Our team is composed of senior-level professionals who bring complementary expertise in a variety of specialties and fields. Our backgrounds include public relations, large corporations, national media, university public affairs, government; we have all worked with startups and emerging companies.
Ted Agne has more than 30 years of corporate communications experience, including 10 years as an officer at Burson-Marsteller, a global public relations firm. His practice areas include biotechnology, healthcare, and life sciences, with experience in M&A, crisis management and international development. He founded CSG in 1987.
Ted maintains relationships with the primary US life sciences trade associations in Massachusetts and California and serves as an advisor to Oxford Bioscience Network, (Oxford, England) and One Nucleus (Cambridge, England). He is a former Trustee and former Director of The Forsyth Institute, a biomedical research organization, Cambridge, MA. and a founder and former president of the Board of Trustees of The American Friends of the Churchill Museum (London). He is a member and former Director of the British American Business Council of New England and served as an Adjunct Professor at Boston University where he taught part-time. He is a Senior Fellow at the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils, Washington, DC, and serves as an Advisor to Trifermed, S.L, a business development consultancy headquartered in Barcelona. Ted received a B.S in Physiology/Zoology from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio.
Cheryl Brolin Byrne
Cheryl Brolin Byrne is a seasoned communications professional with a traditional public relations background, a focus on crisis management, and a particular expertise in using social media to manage issues and reputations. Cheryl has more than 25 years of experience in developing public relations strategies that integrate traditional tactics with digital media and content marketing opportunities.
She has developed and executed strategic communications plans and trained companies and third-party supporters on how to tell their brand story using all available tools. Ms. Byrne has trained executives and their teams on the best ways to communicate--with specific audiences, in a crisis, with the media, and in difficult situations.
Current work includes ongoing issues management, content creation and marketing, and media outreach for a groundbreaking genetic test.
Ms. Byrne began her public relations career in politics, in the neighborhood development and public facilities unit at Boston’s City Hall, and also served as a weekend press secretary to Mayor Raymond L. Flynn. She was the assistant director of communications for Handgun Control, Inc., working on passage of both the landmark Brady Bill and the ban on assault weapons. She was also the public affairs director for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at the U.S. Department of Labor during the regulatory reform frenzy of the early 1990s.
A native Bostonian, Ms. Byrne graduated from the University of Massachusetts/Boston and participated in the advertising and public relations certificate program at Northeastern University. She lives with her family in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
Heather Conover has over 40 years of strategic communications experience working for a wide array of corporate, academic, nonprofit and government clients. She has also lived and worked abroad and has overseen projects in more than fifty countries.
Heather founded and for over 35 years ran her own very successful firm, Conover + Company Strategic Communications, Inc. (which later became Conover + Gould Strategic Communications) with offices in Massachusetts and Washington, DC. Her experience includes work in healthcare, energy and environment with a focus on stakeholder engagement, corporate social responsibility and public affairs.
Heather received her B.A. from Sacred Heart University and her M.A. from Tufts University.
Sandra (Sandy) Judd, M.S.
Sandy offers more than 30 years of experience in nutritional sciences, healthcare, and business-to-business communications as a marketing and public relations executive, writer, dietitian, and most recently, certified health and wellness coach.
Currently, in addition to providing healthcare communications consulting services, she owns and operates Sculpt Your Health, which provides health and wellness coaching services that help people make long-lasting lifestyle changes in the areas of nutrition, exercise, stress management, work/life balance, and more, and is the health and wellness columnist for the New Boston (NH) Beacon.
Sandy has enjoyed an eclectic career working in Boston, MA., New York City, NY, and Winston-Salem, N.C. She has served as the Chief Dietitian for a community hospital; an Account Supervisor at the international public relations firm, Burson-Marsteller; Director of Public Affairs for two Harvard-affiliated specialty hospitals, Boston Children’s Hospital and McLean Hospital; Director of Client Services for ProClinica, Inc.; Senior Vice President for Healthcare with Manning, Selvage, & Lee; Director of Public Relations and Marketing for the second-largest healthcare system in North Carolina, Novant Health; and freelance healthcare communications consultant and writer. Her professional strengths include communications strategy development; healthcare/medical/science writing; health and wellness coaching; media training; branding; new business development; public speaking, and crisis communications.
As a senior executive, Sandy led new business and program development for clients including Aeterna Laboratories, Agilent Technologies, the Angiogenesis Foundation, Brigham & Women’s Hospitals, Catholic Medical Center of Brooklyn & Queens, Cutter Laboratories, Hallmark Healthcare, The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and Partners Healthcare. She is the recipient of more than a dozen industry awards from professional groups including the Healthcare Marketing and Public Relations Association and Healthcare Marketing Report.
Sandy received an M.S. in Nutrition and Communications from Boston University, magna cum laude; an R.D. (registered dietitian) from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a B.S. in Dietetics and Institutional Administration from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, magna cum laude. She received her coaching certification from Wellcoaches® School of Coaching. Sandy also served for 14 years as a Board member for The Angiogenesis Foundation
Stephanie Kuhla joined Communications Strategies Group in 2009 as a Principal bringing over 30 years of experience as a Creative Director and Art Director. She has been creating award-winning results in the biotechnology, life science, pharmaceutical, and health care industries since she turned her focus toward this form of advertising more than 25 years ago.
Stephanie has headed major advertising and design campaigns such as Pepcid AC, Pepcid Premier, Lotrel, Plavix, Claritine, Asmanex, Nasonex, and J&J, and Purpose Products for several of the large Pharmaceutical Advertising Agencies in the Delaware Valley. Twenty years ago, Stephanie branched out on her own and founded Advanta Advertising, LLC, a full-service design, marketing and advertising agency that specializes in effective branding, graphics, website development, digital marketing, trade show components, and advertising communications. Ms. Kuhla has built and managed Advanta on a solid foundation of proven relationships within a network of highly skilled and experienced professionals.
Committed to building successful branding while building strong partnerships with her respected clients, Stephanie is dedicated to excellence in advertising, public relations, and direct marketing (digital and print) for national accounts that do business globally. She takes pride in providing quality creative solutions that are on time and within her client’s budget.
Stephanie graduated Alpha Beta Kappa from The Hussian School of Art in 1991.
Principal and Senior Writer
Ruth Maron is our writer-in-residence who crafts strategic messages that resonate with the people you need to reach. With more than 30 years of experience in corporate communications, Ruth began her career at Burson-Marsteller in New York. Moving up through the ranks, her tenure with the global public relations firm included a year-long assignment to the Brussels office where she focused on crisis communications. She also held senior-level positions at Pan Am/Intercontinental Hotels; and PSEG, the largest utility in New Jersey.
A native New Yorker, she moved to the historic district of Portsmouth, NH in 2006. As a senior writer, she works with clients to help capture their voice and perspective in newsletters, articles, blogs, editorials/op-eds, white papers, speeches and remarks.
Ruth is a graduate of Vassar College and holds a Master’s degree in Journalism from Boston University. She also received an advanced certificate degree in Organization Development from The New School in New York.
Frank J. Pietrucha
Senior Consultant and Principal
Frank J. Pietrucha is a communications professional who specializes in delivering big digital-era ideas, and clear, persuasive messages that win hearts, minds, and budgets. President of Definitive Communications for twenty years before joining Communications Strategy Group, Frank has communicated on behalf of technology companies, government organizations and economic development interests. He is author of the Washington Post bestseller Supercommunicator: Explaining The Complicated So Anyone Can Understand (Harper Collins, 2014). He is vice president for the Washington, DC region of the Romanian American Chamber of Commerce. Today Frank works extensively with companies and organizations to communicate technical or difficult subjects to non-specialists. He does this as a strategist, writer, relationship builder, and conduit to the media. His clients are located in both the USA and Europe and represent a range of disciplines such as tech innovation, economic development, blockchain technology, biopharma, artificial intelligence, cyber security, Internet of Things (IoT) and Web development/Apps.
For NASA, Frank helped Silicon Valley engineers explain big ideas like cloud computing and cyber security to Washington, DC decision-makers. As a co-founder of the Creative and Innovative Economy Center at George Washington University, he developed educational and communications programs to drive awareness of intellectual property rights among delegates to the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva and to government and business leaders in emerging markets around the world. For the Institute for International Research, Frank produced a series to conferences on topics ranging from mining investment to technology infrastructure to consumer credit to boost economic development in Latin America.
Frank shares his “Supercommunicator” philosophy with audiences around the world through workshops and keynote addresses. He encourages learners to embrace a modern mindset and twenty first century tools to make communications accessible to non-technical audiences. Frank conducts these interactive events with corporate audiences, entrepreneurs and students in the USA and Europe.
Frank is co-founder of INNES Worldwide (www.innesglobal.ro), a Washington, DC – based organization promoting tech innovation in Central and Eastern Europe. INNES’s 5,000 square meter campus located in Craiova, Romania, will serve as a cross-border epicenter to nurture tech development in this quickly growing tech-savvy region. Opening in 2021, INNES will assist European businesses in entering US markets and American companies get a foothold in the European Union. Frank graduated from Cornell University with a degree in International Social Relations. He has also completed course work at Universidad Iberoamericano in Mexico City and the University of Bath, England.
Brooke D. Wagner
Principal and Senior Financial Relations Consultant
Brooke Wagner is an innovative and accomplished executive with extensive experience in technology and service industries and hands-on expertise in multiple areas including Corporate Communications, Investor Relations, Financial Management, Marketing & Business Development, Mergers and Acquisitions, Cost and Financial Control, Capital Financing, and System Implementations. His success is anchored by his ability to: identify problems, develop solutions, communicate effectively and achieve results that have been instrumental in the creation, design, implementation, and refinement of operations at both the corporate and divisional levels. Brooke has dedicated himself to continuous learning and mastery of leadership, communication, and financial techniques.
Brooke has worked in the technology, life science, and service industries for over 23 years leading finance, corporate communications, and investor relations organizations, business process reengineering, corporate repositioning, and strategic financing activities and designing and implementing sales and marketing programs and supporting processes. Utilizing his extensive experience in communications, finance, and marketing, Brooke assists companies in a wide array of strategic corporate communications and investor relations initiatives.
Brooke is a member of Financial Executives International and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Investor Relations Institute Boston Chapter. He has also served as a panel member at numerous conferences. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the University of Maine Alumni Association Board of Directors and as the Chairman of the University of Maine-Boston Alumni Association. He previously served on the Board of Directors for CityYear-Boston, CityYear-San Jose/Silicon Valley and two privately-held companies. In addition, Brooke has provided expert commentary on investor relations and communications topics to major media outlets such as CNNfn, Fox News Online, Reuters, and Business Week Online and has published by-lined articles in Financial Executive Magazine, Pharmaceutical Executive Magazine and Investor Relations Update.
Brooke received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Finance and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Maine. He has an MBA from the University of Santa Clara, CA.
Senior Financial Relations Consultant
Dave brings over thirty years of senior financial leadership experience. Most recently he was Chief Financial Officer for ImmunoGen, Inc. an oncology focused biotech based in Waltham, MA. During his tenure at ImmunoGen he led several public offerings as well as a creative, non-dilutive royalty financing.
Prior to ImmunoGen, Dave served as CFO for Aveo Oncology and Genzyme Biosurgery where he lead both of their initial public offerings as well as leading several strategic initiatives, both on the buy side as well as the sell side.
Mr. Johnston earned a B.S. at Washington and Lee University and an MBA at the University of Michigan. Mr. Johnston sat on the board of directors of RAW Art Works, a nonprofit youth arts organization, as well as Tissue Banks International, one of the largest eye and tissue bank non- profits in the United States.