Elliot is a Public Relations consulting principal at Taft and Partners. Before working with Taft, Elliot served as Senior Vice President, Chief Communications Officer for Travelport Ltd., where he was responsible for corporate communications, media relations, crisis management, financial public relations, M&A communications, and employee communications. Prior to Travelport, Elliot served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications for travel and real estate conglomerate, Cendant Corporation, from the company’s inception. Elliot has also held senior communications positions within PepsiCo’s beverage, snack food, and restaurant divisions: Pepsi-Cola Company, Frito-Lay, Inc., and Taco Bell Corporation.
Sheila is a corporate communications professional with a strong background in corporate and executive communications. She has successfully created and/or executed initiatives to support and market corporate brands, products and services, as well as conducted communications and media relations training. Sheila currently serves as a Communications Consultant at BrightStar Group LLC, providing freelance and consulting services to organizations and individuals in the areas of strategic corporate and marketing communications, public relations, business plan research and development, and corporate and executive writing. Prior to her return to freelance consulting, Sheila worked at DiversityInc as a Vice President of Consulting, responsible for managing accounts and providing diversity management/metrics consulting and presentations to a variety of clients including: Bristol Myer Squibb, Eli Lilly, Novartis, Baxter, Anthem, EY, Nielsen, BASF, Monsanto, TIAA-CREF, Wal-Mart, Kellogg and Caterpillar. Sheila has also served as Vice President, Corporate Communications for the nation’s second largest tax preparation service, working closely with the C-suite and serving as corporate spokesperson. She led strategic and creative communications programs, managed brand reputation and crisis communications, and conducted media and communications training for franchisees nationwide.
John comes to Taft and Partners with a firm conviction regarding the centrality of effective communications to any organization’s ability to fulfill its mission. John served for 12 years as president of the American Boychoir School in Princeton, New Jersey. Before that, John worked as an actor in New York and California; assisted the president of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City in fundraising and communications; and served as vice president of a new business development firm in Princeton which invested in and provided strategic marketing services to start-up businesses.
Kim Copeland comes to Taft and Partners with a commitment to diversity, inclusion, employee retention and wellness. Kim began her career as an equityanalyst at Merrill Lynch, where she volunteered her time with the firm’s varying diversity and retention initiatives. After leaving Merrill Lynch in 2005, Kim worked as a consultant for three years with Mercury Partners, a New York-based executive recruiting firm; there, she specialized in placing people of color in front office positions in the financial services industry. Kim later became the director of a career development center for women in Trenton NJ where she organized job training initiatives for low-income women. Today, in addition to being an affiliated consultant with Taft, Kim is a doctoral candidate at Rutgers University, an ordained minister and a certified yoga teacher. Kim believes that healthy and engaged employees build healthy and efficient teams!
Jess brings to Taft deep knowledge of the education issues of our time, and a commitment to creative thinking in the interest of excellence, balance, and authenticity. With a long history of consulting to nonprofit organizations and schools, she has worked with The Center for Supportive Schools, Teach for America-NJ, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and the Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. Prior to consulting, Jess served for five years as an administrator and advisor at Princeton University. She stays closely grounded in the most pressing education issues by maintaining a private practice of college and pre-med advising, and leading a regional social media conversation called Princeton Balance. She also serves on the Board of HiTops, a local youth health and wellness organization. Jess takes the lead on research and writing in her area of expertise and is a reliable sounding board on creative communications strategies for education and youth development organizations.
Donna has been spinning her media web for over 25 years. Her deep strategic insights come as a result of a career that started in radio, shifted to cable television, and then, while running her own business, moved into the evolving world of interactive media. In addition to her strategy chops, Donna has earned a fearsome reputation as a skilled negotiator. Donna has a well-honed knack for taking complex research and statistics and uncovering the most significant conclusions that consistently lead to more effective media planning. As a former president of the New Jersey Advertising Club, Donna helped launch the club’s first statewide advertising campaign. As a member of the Board of Trustees for Project Acorn, Donna is committed to improving early childhood education. Donna also serves as an adjunct consultant for Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey.