Leadership


Stephanie Clarke
VP, Phoenix

@ssclarke

Stephanie (almost singlehandedly) founded our Arizona office in 2015, increasing media impressions for our first client, Fox Restaurant Concepts, by 650 percent the first year. She has also supervised clients including the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program, Luminance Recovery, One Young World, Revelator Coffee, and Sauce Pizza & Wine. In addition to media and influencer relations, she undertakes dozens of openings and launches for clients each year and provides creative and strategic thinking. Under Stephanie’s leadership, Havas PR was named the No. 1 big PR agency in Phoenix by Arizona Foothills magazine, and her campaign for Risas Dental and Braces was shortlisted in the PRWeek awards. In her first year at Havas PR, Stephanie was named to PR News’ Rising PR Stars 30 & Under and was named a PR Champion by the Council of PR Firms. Stephanie sits on the St. Vincent de Paul Advisory Board in Phoenix, lending her PR and marketing expertise to the organization.


Linda Descano
EVP

@lindadescano

Linda joined Havas PR in 2015 to spearhead the agency’s digital, social and measurement practice areas. With more than 15 years of experience, she specializes in providing strategic counsel and tactical implementation of integrated communications programs, incorporating PR, media relations, social media, content partnerships, influencer marketing, thought leadership and advertising. Her work includes a variety of sectors including financial services, economic development, pharma and corporate responsibility. Previously, Linda was managing director and global head of content marketing and social media at Citi, where she launched numerous digital firsts and served as president and CEO of Women & Co., the bank’s award-winning financial lifestyle community for women. A 2013 Changing the Game Award winner from Advertising Women of New York, Linda is a past president and current board member of New York Women in Communications. She also serves as an adviser to Servo Annex and Temple University’s Fox School of Business on its master’s in digital innovation in marketing. Linda holds a bachelor’s from Temple University and completed graduate work in geophysics at Texas A&M University.


Stacey Gandler
EVP, Healthcare, New York

Stacey rejoined Havas PR in November 2017 as executive vice president of healthcare PR. She partners with our clients to build and manage brand, franchise and corporate marketing campaigns that generate credibility and coverage among target stakeholders. She provides oversight and insights on strategy and innovation, assessing business opportunities with clients and ensuring that PR exceeds client expectations and functions seamlessly within all company and partner agency disciplines. Her successful track record includes global and regional communications programs for patient, advocacy and professional audiences, from pre-market early development stages through product launch, generic competition and beyond. Outside of her 9-to-5, Stacey is a wellness enthusiast, pop culture obsesser and a lover of culinary adventures and all things that inspire creativity. She holds a master’s in healthcare communication from Boston University, where her studies focused on patients’ rights advocacy. She also holds a bachelor’s in English literature and a bachelor’s in political science from the State University of New York at Albany.


Melanie Klausner
SVP, Media Relations, New York

@MKlausner

Melanie joined Havas PR in November 2017 as senior vice president of media relations, providing counsel to corporate and consumer clients. She has more than 15 years’ experience in the lifestyle, food and beverage, and travel and hospitality industries, as well as expertise with corporate reputation, issues management, cause, sustainability and education. Melanie specializes in results-oriented strategies and creative public relations tactics that bring fresh perspectives to client messaging. Before joining Havas PR, Melanie was at Finn Partners and managed New York State’s I LOVE NY Tourism campaign, including the launch of the TASTE NY program. She has secured client coverage in national outlets, including The New York Times, Bloomberg TV, Reuters, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Wine & Spirit, Wine Spectator, Beverage Media, Nation’s Restaurant News and Tasting Panel.


Katie McSorley
President, Mid-Atlantic

@katiemcsorley

Katie’s expertise encompasses positioning and messaging, strategy development, media relations, employee and customer relations, community relations, cause marketing, and crisis and issues management. In her more-than-25-year career, she has worked with Transitions Optical, PPG Industries, Bayer MaterialScience, Emerson Process Management, Heinz, Alcoa, US Steel, Nestlé, Jenny Craig, GNC, Johnson & Johnson, PerkinElmer, Kaldewei, Wexford Health and the Nursing Society. Katie is a Manhattanville College graduate with a bachelor’s in English.


Karina Meckel
EVP, Director of Strategy

@KarinaMeckel

Karina enhances strategic processes agencywide. Her guidance has become essential for most of our projects, from top-level initiatives to new-business pitches, across all sectors. Named to PRWeek’s 40 Under 40 list for her strategy work at Havas PR, Karina joined the company as a junior planner in 2004, then quickly rose to lead planner on the Nestlé Frozen Foods business and planner on Charles Schwab. She drove significant strategic change for Nestlé’s Lean Cuisine in 2007 by moving it from a diet brand to a key player in the wellness space. This shift resulted in Lean Cuisine’s reaching its goal: becoming a billion-dollar brand. More recently, she worked on Coty Inc. when its CEO left in the midst of the company preparing for its IPO. She helped launch Havas PR’s youth marketing think tank and developed unique marketing research approaches to gain an in-depth knowledge of the youth target for brands such as Clearasil and Pepsi. Karina is a graduate of Brown University.


Marian Salzman
CEO

@mariansalzman

Named one of the world’s top five trendspotters (bringing “metrosexual”—the 2003 Word of the Year by the American Dialect Society—to the world), Marian is one of the most-awarded female public relations executives in North America, currently listed in PRWeek’s Global Power Book and a PR News Top Woman in PR, as well as an honoree of the 2017 PRWeek Hall of Femme. Before heading Havas PR (ranked in the top 12 in the world) and the Global Collective, Marian was the CMO at Porter Novelli, the CMO at JWT Worldwide and the CSO at Euro RSCG Worldwide. She was also an entrepreneur who launched American Dialogue focus groups in cyberspace back in the early 1990s, when the online world was for geeks and oddballs, ultimately selling the company to Yankelovich a few years later. Since Marian took over at @havasprus in late 2009, the agency has become one of the most awarded of its size. She has executed award-winning thought leadership, reputation management and social media programs, and she gives lectures around the world on topics from health trends to branding to generational differences and more. Author or coauthor of many books, her latest (written with the Havas PR team) is now available: Agile PR: Expert Messaging in a Hyper-Connected, Always-On World. Marian is an honors graduate of Brown University.


Lesley Silliman

Lesley Sillaman
SVP, Global

@lesleysillaman

Lesley joined Havas PR in 2006, and since then has been immersed as strategist, content and speech writer, media relations specialist and trainer. She manages the Havas PR Global Collective, coordinating its cross-border work with Havas teams around the world, including on the Kellogg’s snacks and cereals business in EMEA. For Transitions Optical, Lesley launched the Transitions Adaptive Sunwear brand, and has introduced various new products with global brand names like Oakley, Nike, Callaway, Bell and Shoei. She has also been the executive speechwriter for the company’s annual flagship partner education event, Transitions Academy. For Sodexo, Lesley led the planning, messaging strategy and media outreach for the company’s first “Quality of Life” Conference, an international symposium in New York. And for 10 years, she has led all media, content development and partnership initiatives for International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association. Lesley received her bachelor’s from the University of Dayton and her master’s from the Annenberg School for Communications.


Jody Sunna
EVP, New York

@jsunna

Jody has more than a dozen years of experience leading accounts for retail, consumer and lifestyle brands, including B&G Foods (snack portfolio), Big Lots, Intarcia, Primark and True Citrus. She earned a spot on PRWeek’s prestigious 40 Under 40 2016, was PR News’ Agency PR Professional of the Year in 2013 and has led strategic and tactical efforts for numerous award-winning programs, including a campaign for Sears Heroes at Home that won a Silver Clio and a Global 50 SABRE for best retail campaign in the world. With a special expertise in what’s now and next in the food world (as exemplified in our press event and white paper release in fall 2015 focusing on food trends), Jody has managed consumer programs for Cabot Creameries, Fox Restaurant Concepts, Au Bon Pain, Midas Drive Out Hunger and Ford Motor Co.’s Warriors in Pink; retail campaigns for Sears Holdings, Big Lots and Primark; and social media and digital campaigns and product launches for companies including Au Bon Pain, B&G Foods, GODIVA, Pernod Ricard’s ODDKA Vodka and vitaminwater. Jody is a graduate of Purdue University.