Mary Keith Trawick is a world-class graphic designer and digital production manager. She started her publishing career at Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine and Texas Monthly. She spent five years in New York publishing, including executive tenure as a print and publications manager at John Wiley and Sons, and as a multimedia manager at Dorling Kindersley. Back in Texas, she managed production at G&S Typesetters. She was the design manager for more than a decade at the corporate headquarters of Keller Williams Realty, the world’s largest real estate franchise. Mary Keith is a world traveler and spent a year in Adana, Turkey. She is an accomplished athlete and a fierce competitor who is a two-time full Ironman finisher. In her spare time, Mary Keith embraces the great outdoors, hits the art and music scenes, and spends time with family by dragging them to all those things.
Dr. Brian Watson first interned for Crosswind in the summer of 2012 and now serves as Crosswind’s head of research and analytics. As a trained social scientist, Brian specializes in the latest quantitative and qualitative techniques investigating public opinion, technology, digital media, and marketing campaigns. He is the principal researcher behind Crosswind’s statewide public opinion poll, the Texas Pulse, and directs all research projects conducted at the firm.
His doctoral research at Louisiana State University’s highly regarded Manship School of Mass Communication focused on the relationship between new media technologies and political polarization, news, and behavior. His dissertation work demonstrated how ordinary citizens can use emerging social technologies to improve our increasingly heated political situation. He has also contributed to academic journals, with articles published in the general science journal PLOS One, the International Journal of Public Opinion Research, and Perspectives on Politics. He has presented original research at the annual meetings of some of the world’s largest conferences in Mass Communication and Political Science, including the International Communication Association, National Communication Association, Midwest Political Science Association, and Southern Political Science Association.
Brian earned his M.A. in Political Theory from LSU in 2015 and spent his years there devoted to deep philosophical problems in politics, religion, and ethics. While a master’s student, his reading and writing focused on the ways our Western tradition succeeds and fails in answering the fundamental challenges of democracy, faith, and peace-making, culminating in a thesis on the political theology of German pastor and resistance leader, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. While completing his master’s thesis at LSU, Brian worked as a policy intern for the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR), a non-profit state policy think tank that has served as that state’s principal and independent government monitor and watchdog for more than 60 years.
In December of 2011 he was awarded his B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from Baylor University, the oldest continuously operating university in Texas and one of the first educational institutions of any sort west of the Mississippi River in the United States.
April Dang is Crosswind’s Management Consultant, bringing to the agency 20 years of experience in team and project management leadership and consulting, spent principally in global finance and banking. She has extensive experience in navigating high-profile staff and clients through fast-changing market challenges and she is an accomplished crisis responder with a history of team leadership in sales, marketing, credit underwriting and audit. She has deep international roots. April has proud Jamaican, Chinese and British bloodlines. April and her four siblings began working at age 16 to put themselves through university and have since gone on to careers in a variety of industries including accounting, engineering, art design, banking and marketing. April herself, a varsity athlete in high school and a member of the African American Caribbean Students Association at the University of Toronto, graduated with a bachelors degree, majoring in psychology. She met her husband , currently an engineer for Austin-based Dell , in 1993 – across the net on the U of T volleyball court. April and her sons have been deeply committed volunteer members of the Texas-based Young Men’s Service League that sets mothers and sons to a common and local philanthropic project during high school years. She has taken on many board positions in this organization. Her passion for volleyball also lives on and she can be often found as the most animated fan in the stands at historic Gregory Gym on the nearby UT Austin campus where her equally-aggressive Longhorn spikers were this year the Number 1 women’s team in the nation.
Mac Walker provides media and strategic communications counsel to Crosswind’s energy, healthcare, technology and government clients. He is passionate about helping people with different political ideologies connect on important issues through effective communications and story-telling.
Mac previously worked for Governor Greg Abbott as his Deputy Press Secretary and a primary spokesperson for the Governor’s office. During this time, Mac was responsible for the Governor’s media releases, media engagement and query responses, and social media. Most recently, Mac served as the communications associate for a national education policy consultancy, where he directed all internal and external communications and was directly responsible for highlighting the company’s work online and in the media.
Born and raised in Florida, Mac earned his bachelor’s degree from Rollins College in political science and communications. He was a Division 2 student-athlete and team captain, as well as actively involved on campus. Outside of work, Mac enjoys playing golf, watching sports, and spending time with friends and family.
Carly Shelton is creative media designer for Crosswind, specializing in video production and story creation. Carly majored in digital media arts and minored in art emphasis in painting at Lubbock Christian University.
While in college, she interned for well-known advertising agency, The Price Group, where she learned a foundation of the Adobe products. The Price Group is based in Texas and has done work for some of the largest and most successful banks, health care delivery systems, and retail companies in Lubbock, a town she grew to love where cotton is still king, the rodeo still rules, and the spirit of homeboy Buddy Holly is still alive.
Upon graduation, Carly was instrumental in helping to launch a successful startup video and marketing company in Lubbock, Contract Cre8ive. The venture’s most recent production is work for the Texas Ranching Heritage, and the team has also done work for Rebus Capital, Peoples Bank, Chase Energy, McGuire Builders, Bahama Bucks, TintTech, and other high-tech companies across West Texas. Including being a part of the creative team for the successful campaign for Curtis Parrish for Lubbock County Judge.
Carly was born and raised in Lubbock, the heart of West Texas. The people and their value of community are what make West Texas a home and safe place for anyone to land. She was raised around incredible leaders in Lubbock and every single one of them is as nice to the lowest guy on the totem pole as they are to the top. Carly’s maternal grandmother worked for David Swinford who was a Republican member of the Texas House of Representatives, representing District 87 from 1991 to 2010 as his District Office Manager for 17 years.
She packed up everything and moved to the Austin, Texas area in the summer of 2020. Her passions include paintings by Brynn Casey, a Georgia based artist who specializes in paintings of water where you can get lost in the waves. And the talented photographer Charlie Stout that captures the beauty of the deserts of West Texas and beyond. Also passionate about story telling from many talented authors like Glennon Doyle and one of the editors for The Office, her favorite TV show, Dean Holland, who was born in Comanche, TX. Plus, one of her favorite characters from The Office is Jan Levinson played by Melora Hardin who was born in Houston, TX. Carly also loves spending time with her dog Spencer, who is a German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix with the goofiest personality and of course her family who has always been there for her.
Carly is always challenging herself to be a better artist and pursuing new creative outlets. It’s rare that there isn’t at least one art project or craft in process at her home. Carly has a passion for storytelling and a firm belief in the goodness inherent in all people. She intends to use her talents in marketing and PR to highlight and motivate others.
Aurora Silva is an assistant account executive at Crosswind Media & Public Relations. She is a born and raised Houstonian, currently living in the Cypress area, who enjoys anything involving Mediterranean food and Texas sunshine. Her mom makes the best ribs, and she is always excited to see what new creation she will be cooking up in the kitchen.
She attended Texas A&M in College Station where she received her Bachelor’s in English and fell in love with fantasy novels after attending a Fiction Fantasy literature course. Princess Bride is still the wittiest novel she’s ever read, she recommends that novel to everyone looking for a good laugh.
Aurora is a co-founder of a non-profit organization named Positioning Excellence Around Kids (P.E.A.K.). The goal of P.E.A.K. is to ensure that students in the K-12 environment have equal access and opportunities to build a bright future. P.E.A.K. works with low-income families in Texas to offer programs that introduce participants to the skills and interests they have not yet acknowledged.
During her time at A&M she was also a member of Her Campus, an online global community for college women. Her Campus is now the #1 media site for college women, written entirely by the world’s top college journalists. In this organization, founded by three smart, empowered, and fearless college women, Aurora wrote blog postings and contributed to the social media of her chapter in College State – all dedicated to and empowering college women.
Aurora was an member of Texas A&M’s chapter of American Association of University Women (AAUW), a non-profit organization founded in 1881 that advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research to end discrimination. Advocacy efforts by AAUW have propelled countless new laws, including the Equal Pay Act, first proposed in 1945 and finally passed in 1963; the Title IX amendment in 1972; the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993; and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009.
After graduating, Aurora returned to the Houston area where she enjoys watching scary movies like A Quiet Place with her Mini Schnauzer named Fifer, always followed by something funny like Bob’s Burgers. She also loves trying new foods and would love to try Japanese food in Tokyo one day. Aurora stays active by going on long walks, doing yoga, and lifting weights at the gym. Her favorite international trip was visiting Greece during New Year’s Eve where she ate one too many gyros and traveled to Delphi. Her dream vacation is going to the Florida Keys where she’d spend her time out in the sunshine and by the beach.
For nearly 30 years, Rear Admiral Robert Durand has been entrusted to lead teams, deliver results and provide key strategic insight at the nation’s highest and most critical levels, providing counsel to CEOs, CMOs and four-star combatant commanders. Robert recently retired from the U.S. Navy as Vice Chief of Information and he now provides strategic media and spokesperson services to clients of Crosswind Media and Public Relations.
As the senior reserve public affairs officer in the Navy, Robert led 500 Navy Reserve public affairs professionals and mass communication specialists who provide communication support to the Navy worldwide for events, exercises and combat operations. His command was the equivalent of a major marketing agency’s global workforce with supervision over media relations, crisis communication, strategic messaging, multimedia production, organizational communication and executive positioning.
In his civilian career, Robert has led corporate communications at five venture-funded high-technology companies, from early stage-startups to private equity turnarounds. He has taken four startups from invisibility to market prominence, resulting in two $400M+ acquisitions, and has also led public relations at a global cybersecurity company through a $2B acquisition, merger, and global rebranding effort.
He translates complex technology into the words, ideas and images that excite customers, investors, employees and partners.
A native of Lakewood, Colorado, Robert was commissioned in 1988 after graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy. He was deployed to the Red Sea in support of Operation Desert Storm, was mobilized twice to serve as director of public affairs, Joint Task Force Guantanamo, and was recalled to active duty from 2009-2012 as director of Public Affairs for the Chief of Navy Reserve at the Pentagon.
Robert counts the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various service and campaign awards as symbols of homage to his service.
Jonathan W. Taylor has devoted his career to public service. He has served his country as a frontline combat medic and the State of Texas as a leader of its economic development programs, with oversight of the state’s investment and reinvestment programs. Most recently, Taylor managed contract programs for the Lower Colorado River Authority which delivers vital electrical power, water and public recreation to many thousands of Texans.
Before that, he was executive director under Governor Rick Perry for the state’s Economic Development and Tourism effort where he oversaw integrated marketing (advertising, public relations, research) in domestic and international markets, successfully encouraging non-Texas travel to the Lone Star State and generating millions of dollars to local Texan communities and securing thousands of jobs in local communities.
Jonathan also served as Director of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. The Fund is the state’s largest, most active seed and early stage venture capital investment fund with over $400 million in expenditures. Jonathan led the development of the strategic plan and managed the State’s investment in 133 portfolio companies and 22 large scale research projects. He reported results directly to the Texas Legislature and advised the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House on investment decisions of taxpayer funds.
Jonathan’s prior public service includes managing the $100 million Research Grant Matching and Research Superiority Grant programs, developing and leading the Texas Small Business Summits, and creating the Texas Small Business Advisory Council. Jonathan served eight years in the United States Army Reserve, as staff sergeant, combat medic and combat Advisor.
In Afghanistan, he served at a remote U.S. combat outpost and trained Afghan National Army and National Police staff, leading them to deploy and equip an emergency medical treatment facility for a population of over 50,000 Afghans.
Previously, Jonathan managed 200 medical personnel, $4 million of equipment, and patient throughput of a fully functional 80 bed Level 3 Army Field Hospital. He served in the Dominican Republic, providing emergency medical treatment of approximately 700 U.S., Central American and Caribbean military and police forces, and he has trained and supervised the medical personnel in a variety of remote and hostile environments.
He has earned the Combat Medic Badge, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, an Afghanistan Campaign Medal with service star, a Global War on Terror Service Medal, NATO medal for ISAF, and several other commendations.
Jonathan holds a BA in Political Science, Economics emphasis with a minor in criminal justice from Texas Christian University and extensive military training including U.S. Army Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training, Warrior Leader Course, U.S. Army Combat Advisor among others. Jonathan’s medical training has included NREMT-B, Advanced Cardiac Life Support Provider and Instructor, Pediatric ACLS Provider and Instructor, Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support Provider and Instructor, Combat Medic Advanced Skills Provider and Instructor, Field Management of a Chemical and Biological Casualty Course, MITT Medical Course, and many others.
“Windy” is a 2015 Kentucky-bred thoroughbred mare who was registered with the Jockey Club, a thoroughbred breed registry, as Princessdaisyleigh. Her sire is Graydar, the son of Unbridled’s Song – who won $1.3 million and was posthumously granted the title of leading sire in North America in 2017 – and grandson of 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled, who claimed almost $4.5 million in race earnings. Her dam is Cherry Sherry, a granddaughter of Canadian-bred Deputy Minister who sired many successful racehorses – a feat replicated by his son, and Windy’s grandsire, Awesome Again.
Her excellent racehorse breeding was done at the hands of international breeding operation SF Bloodstock breeders – the “SF” stands for Soros Fund. George Soro’s investment firm, Soros Fund Management, is behind SF Bloodstock and its international racing operation, SF Racing Group. This Soros arm also owned a 15 percent stake in Triple Crown winner Justify.
Windy’s breeding brought her owners and investors $15,000 in 2016 at the famed Keeneland Yearling Sale, where she was bought by a top racehorse owner named Craig Aguiar. However, as is the case with so many racehorses, excellent breeding did not translate into top racing talent. Princessdaisyleigh’s final race at Churchill Downs on September 17, 2017 culminated in an 8th place-finish (out of nine horses). She had earned less than $2500 in her three races.
Almost exactly one year later, on September 13, 2018, Crosswind vice president Karen Johnson noticed her sitting in a Texas kill pen, waiting to be saved, or shipped to slaughter in Mexico.
After quarantine, vet attention and rest for an injury, Windy spent the next few months relaxing and just “being a horse” at Karen’s farm. In June 2019 she entered training with Dan Keen, during which she had to learn that not every ride is a race, as well as encountering many other things most racehorses don’t see – from cows, to ATVs.
Regardless of what Windy’s final horse “degree” will be in – whether it’s trail and pleasure, jumping, or working cows – she has become an important member of the Crosswind team and is a reminder of what can happen when responsibility wanes, and as a symbol of hope for new beginnings.
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.