CINDY BALMUTH - SENIOR CONSULTANT

Areas of Expertise:

  • Strategic Communications
  • Event Management
  • Government Affairs
  • Government Contracting

Cindy has 20 years of experience in strategic communications planning, program management and event and logistics support.

She has provided strategic communications guidance to clients including the U.S. Government, corporate and non-profit organizations. In addition, she has experience in managing program teams, including coordination between Washington, D.C. and foreign field teams, to ensure compliance with contract requirements, and timely completion of program deliverables.

She has overseen the development and execution of training workshops, polling and focus groups, web strategy and large and small events for U.S. Government and corporate clients. Cindy has also worked in the U.S. Senate, on the scheduling and advance staff at The White House and on a presidential campaign.

She received her B.S. in Political Science from Arizona State University.

JACKIE FISHMAN, APR - SENIOR CONSULTANT

Areas of Expertise:

  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Media Relations and Training
  • Message Development

Jackie is a seasoned communicator with nearly two decades of healthcare expertise. She has been at the front lines of hospital public relations, marketing and brand development, and has guided the discourse on health policy for a major health insurer's trade association.

At Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, she built strong, responsive relationships with the news media, internal clients and principals of third-party organizations. She managed day-to-day and crisis communications operations and guided and executed long-term strategic relationships with patients and local news media.

In her role as a consultant with Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States, Jackie helped developed multi-faceted health information campaigns designed to educate and inform members of their benefits and build relationships with the healthcare teams in 30 medical centers throughout the D.C. metro area. She later served as Senior Consultant/Media Relations Manager for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association in Washington, D.C., for nine years. There she provided strategic direction and orchestrated communications programs and media relationships for internal departments including the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program and the National Anti-fraud Department.

Jackie received her Master's Degree in Public Communications from American University and was Accredited in Public Relations (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) in 2003. As an active member of PRSA's National Capital Chapter, Jackie co-chaired the accreditation committee for two years, mentoring many APR candidates one-on-one. She also served on the board for three years and co-chaired the Thoth Awards committee for two years. In this capacity she recruited and educated qualified judges and organized and managed three-day judging events to identify the best communications programs and tactics in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

MICHAEL KADISH - SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT

Areas of Expertise:

  • Energy and Environment
  • Government Affairs
  • Media Relations

Michael has 15 years experience in public affairs, communications, journalism and politics and has worked in government, campaigns, clean tech and the non-profit environmental sector.

Previously, Michael worked on post-9/11 redevelopment and environmental issues as the Policy Director for the New York City Council Member representing Lower Manhattan. In addition, he addressed a variety of urban development issues while working as the Communications Director for the Brooklyn Borough President.

He served as the Director of Public and Consumer Affairs for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission where he worked on regulatory and planning issues related to renewable power generation and transmission. As an expert in coalition building, he has worked to pass clean energy legislation on the local and federal levels, including the 2009 Waxman-Markey Climate Change Bill. He also served as Missouri Policy Director on the 2008 Obama for America campaign and was a member of the campaign's Energy and Environment Policy Team. He is also a trained mediator and facilitator who has led workshops and conducted trainings in narrative, organizing and conflict resolution.

Currently, Michael serves on the Advisory Council for Grid Alternatives Greater Los Angeles. He holds a Master's Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. in History from Columbia University.

RUTH ELLEN KINZEY - SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT

Areas of Expertise:

  • Government Affairs
  • Community Relations
  • Crisis Communications
  • Strategic Reputation Mgmt.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility

Ruth, Founder and President of The Kinzey Company, is known for developing strategic and comprehensive communication strategies. She has emphasized the importance of strategically linking communication, branding, marketing and corporate social responsibility. Ruth has led companies through crises as well as helped them actively enhance their reputations.

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.

Ruth has worked in a diverse cultural atmosphere in her experience with global organizations. Always actively searching for communication trends, she has contributed to international conference programming, including the 2009 New Models of Social Responsibility Summit, the U.S. Chamber's Business Civic Leadership Center's 2009 Global Corporate Citizenship Conference, and the 2009 and 2010 Council of Communication Management's annual meetings. Her executive speech coaching sessions have helped business leaders improve their overall presentation skills as well as prepare for important meetings and events.

Ruth has a M.A. from University of Iowa in Journalism, with an emphasis on Public Relations. She is a magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Coe College, where she earned a triple major in Speech, English and Secondary Education. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, International Association of Business Communicators, and Council of Communication Management.

KENNETH MCDONNELL - SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT

Areas of Expertise:

  • Energy
  • Education
  • Corporate Communications

Ken has more than 20 years of diverse corporate communications experience in high tech, energy and higher education. His work has focused on media relations, and he is an accomplished writer, editor, corporate spokesperson and creative director. He has held Senior Communications positions at EMC Corp., Digital Equipment/Compaq, ISO New England, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

He maintains a deep understanding of the full marketing communications function and its impact on public perception, employee commitment and bottom-line results. He has proven his ability to work at all levels of the organization and with multiple external stakeholders, including partners, customers and market influencers. Ken's successful record in planning strategy and tactical communication initiatives includes public policy communications, crisis communications, speechwriting, web content and navigation development, and multimedia collateral production.

WENDIE OWEN - SENIOR MEDIA RELATIONS CONSULTANT

Areas of Expertise:

  • Healthcare
  • Energy
  • Insurance
  • Nonprofits

Wendie is a highly skilled public relations professional with over 25 years experience and demonstrated expertise in public relations work. She has a successful media relations/media placement record due to her excellent research and writing skills.

Wendie was appointed to serve as Advisor on Communications Policy to the U.S. Department of Energy under Secretary of Energy James Schlesinger in 1978. She provided input on all the Department of Energy's information outreach and energy awareness initiatives.

She has experience with a wide range of client categories including energy/alternative energy, medicine/pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, business to business, business to consumer, financial services, and many more. She has a broad media placement record that includes extensive coverage in all types of media - TV/cable, radio, print and online media outlets such as websites, blogs, and social media. She is very familiar with the NYC-based press and achieves successful placement work with national media, as well as local and regional media throughout the country.

Among her recent accomplishments, Wendie has obtained local and national media coverage for the Los Angeles-based real estate development Solair, a joint development of KOAR Wilshire Western, LLC and the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the "greening" of the Philadelphia Eagles football organization.

LYDIA PASTUSZEK - SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT

Areas of Expertise:

  • Energy and Regulatory Policy
  • Siting and Permitting
  • Marketing and Corporate Communications

Lydia is a communication specialist with extensive electric and gas utility, small business, public sector, and higher education experience in energy policy, marketing, housing development and operations. She has a longstanding interest in using data and analysis to support public policy and corporate decision-making.

She spent 25 years of her career in various positions at National Grid, ending as Senior Vice President of Human Resources, for 8,000 employees and 15,000 retirees in five states. Prior to that, she served in several different capacities for National Grid and its predecessor company, New England Electric. As Director of Demand Planning, Lydia launched the very first energy conservation programs in the mid 1980s, headed a product development division that was responsible for delivering products for residential and business customers, and led customer service during the transition to customer choice. She also served as Vice President of Business Services for several divisions, as President of Granite State Electric Company in New Hampshire and Vice President of New England Power Company, running the Hydro Division during relicensing. In the early 1980s, she worked on siting the New Hampshire portion of the New England Hydro Quebec Interconnection.

Lydia worked for the President of Clark University in Marketing and Corporate Affairs and currently works as a Principal in a family property management business. She has a Master's Degree in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University, and a B.A. from Clark University. She is active in her community, is an elected Housing Commissioner and has been appointed as a trustee of the town Housing Trust. She is a past chair of the development committee of the Sudbury Valley Trustees and served on the social media committee and is a member of the advisory council for the Graduate School of Management at Clark University as well as a former trustee of Clark University.

SUSAN REARDON - SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT

Areas of Expertise:

  • Healthcare
  • Insurance and Employee Benefits
  • Crisis Communications

A former lawyer and reporter, Susan has spent the last 15 years as a communications professional with a particular focus in healthcare.

Through a variety of marketing, advertising, event promotion and public relations activities, she has successfully supported product launches and brand awareness initiatives for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Tufts Health Plan, Delta Dental of Rhode Island and PharmaCare. She is well versed in healthcare reform, Medigap and Medicare Part D coverage and long-term care insurance, and has secured coverage of these topics in local outlets such as the Providence Journal, Providence Business News and WJAR Channel 10.

Throughout her career, Susan has led strategic communications campaigns to support a number of corporate mergers and crisis responses for governmental agencies and national and international corporations in the technology, manufacturing and financial services sectors.

Susan has won several national awards for her work, including first place for a Public Relations/Special Event for the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority and a Best Audio Public Service Announcements Produced with a Consultant for a Rhode Island Department of Transportation radio spot. She holds a B.A. from Villanova University and a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School.