Ragan announces updated advisory board of comms leaders

The group comprises experienced comms pros from a range of backgrounds, countries and industries.

Ragan Communications has unveiled this year’s Ragan Advisory Board, comprised of accomplished communicators with expertise in internal communications, employee culture, DE&I, strategic communications and change management. Drawn from a wide range of industries and organizations worldwide, the board will help shape Ragan’s coverage and conference programming in the year ahead.

The board members will play a vital role in helping Ragan.com grow as an indispensable asset for comms pros of all stripes — with a common goal of informing and uplifting our audience and championing the industry.

In particular, the board will collaborate with the Ragan.com editorial team as it expands its content offerings to meet the demands and needs of time-strapped communicators. This board is one of three key advisories at Ragan Communications, along with the  Communications Week Advisory Board and the PR Daily Board – collectively serving more than 200,000 communications, marketing and HR professionals.

Ragan.com Board members include:

Kevin Berchou, Head of Internal Communications, M&T Bank

Kevin Berchou serves as head of internal communications at M&T Bank. After joining the bank in 2003, he most previously served as their employee experience manager. With over 19 years of experience in the space, Berchou helped build M&T’s internal communication platform, CommunityONE, reaching over 18,000 employees while navigating the bank through a new hybrid remote work model and a recent merger. Prior to joining M&T Bank, Berchou was a golf journalist, where he covered the US Open and PGA Championship.

Danielle Brigida, Senior Director of Wildlife Communications & Strategy, World Wildlife Fund

Danielle Brigida is the Senior Director of Wildlife Communications & Strategy at the World Wildlife Fund. She previously was the digital strategy and public affairs specialist at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and before that served as acting director of digital strategy at U.S. Department of the Interior.  She has been lauded as one of the 10 Most Generous Social Media Mavens by Fast Company, one of the 75 Environmentalists to Follow on Twitter by Mashable, and one of 10 People to Follow Who are Saving the World by Mother Nature Network.

Ashley Bush, Director, Communications and Giving Back, Southwire

Ashley Bush is Southwire’s director of Communications and Giving Back. Ashley began her career at Southwire , one of North America’s largest cable and wire producers, in 2010. Since then, she has held a variety of responsibilities including employee communications, visual production, strategic planning, executive communications, crisis communication, brand management, media relations and community relations. In her current role, she leads Southwire’s Communications and Giving Back team and, since January of 2020, has served as the communication liaison for the company’s COVID-19 response team.

Lisa Claybon, VP, Corporate Affairs, Compass Group

Lisa Claybon serves as vice president of Corporate Affairs for Compass Group North America, the world’s largest food service and support services company, and its Chartwells K12 division that serves meals to students in more than 4,500 schools across the country. Since joining the company nearly five years ago, she has led strategic communications activities ranging from media relations and crisis management to guiding the company’s cross-functional COVID-19 Task Force.

Before joining Compass Group, Claybon spent 17 years with one of the top global communications firms, where she worked with some of the world’s most renowned brands. She has served as a media spokesperson, managed large-scale crisis situations, led M&A communications, and counseled countless corporations and nonprofit organizations.

Cheryl Fenelle Dixon, Principal, Perfectly Clear Communications 

Cheryl Fenelle Dixon is an accomplished global communication and brand strategy executive with more than 30 years of experience shaping corporate, brand and leadership narrative and reputation for global iconic companies, startup brands and disrupters across diverse business verticals, including AIG Private Client Group, Coty, Grohe, CHANEL, Pepsi Cola North America, Dornbracht, BISSELL, Deutsch Family Wines & Spirits and Ernst & Young LLP. Cheryl balances strong business acumen and creativity applied to communication planning, creating strategies that align with and drive business goals.

A former journalist and experienced storyteller, Cheryl has helped companies and leaders define their voice, navigate organizational and market changes and protect brand reputation while executing seamlessly across all touchpoints to key internal and external audiences. She is an expert in thought leadership, master speechwriter and trusted leadership counsel to C-level executives.

In addition to her corporate and consulting work, Cheryl has been an Adjunct Professor for more than 15 years and currently teaches in the M.S. Strategic Program at Columbia University. She is a frequent guest lecturer and panelist and is often quoted in the media as a communication expert. Cheryl speaks about leadership, strategic communications, global branding and public relations, organizational communication, crisis preparation and management, corporate reputation and corporate social responsibility.

Doug Duvall, Assistant VP of Corporate Communications, Amtrak  

Doug Duvall currently heads up corporate communications at Amtrak and is responsible for employee communications, media relations, crisis communications, issues management, creative services and community outreach.

He managed a similar team at Sprint, which also included financial communications, social media and corporate social responsibility advocacy. Prior to joining Sprint, Duvall was senior director of Corporate Communications at Freddie Mac, where he managed media relations and helped the housing finance company navigate the financial crisis.

From 2002-2005 Duvall was an official at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and served as director of Government and Industry Relations for Fannie Mae, the nation’s largest source of home financing.

He started his career at the White House managing public appearances and media.

Tommia Hayes, Digital Communications Specialist, Federal Government

Tommia Hayes serves as a digital communications specialist for the U.S. Federal Government where she leads and supports the communications strategy for digital marketing campaigns.

Tommia previously served as social media manager at the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), where she led social media marketing and digital marketing efforts. She’s an award-winning modern, multi-faceted marketer who has worked with celebrity ambassadors and the development of digital promotional assets ranging from websites to campaigns). With 10+ years of experience working in communications, she has a proven record of accomplishments in digital marketing, strategic communications, multi-channel campaigns, PR and customer outreach platforms.

Debra Helwig, Internal Communications and Events Director, Pinion

Debra Helwig is the internal communications and events director for Pinion, a Top 100 accounting and consulting firm serving the global food and agriculture industry. In her role, Helwig’s goal is to increase and inspire positive engagement among team members, connecting people for greater effectiveness. She reinforces the firm’s concept of “onefirmedness” by acting as internal brand ambassador, telling firm and team members’ stories, promoting successes and encouraging multi-directional communications.

She also serves as a process breaker, partnering with executive leadership in the successful development and communication of operations strategies and key initiatives such as employer branding, diversity & inclusion, and firm innovation. In addition to providing strategic communications leadership, Helwig manages the day-to-day execution of all internal communications and employee engagement activities, and oversees the firm’s intranet, company store and internal corporate events.

Jacek Lawrecki, Head of Communications, Poland, Fortum 

Jacek Lawrecki is an international public relations strategist with 20+ years of professional experience. His focus is media relations, crisis communications and reputation management. He believes in an ethical approach to communications, which takes its roots in the values of individuals and companies.

Since 2012 he has been working for Fortum, a leading European energy company. He is in charge of communications in Poland, serving also as the company’s spokesperson. He has also coordinated communications activities in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Chelsey Louzeiro, Senior Internal Communications Manager, Heifer International

Chelsey Louzeiro is the senior internal communications manager for Heifer International. She is passionate about bridging colleagues, content, and culture across a diverse and remote workforce, while managing Heifer’s award-winning digital workplace. Louzeiro is experienced in developing, implementing, and evolving internal communications strategies aligned to organizational mission, vision, and values. And advising and supporting leaders and teams in executive and change management initiatives. She also has led the production and design of stewardship reports for major donors, corporations, and foundations, as well as produced fundraising proposals and collateral.

Amanda Minto, Executive Director, Internal Communications, Product, Experience, Comcast

Amanda Minto is the director of HR communications for Technology, Product, Xperience at Comcast, where she uses strategic communications to drive the employee experience and support the employee value proposition. Minto has extensive experience with crisis and issues management dealing with more than 100 reductions in force and reorgs, site closures/moves, product sunsets, employee accidents and facility incident preparedness, and most recently COVID-19 response and return to office planning. In her current role, she leads employee communications related to all things HR including organization culture, talent and career programs, people leader strategy and executive communications. She lives outside of Philadelphia with her wife, two kids and two dogs.

Johnna Muscente, VP, Communications and PR, The Corcoran Group

As the vice president of Communications and PR, Johnna Muscente oversees all public relations and internal communications efforts for Corcoran, leading a team of PR strategists charged with promoting the firm’s brokerage strength and global affiliate growth, while effectively communicating key milestones and business priorities to all agents and staff.

With 15+ years of public relations experience, and experience in storytelling beyond traditional campaigns, Muscente has built tailored PR strategies for well-known luxury brands across the fashion, publishing and travel industries. Her public relations career began at BPCM, where she worked on a roster of fashion clients including Derek Lam and Christian Lacroix; she also worked for the Hearst Corporation. Prior to Corcoran, Muscente was Vail Resorts’ director of Global Communications, where she led all international PR efforts for the ski industry giant across Australia, Europe, South America and the U K.

Amanda Ponzar, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer, Creating Healthier Communities

Amanda Ponzar has served as chief communications and strategy officer since August 2018 after originally joining CHC in August 2016 as VP of Communications and then chief marketing officer. She launched CHC’s Corporate Leadership Council of 30+ top social impact leaders from the NFL, Under Armour, Johnson & Johnson, Comcast and more; re-launched CHC’s brand, website and newsletter; created a suite of campaign resources and custom cause products; and developed multi-channel targeted marketing for top partners like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Doctors Without Borders. Ponzar has earned thousands of media placements for CHC and led the organization’s national CSR and Future of Health events.

Prior to joining CHC, Amanda held communications roles with top global nonprofits, including United Way Worldwide, Good360, and American Red Cross National Headquarters, as well as marketing roles with The Franklin Mint and other groups.

Aray Rivera, Sr. Manager, Internal Communications, J.Crew 

Aray Rivera is an experienced communications professional with over a decade of knowledge in internal communications, employee engagement, public relations, project management and digital marketing throughout both the private and public sectors.

Aray is currently the senior internal communications lead at J.Crew. Before working at J.Crew, Arawy worked at healthcare provider platform Cedar, helping support efforts to ensure employees have equitable, appropriate and timely access to company information, and are both engaged and inspired by Cedar’s mission, values and culture. Aray previously led internal communications at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and Howard Brown Health, both national non-profit organizations. In these roles, he implemented and oversaw company intranets, improved employee communications, built effective cross-departmental relationships and led internal marketing campaigns.

Meghan Roman, AVP, Internal Communications, Victoria’s Secret & Co.

With extensive internal and external communication experience at top retailers, Meghan Roman brings nearly two decades of expertise to her role as Associate Vice President of Internal Communications at Victoria’s Secret & Co.

Meghan is dedicated to translating Victoria’s Secret & Co.’s brand transformation journey into clear and relatable messaging for all associate populations, including corporate, distribution centers, and stores. Through her work, Meghan oversees the creation and execution of internal communication channels, executive communication, and associate engagement initiatives, helping to bridge the gap between Victoria’s Secret & Co.’s diverse and global workforce. This fosters a shared understanding of the company’s vision and roadmap, inspiring and motivating associates to contribute their best work.

Prior to joining Victoria’s Secret & Co., Meghan honed her skills at Target Corporation, a major American retail chain. There, she led successful public relations and influencer campaigns to support product launches and seasonal marketing initiatives. Importantly, she also played a key role in communicating their brand transformation journey. Meghan’s passion lies in weaving a company’s vision into the daily lives of associates, building confidence through consistent progress updates and easy-to-understand communication.

Meghan’s background extends beyond retail. She also worked at Edelman Chicago and London, where she managed high-profile media relationship and public relations campaigns for Fortune 500 clients. This experience provided her with a deep understanding of media relations and the evolving media landscape. Meghan now leverages this expertise to craft internal narratives that resonate with employees and foster a strong sense of shared purpose.

Malin Teles, Communications Manager, EGGS, Part of Sopra Steria 

Malin H. Teles is the communications manager at EGGS, Part of Sopra Steria, a design-driven innovations consultancy headquartered in Scandinavia. Teles was born and raised in Sweden, but has spent over a decade living abroad, most recently spending 10 years in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she worked with communications for both international and local organizations. Her work focuses on all things strategic communications, with a particular passion for tying leadership communication, strategy and culture together.

Troy P. Thompson, Baruch College’s

Troy P. Thompson is a workforce development program lead at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business, where he oversees academic and career advancement for undergraduate students within their Marketing and International Business department. He is also a professional development and career consultant, where in addition to coaching executive clients, he has worked with various direct-service organizations to support curriculum development and facilitate training seminars, which include: UN Women, National Urban League, and America Needs You.

Prior to joining Baruch College, Troy founded and chaired the Professional Development Committee at Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, sat on the Advisory Board for the Transformative Leadership Program at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business, and served as a strategic advisor to the Museum of Public Relations.

A Harlem, New York native and first-generation college graduate, his passion is rooted in a first-hand understanding of how a lack of positive guidance can negatively affect one’s likelihood for success. He is a noted economic mobility advocate and a published writer on the personal development and leadership journey.

Troy also has held positions at the Public Relations Society of America and Havas PR, where he played a key role in driving integrated marketing strategy, mobile app development, community management, and helping companies expand globally.

Danielle Veira, Founder & CEO, Minerva’s Legacy

Danielle Veira is the founder and CEO of Minerva’s Legacy Coaching & Consulting where she offers her clients a customized combination of coaching, consulting, and community-building opportunities.

Danielle brings nearly 20 years of strategic communications experience to her consulting work. Collaborating with a broad range of clients—including global corporations, start-up ventures, and nonprofit organizations—Danielle develops comprehensive communications plans, engaging events, and impactful outreach campaigns. She also provides change management, and organizational support to consulting clients in varying sectors and sizes, connecting vision with strategy to achieve their impact and growth goals.

Danielle’s client work has appeared in a variety of media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Axios, Bloomberg, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Chicago Sun Times, POLITICO, and network television affiliates across the United States. She has been a national media spokesperson on behalf of health equity, anti-poverty, and DEI campaigns, speaking alongside global leaders and experts across sectors.

Danielle received her bachelor’s degree from Emory University, where she majored in sociology and minored in political science. She currently resides in Washington, DC.


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