Gwen McKinney | Monique Brackett | Elaine Elinson | Laura Fox | Nicole Hayes | Vincent Hughes | Llenda Jackson-Leslie | Danielle LeFlore | Richard Montgomery | Shannon Mouton | Hassan Naveed | Joyce Taylor | Phyllis Wilder
President and Founder of McKinney & Associates
Gwen is responsible for translating the vision of public relations with a conscience into a sustained and tested suite of communications services and activities. Gwen blends strategic savvy with an unparalleled commitment to social justice and public policy for change. She has provided strategic planning and public relations counsel to leaders and organizations working on issues ranging from adult literacy and tobacco control to health equity and environmental justice. In October 2012, Gwen was selected as one of three finalists for the Washington Women in Public Relations (WWPR) prestigious PR Woman of the Year Award.
In the early days of her communications career, Gwen worked with the United Nations Council on Namibia and designed an international public education campaign supporting independence of Namibia. She also worked closely with the U.S. antiapartheid movement and helped promote Nelson Mandela’s first state visit. She has traveled through the southern African region and spent six months in Namibia as a communications specialist and observer of the independence elections in the late 1980s.
With seven years of PR firm experience serving a variety of community, corporate, government and private sector clients, Monique Brackett provides public relations and social marketing support to McKinney & Associates, drawing from her expertise in advertising, marketing and promotions.
Based in Los Angeles, CA, Monique was the firm's lead for a multimedia health equity campaign targeting African American women in cooperation with the California Department of Public Health's Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Program. Monique previously coordinated community, media and faith-based outreach for the state-funded First 5 California program, which promotes early childhood development and school readiness for children.
Her skills in media relations, community engagement and event planning have contributed to projects on behalf of clients including Black Entertainment Television (BET), California Department of Health Services, Office of AIDS, NAACP Image Awards (2012), and more.
Senior Communications Associate
Elaine Elinson has worked as a communications strategist for the civil rights community in California for more than two decades. Her clients include the Equal Justice Society and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, as well as private law firms challenging multinational oil companies and workplace discrimination.
At McKinney & Associates, Elaine provides oversight and direction in guiding messaging, staffing and client services delivery, including a multimedia campaign on Black Infant Health with partners from the California Department of Maternal Child and Adolescent Health.
With more than 25 years of strategic communications and PR experience under her belt, Laura Fox provides unparalleled support to the team’s government outreach initiatives and other communications planning and evaluation projects. Throughout her career, Laura has developed successful media campaigns for the US Department of Agriculture, US Food and Drug Administration and the US Small Business Administration.
In 2008, Laura received the Sustaining Performance Award from the Small Business Administration for identifying and developing a process to create localized, professional and cost-effective marketing materials for field offices. In 2001, she won an Emmy Award for her work with “Dr. X and the Quest for Food Safety” from the curriculum Science and Our Food Supply.
Nicole Hayes brings a strong background in consumer outreach, partnership development and media relations to McKinney & Associates. She has developed and implemented strategies and media relations outreach for large consumer and government clients.
With her skilled foundation, Nicole sought a career to support her core belief that people make the best investments and launched her own D.C.-based media relations consultancy, Pieces of Life, to serve small businesses and non-profit organizations. She is committed to the mission that drives McKinney and its clients.
Throughout his career, Vincent Hughes has focused his graphic design talents in the science and health fields, for both the public and non-profit sector. As an art director for the USDA in the 1980’s, he serviced client agencies in the fields of research, extension, food and nutrition, and international development, while directing the department’s transition to electronic publishing.
Since leaving government service to work independently, his clients include International organizations and federal agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations that support health initiatives in developing countries. Other clients include the environmental publisher, Island Press, and Congressional Quarterly’s CQ Press.
Senior Communications Associate
Llenda Jackson-Leslie is a senior communications professional skilled in speechwriting, project management, strategic planning, crisis communications, grassroots advocacy and media relations. She has worked on various McKinney projects, including the NAACP Stand for Freedom Voting Rights Campaign, the launch of RWJF's Health Policy Center at Meharry Medical College, ICHAD 2012 and Respect DC.
Llenda has served as Director of Legislative Communications for the American Civil Liberties Union, as Communications Director for Michigan's largest trial court and as Director of Marketing and Media Relations for the Detroit Branch NAACP, the nation's largest branch.
Executive Assistant/Marketing Coordinator
Danielle LeFlore is executive assistant to the President of McKinney & Associates and doubles as Marketing Coordinator. Danielle is responsible for managing the president’s schedule as well as providing marketing support to the staff. Danielle is a three time veteran of McKinney, having started her third “tour of duty” with us in October of 2011.
Art Director and Multimedia Design Specialist
Richard Montgomery directs the firm's conceptual design and development, including computer aided special effects and photo editing, website design, corporate marketing and collateral production. He works closely with the strategic planning team to assist in crafting the visual concepts for branding campaigns, corporate identity and logos, brochures and business publications, magazines, newsletters and Internet business development, communication signage and displays, and full service printing.
His work with McKinney has included design and layout of a report marking the 40th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and design and supervision of the collateral for the documentary Unnatural Causes.
Shannon R. Mouton
Marketing & Digital Media Director
Shannon Mouton leads the internal marketing and digital efforts for McKinney & Associates. She is a relationship marketing professional, with a passion for utilizing social technology for building business relationships, sharing information, networking and advancing the greater good. Her 20-plus years of public speaking, marketing and community-building experiences have afforded her unique opportunities to foster communities where none existed, develop and launch innovative programming and bridge generational, economic and racial divides.
Junior Communications Associate
Hassan Naveed works on media relations, marketing, strategic planning and campaign implementation for the firm’s clients. Hassan brings a unique background in grassroots advocacy and communications, specifically related to civil rights issues.
Hassan has served as Associate News Director of KCSB 91.9 FM in Santa Barbara, an organizer at Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and program coordinator at an international development organization.
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Joyce Taylor, MBA, MA
Human Resource Specialist
Joyce Taylor is with Swath Leadership, LLC and has provided Human Resources coaching, consulting and training services for more than ten years to the associates of McKinney. Her initiatives include strategic planning; employment, recruitment and selection; teambuilding; conflict resolution, diversity, performance management; and coaching services. Her consulting work has focused on fostering the cooperative efforts of employees in achieving organizational and individual goals. In addition to her work with McKinney she has worked extensively with diverse cultures and organizations throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Central America.
Ms. Taylor has been an Adjunct Graduate Professor in the Johns Hopkins University Cary School of Business since 1991. She teaches graduate level courses in Organization Development and Strategic Human Resources.
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Phyllis Wilder is responsible for managing and implementing the effective daily operations of McKinney & Associates. She assists Gwen in developing systems and functions to administer client services, marketing, personnel and finance.
Phyllis is a skilled administrator with more than 20 years of experience supporting managers and executives in a variety of industries, including Fleishman-Hillard's Global New Business Development team. A consummate self-starter and team player, she has demonstrated ability to evaluate current business processes and systems and then plan and implement procedures to maximize operating efficiency.
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