Meet The PR Team
Katie Carmichael has several years of legislative and regulatory experience with a strong background in communications. In 2014, she opened her own communications and consulting business in Austin, Carmichael Communications & Consulting, which primarily catered to the oil and gas industry and provided public affairs, government relations, strategic counseling, campaign planning and administration, event coordination and promotion, and in-depth writing and research-related services. Prior to founding her company, she served as Director of Public Affairs for Texas Railroad Commissioner David Porter, devising public affairs strategies and handling all communication to the media and public. Katie also played an integral role in producing Commissioner Porter’s March 2013 Eagle Ford Shale Task Force Report. Other notable oil and gas experience includes working closely with the Atlantic Council as the lead researcher and author of the Council’s 2014 white paper, “Sustainable Water Management by the Texas Oil and Gas Industry.”
While completing her bachelors degree in journalism at Texas State University, Katie served as a legislative intern for Rep. Elliott Naishtat and a freelance writer for local newspapers. After graduating, she continued to work in the Texas Legislature in various capacities before joining the Texas Railroad Commission in 2011.
Allison East is an assistant account executive who is passionate about storytelling and design. She studied journalism, entrepreneurship and professional writing at Abilene Christian University. Her journalism career began at ACU’s student newspaper where she worked as a reporter, managing editor and Editor in Chief. In her time as editor, she redesigned the newspaper and the paper won the award for Division II Best in Show at the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association competition in 2017. She interned as a staff writer at the Austin Business Journal in 2016, covering rising entrepreneurs in Central Texas. While at ACU, Allison also served as vice president of the local chapter of Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization, which won best chapter in the country under her leadership.
After graduating from ACU in 2017, Allison earned her Master’s in Publishing Media at Oxford Brookes University. While abroad, she gained valuable work experience at Oxford University Press as a part of their children’s publishing marketing and publicity team. As a graduate student, Allison developed editorial management skills, practiced her hand at book design and focused her thesis research on developing a business framework for new publication development. While completing her degree, she worked as ACU’s assistant director of Study Abroad in Oxford, living and traveling Europe with students and faculty from Texas. (She subsequently developed the always-valuable skill of leading a large group of 20-year-olds across the London Underground.)
In her free time, Allison can often be found drinking a steaming cup of Yorkshire Gold while developing recipes for her secret food blog, daydreaming about walks in English meadows, or mulling over the series of children’s books she plans on writing someday.
Bria Robinson is an assistant account executive at Crosswind. Born and raised in Austin, she knows the Texas capital and especially its music choices well. Bria is a 2017 graduate in mass communications from Southern University and A&M College, a historically black college university, founded in 1890 that overlooks the Mississippi River. She was editorial assistant at DIG Magazine in Baton Rouge, the city’s leading alternative weekly covering lifestyle, dining, sports and nightlife. She was also a digital media intern at CBS affiliate WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge. Bria was a volunteer tutor for two years in the Big Buddy program, working with secondary students to improve their reading, math and writing skills. She returns to Texas with an enduring passion for Louisiana seafood, Zydeco and most famous- Mardi Gras. Bria remains actively involved in Austin in the philanthropic work of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., and serves as elected assistant secretary in the Southern University Central Texas alumni chapter.
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.
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.
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.
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.