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 was named a Forbes 2021 Best PR Agency, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce 2021 Small Business of the Year, PRNEWS‘ Agency Elite Top 100, and is a five-time Boston Business Journal Best Place to Work. 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, 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 and WGBH Corporate Council. I also serve on the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Executive Committee, and am 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.
Sharon TorgersonChief Communications Officerstorgerson@thecastlegrp.com
I am a problem solver and strategic thinker who thrives in new challenges and love getting stuff done.
With my decades long experience in leading public relations, crisis and internal communications efforts for several health care and human services organizations in both the private and public sector, I was thrilled to join The Castle Group in November 2021 as its Chief Communications Officer.
Prior to joining team Castle, I was Director of Corporate Communications for Mass General Brigham, Massachusetts’ largest health care system and private employer, where I developed and implemented communication strategies about the system’s COVID response and vaccination efforts, United Against Racism and other strategic efforts.
At the outset of COVID in March of 2020 through June, I was redeployed to start up and lead communication efforts for the state of Massachusetts’ COVID Command Center. Previously I directed and oversaw communications, including media relations and multiple public information campaigns, as Assistant Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services – the largest part of state government, which includes the MassHealth (Medicaid) program, the Department of Public Health, and several other human service agencies serving children and seniors. I also was Communications Director for Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.
My husband, Pete, and I have two daughters and live in Walpole, Massachusetts. I enjoy sports, reading and walking my beloved dog Belle.
Deborah SpencerChief Marketing Officerdspencer@thecastlegrp.com
You’ve got about two seconds to grab my attention. Ready. Set. Go! (one Mississippi…two Mississippi.) Okay, I’m intrigued. Now what? The answer: It’s complicated. There’s so much electronic noise and clutter to cut through these days. It takes deliberate thought, creativity and strategy to get your messages seen and heard.
Let’s think about your current state of marketing. Is it willy-nilly or strategic? Siloed or integrated? Off-track or on? Meh or fun? Do your message points support your short- and long-term goals? Is your storytelling clear and memorable? Precise and vivid? On brand? These are the things I consider when piecing together a new marketing initiative or strategic plan. Thankfully—puzzles are my happy place.
There’s nothing more exhilarating for me than to nail it—for you. As a marketing and creative strategist, I take creativity seriously! I tap into both sides of my brain. I must be imaginative and inventive—and calculated and tactical. I also draw on decades of experience in marketing, creative direction and project management to foster an idea to fruition and develop the best plan to deploy it.
I lead Castle’s marketing division, splitting my time between agency and client work. During my tenure, I’ve directed hundreds of marketing projects, initiatives and communications strategies—from marketing and event collateral packages to company branding to full-blown integrated marketing communications campaigns and strategies—for high-profile clients: Dunkin’ Brands, Fidelity Ventures, Google, Harvard Medical School, Joe Andruzzi Foundation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, NetApp, Ocean Spray, SHI, St. Francis House—just to name a few.
In my free time, I like to catch up with family and friends, practice yoga, walk the beach, explore the local food scene, play Lumosity (“Train of Thought” and “Trouble Brewing” are my most favorites) and work the daily New York Times crossword, especially the Sunday puzzle. I recently built a home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, so app Duolingo’s Spanish lesson is currently at the top of my free-time activity rotation. Hasta luego!
I studied Business Administration at Salem State College and Marketing Communications and Public Relations at the University of California and currently sit on the board of directors for WriteBoston, a nonprofit literacy organization that serves students, schools, districts, and educational organizations across Massachusetts.
Keri McIntoshExecutive Vice Presidentkmcintosh@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, not to mention the virtual world. I lead a super creative team of event professionals armed with the task of helping our clients launch new products, develop event marketing campaigns, plan unique meeting and incentive programs, and create special events that make an impact.
As a 21-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, marketing communications, budget projections, logistics, site selection and contract negotiation. I particularly excel at understanding a program’s needs and seeing “the big picture” — including assessing the program format, content delivery methods and tactical elements required to produce an exceptional 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, employing creative problem solving, being ever resourceful, always striving to stay ahead of the curve and keeping a sense of humor. 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. Outside of work, I enjoy living the island life on Maui and teaching and practicing yoga.
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
Events are like a 1,000-piece puzzle — complex, layered, detailed, colorful — and each piece plays a significant role in the overall design. Nothing gives me more pride than putting all the pieces together and watching a successful event unfold.
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. I am a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) responsible for creating event-based strategies, managing teams, and executing innovative events for a vast range of clients. I keep up with the trends through continued education, relationships with industry professionals, and participation in trade associations including Meeting Professionals International, The Convention Industry Council and Professional Convention Management Association. I have an overall passion for planning and enjoy how the logistics of an event drive my mind while the creative aspect feeds my soul.
When I am not checking boxes off my to-do list (my favorite thing to do), I am co-chairing the event 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, spend time with my family and get lost in a great book.
Greg AlmiedaSenior Advisorgreg@globalviewcomm.com
Greg Almieda is Founder and CEO of Global View Communications, an inclusion business strategy firm and long-time partner of The Castle Group.
With more than 20 years of experience in the diversity and inclusion space, Greg helps organizations improve culture and performance by developing, implementing, and enhancing diversity and inclusion initiatives. He and his firm work across the five diversity platforms – enterprise, consumer, workplace/workforce, supplier inclusion and corporate citizenship – to drive solutions and foster engagement, growth, and competitiveness.
Greg has served as a member of several professional and civic organizations and as a board member of the Diversity and Inclusion Professionals of Rhode Island (DAIP), The Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts and The Greater Boston Employer Advisory Board to the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. He currently serves as chair of both the Human Resources Leadership Forum (HRLF) and The Providence Foundation diversity committees.
Al MinahanSenior Advisoraminahan@minahansolutions.com
For more than 30 years I have provided counsel and crisis management results to for profit and not-for-profit entities often at the intersection of commercial business interests interacting with federal, state, and local governments throughout New England.
As I learned in our family business, The Minahan Pharmacy, work everyday for your customer; learn their business, interests, and concerns; admit to mistakes; and always provide solutions and success.
Before I became a capitalist, I served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (the Jesuit version of the Peace Corps), and the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
Today I serve on the boards of the Massachusetts Association of Mental Health, HealthView Services and chair the Advisory Board at The Base, Roxbury, MA.
My wife Joanne and I have three children living in California and Connecticut and a healthy and beautiful grandson, Jack Minahan.
In my spare time, I love to ski and hike and have twice run the Boston Marathon. I like to think I have one more in me….
Lizzy GuytonSenior Advisorlizzy@southandhill.com
Lizzy Guyton is a veteran communications strategist with more than a decade of experience in high-stakes issues at the state and national level.
Before founding South & Hill Strategies, Ms. Guyton served as Communications Director to Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. As an original member of the Administration’s senior staff, she crafted and oversaw public messaging, including several high-profile crises and historic challenges.
Most recently, Ms. Guyton spearheaded the communications strategy for Massachusetts’ COVID-19 statewide response. Her dynamic skill set has been honed in the fast-paced and demanding environment of the Executive Office– where she is constantly at the epicenter of balancing government, politics and private sector challenges.
Prior to joining the Baker-Polito Administration, Ms. Guyton worked on Capitol Hill and ran communications for high profile senate and congressional campaigns in New England and the Midwest.
In 2014, she spearheaded communications for Scott Brown’s New Hampshire Senate campaign. In 2012, Ms. Guyton oversaw communications to flip the seat in a razor-thin Congressional campaign victory for Rep. Jackie Walorski from Northern Indiana. Ms. Guyton first stepped on to the political scene working for Senator Kelly Ayotte in New Hampshire.
Ms. Guyton graduated from Union College in Schenectady, NY and currently resides in Boston.
Emily PickeringVice President, Public Relationsepickering@thecastlegrp.com
My career in PR has allowed me to craft and tell some of the most amazing brand stories. But it goes beyond just sharing a message; public relations is about engaging your audience, sparking conversation, and building meaningful relationships. It is those connections that bring change, drive the needle and ignite action – whether it be a large community movement or a simple purchase of a product.
This is the strategic mindset that I bring to my work. I’m always looking at the bigger picture, tapping into trends to find the next big idea, and fostering connections between media, clients, and industry leaders. I thrive in a fast-paced environment. As an avid marathon runner and triathlete, I bring that competitive and thoughtful energy to all my work.
Prior to joining The Castle Group, I spent my career in agencies throughout Boston. I bring nearly a decade of experience developing and implementing all aspects of public relations and communications campaigns. I have a deep understanding of media relations and have worked with a vast range of industries including non-profit, consumer, healthcare/life sciences, hospitality, and business.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, I graduated from Merrimack College and currently live in Quincy, MA with my husband and furry friend, Brady. (Yes, he’s named after the G.O.A.T before he left us for Tampa Bay.) When not at work, you can catch me running, hiking in the woods with my dog, or watching the Food Network – Guy Fieri is basically my role model.
David TanklefskySenior Account Director,
The world is full of limitless stories. My passion, throughout my career in news media and now public relations, is uncovering and sharing them. Over the course of my career, I have occasionally heard newsroom colleagues say, “There’s just not a lot going on out there today.” I have the opposite problem: there are too many good stories out there and not enough time to tell them all.
Clear writing is the foundational element to telling these stories. I love grappling with language, collaborating with others, and finding just the right words to clearly convey a message. Effective communication is a central tenet of any strong relationship, whether between individuals or an organization and those it serves.
Prior to joining Castle, I worked as a special projects producer at 7News/WHDH-TV in Boston. The job took me from the locker rooms at Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park, to the marble corridors of the State House, and even to the 2018 Royal Wedding, where I served as field producer for all of the station’s live coverage from the United Kingdom. I also produced scores of investigative stories and received an Emmy nomination for the consumer segment, “Solve It 7,” which helped viewers receive more than $170,000 from companies and organizations that owed them money.
Earlier in my career, I worked as a reporter, anchor, and producer for WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station, as well as iHeart Media’s Total Traffic and Weather Networks. As a freelance journalist and writer, I have contributed pieces to VICE Sports, NPR, TV Guide, Broadcasting & Cable, and Multichannel News.
In my free time, I love to play guitar, write music and perform live. I’m also an avid reader of everything, but especially non-fiction and biographies. I live in Boston’s South End with my wife, Meaghan.
Taylor Connolly Senior Director, Public Affairs/PRtconnolly@thecastlegrp.com
“What is public affairs?” To me, it’s simple: public affairs is how a business or organization communicates effectively with its most important stakeholders. This can range from partnership development and community engagement, to issues management and communication planning. It’s a big umbrella of activities that requires collaboration, innovation, and strategy, and it’s where I thrive.
For over a decade, I have operated at the intersection of public policy and the private sector. I started my career at a Boston public affairs firm where I established a strong foundation in public relations and government relations best practices. From there I jumped into city government to learn both sides of the business, and developed the ability to thrive in evolving environments with competing priorities, diverse stakeholders, and complex deliverables. Here at Castle, I’m passionate about bringing my deep experience in public policy development, stakeholder and community engagement, and strategic communications to our clients.
Although I have departed the public sector, I am still politically and civically engaged, and most recently served as communications director for a candidate for Mayor of Boston. Prior to that role, I was the first to lead communications efforts for Boston’s newly established economic development cabinet, and also served as director of communications and community engagement for the city’s environment department. During my time in public service, I led community engagement and communications campaigns around municipal aggregation and climate action policies, economic development and business attraction, and workforce development and equity initiatives.
I am a graduate of Union College and live in Boston. When I’m not working, you can find me running along the Harbor Walk, escaping for a beach day down the South Shore, or cheering on the Boston Bruins.
Callie Cleary, CMPEvent Directorccleary@thecastlegrp.com
Event planning has been a life-long passion for me, and I knew from a young age I wanted to pursue a career in events. I began volunteering and interning at events in my teens and over the past 15+ years have grown my experience at Castle creating events from corporate meetings and conferences to incentives, fundraisers, and galas in destinations all over the world from at home in Boston to Monte Carlo, Monaco and Maui, Hawaii.
From this experience, I understand what it takes to plan and execute a successful event for our clients — a creative, hard-working team with a passion and love for event planning – and that’s just what we have! As an Event Director at Castle, I manage project teams, client accounts and varying aspects of the event planning process. I love being involved from start to finish so I can experience a client’s vision coming to life. I enjoy guiding our project teams through the planning process – working collaboratively together to deliver the best possible service and event results for our clients. And in turn, seeing our clients happy is one of the most gratifying aspects of my job.
I am a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) and enjoy keeping up with industry trends and expanding my knowledge by participating in networking events and educational opportunities from varying hotel groups and industry organizations. When I’m not planning events – for Castle or for fun – I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, trying new restaurants, baking delicious treats, and traveling the world.
Deanna LeBlancSenior Account Director,
I believe that everyone has a story worth sharing, but not everyone knows how to tell their own story. That’s where I come in. For nearly a decade as a television journalist, I met people from all walks of life who had stories to tell. My job was to find them, and then craft their messages into something that made a viewer listen closely, or a reader hit ‘share.’
When I got a call from a general store owner on Virginia’s eastern shore about a non-English speaking family who believed their chihuahua was stolen off their front porch by a volunteer group – I thought about dismissing it. It seemed like a small problem in an even smaller town. But, when told the right way, with compelling video, emotional interviews, and snappy writing – the story led to global petitions and eventually state leaders changed laws about dog euthanasia.
The point is: how you tell your story matters. And I am here to help.
When my children were born, I transitioned out of my television career and I took my storytelling skills to law enforcement. I served as the Communications Director for the Norfolk, Virginia Sheriff’s Office for three years. There, I worked extensively on external and crisis communication, thought leadership, and relationship building within our community. I did that largely by again, telling a story. Sharing the people behind the organization, the ‘who’ and the ‘why’ to build public trust and reputational equity.
When I am not at work, I am happily chasing my two toddlers and my golden retriever, Murphy. I am also a proud military spouse. My husband served for ten years as a naval officer and US Navy SEAL. If I’m not at work or at home – you can find me at a Crossfit gym.
Emily LangloisSenior Event 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. Most recently, it has been exciting to think outside the box and bring attendees together online in creative ways. 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 my neighborhood in Boston, and spending the summer months down the Cape surrounded by family and friends.
Jen MartinSenior Event Managerjmartin@thecastlegrp.com
The first event I ever planned was my little brother’s Bar Mitzvah Party alongside my mother. I had so much fun putting the party together it didn’t occur to me that it was something I could do for a living until almost eight years later at college graduation. I live for organization, creative solutions and solving any wild problem thrown my way. The best part of planning events is that no two are ever the same, there is always a new challenge, and it is such a thrill to take that challenge on.
Throughout my career, I have planned everything from weddings and funerals to large galas and fundraisers to international VIP trips and corporate conferences. The variety of events is what fuels my creative energy but working with such an incredible team at Castle is what truly keeps me going.
Outside of work, I also love planning. Whether it is my son’s birthday party, a weekend hike with our dog, or an international vacation with friends and family — I truly enjoy being on the go and bringing people (and dogs) together. I enjoy spending my downtime cooking, playing strategic board games or curled up at home with a good book to decompress after all the adventure.
Paige LaliberteSenior Event Managerplaliberte@thecastlegrp.com
Growing up, I knew I wanted to find a career where I could travel the world, utilize my organizational abilities, and work as a member of a tight-knit team. When I accepted Castle’s event internship the summer before my senior year at Bentley University, I knew I had found the perfect spot for myself.
Shortly after my internship ended, I joined the team full time. Ever since then, I have helped plan all kinds of events across the globe. From conferences to incentive programs and meetings to holiday parties, I enjoy working on all aspects of events and continuously learn from Castle’s team of experts. While our industry is always changing and virtual events have taken over for the time being, I’m looking forward to the return of in-person events and corporate travel with hybrid on the horizon. We’ve planned some pretty stellar virtual events — but nothing can replace in-person connection!
When I’m not planning events, I love spending time with friends and family. I’m always looking forward to my next chance to travel and searching for the best queso!
Maria RyanSenior Manager, Creative Services & Marketingmryan@thecastlegrp.com
How we say what we say, matters. In my current role as Senior Manager, Creative Services & Marketing, I focus on creative problem-solving, strategy, and design for Castle and clients across our divisions. I enjoy helping clients build or amplify their brands. From printed collateral and website design to social media and marketing campaigns, I am passionate about visual communications.
I started my tenure at Castle in 2013 on the events side of the agency. During my time as a Senior Events Manager, I had the opportunity to execute incentive programs and special events around the world, from Aruba to Argentina. I find joy in creating a program look and feel that captures a destination and will excite and inspire guests.
Outside of the office you might find me tracking down the newest ice cream shop or taking a day trip to hike or hit the beach — enjoying all the tasty and beautiful things the East Coast has to offer!
Alex ForeroSenior Account Supervisor,
My career has shown me that PR is all about deliberate and strategic relationship building. Clients are positioned to tell more meaningful stories and become expert voices in their industries as a result of strong relationships with the media. Companies retain greater control of their brand story and see a higher ROI by maintaining customer relationships through actions anchored in transparency and trust. Organizations become mainstays by investing in relationships with and initiatives led by their local, regional, national, and global communities.
Early in my career I learned that building relationships and storytelling on behalf of my clients thrills me, as I represented brands in the consumer, lifestyle, hospitality, and nonprofit industries. In these spaces, I also learned the importance of being a barometer for clients by keeping one ear to the ground for industry and media trends. The emergence of corporate social responsibility and a shift in consumer expectation that companies articulate their values, taught me I had a passion for furthering the impact and success of values-based companies and nonprofit organizations.
I went on to build a career in higher education, where I helped a top 50 university redefine and revitalize its approach to PR. By forging and strengthening relationships with local, regional, and national news organizations on behalf of the university I was able to help the university navigate leadership changes; responses to social, political, and cultural issues; and other crises. Later, I would help create, launch, maintain, and publicize strategic partnerships with the American Heart Association, Anschutz Entertainment Group, the GRAMMY Museum, and STAPLES Center.
An Angeleno by birth, I am a Bostonian at heart. I fell head over heels for the city while earning my degree in communication from Boston University. I also made good use of my eight-year layover on the West Coast and earned an MBA from Pepperdine University. Now that I’m back in Boston you’ll find me rediscovering New England; enjoying the latest plays, musicals, and concerts; and tracking down the best shakshuka in every neighborhood.
Kristen DaudelinAccount Supervisor, Public Relationskdaudelin@thecastlegrp.com
I am a strong believer that in every problem there is an opportunity. Regardless of the issue or crisis at hand, I am ready to jump into action to navigate a complex situation to find not only a solution but the opportunity.
That’s why I am excited to be working on The Castle Group’s PR team. Working in Public Relations has given me the opportunity to be a strategic problem solver focused on creating meaningful change. I believe in being prepared. To me, it is important to stay ahead of trends and predict issues before they happen. That’s why I am always reading, listening, learning and communicating.
Massachusetts is full of local changemakers and an exciting place to be. I grew up on the South Shore, went to school in western Massachusetts (go UMass!), and now live and work in the city of Boston. I have seen many different facets of the Commonwealth’s culture and politics.
Before Castle, I worked on a variety of crisis and reputation management assignments for high profile individuals and corporations. I am most proud of the work I did during the 2020 Presidential Election advocating for a safe and secure election for all Pennsylvanians.
I graduated from The Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a degree in marketing and hold a Master of Science in Public Relations from Boston University.
When I am not at my desk, you can find me gardening in my community garden plot or strolling the city (until I can safely travel the world again)!
Laura RuizAccount Supervisor, Public Relationslruiz@thecastlegrp.com
For most of my life I have been captivated by storytelling: how to communicate complex issues to a wide audience, which, in my career, serves as the foundation for brand and reputation. This critical, foundational work allows us to effectively tell our clients’ stories.
I recently moved back to the US after spending 5 years in Colombia. There, I worked for different companies developing communication strategies, helping them evaluate their economic, environmental and social impacts, and contributing to the design and execution of their public relations, reputational crisis management, and social responsibility and sustainability agenda.
At The Castle Group, I’m excited to collaborate with a well-rounded team that is just as eager as I am to dive into any situation and find solutions, as well as opportunities, to build up a client’s reputation and brand.
Outside of the office you will most likely find me catching the next flight to a new adventure – I love traveling. I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to many countries where I have learned about different cultures and tried delicious food. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends.
Justin AugusteAccount Executive, Public Relationsjauguste@thecastlegrp.com
I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts and recently graduated cum laude from Assumption College in Worcester. I obtained a bachelor’s degree in Business Management with a double minor in Accounting and Sports Management. While at school I held internships in the field of public relations and marketing, resulting in a growing interest in this field of work.
In the fall of 2020, I was presented with a fellowship opportunity with The Castle Group. Through this fellowship, I continued to expand my interest in Public Relations and everything that comes with it. I am eager to apply my current skills to the team, as well as gain new knowledge from my teammates. No two days at Castle are the same and this is something I have come to appreciate.
I really enjoy spending time with family and friends. Outside of the office, I am an avid baseball lover. I also enjoy exercising, traveling, playing video games and trying out different types of food.
Kyra CharieAssistant Event Managerkcharie@thecastlegrp.com
I feel lucky to have experienced a wide range of events over the past few years. Although I was unsure whether this path would take me around the globe planning multi-day corporate conferences, or closer to home planning weddings and other small private events, I have always known that I wanted to pursue a career in events.
The reason that I was sure I wanted to be a part of this industry was due to the variety of ways events allow you to bring meaning to a person’s life. Event goals vary, but whether the event is raising funds for a worthy cause, honoring someone for their dedication to their job, or celebrating a major milestone, the pride I feel as an event wraps up is always comparable. I love seeing the team’s hard work come to fruition, despite any challenges thrown our way. The attention to detail, organization, and time that goes into executing an event are more than worth it in the end.
The event industry is ever growing and changing, and I am beyond excited to be a part of this journey at The Castle Group. Outside of my role as an Assistant Event Manager, I can be found relaxing at the beach, visiting my family’s lake house, or spending time with family and friends.
Emma BraunAssistant Account Executive,
Born and raised in Atlanta, GA, I’ve had an interesting journey to lead me to The Castle Group. Even after obtaining a degree in graphic design, I always knew I wanted to try out a career in public relations. I started as a PR intern at a luxury skincare company before transitioning to a full-time role within a mid-sized agency in NYC. Only a few months later I found myself thrust into an entirely new industry – the film industry – where I worked on movie sets until finding my way to Boston and to Castle.
I’ve always loved the way PR allows me to connect with others and was especially drawn to Castle for its involvement with local and regional nonprofits. I see myself as a bridge between someone with an amazing product, service, or message and the rest of the world.
Outside of work, I would consider myself a bit of a movie buff, and I have a feeling all my friends would agree with me. When I’m not buried in the newest HBO series, you can find me reading mystery novels about academia (any The Secret History fans?), going for long walks around Southie or buying overpriced iced lattes with my roommate.
Kenna McCaffertyAssistant Account Executive,
Having moved from New Jersey to Vienna, Austria at age four, I learned the importance of communication and adaptability from a young age. My parents love to tell the story of the first time I heard someone speaking English and exclaimed, “There’s a cowboy outside and he’s speaking REAL!” I have since picked up a few languages (German and Spanish), but my enthusiasm and curiosity for communication has not waned, as I’ve seen the role it plays in making real change.
I’ve explored communication from a variety of perspectives, having worked as a public image intern at the UN in Vienna, a digital news intern at WBZ-TV here in Boston, and as an English aid with 826 Boston in Dorchester’s Jeremiah E. Burke high school. I am a writer, reader (and talker!) at heart. Some of my favorite authors include Toni Morrison, Jorge Luis Borges, and Yukio Mishima, and I’ll gladly talk your ear off about any of them! At school, I served as Editor-in-Chief of a literary magazine, cast member and manager of a female-run comedy troupe, Emerson Lion’s basketball team walk-on and program assistant to the Greater Boston Area non-profit Youth LEAD. In my free time, I enjoy exercising, teaching myself graphic design, and making way too many playlists. I bring a positive outlook and quick wit to all my endeavors and love the scrappy attitude of Castle co-workers and clients.
I joined The Castle Group in January 2020 as a contracted Events Coordinator, following my graduation from Emerson College. I have learned so much in my time with Castle and have broadened my skill set to include virtual event management. I was thrilled to join the fast-paced and closely-knit environment and am excited to continue my journey with Castle in the Assistant Account Executive role.
Nate HillyerAssistant Account Executive,
I recently graduated magna cum laude from Emmanuel College with a double major in Marketing and Communications and a minor in PR & Marketing via Simmons University. My internships, ranging from a local lifestyle magazine to a small, woman-owned marketing consultancy, fueled my passion and understanding of communication from different angles.
I’ve known for the past few years that I wanted to end up working with a PR firm, and I’m beyond grateful to have found The Castle Group. The chance to work with such varied clients across industries is exactly what I strive for. I’m thrilled to join Castle’s Public Relations team and bring my love for media relations, content strategy, and marketing communications to the firm and its clients.
When I’m not in the office, you can probably catch me tweeting or exploring a new cafe in the area. I’m always on the hunt for new parks to sunbathe and sip some matcha in!
Neeve PrendergastAssistant Account Executive,
While it may have contributed to my premature gray hair, I have always thrived off the pressure of high-stakes situations. Whether it be at the service line of a tied volleyball game or working a packed dining room at a local restaurant, I have learned to remain calm under pressure while thinking quickly and rationally on my feet.
My family and friends always joke that I have a plan A-Z for every situation. This proactivity and planning have prepared me well for a career in crisis management. After all, it is always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared, especially when it comes to meeting the needs of clients.
As an alum of Syracuse University, it feels great to still bleed orange at The Castle Group. A South Shore native, I am excited to return home to Massachusetts to start my career. When I am not coming up with endless “what if” scenarios, you can either find me at the beach or the airport to catch some rays or a flight to a new adventure. Can’t wait to keep checking sights off my bucket list!
Grace RichardsonAccount Coordinator,
I’m a people person who thrives on strategic and creative thinking. I like to view every roadblock as inspiration to be innovative rather than a challenge and use it as motivation when taking on any obstacle. While I didn’t take the traditional path towards a career in PR, my degree in Writing and Rhetoric from Syracuse University has offered me a unique perspective into the presentation and representation of clients.
I’m thrilled to have joined The Castle Group team and look forward to embracing the collaborative spirit of the office as I share my passion for PR with the company and our clients.
When I’m not at work you can find me cooking up a storm in my kitchen, binge-watching Netflix series, or doing a lap in the pool!
Liz PearsonSocial Media Coordinatorlpearson@thecastlegrp.com
I have always loved social media and creating content, so I thought why not make a career out of it? Sharing parts of my life and connecting with others is what I love most. After graduating from Southern New Hampshire University, I began working for a mental health podcast based out of Pennsylvania. I am a mental health advocate, so this was a great role for me.
Finding Castle was the perfect opportunity for me after moving back home to Weymouth, MA. The company culture, collaborative environment, and ability to be creative is what I wanted! Working in the world of social media keeps me on my toes. Staying on top of trends and being able to problem solve is important. There is always something new happening online!
Alicia MorrelDirector, HR & Operationsamorrel@thecastlegrp.com
At heart, more than anything, I am a people person. I’m passionate about creating a culture that encourages collaboration, boosts morale, promotes DE&I, and reinforces an organization’s mission and core values. As the Operations Manager 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 cross-agency administrative and operational support, help manage the full employee life-cycle, support the agency’s marketing and new business efforts, and more.
Outside of work, you will find me binge-watching Netflix series and enjoying the occasional Thursday night bar trivia. More often than not, however, you’ll find me spending time with family and friends.