It is entirely possible for me to listen to a conversation, have an idea, and share an insight almost simultaneously. I think they call that multitasking. I help my clients by focusing on connections… how they reach their audiences, how their audiences reach them, how my teams and I can facilitate those interactions. I’ve helped my clients grow and sell companies, acquire firms, improve valuation/stock price, gain market share, manage crises, perfect presentation skills, launch products and the list goes on.
When I’m not working directly with clients, I’m growing Castle — developing partnerships, identifying marketing opportunities and building new client relationships. And when I’m not doing that, I’m out in the marketplace, representing Castle and our clients through our dedication to the community. [Read more]
I can’t help myself — every time I go to someone else’s event, I find myself thinking about what I would change. How could I make it flow better, what technology would work better, how might the speaker be more impactful, how else could I convey the message? No detail is too small. I bring that same critical eye to Castle’s events team… well before an event begins. While I start working with my clients at a high level — the 50,000-foot view — to determine program or event goals and content, I can also get my hands dirty. Really dirty. I’ve been under the streets of NYC supervising cable workers to ensure the technology worked at an event; in hotel kitchens supervising plating of food; up all night redirecting transportation plans because of a weather emergency. I always have a Plan B. [Read more]
I have often said that I am willing to go to the ends of the earth for our clients…literally! I have produced events all over the world — from Barcelona to Australia, Key West to San Francisco and Cape Cod to the Caribbean. I lead a super creative team of event professionals armed with the task of helping our clients launch new products, plan unique incentive programs, manage large user group conferences and create special events that make an impact.
As an 18-year veteran of Castle and now operating the Maui office, my role is to provide our clients with expert event counsel on everything from strategic planning, project management, budget projections, logistics, site selection and contract negotiation. I particularly excel at understanding a program’s needs and seeing “the big picture” – including the meeting space required, the flow of a program and determining which property is the best fit for the client — and for the attendee experience. I am deeply involved in new business development to ensure that potential clients have a solid understanding of Castle’s values, skill set and how we can work together to create value-added programs. [Read more]
While my career was founded in consumer PR, working with brand names in CPG, housewares and hospitality, I broadened my horizons at Castle, working with startup and corporate clients in professional and financial services, consumer tech, nonprofit and healthcare — to name a few. As I’ve expanded my industry experience, I’ve also developed a passion for social media and SEO, essential elements to our client work.
It’s been said that I’m the calm in the eye of the storm. My approach is to weather the storm by having all the necessary “supplies” at the ready. I excel at staying calm in the fray, while keeping my sense of humor… I’m a great listener. I focus on what is being said — and unsaid. I decipher where things stand at any given moment and then design a path to move to where we want to be. There’s nothing more gratifying to me than to help clients define their objectives, set strategies and create road maps that yield business results. [Read more]
What’s your point? You have about two seconds to capture your audience’s attention. Do your marketing strategies or event goals do the job?
I am a seasoned marketing strategist and events management professional with more than 30 years of professional experience. Whether I’m planning an event or implementing a new marketing strategy, I am consistently looking for ways to accelerate processes and improve efficiencies—ensuring that more time can be dedicated to creativity, keeping ahead of the curve and exceeding customer expectations. [Read more]
Philip T. Hauserman
What is the plan? My family groans when I ask that question, mostly because it’s not just one question I’m asking. They know there are a million follow-ups coming, almost all of which start with the familiar refrain of “What if…”
Maybe this is why our kids practically need snorkels just to breathe in the backseat when we go on road trips. It’s not because we drive across the countryor because we have a small car, it’s becauseI pack, re-pack, and ultimately over pack to make sure we are prepared for as many different situationsas possible. [Read more]
If you grew up at my house, there was one rule that no one broke: The family gathers every evening for dinner — no matter what, no excuses. More often than not, friends and extended family were at the dinner table, too. I learned early on that sharing experiences, humor, ideas and opinions unite us in a powerful way. The spark was litfor me at a very young age. A career in communications was my destiny.
My professional experience has spanned the realms of science, entertainment, and higher education. No matter what industry I’ve worked in, my approach to creating a communications plan is strategic and collaborative, whetherlaunching a new program, raising visibility, or handling a crisis. [Read more]
With a portfolio of professional experiences, I see the world in detail and bring a perspective that is clear and real. I am able to see the big picture and the small picture and can bring into focus all strategic decisions regarding the direction of event and marketing related initiatives. Success stories include sales incentive programs, international sales and marketing meetings and corporate recognition events such as President’s Excellence Award trips as well as product launches, conferences and trade shows. My mantra has always been expressed by these guidelines: A can-do attitude, roll-up my sleeves and get the job done, DOR’s: Duties, Obligations and Responsibilities, the commitment must always continue, and treat everyone the way I want to be treated. While the love of meetings and events is truly a passion, when I am not in meetings, creating production schedules and flying around the world to events, I spend my time with my loving parents, family and close friends.
Danielle Dickinson, CMP
Nothing gives me more pride than watching a successful event unfold. I am responsible for the design, planning and execution of non-profit and corporate client events. Since joining Castle in 2005, I have planned a myriad of unique incentives, powerful meetings and stylish special events all over the world — from Peoria to Prague. Food and beverage management particularly excites me and I spend time keeping up with the trends to create distinctive menus for our clients. I have an overall passion for planning and enjoy how the analytics of an event drive my mind while the creative aspect feeds my soul. I am a Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. I am an active participant in Meeting Professionals International, The Convention Industry Council and Professional Convention Management Association. When I am not checking boxes off my to-do list (my favorite thing to do), I am on the event/host committee at The Food Project, a non-profit organization empowering youth leaders to create personal and social change through sustainable agriculture. At home, I love to cook and explore new restaurants, travel with my family and get lost in a great book.
Nicole (Mason) Mazzarella
Born and raised in New York, I earned my MBA with a concentration in marketing at Pace University. I began my career at a PR firm in Manhattan, working with fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. Now, as an account supervisor at The Castle Group, I work with a wide range of clients, from higher education to real estate and nonprofits, which keeps me on my toes. One thing remains the same, I pride myself on creating and maintaining relationships with the media and generally being “in the know.” I help my clients implement and maintain strategic communications plans, which can involve media relations, networking and relationship building, marketing, raising visibility through speaking engagements and award opportunities and social media. I enjoy creating new, inventive ways to connect with the media on behalf my clients and love seeing those efforts take shape in the form of newspaper articles, TV segments and blog posts. I love the opportunity to get involved and meet other professional women and had wonderful experience completing the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Leadership Program. I am also a member of the Chamber’s City Awake Leadership Council.
Callie (Ziobro) Cleary
Event planning has been a life-long passion for me. I began volunteering and interning at events in my early teens. I’ve known from a very young age what I wanted my career path to be. I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I’m doing exactly what I always wanted to do — events! As a Senior Event Manager at Castle, I manage many aspects of the event planning process. My experience ranges from planning corporate meetings, conferences and user groups to incentives, fundraisers, product launches and galas. What’s most rewarding — and fun — about my job is turning client goals into reality. I love being involved from start to finish so I can experience a client’s vision coming to life. Seeing our clients happy is one of the most gratifying aspects of my job.
After graduating from college and working in special events for three years, I decided to switch gears and go back to school for a master’s in public relations at Boston University, and I couldn’t be happier. As a PR & Social Media Manager, I split my time between traditional media relations work, content creation and social media management. In addition to my client work, I co-manage Castle’s social media accounts and eNewsletter with Maria Bauder. There is never a dull moment here at Castle and my job always keeps me thinking and moving, which I love. Outside of the office, I keep busy by spending time with family and friends, cooking and seeking out Boston’s best restaurants.
Listen, read everything, be patient and think strategically.
This is my daily PR mantra. As a communicator, I am passionate about crafting effective narratives for my clients and seeing these stories come to light in print or broadcast segments. Previously working in consumer, tech and automotive PR, I enjoy working across different industries.
As an account supervisor at The Castle Group I bring my enthusiasm for working with the media to securing strong placements, writing press releases and pitches, locating valuable speaking opportunities and awards and developing client content. A news junkie, I’m constantly sharing the latest breaking news alerts. Outside of Castle you’ll find me spending time with my family, devouring podcast series and exploring New England.
Maria (Bauder) Ryan
I joined The Castle Group as an intern to explore the world of events and found it was a perfect fit. In my current role as Events & Creative Services Manager, I oversee different pieces of the corporate and incentive event planning process, while also fulfilling my passion for creative problem-solving and my love of design by developing collateral, web graphics, event décor ideas and brainstorming marketing strategy for clients and Castle initiatives. Outside of the office I love to be outdoors hiking, enjoying the seasons or spending time with family and friends.
Keep things fresh, be relevant/timely and strive to amplify — these are my go-to tips for working in the PR industry.
I graduated from Simmons College in 2016 with a double major in Marketing and Communications (PR Track) and jumped into a full-time position at Castle following my internship. Friends and family describe me as a social butterfly, hardworking, compassionate, detail oriented and creative. These traits serve me well in my position on the PR team working on various client accounts and helping to manage Castle’s social media accounts. My role as “Castle’s Snapchat Expert” has also been an exciting way to expand our client service offerings.
After a busy week in the office, you will often find me with a duffel bag heading out for a weekend adventure. As a native Rhode Islander, I enjoy spending time on the water and at the beach. I also enjoy skiing, exploring new restaurants around Boston, taking Instagram-worthy photos, hitting the gym and spending time with my loved ones.
A mix of creativity and detail, the ability to turn vision into reality, and the connections you make with amazing people — this is what I love about event planning. After graduating from the University of Vermont with a degree in marketing, I decided to take my creative skills to the event planning world in Stowe, Vermont. I worked for several years planning conferences, retreats, and weddings. Seeing the smile on a bride’s face as she walked down the aisle on her dream day or the inspiration a corporate team walked away with after a day of team-building solidified that I had found my calling. My travels have since brought me to Boston, where I am thrilled to be Assistant Events Manager and part of Castle’s talented events team, creating experiences and memories that will last a lifetime. From corporate conferences to incentive getaways, exploring the latest venues, food trends, and styles keeps me continually inspired. When I’m not in the office, I’m looking for any outdoor adventure I can get my hands on — from Sunday markets to New England weekend getaways, there’s just too much to see in the world to sit still.
After growing up in a small town near Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, I graduated from Bentley University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing. I played on the women’s soccer team at Bentley for four years, and captained the team as a senior. I started at The Castle Group in the summer of 2016 as an intern on the events team, before joining full time in the summer of 2017. Since then I have managed the registration and housing requirements for corporate sales conferences and special events all over the world. I love the research that is involved in event planning; I am fascinated by all the different corners of the world and the individual culture within each unique destination. When I leave the office, I love spending time with friends and family, going on adventures around New England, and keeping in touch with the world of athletics.
I always knew I wanted to work in public relations and I couldn’t ask for a better company to be a part of. I graduated in 2017 from UMass Amherst with a degree in Communication and am proud to work at a women-owned agency with many fellow alums. As a member of the Castle PR team, I enjoy working with, learning from, and supporting my colleagues to develop content, research speaking and award opportunities, as well as write press releases and pitches for our wide range of clients. Outside of the office, I love exploring areas of Boston with my friends, trying new restaurants and fitness classes and continuing my love for dance by taking classes in the city. I love to travel and was fortunate enough to study abroad in Florence, Italy during my junior year of college. During my four months abroad, I was able to visit many European countries. Because travel is such a passion of mine, one of my life goals is to visit 50 countries by the time I’m 50 years old!
Born and raised in a small town in Worcester County, I always dreamed of venturing into the city to go to college and start a career. I graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in speech therapy and immediately began working in the field upon graduation. After several years of providing health-based care across multiple settings, I transitioned into the world of administration. I joined Castle as their Office Administrator looking for an opportunity to work with an amazing team and a wide-range of clients. I provide support for both the PR and Events team, as well as assist with office management, marketing and new business development. Outside of work, you will find me spending time with family and friends. I also play soccer on a local sports league and enjoy the occasional Tuesday bingo in Brighton!
When I’m not working directly with clients, I’m growing Castle — developing partnerships, identifying marketing opportunities and building new client relationships. And when I’m not doing that, I’m out in the marketplace, representing Castle and our clients through our dedication to the community.
PR is all about third-party credibility – so I must share some of our own accolades. We recently won the March of Dimes Franklin Delano Roosevelt Humanitarian Award. I’ve been honored with the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurship, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council Business Enterprise Star Award and the Center for Women and Enterprise Rising Star Award. I was also named a Boston Business journal “40 under 40″ (although I would no longer be eligible!). I’ve had the privilege of speaking for groups including the Boston Business Journal, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and Center for Women and Enterprise, many higher education institutions and PR industry organizations.
I serve on the boards of The Center for Women and Enterprise, March of Dimes and the Chief Executives Club of Boston. I’m especially proud to be state board chair for the March of Dimes and most recently was named to its national Volunteer Leadership Council. I also currently chair the WGBH Corporate Executive Council, serve on the Women’s Advisory Network of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and am a member of the Massachusetts Women’s Forum. I’m on the executive committee of the Public Relations Global Network — interacting almost daily with my “sister” (and “brother”) agency principals in every major media market to develop world-class relationships for our clients and teams.
When I’m not doing that? You might find me with my husband, rooting on my son or daughter at a hockey rink or lacrosse field, or walking my Wheaten Terrier. My favorite place to be is the beach – any beach with a great book and great company. What else do you want to know? Before Wendy and I founded Castle in 1996, I held in-house marketing positions at KPMG, Lesley University and the Massachusetts Bar Association, and was an executive at IQ & J, a premier Boston agency. I’ve worked on everything from pita chips to online travel to medical imaging to student lending. I grew up in Brookline, Mass. and am a proud alumna of UMass Amherst. Let me know if you have any questions.
Wendy Spivak Principal/Founder
When I am not overseeing an event somewhere around the world (I have managed events on almost every continent), I’m often in my office, surrounded by project management plans and ensuring our events proceed as smoothly as possible. With decades of experience in events and marketing, I manage my teams to deliver the same level of quality and service that is my hallmark. I also manage Castle’s operations, making sure that our financial, HR and technology needs are well met.
Part of Castle’s culture is giving back to the community. I’m passionate about the boards I serve on and the organizations we support. It’s truly my privilege to use my professional skills to help them achieve their goals.
Keri McIntoshSenior Vice President
As an 18-year veteran of Castle and now operating the Maui office, my role is to provide our clients with expert event counsel on everything from strategic planning, project management, budget projections, logistics, site selection and contract negotiation. I particularly excel at understanding a program’s needs and seeing “the big picture” – including the meeting space required, the flow of a program and determining which property is the best fit for the client — and for the attendee experience. I am deeply involved in new business development to ensure that potential clients have a solid understanding of Castle’s values, skill set and how we can work together to create value-added programs.
My favorite part of planning an event is seeing it come to life — starting with the initial concept and then stepping back afterwards to say, “Wow!” My tools of the trade include developing a keen understanding of client goals, being willing to change gears at a moment’s notice, employing creative problem solving, keeping a sense of humor — and owning a good pair of comfortable shoes (my event slippers) since we always hit the ground running!
I have been the project lead for many of Castle’s high profile, large-scale events including: Microsoft Corporation, MIT, Ocean Spray, Pegasystems, Symantec Corporation, Harvard Medical School and Sanofi.
I hold a dual undergraduate degree in Hospitality Administration and Marketing and an MBA in International Marketing. I am also a Certified Meeting Professional. Outside of work, I enjoy living the island life on Maui and teaching and practicing yoga.
Hilary Allard Executive Vice President
It’s been said that I’m the calm in the eye of the storm. My approach is to weather the storm by having all the necessary “supplies” at the ready. I excel at staying calm in the fray, while keeping my sense of humor… I’m a great listener. I focus on what is being said — and unsaid. I decipher where things stand at any given moment and then design a path to move to where we want to be. There’s nothing more gratifying to me than to help clients define their objectives, set strategies and create road maps that yield business results.
Yes, I’m a strategist at heart. I have an aptitude for breaking down complex ideas into simple, executable action plans. My mind is always working on ways to tie your message back to your strategic goals. Whether I’m working on your media relations, content creation, social media, executive visibility or crisis management, I employ tried-and-true models as well as fresh new concepts.
As executive vice president, I’m also responsible for promoting Castle. I serve on Castle’s website and steering committees — constantly searching for creative ways to amplify our story using social and digital channels. I also represent Castle at professional organizations by attending events, serving on committees or speaking. I serve on the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce’s Women’s Network Advisory Board and its Small Business Advisory Board. I provide volunteer PR counsel to the nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Mass.
I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. No surprise here – I’m a news junkie. I’m relentlessly reading, watching or listening to the news — online and off. I’m always looking for the next new idea or angle. When I can pull myself away from work — and the news — I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, cooking and movies.
Deborah SpencerVice President, Events & Marketing
I am a seasoned marketing strategist and events management professional with more than 30 years of professional experience. Whether I’m planning an event or implementing a new marketing strategy, I am consistently looking for ways to accelerate processes and improve efficiencies — ensuring that more time can be dedicated to creativity, keeping ahead of the curve and exceeding customer expectations.
I take creativity seriously! One of my greatest assets is the ability to extract the essence of your message and reflect it out to the world. I’ve built my career on helping clients find creative ways to tell their unique story. I have the creative and technical know-how, the intuition and the drive to help you succeed. There’s nothing more exhilarating for me than to nail it — for you.
As Castle’s Vice President, Events and Marketing, I am responsible for planning and managing high profile events, building targeted event registration websites and systems, implementing marketing plans and creating solutions for Castle and its clients. During my 18-year tenure at Castle, I have exceled at developing fully integrated marketing communications plans, project timelines, full-blown branding campaigns, targeted marketing collateral, direct mail, publications, presentations, signage plans, website content, online registration systems, email marketing, advertising, list management — and more.
I’ve led many of Castle’s high profile projects for clients such as Google, Ocean Spray, Fidelity Ventures, Fidelity Center for Applied Technologies’ TEDxBoston, MIT, ISO New England & New York ISO, Ruderman Family Foundation, Pegasystems, Inc., Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, The Boston Harbor Association (Boston Harbor Now), Covestor, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Biogen Idec, Sanofi, SHI, Dunkin’ Brands and Harvard Medical School.
I studied Business Administration at Salem State College as well as Marketing Communications and Public Relations at the University of California. What do I do in my “spare” time? I make it a priority to spend quality time connecting with my family and friends. I also enjoy exploring the Boston restaurant scene, traveling, anti-gravity yoga — and spending lazy Sundays working on the Boston Globe and New York Times crossword puzzles.
Philip T. Hauserman Vice President
Maybe this is why our kids practically need snorkels just to breathe in the backseat when we go on road trips. It’s not because we drive across the country or because we have a small car, it’s because I pack, re-pack, and ultimately over pack to make sure we are prepared for as many different situations as possible.
This same thinking guides my approach to communications strategy. Taking the time to think through and plan for all the possibilities – including the dreaded worst case scenario – allows me to help clients see that a “crisis,” if planned for in advance,is nothing more than a minor disruption that requires careful management. I’ve utilized these same tactics to lead communications programs and critical events for major corporations, educational institutions, and professional service firms across the United States. While I’m certainly no stranger to high-profile situations – discrimination in its many forms, wrongful termination, workplace violence, sexual assault, and executive misconduct,to name a few – I’ve found that even the smallest blip on the radar can escalate surprisingly fast if there isn’t a plan for delivering concise, consistent, and timely communication to the audiences that matter most.
Crisis or not, a good communicator knows how to connect people and create opportunities, two things that I enjoy doing on a daily basis. Whether I’m in the office, at a networking event, or out in the Atlanta community, I’m always thinking about ways to bring value to others. Then again, that may also just be the helpful Southerner in me.
Speaking of the South, I graduated from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in business administration. Along the way I also managed to collect the single-season hit-by-pitch record (23) while playing baseball for the Blue Hose (yes, you read that right).
When I’m not working you’ll find me outdoors with my wife, Ashley, and our two children, Emma and Henry. I’m a fan of baseball, good books, and home-cooked meals. I’m also a four-time Ironman finisher. My best ideas almost always come to me while I’m swimming, biking, or running.
Carole McFall Vice President
My professional experience has spanned the realms of science, entertainment, and higher education. No matter what industry I’ve worked in, my approach to creating a communications plan is strategic and collaborative, whether launching a new program, raising visibility, or handling a crisis.
Prior to joining the Castle team, I led internal and external communications for Emerson College, where I worked with colleagues campus-wide to present unified messages across the college’s distribution channels. Earlier in my career, I planned and executed national and regional media relations campaigns at the Museum of Science, Boston for nearly 10 years. This job made me the “coolest” aunt in the family. My nieces and nephews couldn’t believe that I went to work every day among dinosaurs, mind-blowing exhibits — and the best gift shop, ever. After the Museum, I combined my deep appreciation for science with my longtime love for television, developing marketing and media relations campaigns for national public television programs NOVA and NOVA science NOW.
The communications field has changed a lot over the years, with more opportunities to be strategic and creative in how news is shared. The core elements of an effective communications plan are the same, however — building relationships and great storytelling.
It comes back to those dinnertime conversations and connecting with people over our shared human experience. Today, working with a variety of clients, and helping to tell their stories alongside a team of passionate, professional communicators at Castle — is the icing on the cake.
As for education and what I do in my free time: I have a Bachelor’s in Communications from Northeastern. I enjoy cooking/entertaining, gardening, going to the ballet, tennis, skiing (but not the cold weather), and reading a great book (suggested reads are welcome!).