Trees and buildings in the Charlestown Navy Yard

Sandy Lish

The Castle Group, Principal/Founder, Sandy Lish

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.