Geri Denterlein’s life work has been at the intersection of business, government and journalism. As the CEO and founder of the strategic communications firm Denterlein, Geri is a trusted advisor to some of the region’s most respected brands. She leverages her 30-year career in journalism and public affairs to help corporate and nonprofit organizations promote and protect their reputations.
Prior to serving as a consultant, Geri was editorial director at WBZ television, where she was responsible for the station’s government outreach, as well as on-air political analysis. Geri also has government experience, including terms as communications director for the Departments of Mental Health and as an associate press secretary for former Governor Michael S. Dukakis.
In board rooms, the political arena and the local community, Geri is known as a champion for women. As an active volunteer leader for several of Boston’s nonprofit organizations, including MassINC, A Better City, Bostons Chamber of Commerce and the American Red Cross, Geri advocates for civic and philanthropic engagement and civil discourse.
Geri was appointed to the Bridgewater State University Board of Trustees by Governor Charlie Baker and to the board of the Boston Main Streets Foundation by Mayor Marty Walsh.
Geri is a popular commentator on leadership. Her book The Power Chick’s Guide to Boston is considered by many to be the seminal resource for young professionals finding their voice in the city’s business and civic community. She recently launched a second eBook, The Power Chicks' Guide to Influence in the Digital Age.
Geri recently received the Abigail Adams Award from the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus for her outstanding leadership in achieving parity for women. She was inducted into the Academy of Women Achievers by YW Boston and received the Hall of Fame Award from Boston Women's Business. Geri has also received the Pinnacle Award for Achievement in For-profit management from the Boston Chamber of Commerce and a Workplace Innovations Award from Bentley University.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She also holds a certificate in leadership from the Executive Education Program at the Harvard Kennedy School and is a faculty member of Harvard's Executive and Continuing Professional Education Program.
For more than 15 years, Diana has stewarded the growth and expansion of Denterlein, establishing the firm as a trusted communications partner to business and nonprofit leaders seeking to improve operations, relationships or reputation.
As president, Diana provides strategic oversight to many client accounts and continues to provide high-level communications guidance to C-suite leaders. She has been instrumental in many of the events that have shaped the region. From managing Big Dig fall-out to the transformation of Fenway into a destination neighborhood, Diana is a trusted advisor to the most recognized companies and nonprofits in New England. Her counsel has established the reputation of new company leaders, retained and acquired customers, improved employee relations, launched new products and services and built an organization’s public brand in a way that is unique and valued.
Diana serves as a business partner to clients, supporting corporate goals through creative approaches that target clients and referral sources. In healthcare in particular, she advises executives as they navigate challenging trends and policy issues. As a result, Harvard-affiliated institutions and others have raised national visibility and market share, weathered mergers and acquisitions and transformed staff and faculty into important ambassadors. Diana works at the highest levels, often with CEOs and trustees, to communicate around sensitive events, such as leadership transitions and litigation.
While Diana’s expertise crosses many industries, she is best known for her crisis communications experience. From cyber security breaches to regulatory investigations, Diana helps senior leaders balance transparency and accountability to protect the organization’s reputation. Deeply familiar with even the most complex of circumstances, Diana formulates strategies that balance the diverse needs of stakeholders. A regular speaker and writer on crisis communications, Diana leads workshops and spokesperson trainings for companies and non-profits of all sizes.
Diana joined Denterlein soon after its launch in 2002, most recently serving as executive vice president. Together, she and Geri Denterlein grew the firm substantially, more than tripling the agency’s size and significantly expanding its client base. In her current role, Diana oversees all operations, as well as the strategic direction and growth of the firm. She provides mentorship and professional development support, with a focus on expanding the senior team and developing the firm’s key practice areas.
A long-time supporter of charitable organizations, Diana serves on the board of the Boston Preservation Alliance and Rosie’s Place. For her leadership achievements, Diana received the Emerging Executive Pinnacle Award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
Peter J. Howe, a former award winning reporter and editor, draws on 30 years of deep experience in broadcast and print journalism to provide high-level counsel on media relations strategy, content creation, crisis communications and thought leadership campaigns. Peter offers insider's advice on messaging and storytelling that moves public conversations and drives results. He also provides one-on-one media training and coaching for clients preparing for broadcast and newspaper interviews, speeches and presentations. On all campaigns, Peter delivers measurable, effective strategies that achieve client goals.
While Peter's expertise cuts across all industries, his career has focused at the intersection of business and government policy, making the complex comprehensible for policymakers and the public: energy, transportation, construction, finance, and mega projects like Boston’s Big Dig, Harbor cleanup and the transformation of Logan International Airport. His 22-year career with the Boston Globe included seven years as a Massachusetts State House and Boston City Hall correspondent and 13 years covering business, technology and innovation, winning multiple awards including from the Associated Press Managing Editors and Society of American Business Editors and Writers. In his eight years as NECN’s chief daily business reporter and manager of its @necnbiz Twitter account, he also interviewed 270 leading local CEOs for NECN’s acclaimed CEO Corner and produced 1,800 TV stories.
Born in Boston and a lifelong resident of the area, Peter’s a 1986 magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and is married to the novelist Holly LeCraw (The Half Brother, The Swimming Pool).
As co-leader of Denterlein’s crisis team, Vice President Jill Reilly draws from hundreds of crisis management best practices to help executives prevent adverse events from going public or mitigate reputational damage when they do.
From union woes to world events, financial malfeasance and abrupt changes in leadership, Jill guides a company’s response before during and after a crisis with one main goal: to preserve consumer and stakeholder confidence. She also provides crisis planning expertise, ensuring that an organization’s credibility and competitive advantage remains unscathed in even the most challenging situations. Through her discovery process, strategic direction and training, Jill’s clients are prepared to respond to any crisis – and in a way that supports their business goals.
Jill regularly works with attorneys, developing communications plans and messages that complement the legal strategy and preserve credibility in the court of public opinion. Her crisis expertise includes battles in civil court and federal investigations by the FBI, DEA, SEC, FTC, EPA and OSHA, among others; as well as state and local inquiries by the Attorney General, Secretary of State, DPH, DMH and more.
Prior to her work at Denterlein, as Chief of Staff at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston, Jill led the communications strategies on some of the most high-profile and complex public matters in New England, including the prosecution of James “Whitey” Bulger, and the Boston Marathon bombing. She has also been responsible for developing and implementing long-term public relations strategy for one of the nation’s largest law firms and for a Fortune 100 defense contractor.
Jill serves on the advisory board of YouthConnect, an innovative program of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston in partnership with the Boston Police Department, that places licensed clinical social workers inside Boston Police stations to provide counseling, intervention and advocacy services to young people and their families. A graduate of Northeastern University, Jill is an avid – but average – golfer and a supporter of The Jimmy Fund, Mil Milagros and the Boston Red Sox.
With experience of more than 25 years in the nonprofit sector, Roberta Shaw has worked with organizations ranging from academic medical centers to community health clinics; colleges to foundations; health insurance plans to coalition advocacy groups; and member-based trade organizations. Clients value her thoughtful, audience-focused strategic approach to public positioning, issues communications and reputation management.
Roberta is particularly experienced in working with multiple entities seeking to achieve a common goal. Her ability to listen to and understand different perspectives and to accommodate those perspectives in a goal-oriented approach achieves results, including:
- Fostering engagement and alignment between a large regional hospital system and its 800-member medical staff, leading to approval of a new, joint governance structure and laying the foundation to become an integrated accountable care organization.
- Attaining significant media coverage for a coalition of community hospitals working to explain and expose the impact of underfunding by public payers on hospitals and the communities they serve.
- Successfully preparing a community for the closing of a local emergency medical service and positioning a new service alternative within the community.
Prior to joining Denterlein, Roberta served as director of public affairs at McLean Hospital, Harvard Medical School’s largest psychiatric teaching hospital, where she developed and implemented communications efforts to maintain and grow McLean’s national reputation during significant workforce restructuring and sale of more than half the hospital’s excess property.
Additionally, she served on the first corporate communications team for Partners HealthCare, positioning and introducing the new multi-institutional, integrated healthcare system to both internal and external audiences.
Roberta’s previous experience includes communications planning around the nation’s first corporate-based intergenerational day care center, representation of the country’s largest provider of corporate work and family life programs, and restructuring the public relations office of one of Massachusetts’ leading academic medical centers.
Roberta holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and professional accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America.
Kelley Chunn is the principal of Kelley Chunn & Associates (KCA), an award-winning, state-certified, collaborative consultancy based in Boston. KCA specializes in multicultural and cause-related public relations and marketing. KCA specialties include strategic communications, research, branding, community/corporate outreach, civic engagement, media relations, event planning and management and training. A thought leader, Kelley is also a speaker. A former broadcast journalist, Kelley graduated from New York University and the Simmons College School of Communications Management. Her journey has taken her from Boston to New York, Nigeria and the White House. There she joined other community and business leaders to advise President Barack Obama on small business.
Among her projects: Supplier Diversity for the Greater New England Minority Supplier Diversity Council, Affordable Homeownership for MassHousing, Bullying Prevention and Tobacco Education for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Obesity Prevention for the National Institutes of Health, The United Way Campaign for Gillette and the historic visit of the Amistad Freedom vessel to Boston.
In addition, Kelley has served as an Assistant Professor of public relations and marketing at Northeastern University and as adjunct or lecturer in several other local colleges and universities. In 1982, Kelley served as media consultant to the Nigerian government’s National Television Authority in West Africa.
Her community and professional affiliations include: the Office of Supplier Diversity Advisory Board for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Public Relations Society of America, Black Public Relations Society, Boston Women Communicators, National Association of Black Journalists, Ad Club of Greater Boston, Museum of African-American History, New England Minority Supplier Development Council, Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau and Boston Chamber of Commerce.
Katherine Adam is a lead in Denterlein’s public affairs practice, developing communications strategies for clients involving public policy, government relations, or community engagement. Clients value Katherine’s thoughtful counsel and collaborative spirit in educating and persuading key audiences around some of the most important issues impacting New England and beyond.
Katherine advises companies, member associations, and advocacy organizations on both long-term strategic positioning and narrative campaigns as well as on specific projects requiring legislative or regulatory expertise. One of Katherine’s primary practice areas is sustainability—promoting climate change mitigation and resilience, green open spaces, transit-oriented development, and equitable public transportation. She sits on the board of the LivableStreets Alliance and on the Transportation and Infrastructure Leadership Council organized by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
Katherine’s role at Denterlein builds on her work in the Massachusetts State Senate, where she served as Communications Director for Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz. The Chang-Díaz office represented a variety of Boston neighborhoods, requiring thoughtful communications and relationship-building at the neighborhood, city, and state levels. Katherine built strategies for bold initiatives to help close the student achievement gap, promote economic development in low-income communities and communities of color, and improve transparency and accountability in government. She provided strategic counsel to the Senator during legislative debates on health care cost containment, transportation finance reform, expanded gaming, and criminal justice reform, as well as during multiple state budget cycles.
Prior to her time as a Senate staffer, Katherine worked and consulted on a variety of political campaigns at the federal, state, and local levels, specializing in communications and digital strategy. Katherine is a graduate of Boston College, where she studied sociology and music. She plays the cello and is an avid astronomy fan.
A creative and crafty individual with high brainstorming power, Jayda is committed to effective and efficient use of verbal and visual messaging. Jayda’s Denterlein work spans several practice teams, including healthcare, public affairs, real estate, and non-profit. She also consults across client teams on social and digital media strategies.
Jayda previously worked at the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, managing press and social media for six high-profile state agencies. She gained proactive pitching and crisis communications experience dealing with issues such as data breaches, professional licensing stings, banking and insurance rates, telecommunications access, and consumer law. Jayda was an integral part of the executive team, spearheading awareness projects including regional foreclosure prevention workshops, Consumer Shred Days, the 2013 Massachusetts Housing Week, and the Office’s fake scam website initiative. She also helped develop the Get the Deal on Care healthcare transparency campaign, where she managed two social media channels, planned two regional conferences, and successfully placed stories in local and national media.
Born and raised in Yonkers, New York, Jayda graduated cum laude from Northeastern University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. She also holds a Social Media Marketing Certification from Hootsuite Academy. Jayda is a volunteer with Brighton Main Streets, a guest blogger for the Boston Young Professionals Association, and starting first baseman on a co-ed HUB Softball team.
As Vice President of Operations of the firm, Nicole Iannucci is an integral member of the senior management team, responsible for internal operations, including accounting, human resources and office management. Nicole contributes to the overall objectives and goals of the firm, particularly in regard to financial planning, budgeting and company policies.
During her 10 years at Denterlein, Nicole has developed and updated many policies and procedures, including the firm’s employee manual. She also has played a key role during company growth milestones, including securing new, expanded office space and supporting the expansion of the senior leadership team. Nicole is committed to fostering and developing Denterlein talent and works closely with the President and CEO to identify new opportunities for staff advancement.
She is a founding member of the Boston Young Professionals Society of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay and a graduate of the Boston Chamber’s Women’s Leadership Program. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Northeastern University.
With a background in politics, public policy and campaigns, Kirsten Lance has extensive experience with media relations and program management. She has worked with reporters both at the national and local level to place stories and generate press coverage. At Denterlein, Kirsten works closely with Diana Pisciotta and is an integral part of the crisis team.
Prior to Denterlein, worked as Deputy Press Secretary in the Office of Vice President Biden. In the Vice President’s office, she worked to execute a strategic communication plan highlighting White House policies and announcements. Kirsten worked with national reporters and outlets on press coverage and logistics for the Office of the Vice President, and she helped secure coverage for local events and announcements throughout the United States. She also helped contribute to Vice President Biden’s social media channels.
Kirsten previously worked as the Federal Program Associate at Freedom to Marry, a campaign working to secure the freedom to marry throughout the United States. In this role, Kirsten helped to manage the campaigns federal programs.
Kirsten graduated from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania with a degree in Political Science, and grew up in Baltimore, Maryland.
Michael Schiano leverages his extensive knowledge of public affairs, stakeholder engagement, branding, and communications tactics to provide clients with messaging and strategies that effectively engage their target audiences. He acts as a core member of Denterlein’s development, public policy, and non-profit teams, providing clients with press and stakeholder outreach, message development, and strategy.
Michael began his career with The New England Council, a membership organization that advocates for New England businesses with regional and federal policymakers, serving on its communications, membership, and program teams. Prior to joining the Denterlein team, he was Director of Client Services for a boutique strategic communications and public affairs firm engaged by both public and private sector clients throughout the New England region.
Michael received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Northeastern University magna cum laude. He grew up in Massapequa, NY.
Merina serves as a core team member of Denterlein’s senior account staff, providing clients with press outreach, social media deployment and content development. Merina excels in media relations. She has drafted dozens of press releases, media advisories and bylines, securing prominent placement for her clients, including coverage in The Boston Globe, Boston Magazine and Boston Business Journal, as well as national coverage in Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.
She excels in developing meaningful relationships with reporters, understanding trends and issues of the industry and how to ensure that her clients get noticed. Merina serves on Denterlein’s social media working group, playing an active role in strategy and content development. Merina began her Denterlein career as an intern.
Previously, Merina worked as an intern at O’Neill and Associates, managing social media content, drafting press material and as an event photographer. She also created and designed many infographics and fact sheets to enhance client’s public image.
Merina grew up in Swampscott, MA and graduated magnacum laudefrom Lesley University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications. She is an active member of the Greater Lynn Photographic Association.
Alex joined Denterlein in 2016 and quickly proved himself to be proactive and detail-oriented on all projects he encountered. With experience in industries including healthcare, education, real estate, and public policy, he understands the importance of organizational strategy and tactical messaging for all businesses. His ability to plan, launch, and measure on tasks makes sure all projects are executed with careful attention to detail and in a timely fashion.
A digital native, Alex helped spearhead the Denterlein Digital Diagnostic, a holistic overview of an organization’s digital footprint. His strengths and experience in the digital media landscape include multi-platform campaign management, social media audits, measurement, and content creation. Alex received a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Bridgewater State University.
Maria Basescu has over 30 years of professional experience in strategic communications, particularly in healthcare, higher education, cultural and government sectors. She served as Vice President of External Affairs for Northern Berkshire Healthcare in Western Massachusetts and at the Brattleboro Retreat, a psychiatric and addictions treatment center in Vermont. In her executive capacity, Ms. Basescu’s responsibilities included government relations, strategic planning, board relations, community relations, development, media, marketing and public relations. She served as a primary representative with local, state and federal legislative delegations, and state hospital and other professional associations.
Ms. Basescu served as Executive Director of Next Stage Arts Project, a performing arts center in Vermont, and Managing Director for the international music center, Yellow Barn. Previously, she was Director of Marketing for Marlboro College, and Public Relations Director for Emerson College’s Division of Performing Arts. She has won awards for her communications materials from the New England Society of Healthcare Communications (NESHCO) and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). She was also Public Relations Account Executive with Wasserman Associates, Inc., whose corporate clients included the City of Boston and New England Life Insurance Company.
As Associate Director of Media and Public Relations for the Boston Mayor’s Office of Business and Cultural Development, Ms. Basescu managed media relations and sponsorships for Concerts on the Commons, a summer concert series in an outdoor, 10,000-seat venue on the Boston Common, to benefit the Fund for Boston Neighborhoods.
Ms. Basescu has a B.A. in Sociology from Dartmouth College, and is a graduate of the Snelling Center for Government’s Vermont Leadership Institute. Her professional memberships have included the American College of Healthcare Executives, the New England Society of Healthcare Communications, an appointed member of the Massachusetts Hospital Association’s Standing Committee on Public Affairs (SCOPA), and a member of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals.
Marjorie Arons-Barron is president of Barron Associates, a communications consulting firm, and a blogger on politics and public policy at marjoriearonsbarron.com.
Marjorie is well known for her long career as editorial director at WCVB-TV, Boston’s ABC affiliate. For 20 years, she also produced and often hosted Five on Five, then the nation’s longest running, locally produced public affairs discussion program, and she still appears as a commentator on local broadcast and cable stations. For many years, she also produced the station’s political candidate forums. As a recognized shaper of public opinion, Marjorie is often sought as a public speaker and forum moderator by trade associations, colleges and businesses.
She has been honored with numerous awards, including three New England Emmy Awards and, for five consecutive years, the National Award for Excellence in Television Editorials from the National Broadcast Editorial Association. Other organizations honoring her include United Press International (UPI), Associated Press, the American Trial Lawyers Association, the Alliance for the Mentally Ill and the Massachusetts Teachers Association. She is the recipient of an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Regis College, a Catholic university in greater Boston.
Prior to Channel 5, Marjorie was an associate producer of PBS Television’s The Advocates, a national political affairs writer for The Boston Phoenix, a reporter for WGBH-TV’s Ten O’Clock News and political editor of The Newton Times.
Marjorie is an overseer emerita of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a director of the Mass. Broadcasters Hall of Fame. A past president of the National Broadcast Editorial Association, she is a former trustee of the Association of Opinion Journalists Foundation, board member of The Boston Club and advisory board member of The Center on Media and Society. She is an honors graduate of Wellesley College.
With more than 40 years of experience in broadcast journalism, R.D. Sahl has earned multiple Emmy Awards for his reporting and anchoring and covered every major story during his 15-year tenure at NECN, including the attacks on 9/11, the clergy abuse crisis and the Haitian earthquake.
In his role at Denterlein, R.D. provides strategic advice and media relations counsel in the areas of public policy, healthcare and crisis communications. He also leads Denterlein’s media and presentation training team, coaching clients on how to frame even the most difficult issues in a way that will generate confidence and respect of key audiences.
R.D. is the recipient of the Yankee Quill Award, the Boston University Kauff Award, and a member of the Silver Circle of NATAS. He holds a Journalism degree from the University of Colorado, and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.