If you operate in the education sector, we know you are passionate about what you do. So are we. To reach the goals of your education trade association, edtech start-up, school or university, we offer the experience and skills of our:
- Campaign, Content and Messaging Strategists
- Social Media Managers
- Graphic Designers
- Web Developers
- Search Engine Optimization Managers
- Video Editors
- Communications Analysts
Meet Our PR and Digital Marketing Experts:
Susan is a public relations and communications professional with more than 25 years of experience working for high-end companies and clients in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and New York. She has a proven track record of executing winning PR strategies, campaigns and special events; as well as demonstrating strategic placement of press materials in major local, national and international press outlets. Susan has directed PR and communications efforts for global brands including HBO, Discovery Communications, The American Film Institute, Paramount Pictures, The Walt Disney Company, and The Humane Society of the United States.
Susan began her career as a television news producer for WBZ-TV, and WGBH-TV, in Boston, where she learned sound news judgment and then polished her writing skills as a reporter for People Magazine, covering The White House and Capital Hill. When a Master’s Degree candidate in Journalism at Boston University, Susan served an internship with BBC News, London.
Kris Brill is a three-time Public Relations Society of America Silver Anvil winner for excellence in creating and executing effective marketing communications programs. She has advised businesses, organizations and individuals on best PR practices for 25+ years, helping them build awareness by connecting with key audiences and assisting them with reputation management.
From developing and pitching stories and events that get media coverage, to selecting and training spokespersons to convey clear messages, Kris understands the ever-evolving world of media and content marketing and never gives up on brainstorming new strategies and angles to generate positive exposure.
Some of Kris’ past and current clients include Nestle Purina, Busch Entertainment Corporation, Vidal Sassoon, Burberry, H. Stern jewelers, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Borden brand cheese, Save-A-Lot food stores, the Humane Society of Missouri, Westminster College (celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain Address with Margaret Thatcher), the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, Brain Sentry Impact Sensors and Fidelis.
Kris brings significant agency experience to the table, having served as Senior Vice-President at Fleishman-¬Hillard, Marketing Director at Weber Shandwick Worldwide and Account Supervisor at Margie Korshak Associates. She has been an independent consultant for over a decade.
Kris holds a Master’s in International Affairs from Washington University in St. Louis and a Bachelor’s in Journalism from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She began her career as an editor for a Cahner’s trade publication in Chicago, and has had her work featured in the book, “TV/PR—How to Promote Your Product on Television.” She has served on a variety of non-profit boards, chaired numerous auctions and spoken at PR seminars for professionals and students. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, yoga, cooking, traveling and walking her dog. Kris currently resides in St. Louis.
Missy Cook is a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Consultant. Missy brings 20+ years of marketing experience to her SEO/SEM consultancy. Her specialties are on-page and technical SEO, as well as Google AdWords and Bing Ads. She helps a wide range of businesses large and small that want to maximize their web presence and make the most of internet marketing opportunities.
After several years as an in-house SEO/SEM director, Missy started her consultancy in 2004. Her clients now include everything from trade associations, large non-profits and adventure travel providers to medical professionals, laboratory supply companies and mobile applications. In addition to helping new and redesigned websites get found, she helps her clients make the most of opportunities in the ever changing world of search, while avoiding issues that could get their sites in trouble. Missy sees every new client and project as the chance to dive in and learn about a different kind of business.
Missy graduated from Duke University Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with BA degrees in economics and French. She has lived all over the country, but today she lives in DC with her husband, a journalist for Bloomberg TV, and her two sons.
Chris is an experienced brand strategist and consultant for clients in higher education, association and non-profits.Recently, he served as the Chief Marketing Officer and lead institutional marketing executive for The Johns Hopkins University, where he developed the university’s brand positioning. He also worked with internal and external partners to create philanthropic message strategies for financial aid fundraising, capital campaign positioning, naming and case statement writing.
Prior to the university, Chris was the founder and principal for a marketing consultancy supporting various clients in developing and executing strategic marketing and communications plans in distance learning, hospitality and technology industries.
Previously, Chris was the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for the independent $1.5B American Legacy Foundation. Theere his teams created and executed the most effective and highly recognized cause marketing campaign in public health history. The campaign, which won several AMA Effie Awards, a Grand Effie and an Emmy for a Super Bowl PSA, included $100M in annual media placement, grassroots marketing, strategic alliances and government affairs.
In the beginning of his career, Chris was a naval aviator and a Navy Public Affairs Officer before joining a $5B global hotel company to direct its national public relations and marketing communications.
Virginia Hume has nearly 25 years experience in public relations, political communications and traditional marketing. She spent more than ten years at Quinn Gillespie & Associates, designing and executing strategic communications plans on behalf of corporations, trade associations and coalitions. Her work included overseeing opinion research; message and materials development; digital media strategies; third party activation and training; media and message training; advertising and earned media.
Prior to QGA, Virginia was a Managing Director at BSMG Worldwide (now part of Weber Shandwick). She was a press officer at the Republican National Committee, under its legendary Chairman (now Mississippi Governor) Haley Barbour. Virginia was responsible for broadcast and national cable strategies, and for much of the RNC and RGA’s press advance and logistics. Before the RNC, Virginia was the Deputy Communications Director for the Sauerbrey for Governor campaign in 1994. Prior to her political career, Virginia spent eight years in traditional marketing roles.
In addition to her superior strategic sense, Virginia’s skills include writing and editing – she regularly produces compelling materials for clients, including speeches, policy newsletters, materials for websites and other digital media uses, opeds, white papers and traditional media relations materials. She also has extensive experience in digital media, including overseeing website development and executing social media, SEM and SEO strategies for clients.
A native of Washington, D.C. and a 19-year veteran of Capitol Hill, James Hyland has worked in U.S. Senate, in the House of Representatives, for Committees and in Congressional members’ personal offices, the combination of which gives him the widest range of experience that one can have in the U.S. Congress.
Jim served as a Legislative Director to two U.S. senators, including Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, a senior member of the Senate Commerce Committee and Appropriations Committees. At that time, he authored the first bill in the U.S. Senate to eliminate the marriage tax penalty and another to criminalize church burning. He also led the effort to create the unique Breast Cancer Stamp.
During twelve years on the staffs of the House and Senate Banking Committees, Jim gained an intimate knowledge of the financial services industry as Assistant Staff Director to the House Financial Services Committee, and as Staff Director of the Financial Institutions Subcommittee on the Senate Banking Committee. He developed a strong background in federal appropriations matters as a senior aide for five years to two senators on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
An experienced attorney, Jim was in private practice for seven years at two of the largest law firms in the U.S, both as Counsel and Partner. The clients he has represented included corporations, trade associations, localities, states, non-profit entities, universities, transportation companies, and financial service firms. During this time, he helped secure funding for a major hospital, a large city transit system, the largest defense contract ever let by the Army in the State of Texas, federal funding for the State of Texas, several million dollars for the University of North Carolina on a wide range of research projects, and funds for a non-profit entity serving inner city children and helping them achieve the dream of a college education. Additional high profile successes included procuring a federal auto mandate for every passenger vehicle in the U.S. to be equipped with anti-rollover technology and banning excessive pay day lending to members of the military.
In early 2008, he formed The Pennsylvania Avenue Group, high quality, strategic, experienced and ethical services for clients in federal affairs matters. The Group’s diverse, bi-partisan clientele includes the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Texas Land Title Association, American Share Insurance of Ohio, The Texas Credit Union, National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees and the Self Help Credit Union & Center for Responsible Lending.
Jim has a BA from George Washington University (1982) and a JD from George Mason University School of Law (1989). He is a licensed Member of the Bar in the Commonwealth of Virginia and District of Columbia. He and his wife, Elizabeth, and their two children reside in Fairfax County, Virginia.
Krista Van Lewen
Krista Van Lewen is a strategic-minded public relations and marketing communications professional with more than 20 years of experience, primarily in the technology, non-profit and entertainment industries. Spending nearly a decade in Silicon Valley, she gained a reputation for putting numerous startup companies on the map in addition to raising visibility further for well-known names. Her work with Internet and consumer-oriented companies includes Hewlett-Packard, Cisco (Flip Video, Linksys and Valet), Time-Warner Home Video, Wordnik, Third Age Media, LookSmart, One True Media, RoomSync, Healthline Networks and The Dealmap (acquired by Google).
Krista helped launch and was the first head of communications for Kiva.org, the fastest-growing non-profit in history; other nonprofit clients include TechSoup Global, DailyStrength.org, Namaste Direct and JantaLoans.org. Her food and beverage experience includes Mezzetta Foods and Porthos.com, an online wine store. During her eight years at Discovery Communications, Krista managed corporate communications, helped re-launch the newly acquired The Learning Channel and developed and executed the PR strategy for Discovery’s ancillary businesses including Discovery Channel Books and Discovery Pictures.
Through her years in agency and in-house PR roles, Krista has created and managed scores of marketing, public relations and social media campaigns; developed messaging and branding for products and services; managed press and analyst relations; assisted companies with PR as they entered the IPO phase; provided company executives with PR counsel and crisis communications strategies; and served as company spokesperson. Krista’s work has resulted in coverage in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, BusinessWeek, Forbes, The Washington Post, Upside, Business 2.0, Wired, CNN.com, Huffington Post, TechCrunch, AllthingsD, and a wide range of radio, television and other online media outlets.
Krista holds a B.S. in Scientific and Technical Communications from Michigan Technological University. She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.