Leadership


Country leadership

Ron Bartlett

Managing Director
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Ron leads Hill+Knowlton’s operations in Tampa and has served as a senior communications advisor to dozens of clients for more than 20 years. He has worked on behalf of corporations, business associations, professional sports teams, media companies and high-profile individuals spanning a wide array of industries and issues and has led numerous award-winning, multi-faceted public policy campaigns involving federal, state and local issues. Ron has extensive experience in advising c-suite leaders, issues and crisis management, public affairs, media relations and media training, and research, and specializes in the areas of health care, insurance, and in legislative campaigns.

Ron has led winning policy campaigns related to homeowners’ insurance reform, no-fault auto insurance, hospital Certificate of Need programs, Medicaid funding disputes, medical liability insurance reform and voter education.

Prior to joining H+K, Ron served as the communications manager for the Florida Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association. Ron also spent 20 years as a newspaper editor and reporter, including a stint at the Tampa Tribune, where he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1991 for a series of investigative stories on the Florida Marine Patrol. At H+K, Ron has won several state and national public relations industry awards for his work. They include a 2008 Gold Sabre and a 2007 Silver Sabre from the Holmes Report for work on Medicaid funding issues on behalf of Florida’s safety net hospitals, and a 2005 Silver Anvil from the Public Relations Society of America for a campaign on behalf of 130 groups that won medical liability insurance reforms in Florida.

Ron received an MBA from St. Leo University in fall 2009. He also holds a degree in English and a minor in journalism from Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey).


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Maruta Capozzi

Managing Director
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Maruta leads the Chicago consumer marketing practice and has 22 years of communications experience bringing a wealth of expertise in consumer public relations, influencer marketing, special events, lifestyle entertainment and issues management.

Maruta’s primary focus is in food & beverage and travel & tourism. During her 14 years at H+K she has directed projects for The Hershey Company, P&G, the Chicago 2016 Olympic Bid, Kellogg’s, Nonni’s Foods, Mizkan Americas, R&B Foods, Nature’s Way, American Pistachio Growers and glaceau. For four years Maruta served as the client leader for the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, overseeing public relations for nine countries and serving as the PR leader within the WPP team.

Before that she served as the client service leader for Pringles (P&G) working as part of an integrated WPP team. The Pringles team launched many news products in the US and the work included strategic partnerships, ongoing PR, national events, celebrity integrations and charity partnerships. In recent years she has launched PR campaigns for Ragu Homestyle, Nature’s Intent Apple Cider Vinegar & Bertolli Rustic Cut and Nature’s Way 50th Birthday Celebration.

Before joining H+K, Maruta owned her own PR agency, MB Communications, Inc. She earned her master’s degree in public relations and advertising from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Arts from University of Wisconsin at Madison.


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Lisa Cradit

Managing Director
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Lisa is a managing director in the corporate advisory practice with 25 years of experience advising the C-Suite on business-critical issues that help build brands, protect reputations and assist organizations in reaching capital markets. She focuses on corporate communications with specialization in mergers and acquisitions, reputation and crisis management, category creation and branding, internal communications, thought leadership and executive visibility. Her expertise is in directing large global client relationships spanning multiple markets. Her sector experience is heavily concentrated within energy, industrials, financial services and technology with a secondary emphasis on consumer packaged goods and retail. Nearly half of Lisa’s career was spent within public and private companies in various communications roles.

Prior to joining H+K, Lisa led global communications for the oldest and largest private equity firm in energy where she managed a range of financial and transaction-related communications issues. She led the technology practice at financial communications firm Financial Dynamics, now a part of FTI Consulting. She also served in various senior communication roles within L-1 Identity Solutions, FitzGerald Communications (an Omnicom agency) and BMC Software, among others.


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Mark Edgar

Managing Director
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Mark has an extensive, award-winning background in journalism, media relations, digital communication, crisis management and public affairs. At H+K, he has supported multiple clients, from Silicon Valley startups to Fortune 500 companies, from government agencies and policy advocates to C-suite media prep and outreach.

Before H+K, he served as deputy managing editor of The Dallas Morning News, supervising its core departments — the Metro, Texas and Southwest, National, International and Political desks. He led its front-line news operations for Hurricane Katrina and the Iraq War, coverage that won two Pulitzer Prizes.

He guided The News’ legislative, congressional and presidential coverage, including the Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama elections. He directed its domestic and foreign bureaus, including Austin, Washington, Mexico City and London, and produced joint investigative projects with public radio and TV stations, network affiliates and Spanish-language media partners.

In Dallas, he helped oversee and edit special-event reporting for a Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, Kentucky Derby, Stanley Cup, Final Four and the first College Football Playoff. As a reporter, he won numerous awards, including those from The Associated Press, the State Bar of Texas and the Inter American Press Association for foreign reporting.

He attended McGill University in Montreal, graduated from Southern Illinois University and later taught at the Maynard Institute for Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.


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Kevin Elliott

Managing Director, U.S. Risk+Crisis Communication Practice Director
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Kevin Elliott directs strategy and management of programs for a variety of the firm’s clients. His practice is dedicated to working with executives on their communication skills, as well as with companies and leaders facing risks and crises, managing issues and reputation. He counsels and prepares senior executives for high value interaction with the media, the public, regulators and other stakeholders. Kevin has worked with a range of companies, in technology, healthcare, financial services, energy, travel and entertainment, transportation as well as in higher education. He is the director of the firm’s Risk + Crisis Communication practice for the United States.

Prior to joining Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Kevin handled public affairs and served as a spokesman for a Fortune 100 company; he implemented programs in response to specific threats and crises as well as programs focused on labor relations and issues management. Kevin was also vice president for public affairs for a California-based defense contractor. He was responsible for the company’s government and public affairs initiatives and represented the company on Capitol Hill.

At the beginning of his career, Kevin worked in the United States Senate where he was involved in policy and community outreach and coordinated media and other communication projects. Kevin has lectured on crisis communication, reputation and issues management at a number of universities and industry conferences.


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Rebecca Fannin

Managing Director
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Rebecca advises clients on communications during times of change, including reputation challenges, corporate restructuring, growth and mergers and acquisitions. With nearly 20 years of experience in strategic and corporate communications, change management communications, opinion research, and marketing, She is responsible for providing clients with advice related to reputation management and internal communications. Rebecca has led internal and employee engagement initiatives for automotive, manufacturing, energy, defense industry and financial services clients, among others. She has worked on-site in an embedded capacity for several of these clients and managed large teams within the H+K network to execute integrated and successful programs.

Before joining the agency, Rebecca was with TMG Strategies, a part of MS&L and the Publicis Groupe, for nearly a decade. While there, she led teams responsible for crisis communications, executive communications and reputation management for one of the nation’s premier brands leading up to and during its Chapter 11 filing. She oversaw message development, managed internal and external teams, coordinated agencies, and mobilized grassroots networks. Prior to this, Rebecca served in a senior admissions and communications role at Randolph-Macon College, where she developed strategy and led campaign execution for brand development and expansion, recruitment, and retention.

In addition to her role with clients, Rebecca co-leads the U.S. training and development program, serves as a faculty member for WPP leadership development trainings and is a certified executive coach.

Rebecca received a bachelor of arts from Randolph-Macon College.


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Nancy Fitzsimmons

Managing Director
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Nancy is a communications pioneer. She has spent more than 25 years in leadership positions driving communications for Fortune 500 companies in the Financial, Consumer Health, Diagnostics and Pharmaceutical industries, while also providing counsel to non-profit advocacy groups. A recognized expert in Crisis Management and Corporate Branding and Reputation, Nancy has counseled C-suite executives and corporate teams through active shooter events, litigation, government investigations, product recalls, product tamperings, regulatory issues and reputational challenges. Currently, she is counseling clients navigating the burgeoning hemp industry.

Nancy began her career at Burson-Marsteller where she helped to establish the organization’s Healthcare practice. She later joined the global diversified health and consumer products corporation Warner-Lambert where, in addition to leading its first Marketing Communications function, she acted as chair of the Crisis Committee, leading multifunctional teams though highly public crises. At Quest Diagnostics where she led External Communications, she directed crisis and reputational efforts following payer contract negotiations, government investigations, and whistleblower allegations. Her efforts helped the company achieve its first placement on Fortune’s “Most Admired” list. Nancy also led AstraZeneca’s efforts to launch its global corporate brand in the US.

Since joining H+K, Nancy has led client war rooms; navigated regulatory decisions that were threatening clients’ license to operate; guided clients as they articulated their POV on legislative events with long-term implications for their operations; and prepared numerous clients for inevitable attacks on their business and reputation.

A native of New Jersey, Nancy holds a BA in Organizational Communications from New York University where she graduated with honors, and did graduate study in Political Science at Rutgers University.


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James Fuller

Managing Director
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James Fuller’s experience includes client relationships that span a broad spectrum of consultative services. He has executed communications and brand management strategies in numerous sectors including healthcare, IT and professional services, real estate, insurance, government services, financial services, and energy. Fuller specializes in developing highly integrated, large-scale communications and advocacy campaigns and helping executives deliver effective communications. Over the past two decades, he has either participated in or led the communications strategy surrounding some of the nation’s most high-profile corporate crises including proxy battles, civil litigation cases, investigations, product recalls, and cyber security breaches.

Among his most recent work, Fuller helped a company manage a brand and communications transformation, coordinated a company re-branding, and helped prepare a healthcare company for a major new product launch and eventual IPO. Fuller also recently helped advise a financial services technology firm as it re-organized its corporate communications function by introducing a content strategy and aligning its external programs with the marketing and go-to-market divisions.

Before joining H+K, James served in the Bush Administration as chief of staff at the Consumer Product Safety Commission and as chief of staff, deputy chief operations officer, at the Transportation Security Administration. Prior to his appointments, Fuller was a senior aide to Senator Pete Domenici and served as the executive director of Bush-Cheney 2000 in New Mexico. Fuller also served as the chief of staff for the Republican Senate caucus of New Mexico legislature.


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Brian Grancagnolo

Managing Director
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Brian Grancagnolo is a skilled communications professional with more than 15 years’ experience developing programming that activates key stakeholders and achieves key business objectives. Brian’s healthcare experience spans a number of categories and sectors and includes deep engagements in oncology, rare disease, neurology and immunology.

Helping to lead H+K’s U.S. Health practice, Brian combines his sector expertise with an understanding of the evolving health landscape to support clients with needs for both corporate and product communications. Currently, Brian oversees work across a broad group of clients, including engagements with BioPharma companies such as Janssen, Takeda and Merck, and leading health providers like Weill Cornell Medicine. Leading H+K’s work with Merck for the past five years, Brian has directed programing for a number of campaigns and milestones across the Insomnia, Hospital and Allergy franchises. As part of his work with Shire (now Takeda), Brian partnered with the leadership of the Immunology franchise to develop the franchise identity as a key component of the company’s rare disease focus. Brian’s experience also includes leading engagements for the Amgen Oncology franchise, and clients like Otsuka Pharmaceutical with activities focused on raising the profile of the company’s global tuberculosis franchise.

Before joining the firm, Brian oversaw healthcare and consumer public relations campaigns at Rowland Communications Worldwide (Publicis) for companies in the BioPharma, health IT, and medical device industries.

Brian received his undergraduate degree in marketing from Villanova University.


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Jakob Hesketh

Managing Director
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Jakob has an established career in brand communications and retail spanning more than 15 years and leads strategy across corporate and consumer brands at H+K. ​

His experience includes directing Global, US and European corporate and consumer digital, public relations and integrated communications campaigns. Through his work on brand positioning strategy Jakob continues to deliver strong return on investment for clients and recognition of his work through industry awards.​

Previously as Head of Digital Communications and Partnerships in London, Jakob was responsible for strategic positioning and ideation of integrated digital campaigns across the consumer, corporate, internal and brand teams for Ford Motor Company. ​

His work as digital and brand communications consultant in Europe and Asia-Pacific Australia included brands such as Toyota, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros Consumer Goods, Danone, 7-Eleven and the Australian Federal Government. He has also held Internal Communications and sales management roles at Spotify, The Body Shop and The Just Group.


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Joe Householder

Managing Director
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Joe offers expert client counsel resulting from more than 25 years of public affairs, crisis management, media relations and litigation communications experience. He has significant experience working inside the C-suite, the board room, the courthouse, and the capitol as well as in the field managing crisis events as they unfold in real time.

In 2000, after more than 15 years as a broadcast journalist focused on local and state politics and governance, Joe joined an international law firm, establishing its first-ever external and litigation communications operation. From there, he entered politics as a senior-level strategist in municipal campaigns as well as the 2002 reelection of then Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. Later, Joe served as communications director to then United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton before joining Public Strategies for his first stint as a corporate and crisis communications and public affairs strategist.

In that role at Public Strategies, Purple Strategies, and now, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Joe has served a wide variety of clients in numerous industries including, but not limited to healthcare, law, energy, defense, and retail grocery as well as advising high-profile individuals on complex matters impacting their personal brand. He has been involved in numerous “bet the company” crisis events, rolling up his sleeves and providing senior level counsel, message management, and stakeholder engagement strategy as well as serving as an integral player in the tactical execution of that strategy.


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Ron Hutcheson

Managing Director
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Ron has provided strategic counsel, crisis management, public affairs, media relations and other services
to a broad range of clients in the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East. His sector experience includes
health care, sports, technology, philanthropy, automotive, defense, energy, financial services, food
service and entertainment.Ron has extensive experience with litigation and crisis management. He has assisted a European bank
faced with a multi-jurisdiction Libor case, a telecomm company accused of violating the Foreign Corrupt
Practices Act and a pharmaceutical company faced with a Justice Department investigation. He has also
worked alongside investigators, including a former FBI director and a former head of the London
Metropolitan Police Service.Ron came to H+K after a journalism career that included coverage of Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court
and the White House. In 2004, he was elected by his peers in the print and broadcast media to serve as
president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. In that role, he was the chief spokesman for
the White House press corps and helped coordinate media logistics for all domestic and international
presidential trips. Ron has been widely quoted on issues involving politics, the federal government and
journalism in media outlets that include The New York Times, National Public Radio, Fox News, MSNBC
and the Tokyo Broadcasting System.

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Michael Kehs

Managing Director
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Michael is an all-in advocate and a hands-on counselor / team leader on behalf of his H+K clients.  A veteran of more than 30 years serving clients at the highest levels of three global PR agencies, he has guided leading corporations, trade associations and non-profits through a wide range of campaigns and crises.

His work has been recognized with a PRSA Silver Anvil Award of Excellence in 2017 and PR Week’s Public Affairs Campaign of the Year in 2007.

Michael has served on the client side of the client / agency relationship as well. He was vice president of strategic affairs and public relations at Chesapeake Energy Corporation in Oklahoma City, where he led internal and external communications initiatives and served as media spokesperson.

Michael first joined the firm in as GM of the DC office and US Head of Public Affairs in 2008.  After his stint in the oil patch, he rejoined H+K as GM of the Houston office and Head of the Energy Practice in 2014.


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Larry Krutchik

Managing Director
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Larry is a managing director in the Los Angeles office. In that role, Larry serves as a client relationship leader, senior strategist and counselor, mentor to H+K colleagues and ambassador of our agency’s culture. He joined H+K in August 2015.

Larry is a veteran public affairs and public relations strategist with more than 25 years of experience, including six years as a litigation attorney. In his career, Larry has provided strategic advice and counsel, corporate communications, crisis communications, community engagement and public affairs services for an array of corporate, trade association, nonprofit, and public sector clients. Honored in 2018 as a finalist for PR News’ PR Agency Professional of the Year, Larry has led numerous award-winning communications campaigns, including the Public Relations Society of America’s coveted Silver Anvil for Global Communication in 2018.

Passionate about storytelling, messaging and positioning, Larry also serves as one of the agency’s lead media trainers. Whether to maximize favorable announcements or navigate challenging news cycles, Larry’s media and message coaching has empowered a wide range of C-suite executives, brand spokespersons, celebrities, athletes, and issue activists to be authentic and engaging spokespersons.

Larry graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, with Honors, from the University of Florida. He also earned his law degree, with Honors, from the University of Florida. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jill, sons Josh and Brendan, and their dog, Palmer.


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Jennifer Mylett

Managing Director
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Dynamic creative and strategic communications leader with more than 15 years of experience in consumer and corporate communications. She has experience in working on top global brands supporting executive leadership, critical company announcements and high-impact moments. Jenn operates in the intersection of cultural and business trends, deep consumer insights, and issues preparedness that comes with working in today’s fast and always-evolving world of communications.

Jenn currently leads the global consumer work for the world’s largest music streaming service leading projects such as global strategy development, messaging/narrative creation, strategic partnerships and event execution – including leading the strategy and execution for major milestone activations, such as Cannes Lions and CES. Jenn also has extensive background in leading major company initiatives including supporting P&G’s “Thank You Mom” Olympics campaign and multi-year partnerships with the National Football League. Jenn also was the senior lead for adidas Digital Sports and created/led an award-winning influencer campaign for All Nippon Airways.

Jenn has a master’s degree from New York University and currently lives in Hoboken, New Jersey, with her husband and son.


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Hannah Peters

Managing Director, U.S. Practice Leader, Corporate Social Responsibility
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Hannah brings more than 17 years of strategic communications experience, partnering with a range of Fortune 100 clients and non-profits on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), sustainability, reputation management, corporate communications and public affairs. Her clients have included a global communications provider, one of the world’s largest retailers, one of the nation’s largest quick service restaurant chains, a leading Consumer Packaged Goods company and the world’s largest veterinary hospital network.

During her career at H+K, Hannah has helped her clients to define their priorities as corporate citizens, manage and differentiate their reputations, engage key stakeholders and leverage rapid-response campaign war rooms.

In her previous role, Hannah served as vice president at Hill+Knowlton Strategies. Prior to that she served in a similar capacity as director at Public Strategies.

Before joining Public Strategies, Hannah served as a caseworker for the California Workers’ Compensation System. Previously, she held a range of diverse positions in international development.

Hannah holds a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish from the University of Oregon, as well as master’s degrees in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs and in Latin American Studies from the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, both at the University of Texas at Austin.

Hannah previously served on the board of KLRU-TV, Austin’s PBS affiliate, and currently serves on the board of the Banfield Foundation.

Hannah loves spending time with her husband, two young sons and Aussiedoodle, Emmylou.


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Brian Pitts

Managing Director
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Brian is a strategic communications professional with more than 20 years of experience. His forte is high-level media relations strategy and placement to help clients achieve their business goals. Brian has worked in many industry sectors with a concentration in technology, financial and professional services and healthcare. His deep roster of media contacts and ability to frame a story translates into profile-raising coverage for clients in outlets such as the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, CNBC, Financial Times, FORTUNE, Reuters, The New York Times, The Economist and The Wall Street Journal. His clients include Darktrace, Deloitte, Intermountain Healthcare and Oracle.

A veteran freelance journalist himself, Brian’s work has appeared in outlets such as the Associated Press, Chicago Sun-Times and the Daily Herald.

Brian earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Science in Sports Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


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Tori Rappold

Managing Director
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Tori brings nearly two decades of expertise in integrated marketing, global brand marketing strategy and international network management across a wide breadth of consumer product categories within the CPG, retail, automotive and consumer tech industries.

While at H+K, Tori has led our relationship with longtime client Mazda USA. Prior to joining H+K, Tori was Managing Director and WPP Lead for all Ford Motor Company Communications work in Asia Pacific. Based in Shanghai, Tori was responsible for communications strategy, issues management, content marketing, WPP network operations and skill optimization throughout the region.

Prior to re-joining WPP, Tori was a Senior Vice President at Marina Maher Communications in New York City where she developed global marketing/communication plans for Procter and Gamble’s Gillette Venus, Clairol and Secret Deodorant brands. As a Director of Brand Marketing at Burson-Marsteller New York, she led large accounts for Abbott Nutrition, Gap Inc., Comcast and Sony Ericsson.

Tori has a master’s in International Marketing from the City University of New York, and a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Media Studies from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland.


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Cori Rice

Managing Director
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Cori is the founder of Hill+Knowlton SAMCOR, Miami. With more than 25 years of global communications experience, Cori offers clients senior-level communications counseling with a keen understanding of business objectives and strategies.

Cori has extensive consumer, corporate, travel and tourism and crisis experience and has managed many large accounts including Red Roof, Lasko, Diageo, Ply Gem, Jarden Consumer Solutions, P&G Beauty, and Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority.

Before launching the company in 1996, Cori held the position of head of worldwide communications for Burger King Corporation. She was directly involved with every aspect of international communications for the fast-food industry giant. Her expertise in reputation management and crisis communications were critical to protecting and building of the BK brand and have proven invaluable to H+K clients.

Cori began her career as an anchor and field reporter for WNWS All-News Radio in Miami. She served as the first female civilian spokeswoman for the City of Miami Police Department and managed the public face of Eastern Airlines.

Cori is a member of the Orange Bowl Committee, International Women’s Forum and served on the Miami NFTE Board. She served on the University of Pennsylvania Trustee’s Council of Penn Women and FIU Council of 100. She was chairwoman of Burger King Corporation’s United Way Campaign. Cori received the Women In Communications, Inc. “Community Headliner” award. Cori holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania.


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