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About Me

  • Communications professional with more than 25 years’ experience spanning multiple sectors, including the federal government, non-profit, technology, higher education and energy.
  • Seven years’ experience in change management communications.
  • Adept at public relations strategy development and implementation, media and analyst relations, thought-leadership positioning, and internal and external messaging.
  • Proven ability to translate complex information into clear, easy-to-understand content.

Leslie Katz Portfolio

References

Sabrina Kidwai - Senior PR Manager, American Society of Association Executives, Washington, DC

“Leslie taught me how to write great pitches and techniques on how to improve my writing skills. One of the skills that I admire most about Leslie is her talent for writing. She is a masterful writer of case studies and press releases, and she taught me how to interview client customers to find information that reporters and editors were looking for in a pitch or press release. She is a wonderful teacher, mentor, writer and public relations professional. Leslie would be a great asset to have in your organization.” 

Liz Jakeway - Marketing, Foundation and Hospitality/Business Relations, Baptist Health, Miami, FL

“Leslie is a very talented writer -- whether executive speeches or news releases or bylined articles -- and a quick study. She also is a terrific team player, and incredibly good-humored, even when facing tight deadlines. Leslie also is fearless, and happy to take on even the toughest, most high-level assignments, and has a proven ability to juggle many projects at once -- which is a real key to success in corporate communications.” 

Paul Mills - Quality Manager, Computer Sciences Corp., Washington, DC

"Leslie is a creative communications expert who excels at translating a few words into an attractive visual message that makes the point clear. She is adept at a range of software and web tools. She has high standards and meets them consistently. Leslie is always willing to help others and share her expertise."

Tim Brosnan - Owner, Creative Hammer Inc., Greenville, SC

“Getting right to the point, which I know Leslie would appreciate, she's one of the most focused, organized and driven people I've ever had the pleasure to work with. She's the irresistable force ... but an unfailingly charming force, nevertheless. Her communication skills are of a very high order, indeed, and always tinged with friendliness. In fact, when I picture her now, nearly a decade after we worked together in Columbia, SC, it's hard for me to imagine her not smiling. Positivity forward. As ridiculously pressured as ad agency life could be, Leslie was a welcome calm in the storm ... moving steadily toward the goals, always prepared, patiently clearing away the obstacles, encouraging and directing and then, afterward, congratulating. The complete management package.”

Anita Berryman - Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, PTC , Needham, MA

"Leslie is an incredibly impactful communicator who excels at developing long term relationships with clients and colleagues. She's a superb writer with a keen sense for strategic message development and execution across all audiences.Her witty and candid style always made her a trusted adviser to senior level executives. She continues to be the first person I choose to "bounce" things off of because I trust her judgement implicitly.Whether managing a team or as an individual contributor - Leslie makes a difference - I'd love to work with her again."

Michelle Conkle - President & CEO, SalesChasers VCC LLC, Atlanta, GA

“Leslie is a consummate professional and a pleasure to work with. As a PR account manager, Leslie came up with innovative ideas, marketable concepts and solutions to real or potential problems. Even after I was no longer her client, she and I remained in touch and she became a trusted PR and marketing advisor in my other endeavors. I count Leslie among my inner circle of colleagues and friends.” 

Work experience

Public Affairs Specialist

U.S. Army Public Affairs - Fort Jackson, S.C.

Prior to 1989, worked as a public affairs specialist and weekly newspaper editor in the Public Affairs Office at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

Jun 2014Present

Senior Manager, Marketing Communications

Compass Group North America
Feb 2011Jun 2014

Change Management Communications Analyst/Project Specialist

Compass Group North America
  • Plan, develop and execute change management communications strategies for complex projects and organizational transformations spanning the enterprise.
  • Collaborate with various teams to deliver tightly integrated and effective change management communications plans in support of program objectives.
  • Develop and distribute targeted stakeholder communications, including web content, email campaigns, webinars, newsletters, quick reference guides and FAQs.
  • Create and facilitate surveys and focus groups to evaluate internal communications relating to “as-is” and “to be” processes.
20102011

Senior Communications Specialist

Shaw Environmental
  • Planned, developed and executed internal communications programs targeting the 1,800 employees of the Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) Fabrication Facility building project at the Savannah River Site.
  • Wrote content for the project’s Intranet, special communications from the president, talking points, PowerPoint presentations and articles for internal and corporate publications.
  • Initiated a redesign of the MOX Services Intranet portal.
  • Performed research, compiled data, and wrote reports and articles.
  • Created and implemented a style guide for the Communications Group.
  • Assisted in the planning and execution of major project events.
20062010

Communications Consultant

TIAG
  • Planned, developed and launched comprehensive internal communications programs within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (OUSD(P)) at the Pentagon.
  • Developed and executed communications plans during organizational restructuring and business process re-engineering efforts.
  • Provided content management direction during a redesign of the organization’s 1,200-plus page Intranet; provided counsel and assistance in the redevelopment of various public-facing websites, developed and maintained organization’s Intranet site.
  • Created content for the organization’s Strategic Management Plan, Standard Operating Procedures, Intranet; monthly employee eNewsletter, presentations and messaging from senior leaders.
  • Provided scheduling and logistical assistance for large, high-profile events.
20062006

Director, Communications

George Mason University
  • Provided strategic communications counsel to senior leaders and offered guidance to other organizational units in the implementation of institutional communications and marketing strategies.
  • Developed and maintained relationships with state, local, national and international media to promote the university’s reputation as a premier research institution.
  • Served as university spokesperson on a range of issues, including institutional policy changes, course and degree offerings, and crisis events.
20042006

Manager, Corporate Communications

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
  • Crafted communications materials delivered at internal, community and industry events for the company’s Chairman/CEO, as well as the presidents of both the Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises brands.
  • Wrote a range of internal communications, including the company’s employee quarterly newsletter and Intranet and broadcast messages reaching 40,000 employees worldwide; produced annual reports, press releases and other external communications.
  • Created crisis communications messaging during two record-breaking hurricane seasons and high-profile incidents involving missing and deceased guests/crew members to minimize unfavorable press coverage.
  • Oversaw the Ocean Fund, a corporate grants program which has distributed more than $11 million to marine conservation organizations to protect the world’s oceans.
20002004

Senior Account Manager

Shoor & Company High-Tech Public Relations

  • Planned, developed and executed highly successful product launches for B2C and B2B enterprise applications of multiple technology-focused clients with revenues ranging from start-up to $2+ billion.
  • Developed and maintained strong working relationships with reporters and editors at major technology, business and trade media. 
  • Secured customer involvement in press releases, media and analyst interviews, case studies, conferences and sales presentations.
  • Drafted contributed articles bylined by clients and their customers on leading industry trends; created web copy, press releases, spec sheets, backgrounders, bios, brochures and direct mail.
  • Managed and mentored teams of two to three subordinates and peers.
19982000

Account Executive/Strategist

Semaphore Inc.
  • Planned and executed marketing communications and advertising programs for clients primarily in the economic development, higher-education and utility sectors.
  • Created and presented detailed marketing communications plans; managed budgets and timelines accordingly.
  • Managed teams of two to three graphic designers and writers.
19941998

Director, Communications

South Carolina Hospital Association
  • Wrote and published a weekly CEO newsletter for the state’s hospital and health systems; wrote and edited copy for brochures, reports, brochures and other collateral materials.
  • Launched and maintained major firsts: website and fax-on-demand service.
19911994

Supervisory Public Affairs Spec./Newspaper Editor (Civilian Position)

U.S. Army Public Affairs - White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
  • Edited the Army installation’s weekly newspaper, The Missile Ranger.
  • Led the publication’s first major re-branding effort in 40 years; earned third place overall in the Army’s worldwide Keith L. Ware Journalism Competition.
  • Earned individual first- and second-place awards for news and feature writing. Was promoted and received several commendations for achievements.
19891991

Supervisory Public Affairs Spec./Internal Communications Officer (Civilian Position)

U.S. Army Public Affairs - Fort Jackson, S.C.

  • Managed and implemented the installation’s internal communications programs, which included the production and distribution of The Fort Jackson Leader. During my tenure, The Leader was consistently ranked among the top three Army newspapers in the world.
  • Managed and mentored a team of 10 military and civilian photojournalists.

Portfolio

Education

19811985

Bachelor's

University of South Carolina-Columbia
  • 3.369 GPA
  • Editor of The Gamecock student newspaper