Richard S. Levick, Esq.
Chairman & CEO
Network contributor on Crisis Communications, Columnist for Forbes.com, Developed the art of Litigation Communications, Globally recognized Crisis Communications Speaker, Practitioner, Lecturer, Professor at Fordham University
Under his leadership, LEVICK has set new standards in global communications and brand protection for corporations, countries, and major institutions. Mr. Levick is one of the communications industry’s most important spokespersons and thought leaders.
A powerful advocate for the strategic initiatives that companies must pursue in today’s perilous environment, he regularly addresses corporate boards as well as industry and government leaders around the world, providing guidance on their most complex communications and reputation management challenges. He is featured in, and authors, countless articles, and is a frequent guest on prime time national and international television programs.
Mr. Levick is a much-sought after keynote and graduation speaker and is a columnist for the top business blogs including Forbes.
Mr. Levick has co-authored five books including, The Communicators: Leadership in the Age of Crisis; Stop the Presses; The Crisis and Litigation PR Desk Reference; 365 Marketing Meditations; and Lessons for Absent Children.
On a daily basis, Mr. Levick’s prestigious team of professionals spearheads many of the world’s highest-profile campaigns – including Guantanamo Bay; the Catholic Church; the Wall Street crisis; the Gulf oil spill, and some of the most important public affairs matters globally.
Mr. Levick sits on a variety of boards including the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI), and, through a Joint Business Relationship, he is an integral part of PricewaterhouseCoopers Anti-corruption Center for Excellence. He is also a former board member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
He is the past Director of American University’s School of Public Affairs Leadership Program, and a former professor of crisis communications in the graduate school at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He lectures regularly at Harvard, Stanford and Georgetown Law Schools and West Point.
- Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies – University of Maryland
- Master’s of Science in Environmental Advocacy (Communications) – University of Michigan
- Juris Doctor – American University’s Washington College of Law
Chair Corporate & Financial Practice
Financial services, health care, industrial, professional services, real estate, technology, telecommunications, and utilities. Activist investors, advocacy programs, bankruptcy, corporate reputation, crisis, cybersecurity, financial, initial public offerings, litigation, leadership transitions, merger and acquisitions, regulatory, and risk scenario research and planning., Trusted boardroom advisor, Capital markets expertise, Reputation management, Investigations, regulations, legislation.
John Lovallo is a trusted advisor and counselor to C-Suite executives and Boards of Directors, with a proven ability to analyze, simplify, and provide communications solutions to complex corporate, financial, regulatory and business issues. Mr. Lovallo has works with a broad spectrum of private and public companies, from emerging to the Fortune 100, and brings capital markets experience to his engagements.
Mr. Lovallo uses research-based insights to develop leading strategies to help clients build, manage and protect their corporate reputation. He has advised senior executive teams across a wide range of industries including financial services, health care, industrial, insurance, professional services, real estate, technology, telecommunications, and utilities.
Mr. Lovallo focus includes strategic counsel relating to activist investors, bankruptcy, corporate reputation, crisis, cybersecurity, financial, leadership transitions, litigation, merger and acquisitions, regulatory matters and risk scenarios. He has also handled initial public offering communications and implemented comprehensive corporate communications and advocacy programs.
Mr. Lovallo works directly with institutional investors, national/trade reporters, key influencers and third parties to generate support for corporate initiatives or counter crisis matters to positively impact business outcomes, protect corporate brands and maximize valuation.
At LEVICK, Mr. Lovallo has worked closely with companies dealing with inquiries, investigations and actions from state and federal regulators including state Attorneys General, the Consumer Financial Protection Board, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Office of The Controller of the Currency, the Federal Communication Commission, State Regulatory Agencies, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Previously, Mr. Lovallo held senior management positions at leading global communications firms, where he worked with companies to define, build, and protect their reputations to drive business, engage employees and third parties, strengthen brand loyalty, and increase shareholder value.
In these roles, Mr. Lovallo has worked with publicly-traded and private companies throughout the world including AMN Healthcare, BP, BancorpSouth, Beacon Roofing, Cavco Industries, Deloitte, DLA Piper, Ford, FM Global, Fulton Financial, Insurance Care Direct, loanDepot, Masco, Mosaic, NASDAX, Ocwen Financial, Penguin Random House, Shering AG, Sodexho Alliance, Suez Lyonnaise, Team Health, T-Mobile and WGL Group.Earlier in his career, Mr. Lovallo spent 14 years managing institutional and high net worth investment portfolios with an emphasis on equity analysis and evaluation.
Senior Vice President, Business Development
Boards of Directors, corporate governance, associations.
Steve Kalan has been a consultant and trusted advisor as a business development professional focused on sensitive and strategic boardroom issues for 18 years. He has worked with public, private, and nonprofit organizations, and scores of global professional services firms that support board and C-suite needs.
Throughout his career, Steve has translated his clients’ needs related to risk oversight, strategic communications, board assessment and improvement, cyber strategy and more into tailored solutions for board development activities across many industries. At LEVICK his straightforward approach to a needs analysis discussion helps him quickly draw conclusions with his clients regarding their needs and LEVICK’s resources.
Prior to LEVICK, Steve built and managed the board services business development team at the National Association of Corporate Directors. He worked closely with the member companies, developing customized solutions across numerous industries like healthcare, energy and utilities, technology, financial services, retail, manufacturing, defense and more.
In his early days at NACD, Steve developed customized communications plans for global professional services firms based on their marketplace objectives. Two programs he started remain in place for the benefit of thousands of NACD members: the online, short video series BoardVision, which often featured him interviewing his clients on important boardroom matters; and annual publication of white papers on important boardroom topics based on peer exchange luncheons as moderated by Steve Kalan and others at NACD.
His work with board chairs, CEOs, Generals Counsel, and other company leaders has resulted in a large group of business leaders who trust in his pragmatic approach to their sometimes urgent but always important business needs.
- Bachelors of Science – University of Virginia
Senior Vice President, Head of Litigation
Crisis Communications, Litigation Communications, Department of Justice Investigations, Executive Malfeasance, Media Relations
Derede serves as head of the litigation communications practice at LEVICK. With more than 20 years of media and communications experience, she represents clients facing high profile crisis and litigation issues, including regulatory matters, cyber incidents, class actions, corporate scandals, and sexual misconduct allegations, among others.
Prior to joining LEVICK, Derede served as vice president & chief communications officer for the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), a global legal association representing more than 45,000 corporate lawyers in more than 10,000 organizations around the world.
Her additional experience includes positions with Howard University, Superior Court for the District of Columbia, 6ABC News (Philadelphia), and a clinical at the City of Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.
An oft-quoted authority on complex communications, legal and business issues, Derede is frequently sought after by organizations to speak on challenging issues confronting corporations and has contributed commentary on global business and crisis issues for such media outlets as NBC Nightly News; Thomson Reuters; the Washington Post’s NFL blog, The League; Locker Room Magazine; Canadian Broadcast Network; Canadian Lawyer InHouse and American Lawyer Media publications, among others.
- Juris Doctorate – Temple University Beasley School of Law
- Bachelors of Arts, Communications – Howard University
Senior Vice President
Cybersecurity, privacy, ad tech, biotech, telecom, associations, startups; crisis management, reputation management, market penetration, litigation communications, spokesperson preparation, influencer relations, brand marketing, digital marketing
McLane founded the Ian Lipner is an award-winning communicator known for instilling trust in innovation. Counted upon for practice innovation and pragmatic futurism, he counsels both global leaders and new disruptors through periods of rapid change. Ian brings senior leadership experience to client and agency teams, helping enunciate differentiation and demonstrate authenticity.
Mr. Lipner’s career spans more than twenty years of communications roles, driving strategic media programs and creating digital platforms for member-driven associations, industry trade groups and global corporations. The thought leadership platforms his teams develop have propelled brands and their leaders from niche players to cable news regulars, and his spokesperson preparation work has readied dozens of C-level executives for success in high stakes communications.
Before joining LEVICK, Mr. Lipner founded and led the Washington, DC office for a global communications agency. Over a thirteen-year tenure, he was instrumental in pioneering the firm’s first social media management services, developing and deploying industry-first global measurement methodologies and launching the agency’s dedicated global research function. He also acted as agency lead for dozens of global communications campaigns, helming teams for many of the agency’s top clients in Internet infrastructure, data management, AI and cybersecurity.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Lipner led technology accounts for a highly regarded Mid-Atlantic agency and prior, served as head of public relations and spokesperson for the nation’s first veteran’s group. Mr. Lipner earned a Psychology degree from University of Illinois.
- Bachelor of Arts, Psychology – University of Illinois
Senior Vice President, Accounting & Operations
Lisa Santopietro is a leader who blends technical acumen with practical business sense. As Senior Vice President of Accounting & Operations for LEVICK, Ms. Santopietro manages the accounting, human resources and administrative teams with steadfastness to maintain the company’s finances and foster good corporate culture. She is responsible for establishing policies, procedures, controls and reporting systems for most areas of the firm.
With thirty plus years of accounting experience in the telecommunications and public relations industries, Ms. Santopietro brings a unique entrepreneurial approach to corporate accounting and management. For over ten years, she has supported the practice groups and executive leadership of LEVICK with creative solutions and systems.
- Bachelor of Science in Accounting
- University of Maryland
Crisis communications, global energy, geopolitical risk, data privacy and security
Bryant Madden is a seasoned media relations and strategic communications professional. His work, often as a strategist, project manager, and content creator, has touched numerous issue areas, most notably international relations, technology, health care, law, and finance. He has particular experience handling crisis scenarios – from high-stakes litigation to large-scale data breaches – that have global implications.
Mr. Madden has achieved positive news mentions of his clients in prestigious outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Since joining LEVICK, Mr. Madden has excelled at executing a variety of high-stakes communications campaigns geared toward issue advocacy, corporate social responsibility, brand rehabilitation, and litigation support.
Prior to joining LEVICK, Mr. Madden worked in politics in his home state of Connecticut where he managed campaigns and served in the State Capitol. He holds a degree in Political Science from Providence College.
- Bachelor of Arts, Political Science – Providence College
Joseph Weber is a communications professional with 10-plus years of experience including work in public affairs, marketing and the news media.
He has also been an editor for Gannett Newspapers and covered such major stories as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Mueller investigation.
He brings valuable knowledge and insight into how to leverage content across the spectrum of mediums and channels — including print, digital and social media.
His ability to create engaging content and marketing strategies has elevating brands and expanded business opportunities in a wide variety of service lines and industries.
- Weber has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland, where he is an adjunct professor at the school’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
Shahaley Carr is a public relations and marketing professional with over five years of digital strategy, communications, government affairs, and event management experience.
She comes to LEVICK after spending three years managing government affairs and communications at the Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office. From working on Capitol Hill to transferring to the executive branch, Shahaley has extensive experience coordinating legislative efforts with the media and key stakeholders on state, local, and federal levels through traditional and digital strategies.
Cate Cronin is a communications and earned media strategist whose wide-ranging experience spans multiple issue areas and industries, including technology and health care. At LEVICK, she provides strategic guidance and executes communications campaigns on behalf of multiple clients, including thought leadership activities, media outreach, and digital content creation. She has extensive experience with advising companies and management teams on various corporate matters, including high-profile leadership transitions, crisis planning and response, and other corporate reputation matters, and serves as a project manager across many of her teams.
Adam Curtis has both in-house and agency communications experience, touching a variety of areas, including sports and entertainment, healthcare, and cybersecurity. He helps clients with a plethora of services, including content creation, media monitoring, and media outreach, and has landed media placements in, among other notable publications, Houston Chronicle, The Hill, and Pitchfork. He has worked on large integrated marketing campaigns, but has also, on a smaller level, assisted clients on a day-to-day basis with digital communications, issue advocacy, and reputation management. He holds a degree in Public Relations & Strategic Communication from American University.
With a background in journalism and documentary film production, Maggy McCarthy specializes in content creation, media relations, and media monitoring in a variety of areas, including finance, health technology, food and beverage, petroleum industry, and public affairs.
David Martie is an established media relations and strategic communications professional. Counted upon for dynamic crisis management and alternative analysis, he has worked with a broad spectrum of private and public companies, from emerging digital market-disruptors to global energy providers.He has developed an established reputation as a strategist on issue management, brand strategy, and corporate reputation.
As an international affairs and economics specialist, Mr. Martiebringsextensive overseas experience and language competencies in Mandarin Chinese and Korean.
His global mindset and international credentials have specially positioned him to take on the challenges of an increasingly globalized world, as well as the unique challenges of various foreign clients and multinational corporations.
Prior to joining LEVICK, Mr. Martie worked overseas as an award-winning educator and education consultant. Mr. Martie has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Kent State University, where he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He is currently a master’s candidate at The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, where he is majoring in international economics with a regional focus on East Asia.
Maria Stagliano is a public relations professional whose work ranges from high-profile crises to creative message development for various clientele. She has experience working on crisis communications strategy for cybersecurity breaches, reputation management, food safety, school safety, environmental advocacy, racial issues and public health concerns.
Nora Wahlbrink is a promising communications professional who specializes in content creation, media relations, and design, spanning a wide variety of subject matters including technology, corporate communications, litigation, finance, and more. Her strong writing and research skills enable her to provide strategic guidance and create key deliverables to support strategy. Ms. Wahlbrink graduated from the University of Alabama in 2019 with a degree in public relations, a specialization in digital media and a minor in business.
Public affairs, grass roots strategy, association work, reputation management, transportation) branding, Korea, automotive
Throughout a 30-year career in politics, government, public affairs, corporate communications, marketing and advertising, Phil Armstrong has established a national reputation as a leading counselor and strategist on corporate reputation, issue management, and brand strategy. Mr. Armstrong has deep, hands-on expertise devising and leading client programs in the areas of corporate and brand positioning, marketing strategy, issue management, and crisis communications. He has extensive experience in strategic brand planning, utilizing primary and secondary research to develop positioning strategies and design integrated marketing and corporate communications programs.
Mr. Armstrong spent more than two decades of his career in Washington, D.C., and has managed public policy programs for corporate, trade association, and NGO clients on legislative, regulatory, and international trade matters. He has been a registered lobbyist, political consultant, and government official.
Mr. Armstrong’s clients have included Fortune 500 companies such as Allstate, DuPont, UPS, Northrop Grumman, IBM, Unilever, and Pfizer; many trade associations, including the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association; and several federal government agencies. Mr. Armstrong’s experience includes financial services, technology, consumer packaged goods, automotive, telecommunications, energy and the environment, health care, and manufacturing.
Mr. Armstrong has handled multiple crisis and issues challenges for clients, working with law firms on civil and criminal litigation matters, government investigations, bankruptcies, and restructuring. He has represented corporations and individuals facing crisis situations including environmental incidents, labor-management disputes, on-site facility accidents, product recalls, law enforcement actions, and civil disobedience. He has established crisis communications contingency protocols and models for companies and NGOs.
Mr. Armstrong started his career in politics serving as a political appointee in the executive branch of the federal government. He was a speechwriter and press secretary in the Department of Defense as well as deputy assistant secretary for public affairs for the Department of Education.
Mr. Armstrong is a member of the Counselors Academy of the Public Relations Society of America.
- Bachelor of Science in Journalism – University of Iowa
Food & Beverage. Security (Executive Protection/Kidnap and Ransom). Drills and exercises. (armed forces, crisis management, transportation, active crisis response) Energy, offshore, maritime, shipping, crisis training.
Ernest DelBuono has more than 25 years’ experience as a crisis management professional, including crisis planning, response, media relations, and coaching.
Mr. DelBuono has worked in transportation, petrochemical, consumer products, finance, healthcare, hospitality, food and beverage, defense, homeland security, and many other industries. These high-profile crisis engagements involved airline disasters, SUV rollovers, product recalls, natural disasters, eco-terrorism, cruise ship safety, executive misconduct, environmental incidents, and earnings restatements
Currently, he is a member of ASIS International, serving on the Crisis Management & Business Continuity Council.
A retired Coast Guard commander, Mr. DelBuono served as press assistant to the Commandant of the Coast Guard and public affairs officer to the Federal On-Scene Coordinator during the Exxon Valdez oil spill cleanup. He was a first responder to chemical spills, vessel groundings, marine collisions, fires, and groundwater contamination incidents. He assisted in establishing the Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center where he designed and implemented communications programs related to the controversial Oil Pollution Act of 1990.
After the 9/11 attacks, Mr. DelBuono was a first responder at Dulles Airport where he assisted American Airlines in setting up and managing the family assistance center, providing care to the loved ones of Flight 77 passengers killed at the Pentagon.
Mr. DelBuono also has significant international experience setting up global crisis management programs for multinational corporations in the biotech, paper products, hospitality, and manufacturing industries.
- Bachelor of Arts in Political Science – Villanova University
- Master of Science in Public Relations – Boston University
writer/editor, Pulitzer-nominated World War II author, public affairs, Congress, energy and environment policy, foreign and national security policy, more
Timothy Gay brings the power of the written and spoken word to mold public affairs campaigns throughout the world. His deep experience includes years on Capitol Hill, as a key staff member at public affairs and public relations agencies. Mr. Gay’s areas of expertise range widely, including a particular focus on energy, environment and technology policy. As an op-ed and speechwriter, he has driven countless thought leadership campaigns. Mr. Gay has also distinguished himself as an award-winning author on multiple other subjects, from military history to baseball.
For six years, Mr. Gay was Senior Vice President at Grayling and its predecessor firms, Dutko Grayling and Dutko Communications Services. It was at Grayling that he developed his specialty in energy, environment issues and technology policy. Prior to that, he compiled fifteen years of experience, including Powell Tate where he worked from the day that storied agency opened to the day it closed nine years later.
Mr. Gay spent nearly a decade as a congressional press secretary, most recently for now-retired Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and earlier for Representative (now Senator) Tom Carper (D-DE), currently a senior Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee.
His books on American cultural history include: Assignment to Hell, a book on five great U.S. WW II correspondents, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in history; Savage Will, a real-life WW II escape adventure that is being considered as a Hollywood movie project; a biography of baseball great Tris Speaker, which was a finalist for the baseball history community’s two most prestigious awards; and a history of interracial baseball before the big leagues integrated, which won the 2010 Sporting News-SABR Book of the Year.
Mr. Gay was featured on camera on PBS’s History Detectives and in a November 2013 PBS documentary commemorating the 50th anniversary of Walter Cronkite’s coverage of John Kennedy’s assassination. He contributed to a documentary on Lyndon Johnson and civil rights that will air later this year on both PBS and the BBC.
- Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) – Georgetown University
Public affairs, crisis management, media training, non-profit work, Texas legislature, non-profits,
Honored as PR Professional of the Year in 2013 by the Public Relations Society of America, Katherine McLane creates crisis and strategic communications strategies for local, national, and international clients.
McLane founded the Mach 1 Group in Austin to provide strategic communications, media, and public affairs counsel to industry, for-profit, and non-profit groups, influencing public opinion in support of global brands and organizations. Under McLane’s direction, the firm successfully rebranded well-known non-profits, managed major media crises for some of America’s best-known brands, and created campaigns that helped clients win key legislative and regulatory victories.
Prior to founding the Mach 1 Group, McLane was Vice President for Communications & External Affairs for the LIVESTRONG Foundation (2007 to 2013). She served as the organization’s chief communications and crisis management architect during years of global media attention surrounding its founder, successfully steering a course that kept the Foundation’s mission front and center.
McLane served as press secretary for the U.S. Department of Education under Secretary Margaret Spellings in 2006 and 2007, promoting President Bush’s signature bipartisan education law, No Child Left Behind. She led crisis communications and rapid response for the Department and created successful strategies to promote its policies and practices.
From 2003 to 2006, she served as a key member of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign team and communications staff. As Deputy Communications Director and Deputy Press Secretary, McLane shaped the Governor’s public outreach efforts and led media relations in the areas of education, military affairs, homeland security, federal relations, emergency response, and the environment.
Her career began in Austin, Texas, at Public Strategies, Inc., a public affairs and crisis communications firm where she produced and consulted on comprehensive campaign plans for leading technology, transportation, and entertainment industry clients.
- Bachelor of Arts, English Minor in German – Texas A&M University
Widely published writer on business, law, politics, public affairs. Author of numerous books and (literally) thousands of articles bylined or ghostwritten, Law firm marketing advisor and crisis counselor to both law firms and their clients throughout the world. Editor, including managing editorship of trade and general publications. Litigation communications counselor, in and out of court, representing corporate clients and high-profile individuals on both the defense and plaintiffs’ side.
Larry Smith is one of the profession’s leading consultants on media strategy as it directly affects the marketing of legal services. Mr. Smith is also a leading crisis and litigation communications consultant, working with C-Suite executives throughout the world on reputation management and brand protection.
His specific knowledge of and experience with law firms and their clients, both corporate and individual, is global. He brings that market wisdom to bear in helping diverse clients define their markets and refine their message points.
Mr. Smith’s many high-profile crisis and litigation engagements include the Catholic Church scandal, the Napster litigation, and the Rosie O’Donnell Rosie magazine lawsuit. His countless articles have appeared in publications on three continents.
Among his books, Inside/Outside: How Businesses Buy Legal Services, published by American Lawyer Media, was highly praised by C-Suite readers and corporate counsel alike. In its wealth of example and analysis, the book shows how the purchasers of legal services actually think. With Richard Levick he co-authored Stop the Presses: The Litigation PR Desk Reference, which has emerged as a standard guide for both lawyers and non-lawyer managers in the post-Enron environment. Now in its second edition, the book draws powerful lessons from Mr. Smith’s rich experience commandeering and refining communications strategies in the court of public opinion.
Mr. Smith is an experienced journalist and formerly the editor of the prestigious legal publication Of Counsel
- Bachelor of Arts in English – Case Western Reserve University
- Master of Arts in English – Simmons College
- Our Team
- Richard S. Levick, Esq.
- John Lovallo
- Steve Kalan
- Derede McAlpin
- Ian Lipner
- Lisa Santopietro
- Bryant Madden
- Joe Weber
- Shahaley Carr
- Cate Cronin
- Adam Curtis
- Maggy McCarthy
- David Martie
- Maria Stagliano
- Nora Wahlbrink
- Kate McFalls
- Natalia Belskiy
- Geoffrey Hoy
- Farhat Safa
- Chengcheng Song
- Phil Armstrong
- Ernest DelBuono
- Timothy Gay
- Katherine Mclane
- Larry Smith
- Our Team