Comprehensive Resume

I have experience of over 35 years in public relations, marketing, advertising and design, and I oversee a professional staff for marketing and public relations projects by providing strategic business counsel for a wide range of client types —  corporate, government, institutional, education, and technology companies. Current and past clients include: Deloitte & Touche, LLP; Open Solutions; Laidlaw Transit, Inc. (First Student); ADVO (Valersis); CIGNA; Connecticut Community College System; University of Connecticut; Hartford Hospital Harry Gray Cancer Center; VNAhealthcare, United Healthcare; and Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

During the past 5 years, I have mentored and worked with over 50 start up companies from very early stage to stage 2 or existing companies in creating a brand identity and market plan. The cross-section of clients in the technology arena include: Open Solutions, Habco, C8 Sciences, Shizzlr, plus other emerging market companies. In February 2012, I incorporated my experience of working in the healthcare field and created HomecareMatchKiosk.com, an online search and match website that helps family caregivers find qualified home care agencies.

I graduated from Pratt Institute in 1969, and started a career as a designer for residential renovation projects in Brooklyn, New York. I also consider myself an artist and photographer, and in the 1970s owned an art gallery in New York City. But my career has always involved marketing communications. While working with noted anthropologist Margaret Mead in the 1970s, I began exploring the relationships that intertwine commerce, civic institutions, society and human nature — a perspective that I continue to use today. I was also a chronicler and fund-raiser for the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Centennial restoration projects during the 1980s. This was one of my proudest accomplishments along with honoring my heritage. I applied my entrepreneurial skills to help raise more than $100,000 for the preservation of this important national monument and created an education supplementary curriculum that was distributed to thousands of schools across the nation.

It was with that experience and purpose that I founded First Experience Communications (FEC) in 1983. I use strategic skills to encompass leading-edge business practices that include integrated market communications, Internet strategies, and sustained marketing business models. My firm supports an organization’s business goals by using a core competency model. I have been active in the Public Relations Society of America for over 25 years, and am an Accredited in Public Relations (APR) professional and elected member in the College of Fellows, with the honorary title of Fellow PRSA. My firm has received dozens of awards and honors over the past 35 years. Here are some of my recent professional and community activities:

  • 2005 – Current, Executive Board Member, Connecticut Technology Council
  • 2011 – Current,  Leadership Greater Hartford Board of Directors
  • 2010 – Current, Mentor, Connecticut Innovations CT TECH Incubator Initiative, Yale Entrepreneurial Institute, CTNext Connecticut Eco-System Initiative, MassChallenge Program
  • 2004-2008 – Chair, Glastonbury Education Foundation, Raised $400,000 for pilot programs using state-of-the-art technology and digital sound, video, web and television studio
  • 2005 – 2009 Board Member, Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce
  • 2006 – Elected to the Public Relations Society of America College of Fellows. An acknowledgment by peers for the body of work I have done over a period of 25 years. Only 400 professionals are members of this prestigious organization.
  • 2007 – Launched a comprehensive business management program for public relations and marketing firms
  • 2007 – Active member and investor in Connecticut Angel Investor Forum for entrepreneurs and start-up companies
  • 2009 – Partner in a management team called g6, made up of business management experts (operation, marketing, m&a, finance) to prepare companies to become investment grade
  • 2009 – PRSA National Leadership Steering Committee

Education
• 2001-03 Course work toward M.S., Management, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Graduate Center, Hartford, CT
• 1969 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Design, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY

Favorite Quotes:

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln

“Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way.” Daniele Vare

Links

My LinkedIn Profile

facebook.com/iwyellen

http://twitter.com/iwyellen

1. Position Papers and Articles

Position Papers:

  • Marketing Through Chaos: A Plan for Technology-Based Entrepreneurs.
  • Use The New Communications Channels Or Perish: Reaching Your Stakeholders Throughout Their Decision-Making Process, January 2006, First Experience Communications, Publisher
  • Making Your School District Website More Than An Information Dumping Ground, October 2005
  • Community Colleges: Bridging Access To Success Through Collaborative Branding, April 2005
  • Public Education In America: The Tide Is Turning…Is Your District Prepared? October 2004

Articles:

  • Various presentations on Social Media, Business and Market Planning, and Branding Positioning 2008-09
  • Branding and Technology, Line56, February 2004
  • Building Trust in Your Community – The Role of Public Relations in Times of Change and Uncertainty, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) Journal, October 2004
  • Ensuring Your Brand Equity Stays Strong in Economic Downturns, Hartford Business Journal, September 9, 2002

2. Speeches and Presentations

From 1984 to 2013 I have given presentations on more than 100 occasions to business professionals, public relations professionals, civic groups and non-profit organizations on such topics as effective communication in business, what is public relations, integrated marketing communication, and online communication planning. Examples include:

Professional Development:

Business Management Program for Advertising, Design and Public Relations Agencies: Growing Your Firm to Increase Profitability

Marketing and communications firms are oftenat the core of helping transform their clients’ organizations in a 24/7 world, yet they have a challenging time adapting their own business model to grow and be profitable. In this program, you will learn why prioritizing your personal, professional and business goals are a must for you to be highly compensated, and to have a sustained profitability strategyfor your firm. No matter what the size of your firm, you should be well compensated for the leadership and risk you take every day. This program will share the best practices used in running firms. If you do not have your personal and financial goals well thought out, you become a prisoner to your firm, and eventually become frustrated and discouraged. Shared with you will be  time-tested practical, common-sense solutions and ideas that you can apply to your own firm‘s management and operation. The Agency Business Management Program is an outgrowth of presenting at national conferences on agency best practices. He has counseled over 50 agencies during the past 5 years.

Program Components

  • Defining and Supporting Your Personal & Career Priorities – Leading and Managing a Business versus Managing a Career
  • Business Goals (Managing the Business) – Practice Areas: Vertical Markets, Skills, Staffing, Outsourcing, Cash Flow and Reserves
  • Designing and Managing a Sustained Profit and Compensation Model –Billable Hours Strategy and Staff Productivity/efficiency
  • Sustaining a Market & Sales Plan – New Business Development, Existing Customer Cross Selling and Referrals, and Network Marketing

Associations:

  • Marketing 101 presentation for the Connecticut Technology Council IPA for start up tech companies  Webinar: http://www.ctipa.org/InnovationPipelineAcceleratorWebinars.htm
  • Smart Marketing and Public Relations for Community-based Organizations: Building Brand for Success, Community Leadership Association Annual International Conference, April 2006, Hartford, CT
  • A Website Should Be More than an Information Dumping Ground, Smart Marketing for Non-Profits & Small Businesses Seminar, November 2005, Hartford, CT and the National School Public Relations Association, July 2005, Boston, MA
  • Bridging Access to Success, American Association of Community Colleges Annual Conference, April 2005, Boston, MA
  • Managing Customer Service Training Session – You are the Face and the Voice of Your Institution: The Making of a Customer-Driven Organization, April 2003, Capital Region Education Council, Hartford, CT
  • Managing Communications in Times of Change: It Could Be Your Best Friend During TQM Initiatives, October 1998, Connecticut Quality Council Annual Conference, Hartford, CT
  • How Much Is Interactive Marketing Worth?, March 1996, Gartner Annual Conference, New York, NY
  • Crisis Communications, March 1996, SMPS Connecticut Chapter, Farmington, CT
  • Channeling Brand Identity Through Technology, 1996, New York, NY
  • Adjunct Instructor, Community Relations, Executive Leadership Program and Advisor for doctoral dissertation candidate for primary community-based research models, University of Connecticut Neag School of Education

3. Contributions to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and other Communication Associations (1987 to present)

PRSA Activities 1997 to Present:

  • Connecticut Valley PRSA Chapter —Communication Committee Chair, 1989 to 1992; Board Member and Officer, 1993 -1998; Chapter President, 1997; Initiated the establishment of Connecticut’s first PRSSA Chapter at the University of Hartford, 1997; Established first public relations awards program (Mercury Awards) for three PRSA CT Chapters, 1997
  • National Assembly Delegate, 1996-1999
  • 1997 Distinguished Chapter Service Award PRSA CT Valley Chapter: Named 2002 Practitioner

PRSA National, District, Sections:

  • Assembly delegate-at-large, 1998; Tri-State District Chair, 1998; Created a three district seminar, Integrated Marketing Communication, Sturbridge, MA 1998; Professional Services Section Chair, 1996
  • Conference Presentations: Counselors (Los Cabos, 2007; Savannah, 2006; Phoenix, 2005; La Quinta, 2000); National (Philadelphia, 2007; Salt Lake City 2006; Anaheim 1999; Boston 1998)

National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) Presentations:

  • Making Your School District Website More than an Information Dumping Ground: Building Value that Builds Effective Relationships, Annual Conference, July 2005, Boston, MA
  • Turning a School District’s Budget Increases into an Advantage: The New Way to Position A School District’s Value, Annual Conference, July 2004, Nashville, TN
  • Creating and Supporting an Effective School District Website and HTML Newsletter that Supports Funding, Illustrates Achievement and Promotes the Value of a Public School Education, Annual Conference, July 2004, Nashville, TN
  • Leadership Communication Workshop for School Districts, Annual Conference, July 2002, San Diego, CA

Others:

  • Connecticut Marketing Communication Steering Committee, 1996-2000
  • Initiated a consortium made up of Connecticut’s IABC, American Marketing Association, PRSA, SMPA, Advertising Club of Connecticut whose purpose was to coordinate professional development seminars and workshops on an annual basis. In 1996 created the “Smart Marketing for Nonprofits” annual seminar and workshops.

4. Recognition

  • April 1985 -Annual Connecticut Associated Press Broadcasters Association Outstanding Achievement in Broadcasting Award with WFSB Eyewitness News Feature “Ellis Island”, a five-part series illustrating immigrants’ contributions to Connecticut’s economic growth. I provided the background for interviewing Ellis Island immigrants, historical data, and visual information. This was done in conjunction with the creation of supplementary education curriculum around the State of Liberty/Ellis Island Centennials.
  • December 1997 – Annual Service Award for Outstanding Service to the Connecticut Valley Chapter of PRSA for over 12 years of service and leadership to the Chapter and the profession. Under my 12 years of leadership: the Chapter’s by-laws were rewritten; Mercury Annual Awards were created and modeled after the Silver and Bronze Anvils; membership increased by over 15%; Connecticut’s first PRSSA Chapter was created at the University of Hartford; and future officers and committee chairs were recruited.
  • May 2001 – International Community Leadership Association Distinguished Leadership Award for Exemplary Service and Commitment to the Community, Annual Conference, Greensboro, NC
  • December 2002 – Annual Outstanding Practioner Award by the Connecticut Valley Chapter
  • October 2003 – Annual Award from the Connecticut Association of Nonprofits for helping and supporting Connecticut non-profits’ efforts in the statewide campaign “Face of Nonprofits”
  • October 2006 – Inducted into PRSA College of Fellows, an honorific society of the 400 plus communication leaders that recognizes the accomplishments in the field of public relations

5. Awards

  • PRSA Bronze Anvil: Application of New Technology, 1994; Brochures, 1996
  • PRSA Connecticut Valley, Southern Connecticut and Fairfield/Westchester Chapters Mercury Awards: Community Relations, 1997; Collateral Material, 1997; Collateral Material, 1998; Integrated Campaign, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005; Research, Best in Show, 2004; Integrated Campaign, Best in Show 2006
  • IABC
  • Internet Organization
  • Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce, President’s Award, 2007

6. Community Service
I have been committed to community service for over 20 years. A combination of volunteering, sponsoring, internships, and mentoring have been core values of mine. I am the past chairman of the Glastonbury Education Foundation where over $400,000 has been raised for technology pilot programs and a state-of-the-art digital television and audio-visual center.

Current Leadership Roles

Board of Directors:

  • Connecticut Technology Council, Executive Committee, Chair, Communication and Marketing Committee
  • Leadership Greater Hartford
  • Steering Committee, Catalyst Fund of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
  • Glastonbury Education Foundation, Past Chairman

Past Leadership Roles
Board of Directors:

  • Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce, Strategic Planning Committee
  • Leadership Greater Hartford, 1999-2005
  • The Connecticut Quality Council, 1996-7
  • Literacy Volunteers of America/Connecticut, 1997-1999

Current Committee Member

  • Foodshare, Public Relations
  • United Way of the Hartford Area, Marketing and Public Relations
  • reSet Finance and Legislative (Social Enterprise Organization)

Past Committee Member

  • Special Olympics World Games Communications Committee, 1995
  • Greater Hartford Marketing and Communication Council, 1996-2000
  • School/Business Partnerships Advisory Board of Manchester Community College, 1998-99

Associations:

Angel Investor Forum (Board of Directors, Co-chair, Membership Committee)

  • Investment for 1st and 2nd stage venture capital to emerging technology companies in the northeast United States

Connecticut Technology Council (Executive Committee, Chair, Membership & Marketing Committee)

  • Marketing emerging technology companies
  • Branding and positioning
  • Economic development

PRSA Fellows Mentoring Program

  • Career development
  • Enhancing the profession

Chamber of Commerce (Board of Directors)

  • Economic Development
  • Community Image

Community:

Glastonbury Education Foundation (Past Chairman of the Board)

  • Fundraising: Raised over $400,000 over a period of four years for educational purposes — State of the art television studio; pilot programs; assistance to children and family services; prominent artists/experts program
  • Engaging the Community
  • Being a Catalyst

United Way of North Central CT (Marketing Advisory Committee)

  • Targeted Audiences
  • Value messaging

Foodshare Advisory

  • Community outreach
  • Strategic Planning

Leadership Greater Hartford Strategic Planning (Past Executive Board Member)

  • Branding and positioning
  • Target audience
  • Fundraising
  • Membership marketing

Hartford Foundation for Public Giving

  • Catalyst Program