed numerous employee communications programs; she has directed employee engagement initiatives; and she has built and led teams to solve business problems. Among her vast experience for global brands such as Verizon, American Airlines and Walmart, Rhonda:
Rhonda earned her B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communications & Speech from Iowa State University, Ames. She also earned her M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson. She is accredited in public relations by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
For more information about Rhonda, please visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhondarathje/
EXPERIENCE: Consulted for PepsiCo, Kellogg, ConAgra, KIND Snacks, along with several food producer associations
EXPERTISE: Media Strategy, Consumer Communications and Influencer Marketing
FAVORITE BAND & SONG: The Beatles, Your Song
For over 20 years, Ilene has combined her expertise, knowledge and skills in food, nutrition and public relations to create game-changing communications programs for food companies and organizations. Over the course of her career, Ilene has worked with commodity boards, consumer packaged goods companies, ingredient manufacturers and associations to promote the science behind their brands. Among the companies she has worked with are PepsiCo and its Quaker, Tropicana and Frito-Lay brands, Kellogg, ConAgra, and KIND Snacks. The commodities she has worked with include the Soyfoods Association of North America, National Cattleman’s Beef Association, the Almond Board of California, Avocados from Mexico, the California Strawberry Commission and the California Dried Plum Board.
Ilene has worked with organizations to develop market demand, manage issues, identify marketing opportunities, drive consumer awareness, develop scientific platforms and create and manage advisory boards. She has also counseled her clients on the impact of consumer, culinary, business and industry trends as well as on regulatory affairs and the political climate. Ilene’s skills and experience are most evident in the critical role she played in KIND Snacks’ petition to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to change the definition of the word healthy as a nutrient content claim, including writing the scientific argument, connecting the brand with high-level influencers and developing the communications strategy. The petition resulted in a ruling in KIND’s favor that changed the game for many industry players by recognizing the healthfulness of foods and ingredients rich in healthy fats.
As a former journalist, Ilene understands how to craft media stories that resonate with desired audiences, whether they are consumers, consumer media, health professionals or influencers, and to develop media strategies that deliver results that meet client objectives. Ilene holds a master’s degree in Nutrition and Applied Physiology from Columbia University and a bachelor of arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from New York University. She is a registered dietitian and member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and past chair of Dietitians in Business and Communications.
For more information about Ilene, please visit: linkedin.com/in/ilenevsmithrd
EXPERIENCE: Koch Industries and Baker Hughes
EXPERTISE: M&A, Financial, Operations and Crisis Comms
Katie works with clients to ensure they are prepared to communicate in a 24-hour media and community awareness lifecycle. She has extensive M&A experience, leading communication strategy development and execution for deals worth more than $25 billion. As a communications leader at Koch Industries, she played a key communications role in Koch’s $21 billion acquisition of publicly held Georgia-Pacific, and the acquisition and integration of Huntsman’s chemicals business into Flint Hills Resources.
Within the oil and gas space, she has counseled executives and operations employees, working to develop responsive and executable communications and government affairs plans while efficiently and credibly amplifying their messages. Stavinoha has provided specialized communication and public affairs project management, including developing a global crisis communication plan for Baker Hughes. She believes firmly in highlighting key sustainability, environmental and business success stories as key elements of effective communications to employees and communities, as well as the media. She has extensive experience working with local, trade and national media to provide information and key messages.
As an entrepreneur, Katie publishes a bi-monthly lifestyle magazine in Round Top, Texas, which is halfway between Houston and Austin. These publications have been lauded by Texas Monthly and most recently Southern Living as providing go-to resources for people attending the world-famous Round Top Antiques Show.
Katie also has worked with political campaigns and state agencies, spending about 10 years in state government as well as on the senior staff of now-Energy Sec. Rick Perry, having served as his sole appointee to the Jobs & Education for Texans state advisory committee. She has a bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University and is active with National Charities League and has served Montgomery County's Court Appointed Special Advocates program as a guardian ad litem.
For more information about Katie, please visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/katiestavinoha/
EXPERIENCE: MobileStar Network (now operating as T-Mobile Hotspot), Ignite Technologies and PepsiCo/Frito-Lay
EXPERTISE: Influencer and consumer engagement, digital strategy, employee communications and project management
FAVORITE BAND & SONG: Aerosmith; Uptown Girl (Billy Joel)
Kristin is a seasoned communications and Public Relations professional who brings nearly 20 years of industry experience to the table. She launched her communications career in the WiFi and content delivery network (CDN) software industries. She led corporate communications strategy/execution and content development for fortune 500 companies, such as Tyco International, American Express, Bearing Point, Staubach Company and Software Spectrum. Kristin was also responsible for developing and launching technology training programs supporting these clients and their constituents.
Kristin then spent nearly 10 years in corporate communications at PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America division. Her experience spans all facets of communications, including employee outreach and education, digital communications, influencer and consumer engagement, brand PR and community relations.
At Frito-Lay, she led Frito-Lay’s consumer and influencer engagement program. Through digital mining, social media monitoring, cross-functional collaboration and leveraging word-of-mouth outreach, the team built and amplified programs targeting key health professional influencer groups and key consumer bases. The consumer outreach and engagement was key to sharing product news and education, retailer programming and fan incentives, ultimately connecting fans to the company and its brands and establishing a strong base of brand-loyal consumer advocates. Kristin also launched and led Frito-Lay’s corporate social media strategy, in which the company leveraged digital channels to connect with consumers, industry influencers, media and corporate analysts. The strategy also included creating and launching a proprietary brand fan program.
Since leaving Frito-Lay to raise her son, Kristin continued to be a communications consultant on the programs she led at Frito-Lay, as well as supported communications initiatives for Jonathan’s Place, a Dallas-area children’s shelter and services organization.
For more information on Kristin, please visit:
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