Believing that brands are communities based on shared stories, Norris passionately champions the persuasive power of an authentic story to foster cooperation in any context.
His maternal grandfather, a globe-trotting activist/preacher, encouraged him to learn the human story by selling educational books door-to-door. His mom, an English teacher, taught him the value of a well-written story. An uncle who was a history professor taught him that history is the story of our past. And his father, an electrical engineer who designed the broadcasting antenna atop the World Trade Center, told him the story of a new digital age in communications.
“Their stories became my story: a teacher turned advocate, turned marketing/communications executive,” Norris says. “Now as the managing partner of Princeton Strategic Communications, I work with a talented team of professionals to share the stories of consequential companies and causes.”
Prior to PSC, the Jersey Shore native was tasked by the state Board of Education to open its Family and Community Relations Office. There, he directed community outreach while forging stakeholder partnerships in support of an ambitious education-reform effort.
For years Norris told stories of his beloved Jersey Shore, including those of Wildwood and Cape May. He helped clients win the Brass Ring Award from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, the N.J. Governor’s Tourism Award in 2010 and the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Award for website redesign.
Before Clark became vice president at New York-based Magnet Communications, serving clients such as IBM and the Thomson Corporation, Norris was recruited by Ross Perot as a CRM marketing executive (serving Saks Fifth Avenue) after helping the businessman organize a two million member national advocacy campaign.
While earning a master’s degree in religion and philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, he taught college courses and developed continuing-education programs in Cape May. Among them: the Art Kane Photo Workshops and the Cape May Music Festival.
Norris enjoys a vast portfolio of experience in a wide array of public-service areas: He served as founding chairman of the N.J. Delaware Bayshore Council, and as a member of the First Legislative District Economic Development Task Force. He led in the restoration of the historic Fishing Creek School, serves on the board of the Historic Cold Spring Village and organizes TEDxCapeMay. Additionally, he served a four-year term as the deputy mayor of Lower Township, the largest municipality in Cape May County.
Exec. Communications Director / Events
Karen’s journey to New Jersey and Princeton Strategic Communications (PSC) began on the West Coast. It was there that she first showed an interest in what would lead to a creative career.
“I set out wanting to be in advertising … loved ads and their creativity since I was a kid,” says Karen, who went to high school outside of Seattle. “My mom said that I would stop playing and say, “Shush!” just to watch the ads on TV.”
Talent ran in her family, as a grandfather was a cartoonist and her dad was a graphic artist for Campbell Soup.
Her entry into the creative fields came while she was going to college in New York City and seeking an internship. Someone at an international public-relations agency thought the Ohio native would be good with people and brought her into the fold.
“I literally didn’t have any idea what PR was,” Karen recalls, “and quickly decided it was just sales and I could do it. Later I realized the creativity within it. That position led to a paying internship [back home in Seattle], to a job and to another job.”
The University of Washington grad started her career in Seattle at Evans, Kraft Bean PR, which now is owned by the worldwide public-relations conglomerate Publicis. After Publicis, she went into business with a partner and became co-owner of The Bean Agency, Inc. The Bean Agency grew to become one of the area’s most successful public relations firms with annual billings in the millions and offices on both U.S. coasts.
At PSC, Karen says she loves “learning new things every day about new companies/services, why they were created and what makes them special. Also, I like the people I work with and making clients happy.”
It’s not all business for Karen, who is married and the mother of three sons. She’s been on a game show (“The $20,000 Pyramid”), run the New York City Marathon, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa and rode in the MS: City to Shore Bike Race (across New Jersey, from Cherry Hill to Ocean City).
Karen says she is “very old-fashioned and traditional woman at heart. I love to quilt, sew and cook for family and friends.”
Director - Branding & Design
For Jeff Coleman, his life and work are about communication, conviction, and compassion.
His father is a Presbyterian minister, so Jeff is wired to respond to the words and music of conviction and certainty. His path, which took him on childhood missionary travels to Africa, South America and Southeast Asia, led him to politics and public service – including two terms in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
“My journey to professional communications wasn’t direct, although growing up I always loved radio – anyone on the AM dial,” says Jeff, who had a brief stint in that medium. “Personalities who had the right blend of voice, timing, and substance would almost always interest me. Live, crackly radio from far-off cities was captivating. I suppose I was always a student of how a voice built trust with the audience.”
“I love working for fellow communicators – especially those looking to add clarity and strength to their own convictions,” says Jeff, a graduate of Liberty University (Va.). “I’m not interested in helping anyone manipulate an audience, but am always ready to help them find their true voice. I help people choose the right words, pictures, and settings to make big ideas understandable.”
Jeff’s journey began in Washington state, where he was born on a U.S. Naval facility, and his travels abroad include time in his mother’s homeland of the Philippines. He considers his home state to be Pennsylvania, where he now lives in the Harrisburg area with his wife Rebecca and their children: Anna, Teddy, Charlotte, and Henry.
“I want the whole world to know that anything good they see in me, or my family, is purely the result of God’s grace,” he says.
Jeff and his team of artists have served a wide range of leaders, causes, and organizations by building and shaping message campaigns and brand strategies. His craftsman-like process is rooted in a belief that the best brands are grown from truthful, authentic communication. And for him, that means his work is more than just a profession.
“I enjoying hearing a person’s journey, and the values and experiences that give their life meaning and significance.”
Director of Digital Marketing
Carolinn loves to educate and inspire others about how to succeed in their businesses through the use of online communication tools.
After years of experience publishing Filmbill magazine, the graduate of Mount Holyoke College (Mass.) had the foresight to see seismic changes coming in the print industry and got ahead of the curve when it came to the digital explosion.
“Since I was a ‘solopreneur,’ I am used to doing everything from client management to writing content, to creating HTML emails to web design and graphic design,” say the native of Peapack-Gladstone, N.J. “That’s what I do for Princeton Strategic Communications.”
A three-time ConstantContact All-Star Award winner, Carolinn enjoys the outdoors when she is not busy with social media and web-site design.
“I took up hunting and fishing because I am an avid cook. I love saltwater fishing,” explains the Hunterdon Central graduate, who while growing up spent summers in Cape May and who lives there now. “There is nothing like watching a mahi mahi dance on the water as you’re reeling that bad boy in.”
She’s glad to talk about her trophy of a lifetime: the 26-point buck harvested with a rifle in Alabama. And anyone who wants to go clay shooting should let her know.
In addition to her expertise in all things digital and affinity for the outdoors, Carolinn had an antiques business called Darwin: Compelling & Resonant Objects. She specialized in American folk art, antique garden furnishings and marine antiques. The business was featured in The New York Times.
When it comes to PSC clients, she enjoys putting her creative talents and drive to work.
“It’s immensely satisfying to take a concept and see it grow to become a living, functioning web site. I just love it when a plan comes together.”
Born into a family of artists, graphic designers, writers and photographers, this New Jersey native always knew she would pursue a career as a creative professional.
“I wanted to be in communications since high school,” says the lifelong resident of Freehold in Monmouth County. “I started a youth-run municipal access TV show called ‘Focus on Freehold’ and have been hooked ever since.”
After she graduated from Rowan University (B.A.) and Widener University (M.A.), Stacey’s initiative and creativity led her to work as a radio news anchor/reporter for stations in New Jersey and Delaware. She also contributed to The Associated Press radio network. But telling stories in only 30 seconds wasn’t enough, so she moved on to working as a communications specialist for universities in her home state and Pennsylvania (Rutgers and Widener among them).
Later, working for the Boy Scouts of America was a natural transition for Stacey, as she had spent many years as a local volunteer for BSA. It was there that she told the dramatic story about a Boy Scout who saved the life of a stranger.
Her talents extend beyond the communications and marketing fields. She owned and operated a cake-decorating business – think “Cake Boss,” but on a smaller scale.
Stacey is most proud of her three sons: one who aspires to be a software engineer, one who wants to be a veterinarian and another who is aiming for a career as a microbiologist and classical musician.
If it seems like Ethan often is on the run, that’s because he is – both literally and figuratively.
At East Brunswick High School, he ran cross-country, winter track and spring track for all four years. And after graduating from Rutgers in 2015, he’s been on the go ever since.
He began providing a range of political-consulting services following graduation, including digital communications, operations and media relations, to for-profit and non-profit organizations in established and emerging industries.
“I deliver an organization’s message to its target audience through a combination of digital marketing, media relations and in-person events,” he explains. “In essence, I work to bridge the gap between an organization and the group it’s trying to reach.”
His passion for getting out a message into the larger world began when he was a teenager.
“I briefly volunteered as a reporter for East Brunswick's local TV station when I was in high school,” Ethan says. “I was amazed by the breadth of activities taking place in my community. Since then, I’ve loved being able to tell stories whenever possible.”
Also active in civic affairs and politics, the energetic Andersen oversaw attendance and participation for New Jerseyans at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. As if that wasn’t enough, he also managed an 18-member volunteer team in Philadelphia and led digital-communications efforts.
However, it’s not all work and no play for Ethan.
He travels internationally each year with his grandmother, who lives in Barcelona. They spent a week in Stockholm in 2017, and two weeks in India and Nepal the year before that. He loves classical music, enjoys playing the piano and speaks some Hindi, German and French.
Associate / Graphic Design Specialist
A third-generation artist, Max’s grandfather was an old-school graphic designer and his father is both an airbrush and a tattoo artist. Now Max is a creative designer mastering multiple media, from corporate and event branding to websites, stage sets, and tattoos.
Max thrives whenever his creativity comes to life. In high school art class, Max volunteered to send a colored pencil illustration to a Guatemalan orphan as a holiday present. “A letter of thanks from the child showed how my work could put a smile on a young orphan’s face,” remembers Max. “It was really touching to see how much my artwork could mean to someone.”
The joy of bringing joy to others through art drove Max to a degree from the prestigious Hussian School of Art in Philadelphia where he became proficient in multiple design programs, including Illustrator, PhotoShop and InDesign.
This in turn drove Max to a career in creative design starting with six-years at Cape Resorts Group as a graphic designer and printing specialist.
Max excels at special events. When Cape Resorts Group produced a musical performance for the public, Max handled all aspects of the program, from stage design, poster creative, to acting and singing. He also designed TEDx event stages.
Max is multi-dimensional when it comes to enjoying life. In addition to his passion for art, he and his wife recently welcomed their first child, a baby girl, into their family. He is also an accomplished musician, playing the saxophone and enjoys relaxing at the beach.
A compelling storyteller, Emaleigh arrived at Princeton Strategic Communication by way of The College of New Jersey, but her path to PSC began much earlier. In her youth, she spent her days laying in the grass writing fictional stories, attending fundraising committee meetings for local non-profits and accompanying her mother to small-town political functions.
"When I was in third grade, I watched as my mom found her voice; she wasn't happy with what was going on in the town that we call home," says Emaleigh, referring to West Cape May, N.J. "Watching my mom work so passionately for what she believed in created a similar spark in me to help those in need while rewriting the narrative of our greater community."
While pursuing a business degree, she took courses that increased her knowledge of vulnerable populations, such as the incarcerated, those with limited food choices in urban areas, and families struggling with infertility. She also took on various research assistant positions and a communication studies minor to refine her writing capabilities. Her college writing career culminated in recognition by the New Jersey Communication Association for "Best Undergraduate Paper" in 2014.
Passionate about helping clients find and strengthen their voice to create compelling messaging, Kaithern has assisted in developing a unique brand identity for countless organizations. While her portfolio includes a wealth of renowned hotels, restaurants, and spas throughout Southern New Jersey & Pennsylvania and various state & national organizations, Emaleigh finds working with non-profits and community-based organizations most fulfilling.
Emaleigh's dedication to providing unparalleled client resources has led her to pursue continuing education courses, including a visit to Facebook headquarters in California to master the latest social media best practices and the Robert McKee Storynomics Seminar in New York City.
When she isn't writing, you can find Emaleigh toiling in her vegetable garden, perfecting gluten-free recipes in the kitchen, reading on the beach, or teaching & practicing power yoga.
Mobile, Web & UX/UI Specialist
Put together innovation, expertise in technology and an entrepreneurial spirit and – presto – that’s Greg in a nutshell.
When Greg was a seventh-grader, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania chose him as one of three students statewide to be introduced to computers and computer programming. That laid the groundwork for him to mix technical know-how with business savvy.
He went on to graduate from Penn State with a degree in restaurant and hotel management, and then started working at his family’s restaurant. (“It’s a genetic defect for Greeks to be in the food business,” he says.)
Before too long, he ventured out on his own and opened several restaurants, a bakery and an award-winning chocolate business – all utilizing technology to enhance the customer experience.
Due to his entrepreneurial background, he takes a practical and insightful approach to the challenges faced by today’s business professional, and offers the perspective of having “worn all the hats.” The Keystone State native enjoys passing along his knowledge to others: His articles on marketing, engagement and social media have been featured in trade and industry publications, and he has spoken and conducted seminars at international trade shows.
And others have taken notice. Fast Company Magazine named Greg a first-degree global influencer in social media, which means that the publication recognizes him as being in the top 3 percent worldwide in the field. He specializes in building digital assets (websites, mobile apps), creating UX/UI (user experience/user interface) and digital strategy
However, it’s not all technology for Greg.
He has three children and two grandchildren. Along with his wife, a philosophy professor, he enjoys spending summers working and relaxing at their home in Rhodes, Greece.
Video Production Specialist
Donna holds over two decades of experience managing the customer experience and delivering commitments. With a longtime background serving senior-level military and business leaders, Donna coordinates the creative team for the duration of a project or engagement.
Exec. Communications Director
To hear him tell it, Bryan’s career has been a long process of learning the difference between argument and persuasion.
In high school, Bryan was the Utah state champion in Lincoln-Douglas Debate—a one-on-one event where participants clashed over ideas, values, and philosophy. However, Bryan believes his success came mostly from his mastery of the format—he didn’t really understand the ideas he was debating until much later.
In college, he searched for an academic discipline that would put his arguing skills to good use, ultimately earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science.
“Somewhere around the end of my undergrad and the beginning of grad school, I realized that writing and talking were very much the same thing,” says Bryan. “Then, something just clicked, and I was suddenly winning arguments in two mediums.”
After graduate school, Bryan headed east to Washington, DC where he got a job in the office of Senator Orrin Hatch and attended law school at night. He never really intended to be a practicing attorney. Mostly, he wanted to argue about politics for a living—as a pundit or columnist—and figured that people would take him more seriously if he had a law degree.
Senator Hatch recognized Bryan’s skills as a writer, and after a few years, he became the go-to speechwriter and a key part of the communication efforts, drafting op-eds, articles, and policy presentations.
“I was never formally assigned the role of ‘speechwriter,’” Bryan says. “But, over time, most of the sensitive or high-profile speeches and writing assignments were being thrown my way, even if I knew next to nothing about the subject matter.”
Bryan filled this role for the better part of a decade, including seven years on the powerful Senate Finance Committee. In time, he learned that the world was a much more complicated place than the average pundit or talk show host would have people believe. Argument, he realized, is a contest where the only real goal is to defeat the other side. Persuasion, on the other hand, is about the audience and the story they need to hear to understand—and hopefully adopt—your point of view.
While this realization made Bryan a much better writer and a more effective Senate staffer, it also left him ill-suited for a career in political argument and commentary. Fortunately for PSC, he chose a different path.
“I really have no interest in dumbing things down just to win some short-term soundbites,” Bryan says. “It’s much more challenging to come up with the right story that can convince the right audience to change their minds.”
Graphic Design Specialist
Mark Lo Bello has over 30 years of experience in developing effective branding and marketing and digital communications solutions for a wide range of leading organizations. His significant design experience comprises branding strategy and design as well as the development of identity standards and guidelines; the full range of print materials from advertising, annual reports, and collateral to books and signage; and web and mobile design and programming services. Mark is a founding partner of Trilogy Publications LLC, publisher of books that inform young children about underserved professions.
Exec. Communications Director
Rick’s path toward a successful career in public relations came about in part thanks to the U.S. Postal Service.
“After a brief career in radio, I was seeking new challenges. One day, I received a postcard from Glassboro State College that promoted the school’s graduate public relations program,” he recalls, adding that he enrolled in a few courses, took the grad school entrance exam and then matriculated into the major. “The program taught me the value of research, planning, concise writing, leadership engagement and much more.”
That led to a master’s degree from what is now known as Rowan University, and the Central Pennsylvania native went onto to work there as an adjunct professor for seven years. Along the way, he became president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and founded his own digital public relations agency, Tara Communications.
Those are just a few of Rick’s accomplishments and credentials. For instance, he also has:
- Headed an employee-communications consulting practice.
- Served on the board of three public relations trade associations.
- Led legislative outreach for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Served as a media strategist for the Project Management Institute.
“One of my passions is helping aspiring public relations practitioners obtain the tools they need for a career in the communications profession,” says the Gloucester County resident, who has helped hundreds of students obtain mentors, internships, networking opportunities and conference funding.
For 24 years, Rick often could be found on the soccer field – where he led youth teams in Washington Township, N.J.to more than 200 wins.
He’s also a film buff, and particularly likes works produced in the late 1930s and early ’40s. He’s watched every film that has won an Oscar for Best Picture, and has set out to watch the American Film Institute’s 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time.
Exec. Communications Director / Crisis
Whenever a corporate crisis hits the news, David takes notice. He’s lived through his share of them, first-hand. In fact, over several decades, David has helped several industrial companies, both international and domestic, during sensitive and technical turmoil.
David began his career as a business and spot news journalist for a regional newspaper while he was still a business student at Lehigh University. Within five years, he graduated from writing about the first major losses in the steel industry to explaining the technical intricacies and challenges of nuclear power plants. Along the way, he also earned a Master of Journalism degree at Temple University.
To add another dimension to his professional work, David took his next career step as director and vice president for government affairs and communications at New Jersey Natural Gas Company. Aspiring to international experience, David moved to BASF Corporation where he supported BASF’s initial listing on the New York Stock Exchange and led environmental communications.
Continuing his international chemicals experience, David served as the director of communications and public affairs at French specialty chemicals producer Rhodia Inc. where he was responsible for all North American corporate and crisis communications and government affairs. After Rhodia was acquired by the Solvay Group of Brussels, David was named to the company’s global communications leadership team as Head of Risk Communications, responsible for crisis communications and issues management globally.
David’s personal life mirrors his colorful professional career. Besides being a husband and father of two grown sons, he’s striving to improve his French and Italian, as well as his musical skills, and has done his fair share of European exploring.
On every winning team, there are key players who keep the wheels turning toward triumphs extraordinary and commonplace. Tammi Kleszics is one such contributor at Princeton Strategic Communications, which she joined in the spring of 2020 as an administrative assistant.
“My mother was a secretary – growing up, I just wanted to be like her,” says the Burlington County native, whose roots run deep there. “I enjoy getting that difficult meeting scheduled and the thought that I assisted in having a person’s day flow better.”
Although new to PSC, she’s hardly a stranger to the award-winning organization’s busy office in Trenton. August 2020 marks 24 years for Kleszics with the sister firm Princeton Public Affairs Group. In both cases, she says in a nutshell, “I organize people’s professional lives!”
“I was told that Norris needed some help and I was happy to assist,” she says of PSC’s managing partner. “My job is the same concept, but with a very different service. I am enjoying learning the marketing communications field. I also like that I can help coordinate our sister firms for our clients.”
Tammi puts to good use at both firms the associate’s degree in business that she earned at Burlington County Community College. The choice of a school for her higher education is no surprise: Her family has been in the area since the roads were paved.
“I grew up in Mount Holly/Lumberton. I went to the same high school my parents did,” she explains. “My husband Ken and I went to high school together, and now my daughter goes there. I love Rancocas Valley High School.”
Her dedication to work, however, is not her end all and be all.
“The most important thing in my life is my family,” says the mom of a teenage girl and boy. “My kids are very active in sports. We spend our nights and weekends on a field. My husband and I usually divide and conquer!
Website Design Specialist
As a developer, designer and video editor, Corey brings some 15 years of experience helping causes and organizations express their story through digital media. Corey maintains an intense commitment to delivering the best product possible for each client, while paying constant attention to the user experience.
Director of Finance
Senior Writer, Media-relations Specialist
Tom grew up in New Jersey reading The Record newspaper and delivered it in Bergen County as a kid. He’d also read the sports section cover to cover – and then again. Little did Tom know that years later, they would pay him to do so. What’s better than that?
After graduating from Rowan University and working as a journalist at two smaller papers, with a stint as a public-relations specialist for the County of Bergen in between, he took a job at the only paper he wanted to end up with: The Record.
Though Tom wrote on a number of topics, he worked primarily as an editor in the Sports Department.
“Think headlines and deadlines, deadlines and headlines,” he says. “And no, I didn’t get free tickets, and no, I didn’t go to a lot of games. But yes, I will talk sports if you like.”
Along the way, Tom helped produce untold thousands of editions, accumulated a lifetime of memories, earned a boxful of awards and served as an officer for three media organizations.
The Oradell native and his daughter live in Sussex County, where he enjoys hiking the rails to trails and the Appalachian Trail. Tom also can be found at minor-league baseball games and college sporting events (Go Army, Monmouth). Now and then when he can, he dusts off his game and plays some basketball.
Exec. Communications Director
Yvonne took her first international plane ride when she was just one month old and she must've been bit by a travel bug because she hasn't stopped traveling since. A circuitous route through fifty-something countries and finally she has established a forever home in Cape May.
"I grew up curious about a multitude of seemingly unconnected things: design, stories, photography, information architecture, psychology and persuasion...then the social media era dawned and my passions made sense."
After beginning her career writing political speeches and press releases (she studied political science at the University of Toronto) she found her true calling: digital marketing in travel and hospitality. From tourism boards to restauranteurs, Yvonne loves helping her clients inspire and inform in creative ways.
She didn't know it at the time, but Yvonne's path to Cape May began in Nevis. It was Nevis, Instagram, and her work at Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts that brought her and her future husband, an Avalon native, together. She was working at the Four Seasons headquarters in Toronto at the time. He was visiting Nevis annually and discovered Four Seasons in Nevis. They met on Instagram.
"At Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, I had the privilege of learning from the best in hospitality. I counted Michelin-starred chefs amongst my colleagues, assisted in the opening of the most anticipated hotels, restaurants, and spas all around the world, and was surrounded by talented in-house teams as well as notable creative agencies. I was very lucky."
During her five years as part of the Four Seasons digital marketing team, they won six coveted industry awards for their innovative social media campaigns.
Yvonne founded Caesura Communications, her own Cape May company in December 2017, but continues to work on projects with Four Seasons, and she is thrilled to find a new family in Princeton Strategic Communications.
When Yvonne isn't creating stories for clients, she's telling stories through her personal photography and videography. And when she's not creating stories, Yvonne is creating homemade bread and pasta made from scratch. She and her husband share their home with a rescue puppy and nine baby chickens.
Exec. Communications Director / Media Relations Specialist
Over the past 25 years, as a broadcast journalist and PR executive, Lisa Johnson has developed and maintained close personal and professional relationships with local, regional and national media contacts. Before founding Lisa Johnson Communications, she was an award-winning television news anchor and reporter in the Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Atlantic City markets. Lisa is also experienced in pitching stories to the media. As an Executive Board Member of Las Vegas Sands and Director of Brand Communications at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, Lisa developed strong relationships with top representatives from gaming, business, travel and entertainment media across the nation.
At The Venetian Las Vegas, Lisa oversaw the strategic development and media/marketing plans for the development and openings of entertainment productions, restaurants, retail outlets and some of Las Vegas' highest-profile special events. Some of those included Blue Man Group, Tao Restaurant and Nightclub, the elite VIP Paiza Club, as well as special events such as the international Estee Lauder Pink Event and Macao Week.
With her Broadcast Journalism experience, Lisa prides herself in translating clients' goals into tangible feature ideas that are relevant to today's multi-media platforms.
Lisa is also the Contributing Editor to New Jersey LifeStyle magazine. She is also the Communications Advisor for Global Gaming Magazine. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree from Wharton in Entrepreneurial Management.
Exec. Communications Director
Tom has been in communications for his entire professional life. Growing up in the iconic suburban community of Levittown, Pennsylvania, the first planned community of its kind in the country, led Tom to an undergraduate degree in Psychology at LaSalle College in Philadelphia. At LaSalle, Tom worked as a Resident Advisor and then a Head Resident, responsible for a coed dormitory of over 60 students. His interest in working with college students took him to Southern Illinois University in Carbondale for a Masters degree in Higher Education Administration.
At Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia Tom honed his communication skills as the University Judicial Officer for student academic and conduct code violations on a campus of 22,000 students. Tom had a beard at the time and word about campus was that if he was hearing your judicial case and began stroking his beard, you were in big trouble. Though suspension from the University and termination of residence hall living privileges were severe sanctions, Tom was known to be fair, considering all aspects of the case.
Tom then became Assistant Dean of Students at a 9,000 student state university in Missouri. He was responsible for the Judicial system and a number of other student programs. In coordinating the University Orientation Program, Tom began his public speaking career addressing new freshmen and their parents in large group meetings
A former colleague from Virginia Tech lured Tom to Wisconsin to change careers from higher education to physician recruitment. Tom traveled around the entire Midwest interviewing physician candidates and writing reports for clients who included solo physicians, physician groups and small-town hospitals seeking physicians.
After four years, Tom returned to the east coast where he opened the first satellite office for the Wisconsin based firm. After a stint with another healthcare recruitment firm which took Tom all over the country and four years at a Philadelphia psychiatric hospital in physician relations, brought Tom to Deborah Heart and Lung Center in New Jersey.
During his 25 year tenure at Deborah, with a department of eight staff, Tom managed all of this world-renowned heart center’s marketing and advertising efforts.
His expertise includes the full scope of healthcare marketing/advertising, including digital, TV, radio, outdoor, print, public relations, and outreach. His responsibilities also included the Center’s website, partnership programs with statewide organizations, quarterly physician and consumer publications, special events, and in-house graphic artists/videographer.
While at Deborah Tom created, developed and managed all of the following Center-side initiatives: Physician Relations Program, Customer Service Program, 800-General Information Line, Managed Care Contracting, and Patient Satisfaction Survey Program.
Deborah’s continued success as a stand-alone specialty hospital in a merge-mania, healthcare system marketplace was attributed to its timely and targeted advertising/marketing to consumers.
Tom especially enjoyed and was proud of the partnerships he set up with state-wide associations including among others, three NJ firefighter associations, the NJ State Police Benevolent Association, the NJEA, representing 192,000 teachers in NJ, the NJ Department of Veterans of Foreign Wars, the NJ State Parole Board, the NJ State Association of County Jail Wardens, the NJ Sheriffs Association, NJ Association of Chiefs of Police, the NJ State Trooper Fraternal Association and others. Tom was invited to speak at the Annual State meetings of these organizations, addressing from a couple of hundred members to over 9,000 NJ volunteer firefighters at one time.
While Tom has retired from Deborah Heart and Lung Center, he continues to provide part-time consulting services in healthcare communications. He is also passionate about his Native American Group Drumming spiritual work, leading group drumming retreats with up to 50 participants, and volunteering his time to lead veteran patients in drumming sessions at a local VA Medical Center.