People always ask me if my crisis management work is stressful. Not for me. It’s where I thrive – drawing upon my natural resourcefulness, decades managing risk and crises for clients, and passion for developing communication strategies. 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.
After decades working with companies to build a crisis communications plan or tackle their latest controversy, I’ve seen it all – national high-profile, high-stakes crises for organizations of all sizes, including corporate, public sector, nonprofit, education and healthcare clients. I’ve successfully managed sensitive and highly charged crisis communications around data breaches, acts of God, sexual harassment, Title IX discrimination, free speech, leadership misconduct, mergers & acquisitions, workforce reduction, violence & workplace accidents, regulatory action and more.
PR is all about third-party credibility – so I must share some of our own accolades. Castle is a five-time Boston Business Journal Best Place to Work and is annually named to its top PR and events lists. I’ve been honored with the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurship, Women’s Business Enterprise Hall of Fame Trailblazer Award, Enterprising Women Magazine Enterprising Women of the Year, Women’s Enterprise USA Top WBE CEO, Tomorrow’s Women TODAY Woman of the Year, WBENC Women’s Business Enterprise Star Award, Center for Women and Enterprise Rising Star Award and March of Dimes Franklin Delano Roosevelt Humanitarian 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 at regional and national conferences, including Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Massachusetts, University Risk Management and Insurance Association and the Automotive Public Relations Council. Other speaking engagements include Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Boston Business Journal, Association of American Colleges and Universities, National Association of Independent Schools, Commonwealth Institute, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Center for Women and Enterprise, CBRE Women’s Initiative and more.
I’m also a contributor to Forbes and a member of its Business Council. I’m an active member of the New England Council and a founding member of the Boston Business Journal Leadership Trust. In 2018, I was appointed by Governor Charlie Baker to the Massachusetts Bay Community College Board of Trustees. For more than 15 years, I have served on the boards of Center for Women and Enterprise, New England March of Dimes Chapter (and subsequently its national Volunteer Leadership Council) and WGBH Corporate Council. I am the sole small business CEO on the Boston College Chief Executives Club Board of Governors and serve on the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Executive Committee. I’m also 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 all of that? I was a hockey, lacrosse and field hockey mom to my son and daughter for many years and now that they’re college-aged, I’m busy sending them “helpful” articles with my two Wheaten Terrier mixes by my side. I look forward to the times my husband and I can travel with them. My favorite place to be is the beach — any beach with a great book and great company. I’m a musical theater geek and am always checking out the latest Broadway hit or returning classic. 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/Founderwspivak@thecastlegrp.com
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. My clients usually don’t know what goes on behind the scenes to make their event a smashing success, but that’s not important. They know and appreciate the results. 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.
Hilary AllardExecutive Vice Presidenthallard@thecastlegrp.com
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. 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.
Keri McIntoshSenior Vice President, Eventskmcintosh@thecastlegrp.com
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.
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.
Sean HennesseySenior Vice President, Public Relationsshennessey@thecastlegrp.com
From the time I was in high school, a career in communications was my destiny. I helped start our high school’s newspaper, reported on high school sports for the Boston Globe during college (and covered college sports too for my university’s newspaper), then pursued a career as a television news reporter. My first TV news job was at a small TV station in Sioux City, IA, and from there it was on to bigger and bigger cities until I landed in New York City, the nation’s largest media market.
Through all of my stories and travels while at all of those stations (nine in all), one thing never changed – getting that adrenaline rush from the job. Whether it was a scoop on a big story, anchoring a great newscast, or nailing a live shot in front of a national audience for one of the networks, that “rush” was something that kept me going.
When I left the TV news world for public relations, I wondered if the adrenaline rush would still be there, and it didn’t take long to learn that it was. Whether it’s getting a client into the national news, or even just a local story, that publicity means value. We’re helping create awareness that can lead to increased leads and more business for that client, or maybe that media attention leads to more donors, volunteers or overall awareness of what a school, business, or non-profit is all about. Whatever it leads to, that awareness is helping, which means we’re helping, and that’s a wonderful and satisfying feeling.
It’s that feeling that keeps me going. At The Castle Group, I have the good fortune of working in a lot of industries: professional & financial services, life sciences, healthcare, nonprofits, technology, education, real estate, hospitality/tourism, and consumer. That wide variety and the satisfaction of spreading the word about what our clients do keeps me going every day.
What else keeps me going? My wife, whom I met on my first day in New York City (how’s that for things that are meant to be?) and our two children, who keep me busy with soccer and basketball, among other things – I cherish every moment.
What else can I tell you? I earned my undergraduate degree from Boston College, then my MBA years later. I’m a two-time Ironman and 13-time Boston Marathon finisher, so you can see I love a challenge. These days I find those challenges in the communications world, a world that has been my destiny since I was a kid and one that still gives me that “rush.”
Deborah SpencerVice President, Events & Marketingdspencer@thecastlegrp.com
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. 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. HausermanVice President, Public Relations
Director, Crisis Communicationspthauserman@thecastlegrp.com
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 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.
Danielle Dickinson, CMPVice President, Eventsddickinson@thecastlegrp.com
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.
Steve TellierAccount Directorstellier@thecastlegrp.com
In its purest, simplest form, journalism is the use of words and pictures to convey a fact or a feeling. Just the right words and pictures, carefully and thoughtfully arranged, can yield a revelation – a spotlight shone brightly on an issue of public importance. It was this paradigm that first drew me to investigative reporting – a deep-seated desire to inform, and in turn, improve, society. After twelve years in front of a television camera, I remain driven by that same underlying mission – the bettering of the people and communities around me through the medium of communication. Only now, I’m accomplishing that mission in the field of public relations.
As an investigative television reporter, I had the opportunity to craft and deliver fascinating stories. Now, with The Castle Group, I’m telling the stories of companies, community organizations and citizens that are just as compelling, and equally worthy of our society’s attention. They’re the stories of the people changing our communities, advancing worthy causes, and strengthening the bonds between neighbors. I consider it a privilege to be able to tell those stories in a manner that challenges me, while continuing to employ the same basic formula I’ve relied on my entire career: Combining words and pictures to, I hope, play one small part in pushing my community forward in a positive direction.
I was born and raised in MetroWest, and graduated from Syracuse University with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and History. I spent a decade crisscrossing the country, living in Arkansas, Kentucky, and Minnesota, before returning to Massachusetts with a new appreciation for both my home state and the rest of the country. When I’m not at work, I’m typically with my wife and young daughter, exploring everything the Boston area has to offer.
Callie Cleary, CMPSenior Event Managerccleary@thecastlegrp.com
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.
Maria RyanSenior Event & Creative Services Managermryan@thecastlegrp.com
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 Senior Event & 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.
Emily LangloisEvent Managerelanglois@thecastlegrp.com
I began planning events long before I fully realized I could make a career out of it. My attention to detail and creative thinking are skills that are critical to executing events from start to finish. I love juggling the different pieces, managing the variety of players, seeing the messy (and it does get messy!) before everything magically falls into place before my eyes.
I love designing events that wow our clients, whether it is an incentive, a sales program or an employee event and utilizing new technologies, unique trends and other event elements that excite our audiences. I am lucky to be a part of such a dynamic team at Castle—I am constantly learning from my peers as we collaborate to create memorable experiences for our clients. Every day at the office is different, and the ever-changing nature of events keeps me on my toes.
I am a New Englander through and through – Boston has always felt like home, despite spending the better part of 7 years attending school and then working in the DC-MD area. I love the change of seasons, exploring everything the city has to offer, and spending the summer months down the Cape surrounded by family and friends.
Amanda AlbertSenior Account Executive, Public Relationsaalbert@thecastlegrp.com
There’s never a boring day working in public relations and I’m thrilled to be able to do what I love at Castle. I graduated 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 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 have been fortunate enough to travel all over Europe and various other places throughout the world. 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!
Andrea RhoadsEvent Managerarhoads@thecastlegrp.com
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 an Event 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.
Paige LaliberteEvent Managerplaliberte@thecastlegrp.com
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.
Eric DonovanAccount Executive,
I grew up in a small town outside of Boston called Medway, although I spent a lot of my time skiing up in Maine or at summer camp in New Hampshire. I attended college at the University of Vermont where I got a degree in marketing with a minor in economics. The Summer after my junior year I was lucky enough to have an internship at The Castle Group where I quickly learned that my interests were perfectly in line with a career in public relations. Since I was young, I’ve always been fascinated by how companies deliver their messages and whether its resonating with the right audience. I’ve always looked forward to meeting new people and enjoyed building relationships. After learning what PR was all about and getting a sense for agency life I was hooked. I began full time in the Summer of 2019 and my passion for public relations continues to grow. I love that as PR professionals we can develop an expertise in communications, then apply that skillset to all different kinds businesses and industries. Each day brings a new challenge and I’m constantly learning as we develop unique strategies for each client.
Jenny EnfieldAccount Executive & Social Media Manager, Public Relationsjenfield@thecastlegrp.com
Originally from Weston, Massachusetts, I graduated from Quinnipiac University with a degree in Strategic Communications. While at school, I took courses specific to my interests such as sports PR and crisis management, and I can’t wait to apply my classroom knowledge to the real world.
As a member of the Castle PR team, I appreciate the fast-paced environment and the fact that no two days are alike. I enjoy working in PR because it involves teamwork, creativity, content creation, meeting new people, and writing.
Additionally, social media plays a huge role in PR, which is a tool that I love for both personal and professional reasons. Social media gives individuals and companies a platform and a voice, which has allowed a lot of great changes and movements to arise.
So, working in a field that utilizes social media excites me! Outside of the office, you can find spending time with my friends and family, eating good food, planning my next trip, or on adventures with my camera in hand.
Brandi GriffinAssistant Account Executivebgriffin@thecastlegrp.com
What happens when a southern girl finds her way to Boston? Quite naturally, she ends up in the public relations field because connections are everything—especially when moving to a new city without knowing anyone.
Originally from Atlanta, I graduated with a degree in Communication and Art History from Wake Forest University in May 2018 and will obtain my Master’s in Journalism from Northeastern University in April 2020.
As an Assistant Account Executive, I’m excited to continue fostering those connections, both with my fellow team members and clients, and building community throughout Boston. Doing so at Castle, under the leadership of multiple talented women with numerous years of experience in this field, is an added bonus.
Outside of work, you can find me wandering through an art museum with friends, sweating it out in a hot yoga class, curled up on my couch with a New York Times bestseller, or jet-setting to a new destination!
Alicia MorrelOperations Manager & Executive Assistantamorrel@thecastlegrp.com
I am a people person at heart. I’m passionate about creating a culture that encourages teamwork, boosts morale and drives an organization’s mission. As the Operations Manager and Executive Assistant at Castle, I’m able to do just that.
Often serving as the first point of contact, I am eager to talk all things Castle and share my love and enthusiasm for the agency and our team of rock stars! I provide high-level administrative and operational support to both our public relations and events teams, assist with employee and intern recruitment and onboarding, support the agency’s marketing and new business efforts, and more.
Outside of work, you will find me binge-watching Netflix series, playing soccer and enjoying the occasional Thursday night bar trivia. More often than not, however, you’ll find me spending time with family and friends.