FleishmanHillard Announces New Military and Veterans Affairs Group

June 12, 2013


ST. LOUIS, June 13, 2013 — FleishmanHillard (FH), a global public relations and integrated marketing communications firm, has announced the formation of the military and veterans affairs group. Based in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office, the group was formed in response to increasing demands from both government and private organizations struggling to create successful outreach programs to address many of the issues affecting our nation’s military members and their families after more than 11 years of sustained conflict.

Counselors in the group have worked with the federal government, nonprofit and corporate organizations to design and implement programs to support and educate veterans, military members and military families on a variety of topics. Members of the group are also veterans, military dependents, military family members, former military civilian employees and overall supporters of those who serve. They have served on site at the Pentagon, Department of Veterans Affairs and a variety of military installations, and are intimately familiar with the complex network of programs and organizations providing support for this important group of Americans. The group works with clients in areas such as public affairs, external outreach, community relations, consumer education, veterans affairs, military health, social media and crisis communications.

“As a firm founded by a retired Army Air Corps public information officer and a Navy lieutenant more than 65 years ago, FleishmanHillard has a long, storied connection to our nation’s military institutions and our veterans,” said Martha Boudreau, president of FleishmanHillard’s Mid-Atlantic and Latin America regions. “Our work with the military and on behalf of the military, particularly over the past 12 years, has given us the insight to counsel the military and the many organizations who would like to support them.”

In May, the firm announced that former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta was joining FleishmanHillard’s International Advisory Board (IAB), which currently includes national defense experts Adm. Vernon Clark, USN (Ret.) and Gen. Barry McCaffrey, USA (Ret.). Unlike many other industry boards, the IAB provides direct-to-client counsel on a wide range of disciplines, industries and audiences.

For more than 20 years, the firm has participated in the U.S. Army’s Training With Industry program, which provides competitively selected officers, warrant officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs) with the opportunity to embed for a year in corporate America. The program, which first began in the Washington, D.C., office in 1991, has hosted more than 50 Army fellows in FleishmanHillard’s Atlanta, New York, Raleigh and Washington offices.

Telling the Military Story
With decades of experience working with clients such as the Department of Defense and its service branches, TRICARE, the Federal Trade Commission, the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies and other nonprofits, federal agencies and corporations with programs to support military families, FH is uniquely positioned on both the corporate and government sides to bring important information and resources to the service member.

As the nation becomes more distanced overall from its military population, the group also has been called upon to assist military and veterans groups with maintaining their connection and relevance to the American public. Members of the firm’s new military and veterans affairs group have developed and supported smart, effective programs designed to reach these important, but often difficult to reach, audiences.

The group, led by a team of seasoned military life and veterans affairs counselors, includes:

Erin Hazard, Senior Vice President and Partner, Lead of the Military and Veterans Affairs Group
A former military spouse and lead of the military and veterans affairs group, Hazard oversees a team of 20 counselors supporting clients such as the Department of Defense, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Wounded Warrior Project, Operation Military Child Care, USAA and many others, specializing in community relations and outreach, media relations, military family, and crisis communications. Her teams also work with a variety of corporate organizations and nonprofits, conducting corporate social responsibility and support programs for our nation’s veterans.

Stephen Naru, Senior Vice President and Senior Partner, Senior Adviser
A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and senior media counselor out of FleishmanHillard’s New York office, Naru serves as a senior adviser to the group, bringing more than 25 years of experience in the public relations and integrated marketing communications disciplines.

Social Media/Crisis

Brandon Friedman, Vice President
Friedman joined FleishmanHillard in 2012 from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where he launched and managed the first office of online communications inside America’s second-largest federal agency. As an experienced manager of social media and crisis communications, Brandon oversaw execution of a digital strategy for a department with over 300,000 employees servicing 8 million enrolled veterans. He is a veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, and his memoir, The War I Always Wanted, was named by The Military Times in 2010 as one of “The Best Military Books of the Decade.” Brandon is a frequent media commentator on veterans issues and a regular contributor to TIME.

Lauren Bailey, Managing Supervisor
Bailey joined FleishmanHillard after serving as the deputy director of online communications at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. While at VA, she implemented a digital strategy aimed at reaching veterans online with the right information at the right time. She is the spouse of an active duty Army officer.

Community Relations/Public Affairs

Tracy Pannozzo, Senior Vice President
Pannozzo brings a wide variety of expertise in community relations, media relations, military health and military life to the military and veterans affairs team, supporting clients such as the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps and Wounded Warrior Project. Pannozzo worked on site at the Pentagon as a contractor to the U.S. Marine Corps and was part of the team that planned the inaugural Marine Week in 2009.

Jeanette Casselano, Senior Vice President
Casselano specializes in community outreach, media relations and event planning within military public affairs. Casselano has played a crucial role in providing on-site support and counsel at the Pentagon for more than three years.

Kassidie Blackstock, Vice President
Blackstock is experienced in community relations and outreach, media relations, military health, crisis communications and military life, having provided on-site support at the Pentagon, planning recognition events and building partnerships with veterans organizations, including the USO.

Behavioral Change

Peter Klaus, Senior Vice President and Partner
With a background in i-media and youth, social, and cause marketing, Klaus is an integral part to the digital and the military and veterans affairs teams. His efforts have been recognized with a Webby Award and PRWeek Award for groundbreaking work on an award-winning military anti-binge drinking campaign.

Susie Schoenberger, Vice President
Specializing in community outreach, media relations and behavioral change programs within the military, Schoenberger played a crucial role in providing on-site support and counsel at the Pentagon for more than three years.

Financial Education

Dave Pacholczyk, Senior Vice President and Partner
As lead on the firm’s work for USAA out of FleishmanHillard’s Dallas office, Pacholczyk has significant experience with one of the nation’s most powerful, veteran-run associations. His work both on behalf of the brand and its consumer education programs have sought to increase the financial knowledge of every service member and their families.

Kristy Wilson, Senior Vice President
A key member of the USAA team, Wilson directs the national consumer media program for FH’s work for USAA. Through her work, Wilson has supported numerous consumer financial education efforts serving our nation’s military families.


Patricia Lomax, Senior Vice President and Partner
Lomax brings more than 20 years of government contracting experience to FleishmanHillard and currently oversees the government contracts efforts for the entire firm, as well as several FH-owned companies. Before entering the private sector, Lomax spent nine years in the federal government as a government contracting official for the Department of Defense.

About FleishmanHillard

FleishmanHillard is the world’s most complete global communications firm, specializing in public relations, public affairs, marketing, paid media, and transmedia and social content. FleishmanHillard delivers on The Power of True, reflecting the firm’s high values, and unique ability to guide clients through a world demanding unprecedented authenticity and transparency.  FleishmanHillard was named “Standout Agency” on Advertising Age’s 2013 A-List; NAFE’s “Top 50 Companies for Executive Women” for 2010-2013; Advertising Age’s 2012 “Best Places to Work”; and The Holmes Report’s 2012 Global “Public Affairs Agency of the Year.” The firm’s award-winning work is widely heralded, including at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity. FleishmanHillard is part of Diversified Agency Services, a division of Omnicom Group Inc., and has more than 80 offices in 29 countries, plus affiliates in 42 countries. Visit us at www.fleishmanhillard.com.

About Diversified Agency Services

Diversified Agency Services (DAS), a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com), manages Omnicom’s holdings in a variety of marketing communications disciplines. DAS includes over 200 companies, which operate through a combination of networks and regional organizations, serving international and local clients through more than 700 offices in 71 countries.