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Work experience


Director Communications and Government Relations

General Dynamics NASSCO

Lead a team of four professionals to develop internal and external communications strategies.Execute tactics in employee, on-line, media and government relations arena that support business objectives.Manage the day-to-day business communications program, including monthly publications; provide media training and counsel senior management on messages and methods.Oversee the development of communications policies and standards.Set departmental and individual objectives.Manage on-line communications, including company Web site and social media.



Independent Contractor

Strategic marketing and public relations consultancy, providing strategic communications consulting, marketing and communications support, including advertising, collateral, media training, media relations, crisis communications, speech writing, employee communications and social media expertise.  Maintain strategic partnerships with several other independent PR and marketing organizations to provide clients with a range of services including design, Web development, video production and trade show support.  Clients have included automotive OEM's, professional services, auto suppliers, software developers and green tech firms.

Major Accomplishments

  • Provided on-site media relations support for major automotive OE, including media relations strategies around ten product launches (including events in Europe), auto shows, vehicle features and advanced technologies to achieve gains in tone and amount of coverage, image improvements and use of unpaid and social media, as measured by Alexa and
  • Provided leadership for on-line media site development and launch.  Developed digital communications strategy and elements, including livestream interviews with executives using Ustream and Facebook fan page.
  • Implemented 0.5MM dollars in cost savings, an 8% reduction in costs for Communications department.
  • Conceived and executed public relations program for niche market electric vehicle maker.



Director Communications & Marketing NAFTA Region


Communications leader and member of the NAFTA executive management committee and global communications management team that built business from $600M to $6BN.  Worked closely with the executive leadership team to manage the corporate reputation of this $6B unit.  Pioneered and directed internal/external communications strategy in North America.  Budget responsibility of $5.0MM.  Collaborated with business units and additional internal/external partners to develop and drive consistent and compelling communications to employees, media, industry analysts, automakers, consumers, local communities, government agencies and advocacy groups, building positive sales environment and company reputation.  Provided strategic communications counsel to leadership team on issues from safety recalls, employee relations advertising and corporate positioning to government affairs.

Major Accomplishments 

  • Created alliances and fueled praise for mandating electronic stability control (ESC) feature in cars, building $3.2B market and putting company in number-one market position in sale of ESC.  Program included nationwide publicity worth $100MM plus as measured by Prime Research, experiential marketing, “Drive Safer America” safe driving program that entailed work with NGO’s, State DMV’s and the U.S. military, among others. See: 
  • Member of global executive management team that managed four acquisitions of $1.0B to $15B in scope. Architect of external communications strategy to sell the acquisitions and employee communications strategy for integrating organizations and aligning employees with company mission.  Result was 92% employee retention rate as measured by HR.
  • Created an integrated branding campaign that positioned the company as a promoter of vehicle safety electronics as opposed to only a parts supplier; fostered strong relations/common ground in Washington with regulators and NGOs, so they became the technology advocates. Employed various channels, including popular experiential mobile exhibit that traveled the nation. Made use of social media outlets such as YouTube increasing Continental exposure as measured by and
  • Created a Communications scorecard for aligning Communications priorities and performance targets with NAFTA business objectives.
  • Successfully supported the closure of five manufacturing plants in the U.S. and France with minimal fallout.
  • Composed communications infrastructure, including social media, facilitating transparent, open corporate culture, gathering employees behind business mission and resulting in annual employee turnover rate below 2%. 
  • Led crisis communications for second-largest tire recall in U.S. history, utilizing established framework for crisis communications, enacting proactive media strategy and limited story to a one-day item and saving brand sales.
  • Created a communications planning grid and message map that was selected as basis of a global Communications standard for use in facility openings, closings, product launches, and new initiatives.
  • Provided Investor Relations support to parent company.
  • Strengthened corporate reputation through increased executive visibility. Part of approach that advanced Continental's business goals and contributed to increasing share price from 14 Euro to more than 100 Euro. Created and deployed strategic communications plans that included developing key messages, speeches, literature, briefing materials, editorial boards and multi-media presentations while managing executive communications for CEO, Chairman, Board members and business unit leaders.  Increased by more than 100% the volume of editorial coverage of Continental in major publications and electronic outlets as measured by Prime research.
  • Developed crisis communication planning template for operations that was adopted globally.
  • Invented Smart Car award, recognizing customers and instituting brand publicity.
  • Conducted media events called Smart Car University, highlighting company electronic capabilities and garnering quality media coverage.
  • Created and used balanced scorecard for aligning Communications priorities and performance targets with business objectives.

Manager Public Relations

ITT Automotive

ITT Automotive was acquired by Continental AG in September 1998.  See description under Continental for job details and accomplishments.


Manager Media Relations and Marketing Communications

Nissan North America

NISSAN NORTH AMERICA, 1990-1996.  Manager, Media Relations and Marketing Communications, Carson, California '92-'96  Led national media relations.  Directed breaking news communication.  Served as primary company spokesperson.  Spearheaded communication/sponsorship for corporate events.  Collaborated with the product development team to plan/implement go-to-market strategies.  Created media/communication plan for numerous vehicle launches, brands and product recalls, including a highly-praised $200 million buyback of trouble-plagued minivans. 

Manager Corporate Communications, Detroit, '90-'92  Led company's media/corporate communications office.  Successfully announced $100 million in facilities investments with Michigan government officials. 



Boston University - College of Communications
Sep 2009Jun 2010

Post-Masters Certificate

Oakland University - Graduate School of Business

In process.

Jan 2003Dec 2003

Executive Development Program (post Masters)

University of Michigan - Stephen M. Ross School of Business


Gary Corrigan

Gary was a business partner on several marketing campaigns.

Andreas Meurer

Andreas was a colleague both at Continental AG and at Volkswagen AG.

Christine Tierney

Christine and I have worked on many stories together in her coverage of the auto industry.

Joseph Gaus

Joe was my internal client and fellow member of the management at Continental.  He headed the business unit for which I led the electronic stability control campaign. 

Ron Hartwig

Ron was my boss when I was a VP in the Japanese Business Division of Hill and Knowlton.

Diane K. Steed

Diane was a business partner with my Washington lobbying firm.

Don Wright

Don and I worked closely together on several mergers and acquisitions and numerous communications-IT related projects.



  • Communications executive on-loan to HQ in Asia and Europe for in-country assignment.
  • Recipient World Traffic Safety Symposium Service Award for contributions to traffic and driver safety.
  • Received the Continental Global Gold Excellence Award in 2005 for achieving Electronic Stability Control Market Breakthrough, establishing Federal mandate and $3.2B market.
  • Lectured at local universities on Communication topics, including M&A’s and the future of auto technology.
  • Senior Communications executive to participate in due diligence and acquisition process of the Automotive Division of Motorola Corporation ($1.2B).
  • Member of the global marketing and communications and NAFTA executive management teams responsible for acquiring and integrating Siemens VDO into Continental Automotive (USD$15B).  Saved $3-plus million in Communications expenses without impact on quality or service to the business.
  • NAFTA’s media tracking methodology was selected as basis of a global Communications standard.
  • Communications lead and team member of winning entry in DoD DARPA Urban Autonomous Vehicle Challenge that demonstrated the viability of driverless vehicles and autonomous electronic features in automobiles.


Strategic, innovative  Communications and Marketing Professional who thinks like a General and works like a Sergeant.  Broad experience managing communications in global business environment with Blue Chip companies, including roles in international public relations.  Track track record of driving communications initiatives that create brand awareness, build global stakeholders and drive bottom line profits and revenue.  I.  Succeed.  For You.

 "Jim has the ability to think strategically with colleagues on a management team, and to subsequently act tactically to translate that vision into action.  He managed internal resources (staff and budgets) [during the time I worked for him], as well as outside support (agencies, printers, counselors, etc.) to achieve team, department, division and corporate objectives.  While doing all that, Jim also maintained outstanding relationships with local, national and trade journalists.  As a result, Jim managed to do the near-impossible:  he made a clear contribution to his corporation's bottom line as Director of Communications."  Bob Budlong, P2R Communications

Manages based on commitment to excellence, innovation and integrity.  Keeps team members informed of what other members are doing to take advantage of synergies.  Provides strong leadership during periods of business growth (organic and through acquisition) and restructuring.  Active team member of the business and the corporate communications team.