Meet The PR Team

  • Thomas Graham
    Thomas Graham
    President & CEO
  • Tom Goff
    Tom Goff
    Strategic Corporate Counsel
  • Barbara Van Dyke
    Barbara Van Dyke
    Senior Advisor
  • Rich Oppel
    Rich Oppel
    Senior Advisor
  • Jake Clements
    Jake Clements
    Vice President, Marketing & Advertising
  • Denny Phillips
    Denny Phillips
    Creative Director
  • Marc Herring
    Marc Herring
    Experiential Marketing
  • Arnold García
    Arnold García
    Senior Advisor
  • Adrian Patenaude
    Adrian Patenaude
    Account Executive
  • Iliana Storch
    Iliana Storch
    Assistant Account Executive
  • Karen Johnson
    Karen Johnson
    Senior Editorial and Content Strategist
  • Tammy Ditmore
    Tammy Ditmore
    Corporate Editor
  • JT Graham
    JT Graham
    IT Manager, Web Designer
  • Casey Normandin
    Casey Normandin
    Event Planner
  • Mark Lihn
    Mark Lihn
Thomas Graham
President & CEO

Thomas Graham is the founder of Crosswind Media & Public Relations and for more than 20 years has helped business leaders energize their brands and achieve their business objectives through effective media and corporate communications strategies. He is an accomplished brand architect, crisis-tested media spokesperson and an expert in shaping public opinion and managing complex communications programs.

As the former head of U.S. communications for a top 10 global financial institution and practice leader in two global public relations firms, Thomas brings decades of experience helping business leaders engage effectively with their most important stakeholders. He founded Crosswind Media & Public Relations to provide clients with experienced senior counselors who are committed to helping navigate communications challenges to achieve business results. Thomas has been privileged to develop global brand strategies, direct communications of large-scale acquisitions and to prepare senior executives at Fortune 500 companies for media interviews, investor and analyst roundtable discussions and presentations before business conferences and to employees.

As the Executive Vice President of Communication & Image at BBVA USA, Thomas developed the brand strategy for BBVA Group’s U.S.-acquired financial institutions while protecting the overarching brand reputation from the issues associated with acquisition, integration and financial industry crises. While serving on the management committee, he held primary oversight of branding, investor relations, corporate communications, employee communications and executive programs. Prior to BBVA, Thomas served as a General Manager with Weber Shandwick, the world’s largest public relations agency, where he directed the firm’s Austin office.

During his 20 years of public relations, Thomas gained extensive experience in political and regulatory issues, corporate communications, brand strategy, investor relations, crisis and reputation management and media relations. His clients have included leaders in their fields and among the world’s most admired companies, including Fluor, Wal-Mart, the Project Management Institute, Atmos Energy, NRG Energy, the Texas House Republican Caucus, Vought Aircraft and The Methodist Hospital. He is a former business reporter covering local, regional and national trends in business, financial, agricultural, oil and gas and industrial sectors as well as a former communications director for a Texas State Senator. He is a member of the National Investor Relations Institute, the Public Relations Society of America, active in communications organizations, and a frequent lecturer on communications issues before students, non-profit, governmental and business associations. He is married to Tanya Fielder and they have three children.

Tom Goff
Strategic Corporate Counsel

Tom Goff serves as strategic counsel to clients on matters involving corporate branding, reputation, crisis management, financial transactions, senior executive media positioning, business-to-business marketing, legal disputes and media and analyst relations. He brings 30 years experience as a successful financial journalist, media strategist and corporate reputation manager. He has advised senior management teams at a number of global corporations including Microsoft, Starbucks, MySpace, Sony Corporation, Warner Bros., Kaiser Permanente, Computer Sciences Corporation and Dubai World Properties, among others.

Tom previously served as an executive vice president with the nation’s largest independent PR firm, in senior corporate communications roles at Global Crossing, Lockheed Corp. and Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) and as a successful financial journalist. At Global Crossing, Tom directed corporate sponsorships, acted as the principal spokesperson for a multi-national telecommunications corporation and personally promoted, managed and controlled coverage and cover stories for the company’s top management team in Forbes, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones News Service, Barron’s and Bloomberg, as well as CNBC, CNNfn and other print and electronic outlets.

As director of media and public relations for ARCO, Tom acted as a corporate spokesperson for financial and operational developments, managed crisis and oil-spill communications systems and supervised ARCO’s corporate image advertising, litigation communications and community relations initiatives. Tom worked for 10 years at the Lockheed Corporation where he served as manager of advertising and promotions, personally managing principal aspects of the successful $20 million PR and advertising effort behind Lockheed’s win of the F-22 Advanced Tactical Fighter program, the largest single defense contract then awarded in American history. In addition, he acted as manager of internal communications, coordinator of news and public information and as financial editor of Lockheed’s award-winning annual and quarterly reports.

Tom’s editorial tenure included business, political editorial and reporting positions at Esquire, New York Magazine and of Fortune 500 lists at Fortune. As founding editor and editor-in-chief of The Corporate Board, Tom led that journal to a readership with the highest-ranking business audience in America – the directors serving on boards of the nation’s largest public corporations – and currently serves on the board of editors.

Tom is a fourth-generation Californian, holds a bachelor’s degree in government with honors from California State University at Sacramento and a JD from UC-Davis where he served on the law review. He also served more than a decade as an officer in the Military Police Corps, U.S. Army Reserve.

Barbara Van Dyke
Senior Advisor

For more than 20 years, Barbara has provided strategic communications counsel, issues management, marketing and public relations for a wide range of clients, primarily in the healthcare and technology sectors.

Among her previous roles, she has served as Vice President at Edelman’s San Francisco office where she developed and led a practice focused on Health Technology and Senior Vice President at Porter Novelli Life Sciences (formerly FischerHealth) where she led client teams for the agency’s Medical Device & Diagnostic, Health Information Technology and Health Services practices.

Barbara also founded and ran Modern Health Communications, Inc. focused on strategic communications for the healthcare and wellness industries.

Barbara brings a deep history in technology, medical devices and understanding of the healthcare landscape to the challenges faced by healthcare companies. Her clients have included ArthroCare, AcerMed, Conceptus, Great Basin Diagnostics, i2i Systems, Opthonix, MedeAnalytics, Brain Resource, Medtronic (Kyphon), Carl Zeiss, Hoag Memorial Hospital, Imaging Healthcare Specialists, Xeltis, Fair Isaac Company, Viveve and The Turek Clinic.

Barbara started her career as a reporter and editor after earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Temple University in Philadelphia. She enjoys hiking, cooking—and eating. Her “bucket list” includes traveling throughout Europe and learning to cook Thai food in Thailand.

Rich Oppel
Senior Advisor

Rich Oppel is a senior advisor for media strategy and management at Crosswind Media & Public Relations. Over a period of 45 years, he has served as editor of three newspapers, including The Charlotte Observer and Austin American-Statesman.

In 1978, Rich became the editor of the Charlotte Observer, leading that publication to three Pulitzer Prizes during his tenure. He served two years as the bureau chief for Knight Ridder Newspapers in Washington, D.C. Making his way to Texas in 1995, he served as the Statesman’s editor for 13 years.

Oppel’s 2008 “retirement” found him working closely with public relations specialists in crisis communications and media management. He also served on the faculty of Huston-Tillotson University in Austin as Visiting Professor of Journalism and Communication. He later became that institution’s Director of Strategic Philanthropic Initiatives and then Interim Vice President for Institutional Advancement.

Jake Clements
Vice President, Marketing & Advertising

Jake Clements is an experienced account manager and marketing specialist with a strong background in direct marketing solutions. Jake graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Midwestern State University’s AACSB-accredited Dillard College of Business Administration. The school is among the elite 5 percent of business programs worldwide to receive accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, providing business training of the highest caliber.

Upon graduating, Jake joined DesignWorks Group in Wichita Falls, Texas as a Media Buyer, learning the ins and outs of TV, radio, print, online, social and direct mail. Jake soon moved into an Account Executive position, providing strategic marketing to each client, ensuring the client’s goals were met. During his time with DesignWorks Group, Jake forged valuable vendor relationships, demonstrated excellent negotiating skills and implemented several cost-saving processes while increasing sales.

In 2011, Jake relocated to Austin, TX, joining Time Warner Cable Media to develop and drive the formation of the Direct Marketing Solutions division. Jake utilized his leadership and strategic marketing skills while leading business development in multiple markets through powerful integrated campaigns and consistently surpassing client sales goals.

Jake joined Crosswind Media & Public Relations in 2014 as Director of Integrated Marketing. Putting his superior leadership, marketing strategy and relationship-building skills to good use, he promotes clients’ interests through integrated marketing strategies, helping to craft powerful and effective marketing campaigns.

Denny Phillips
Creative Director

With 20 years of experience in advertising and design, Denny has helped create impactful solutions for some of the largest companies in the world like Facebook, Pizza Hut, Coca-Cola, and Conoco-Phillips.

 

The resource industry benefited from his expertise with the relaunch of the Kendall Oil brand and the Conoco-Phillips roll out of their proprietary Liquid Titanium additive across consumer, fleet, and industrial categories. While working in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA – Denny used his understanding of business to business marketing for the redesign of the natural gas company – Kriebel Wells. Critical to the success of the rebrand was the ability to appeal not only to the natural gas industry but to the landowners and community members as well.

From directing LeBron James at Sprite to launching credit cards for Chase, Denny’s style of leadership and creative-thinking has garnered industry-wide attention, winning awards and speaking at SXSW.

When not delivering results for brands, Denny lives with his wife and son in Austin, TX where he mountain bikes, kayaks, and practices the martial art of Systema.

Marc Herring
Experiential Marketing

Marc Herring, CEO and principal designer, founded Herring Media Group (HMG) in 1991 with the mission of helping brands distinguish themselves through bold, technology-driven innovation. A leader and pioneer in digital and Architectural Media with deep roots in the arts and broadcast production, Marc designed and produced some of the world’s first outdoor projection mapping installations, coining the term Architectural Media.

Early on, Herring Media Group partnered with media giant Gannett Outdoor to bring groundbreaking media solutions to public spaces. After seeing HMG’s work, Foote-Cone Belding asked Herring Media Group to create an Advanced Communications Group within their global agency. International agencies and marketers took note of the value of HMG’s non-traditional approach at Foote-Cone in helping brands get noticed in an increasingly noisy world. Inspired to continue to bring that value to new clients, HMG returned to working independently. Resilient and always evolving with the changing marketplace, Herring Media Group is still driven by its early mission to help elevate and distinguish brands with bold, innovative solutions.

Some of Herring Media Group’s innovative projects include producing the first television commercial created on board the International Space Station, organizing worldwide broadcast coverage of the reentry of the MIR space station, temporarily illuminating vast, natural desert landscapes with live, digital multimedia projections, and the design and installation of high-rise Architectural Media and lighting installations on skyscrapers throughout the world.

Arnold García
Senior Advisor

Crosswind Senior Advisor Arnold García brings 43 years of experience in media and a national reputation for editorial excellence.  Arnold  retired from the Austin American-Statesman in 2013 after 39 years with the newspaper, 22 of those as editorial page editor.  At the time he retired, Arnold was dean of the state’s editorial page editors. He has served on a Pulitzer Prize jury for editorial writing and chaired a Pulitzer jury on editorial cartooning.  He has mentored a rising generation of Latino reporters and editors across the United States.

A natural story teller, Arnold brings his skills as a master communicator and his deep love of the real history and modern demographics of Texas to Crosswind.  He remembers and has written about the adversity of growing up in San Angelo, Texas.  He has seen his peers overcome the hardscrabble hardships of 1950s and 1960s West Texas to become dynamic leaders of the most vibrant and fastest growing state and metropolitan centers in the Union.

During his remarkable tenure with the Austin American-Statesman, Arnold led campaigns for affordability in Central Texas government, pushing for elected officials to be far more accountable not only to their agencies but also to the taxpayers and renters who pay for the operation of those agencies.

At the vanguard and one of only a handful of Latino editorial page editors in the country, Arnold was also and always at the forefront of efforts in his newsroom make sure coverage of Austin truly reflected the growing diversity of the Austin community and the State of Texas.  He was a guiding spirit for the creation of ¡Ahora sí!, Austin’s award-winning Spanish language news weekly, and he continues to advocate for media and communication strategies that better reach and serve the fastest growing demographic in Central Texas, the state’s Hispanic residents.

Included among Arnold’s community and writing honors are journalistic awards for his issues advocacy from the Associated Press and the Texas State Teachers Association.  He is a past president of the Headliners Club in Austin and is a past member of the board of directors of the local Crime Prevention Institute, which aids those transitioning from incarceration to communities.  He serves on the board of directors of KIPP Public Schools in Austin, the Capital Area Public Defender Service, and AustinUP, an organization dedicated to advocacy for Central Texans 65 and older.

Arnold is a graduate of Angelo State University in government and history, honored by that campus as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2003, and an Army veteran.  Arnold has served on active duty in Germany, leaving the service as a sergeant and later joining the Texas National Guard where he served as a captain.

As a writer, Arnold has covered local and legal affairs across Texas, and reported from Europe, but his most cherished bylined articles have focused on the sacrifices made by the state’s military veterans in times of armed conflict.  His family’s dedication to community service has continued in the lives of his children: his daughter Jennifer is a faculty member of the University of Iowa Medical School and his son Teodoro is a captain in the U.S. Army.

Adrian Patenaude
Account Executive

Adrian Patenaude studied advertising and public relations at Abilene Christian University. During her time there, she was involved in a variety of public relations roles for various student organizations. Most notably, she worked as the advertising director for ACU Film Fest, and worked with the International Students’ Association to plan and promote the Ethnos Culture Show.

Her professional experience includes interning with the marketing department at Hendrick Health Systems in Abilene and serving as a writer with the International Mission Board in India. She has also worked at student-run Ad/PR agency, Morris & Mitchell, where she used social media to promote the U.S. Department of State’s global internship opportunities. Adrian joined the team after moving to Austin to pursue a career in public relations and film.

Iliana Storch
Assistant Account Executive

Iliana Storch is a senior at The University of Texas – Austin majoring in public relations and government. At Crosswind Media and Public Relations, she brings creative thinking and a passion for client branding and media relations to each of the clients she works with.

Prior to joining the Crosswind team, Iliana served as a legislative intern for Texas State Representative Joe Moody (D-El Paso), where she researched legislation for issues ranging from mental health to energy and the environment. She currently works on several account teams in the healthcare, government and technology sector.

In addition to interning with Crosswind, Iliana is an Account Manager for Texas Tower Public Relations, a student-run firm focused on local non-profits, where she worked closely with clients to identify communications needs and manage a team to develop client branding. Iliana also serves as the design editor for The Daily Texan, an award-winning student publication, where she has learned the ins-and-outs of a newsroom operation and established long-lasting relationships with student journalists.

On the weekends, you can find Iliana on the hunt for the best restaurants in Austin, or enjoying the Austin weather outdoors. As a self-proclaimed foodie, she hopes to one day manage PR and event planning for celebrity chefs.

Karen Johnson
Senior Editorial and Content Strategist

Karen Johnson is a Senior Content Strategist telling the stories of Crosswind’s clients through online, editorial, executive communications and marketing communications strategies.

For more than 20 years, Karen has directed persuasive communications programs for leaders in healthcare, energy, technology and public agencies. Her experience supporting high-tech start-up companies, aligning their business models with solid communications planning, provides a foundation and can-do spirit to all her client service. She was also a maternal and child health communications consultant with U.S. Agency for International Development traveling to developing countries in Africa and Southeast Asia to troubleshoot, develop strategies, conduct media training and implement crisis communications plans as needed. Karen’s agency experienced is deep, serving as the Southwest Regional Manager for two international public relations agencies.

Karen’s communications career started in the political realm, beginning at Texas Motor Transportation Association and then with a state housing agency, where she was the primary speechwriter for the executive office and board chairman. She received a B.S. in Communications with a political emphasis from the University of Texas at Austin.

Tammy Ditmore
Corporate Editor

Tammy Ditmore brings a passion for precise language and a knack for spotting careless mistakes to Crosswind, helping ensure that press releases, blog posts, ads and annual reports are accurate, engaging and error-free.

Tammy began her editing career more than three decades ago on a newspaper copy desk in Abilene, Texas. She went on to fill various editing chairs at the Dallas Times Herald and the Austin American-Statesman. Since leaving the newsroom, she has worked as the managing editor of an academic journal and edited scores of books, magazines, websites and articles for publishing houses, businesses, authors and scholars.

She is a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association; American Copy Editors Society; Independent Book Publishers Association; and the Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network.

JT Graham
IT Manager, Web Designer

JT Graham has always had a love for rhythm, music and technology. After attending Dub Academy in East Austin during high school, he has been DJing professionally at events since early 2012. In fall 2012, he attended Harding University for communications and media, where he was a live radio host for Harding Radio, and in fall 2013, he attended Dark Horse Institute for Audio Engineering in Nashville.

In addition to managing the marketing and social media for his music career, JT has worked at Vector Marketing and interned at Crosswind Media & Public Relations. He rejoined the Crosswind team in August 2014, handles the office IT, manages websites in wordpress and handles audio and video for the team.

Casey Normandin
Event Planner

Casey Normandin has worked in the event planning industry for over ten years. She has worn many different hats in that time, allowing her to become an expert in all things events. Casey has gained experience by adopting a hands-on approach and seeking knowledge from some of the most well-known event planners, including Christine Paul of Christine Paul Events and the team behind LVL Weddings and Events. Casey is a strong woman with an outgoing, kind-hearted personality. She is determined, driven and extremely organized. These attributes allow her to work easily with any and all exhibitors in order to execute all projects to the fullest.

Mark Lihn

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