At its core, design is problem solving, we just use visual tools
It’s the experience you always wanted from a consulting firm:a thought partner; the question you needed to hear; the solution without needing to ask.
Meet the people who make it possible.
Kendall Bentz serves as a trusted advisor to corporations, industry associations and individual CEOs on issues central to their business strategy and organizational positioning. He works with top trade associations and leading blue-chip corporations to advance policy priorities and gain a competitive edge. He advises executives, formulating unique insights into broad social, business and policy trends that serve as the basis for original thought leadership platforms.
Over the past 15 years, Kendall has partnered with renowned economists and researchers to develop multiple research-driven communications initiatives that move public opinion and shape policy. He has helped the nation’s travel industry define transportation infrastructure as a bottom-line issue. He has led original research that redefined service sector employment – transforming the perception of industries ranging from gaming to retail.
Kendall leads the Washington, DC office of High Lantern Group. He graduated from Stanford University with a degree in political science.
For fifteen years, Jeremy has worked at the crossroads of public policy, business and strategic communications. Before joining High Lantern Group, he was with the Heinz Family Foundation where he helped design and implement innovative programs and grants producing practical, market-based solutions to a range of domestic policy issues. Jeremy also developed and executed the foundation’s strategic communications. He has worked for two Presidential campaigns and prior to that spent 5 years working in fixed income trading on Wall Street.
Jeremy graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in political science and did post-graduate work at the London School of Economics. He received a Masters in Public Policy with a concentration in business and government relations from The George Washington University.
Daniel Casse has been an advisor to CEOs and their companies for over 15 years. He is also president of G100, an organization that regularly gathers 100 CEOs of significant global companies. In both his work at G100 and as a consultant, Daniel has worked on issues ranging from antitrust regulation to intellectual property protection to the impact of private equity. He has coached CEOs on critical decisions, trained dozens of senior leaders on positioning their business, and drafted hundreds of high-stakes speeches, articles, and white papers on behalf of clients. He has served as a special assistant to the President in the White House, an advisor to five presidential candidates, and as author of more than 50 opinion articles, essays, and book reviews published in the Wall Street Journal and other national publications.
Iris is particularly interested in turning good intentions into positive outcome, replying to the world’s needs through design. She believes that design makes it possible for her to interpret things in a different light and communicate with people in an impactful way.
Before joining HLG, Iris interned with TBWA\Chiat\Day. During her internship, she has worked on building visual identities and visual experiences for various projects such as “Save Energy LA” campaign, which was launched by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Iris received a Magna Cum Laude BFA from Ewha Womans University in Visual Communication Design, an MFA in Graphic Design from California Institute of the Arts.
Rob has more than two decades of experience developing and leading high-profile strategic positioning and thought leadership initiatives for Fortune 100 companies, major trade associations and national political campaigns. In 2006 he helped conceive and create the Discover America Partnership, a coalition of major businesses that worked to increase international visitation to the U.S. The effort generated hundreds of articles and the passage of eight separate pieces of federal legislation including the establishment of Brand USA. Travel Weekly called it the “industry’s biggest legislative victory in a decade.” Prior to helping found High Lantern Group in 2009, he managed the external affairs strategy for the Walt Disney Company’s worldwide vacation and leisure division, including positioning on key industry issues and reputation among key stakeholders. Rob serves on the Board of Governors for the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Coro Southern California as well as for the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. He is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Program for Leadership Development, and received his Bachelors Degree in Political Science with Honors and Distinction from Kenyon College.
Rubab Hassan is a communications strategist with experience in the nonprofit sector and community development. Prior to joining High Lantern Group in 2016, Rubab served as Program Associate with Eisenhower Fellowships, where she worked to research and coordinate fellowship programs for global leaders representing the private, non-profit, and public sectors. Additionally, she was a researcher with the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania. Rubab has worked with a variety of non-profits, including Institute for Women and Art and Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and is passionate about empowering marginalized communities through storytelling.
A graduate of Rutgers University, Rubab holds a B.A. in English and Middle Eastern Studies along with a certificate in International Affairs. She is a former Fulbright Fellow and was based in southeastern Turkey, where she spent a year developing English language curriculum and expanding the speaking and listening skills of university students. She is fluent in Urdu.
Director of Client Experience
Stephanie Heaston serves as Director of Client Experience at High Lantern Group. Prior to joining HLG, Stephanie started her career in the Entertainment Industry at Lippman Entertainment working with record producers and music industry executives. From there she moved to Idea Lab, a Bill Gross incubator for creative thinkers and .com startups. She has spent the last 20 years at The Walt Disney Company, predominantly under Global Marketing & Sales under Parks and Resorts, later serving as Operations Manager and Special Projects, Office of the President, Disney Consumer Products and Co-Chair Interactive Media.
Stephanie has worked on both international and domestic marketing campaigns, research and consumer insight studies, marketing strategy, corporate alliance partnerships, new business development, tech and innovation, and production. Additionally, producing large scale corporate Ideation Conferences (TED like conferences) working closely with senior level executives, top tier keynote speakers, authors, celebrities, politicians and professional athletes, to develop compelling sessions, meaningful and thought provoking conferences with the goal to remain relevant and knowledgeable as an industry leader.
Michael Hodin is CEO of Global Coalition on Aging, Managing Partner at High Lantern Group, and fellow at Oxford University's Harris Manchester College. Mike features on Huffington Post and Fiscal Times’ Age and Reason Blog.
Mike was a Legislative Assistant with Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in his first term. He was honored as a Visiting Scholar at Brookings Institution, on U.S. Foreign Economic Policy. He was senior executive at Pfizer, where he created and led International Public Affairs and Public Policy operations.
Mike is Member of Council on Foreign Relations, and was Adjunct Senior Fellow on population aging. He’s on the Boards of Foreign Policy Association, Business Council for International Understanding, American Skin Association, American Federation on Aging Research and Emigrant Savings Bank, where he serves the Risk and Audit Committee. Mike is on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Aging.
Mike holds B.A., cum laude, Cornell University, M.S. in International Relations from London School of Economics and Political Science, and M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University.
Mark Hoffmann, Ph.D. has over a decade of experience in coaching, messaging, and strategy. Much of Mark’s work focuses on structuring arguments and shaping ideas, particularly in healthcare, technology, and demography. Mark has worked intimately with researchers, physicians, business leaders, and policy experts to make deeply complex material clear and persuasive for both expert and lay audiences. Mark is the author of numerous white papers, articles, blogs, chapters, speeches, and textbooks, and he has edited countless more. Prior to joining High Lantern Group, Mark spent a number of years working in international settings with universities, private companies, and governmental organizations in Argentina, Cambodia, England, the Philippines, Samoa, Thailand, and Vietnam. Mark holds a doctoral degree in rhetorical theory from the University of Maryland.
Drew Holzapfel brings a deep foundation in healthcare to High Lantern Group and our clients. Over the course of his career, Drew has held positions in the federal government and with pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers. As a partner at High Lantern Group, he has led the firm’s work with top biopharmaceutical companies to drive market readiness, position key policy issues and gain third-party organization support. He also has helped many nonprofit/disease advocacy organizations and coalitions develop their positioning strategies and strengthen their influence and impact.
Drew has unique expertise in aging, Alzheimer’s disease and caregiving and has been recognized for his disease strategy work by advocacy organizations, corporations, international organizations, including OECD and WHO, and the US government. He is also a frequent speaker on these topics. Drew serves on The Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation’s Board of Directors, the Executive Director of The Global CEO Initative on Alzheimer’s Disease and founded a coalition of corporations to better support employee caregivers called ReACT (Respect A Caregivers Time). Drew earned his Bachelor’s degree from Emory University and a Master’s of Business Administration from The University of Maryland.
Megan Jackson is a Director at High Lantern Group, where she supports clients in the health, aging, travel, and entertainment industries.
She joins HLG after six years consulting in the national and international security field. As a senior analyst for a business risk advisory firm, she built government relations and market entry and expansion strategies for multinational companies. Prior to that, Megan worked at a non-profit organization that brought together industry leaders, academics, and policymakers to address national security challenges.
She has also worked as a research and writing assistant for several university professors, an editor of an academic online journal, and an English language teacher in France.
Megan received an Honors B.A. from Wellesley College in International Relations-History, an M.A. in Security Studies from Georgetown University, and an M.A. in Political Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH-Zurich).
Jennifer joins HLG from Edelman Los Angeles, where she served as Vice President, Crisis & Risk Management, providing strategic counsel and support in litigation and regulatory communications, complex issues and reputation management, advanced crisis and risk planning and incident-driven response.
Prior to her time at Edelman, Jennifer served as Deputy Executive Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where she was responsible for managing the policy briefing process for the Secretary’s International Affairs (IA) and Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI) portfolios. She also served the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a congressional oversight attorney in the Department’s Office of the General Counsel. During her time in private practice, Jennifer was an attorney on the criminal defense team representing Deepwater Horizon BP Well Site Leader Robert Kaluza.
Jennifer holds: an MPhil/MSc in Global Politics and Government from the London School of Economics; a J.D. from the Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law; and a Bachelor’s Degree from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism with a double-minor in International Relations and Spanish from the University of Southern California.
A curiosity and passion for design's role in problem-solving has been the catalyst for Jess Kemp's career. With a decade of experience in creative leadership, Jess has guided emerging couture fashion brands into the global market, constructed digital communities for America's critical care nurses, and won critical acclaim for her marketing campaigns in Higher Education. She has collaborated with some of the world’s most iconic brands including Sony, Disney, Starbucks, Mattel, Kaiser Permanente, and Warner Bros. Jess combines her razor-sharp aesthetic sensibility with an analytical thought process to consistently produce work that is thoughtful, unexpected, and effective.
Brooks Kenny is a Senior Consultant at High Lantern Group and oversees select projects related to caregiving, aging, and healthcare. In this role, she currently supports the women’s network of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, charged with directing its growth strategy through strategic partnerships and marketing initiatives. Most recently, she was on the founding team and Executive Vice President of Lotsa Helping Hands, a company providing solutions for our nation’s family caregivers. She led the company’s worldwide branding and social media marketing efforts, developing partnerships, creating business growth opportunities and expanding its reach to more than 1.5 million members.
Brooks is a nationally recognized subject matter expert in caregiving and is often called upon to speak with groups on such topics as cause marketing and strategic partnerships. Brooks has served in a leadership capacity for various nonprofit governing organizations and oversight committees and authored a communications and marketing training manual for nonprofit leaders. Among her achievements, Brooks was recently named among 40 Professionals Under 40 by the Washington Business Journal and given the Founder’s Award in 2009 for her dedication to the work of the Caregiver Action Network.
Sarah joined High Lantern Group as the Administrative Coordinator in March of 2015.
Prior to High Lantern Group, Sarah interned with New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s 2014 re-election campaign. Through the Cuomo campaign, Sarah was also able to intern for the Women’s Equality Party campaign, an initiative to create an official party in the state of New York for women-centered issues.
Sarah is originally from Los Angeles, but she moved to New York to pursue her undergraduate studies. She graduated from New York University in August 2014 with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Creative Writing. Sarah has non-profit and volunteer experience from internships and public events during her time at NYU.
Director of Business Services
Emily graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Paralegal Studies from Kaplan University in October 2014. Prior to graduation, Emily worked as a receptionist for the U.S. Travel Association and briefly filled in as Coordinator of International Relations before her departure.
Upon graduating, Emily went on to work as a paralegal for SenecaOne Finance, where she worked on various research projects related to financial settlements.
Emily joined the High Lantern Group in May of 2014.
Clare has advised CEOs, senior executives and corporate boards on a broad range of communication issues for more than 15 years. Formerly the worldwide director of communications and special projects for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Clare specializes in organizational and executive communication, linking leadership messaging to corporate strategy, brand strategy and communication initiatives. She has worked with numerous global brands as well as local nonprofits.
Nella McOsker is an Associate Director at High Lantern Group, where she supports clients in industries ranging from health and technology to tourism and entertainment.
She joins High Lantern Group following the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs where her placements included projects such as management of a local political campaign, administration and analysis of a focus group study for a transportation government agency, and a comprehensive communication strategy for a social enterprise incubator. Prior to the Coro Fellowship, Nella worked as a classroom teacher and regional advocacy leader in two large public school systems. She got her start in education as a Teach For America corps member.
Nella graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Political Science and an interdisciplinary minor in Politics, Philosophy and Economics – an intersection she loves to explore.
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Cortland Mercer joined High Lantern Group in July of 2013, where he works as an Associate Director supporting clients in the health, finance, and technology industries.
Prior to joining HLG, Cortland served in a variety of roles in the public affairs arena including participating in the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in Los Angeles, CA, which promotes effective and ethical leadership. Additionally, he has worked with the executive team of the University of North Carolina system to develop policies that promote public higher education. Cortland served as Student Body President at the University of North Carolina at Asheville where he graduated with a BA in Political Science.
For nearly 10 years, Yael Miller has helped distill complex policy questions into concrete, easy-to-understand messages and strategy. At HLG, Yael manages strategic planning, thought leadership and communications projects for clients in the travel and tourism and healthcare industries. An experienced project manager, she has led strategic communications events in many countries around the world.
Before joining HLG in 2014, Yael worked with the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Agency for International Development, focusing on communications and research in the Middle East and North Africa. She holds an M.A. in Economics and Middle East Studies from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Georgia.
Melissa Gong Mitchell brings to High Lantern Group more than a decade of public affairs experience, specializing in policy-related and CEO-level strategic communications, advocacy campaigns and coalition building. Melissa also serves as Executive Director of the Global Coalition on Aging, an organization conceived, created and operated by HLG and recognized as the leading global business voice on aging policy and strategy.
Prior to joining HLG, Melissa served as Director of Industry Relations and Strategic Outreach at the U.S. Travel Association where she led grassroots development and industry initiatives including the organization’s CEO Roundtable, legislative fly-in and political action committee. She previously served as Executive Director of the Travel Business Roundtable, a CEO-based advocacy organization, and an Associate at Prime Policy Group (formerly BKSH & Associates), a Washington-based government affairs firm. Melissa holds an MBA from Georgetown University and a BA in Journalism and Psychology from the University of Mississippi.
David Niles is President of SSA & Company, a leading management consulting firm, and G100 Companies, a professional services holding company. Dave sits on the board of Leading Edge Aviation and is an investor in private companies and venture capital funds. He is also Chairman of the advisory board of the Deming Center for Quality and Competitiveness at Columbia Business School and a member of the Gotham Chapter of YPO.
Previously, David was a Partner at Castling Group, a management consulting firm and private equity fund. Before Castling, David was a member of Booz, Allen and Hamilton's Media and Entertainment Practice. Earlier, David led corporate development for a division of Bertelsmann AG and served as a Senior Advisor to the CEO of the Signature Group, a $1B membership-services company. David started his career as an Account Executive with Ogilvy and Mather. He holds a MBA, with distinction, from Columbia Business School and a BA from the University of Virginia.
Mario Ottiglio leads the Geneva, Switzerland office of High Lantern Group. He brings over a decade of leadership at global health organizations – spanning the public and private sectors to meet the public affairs needs of clients across Europe and Asia. Mario focuses on the global reputation strategies of firms, trade associations and international institutions, especially in the pharmaceutical, healthcare and life sciences sectors. He holds experience in managing trade associations and building consensus among diverse interests for creative public affairs solutions. In addition, he has extensive knowledge of the United Nations system.
Previously, Mario served as the Director of Public Affairs, Communications & Global Health Policy at the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA). In this role, he acted as a spokesperson for the global R&D biopharmaceutical industry, promoting active, cross-sector dialogue with key stakeholders. Mario was often involved with high profile media and authored several thought pieces. Prior to that, he worked in public institutions and private firms across a range of issues. An Italian national, he holds a MA in Political Sciences and International Relations. Mario speaks English, French and Italian.
Charles brings to High Lantern Group his experience and interest in strategic communications across a range of forums and issues. He is particularly drawn to the potential of well-crafted narratives to challenge conventional thinking and introduce compelling new ideas, transforming dialogues in business and government. He has produced research reports, advised clients and shaped messaging in a variety of industries and policy areas, including healthcare, energy and emerging technology.
He attended Davidson College, graduating magna cum laude with a degree in Political Science. While in college, he traveled throughout India and edited the humor section of the student newspaper.
Every day is different, and that is what makes working at HLG highly rewarding. It’s never mundane, and it’s always thought-provoking.
Julie Pierce has more than 25 years of experience providing strategic communications counsel and support for senior executives. Her specialty is helping leaders and managers figure out what they have to say and how to say it, in ways that engage stakeholders and advance business objectives. Over the years, Julie has crafted hundreds of strategic plans, high-stakes presentations, and white papers and articles that position her clients as thought leaders. Besides coaching individuals and teams, Julie often leads workshops on how to organize complex ideas and structure clear, compelling presentations, memos, and proposals. Julie’s corporate experience includes 15 years with McKinsey & Company, as global director of internal communications and director of communications for the Greater China region, and 10 years with the Economist Intelligence Unit based in New York and Hong Kong.
Katy Schneider Riddick joins High Lantern Group as a Director, bringing experience in public policy at the state, federal and international levels. Most recently, she led the Government Affairs team at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the largest charitable funder of dementia research in Europe. During her tenure, the UK Government committed to an ambitious goal of a disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s by 2025. Katy helped craft the supporting strategy, while also managing multiple issue campaigns on key legislative priorities. She led the development of a program of work focused on the impacts of dementia on women, launching a report that garnered national press coverage and established the organization as a thought-leader on the issue.
Previous, Katy served as the Deputy Finance Director for a Congressional campaign and later worked in lobbying for a diverse range of municipal and private clients, as well as a large trade association. Katy graduated with Honors from the University of San Francisco with a degree in Politics, and is a native Oregonian.
Patrick graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English from The George Washington University in May 2013. While in college, he wrote editorials for GW’s independent student newspaper, The GW Hatchet. His senior year he became the Hatchet’s Opinions editor where he managed a team of columnists and led the paper’s award winning editorial board.
Prior to graduation, Patrick was a Research Associate with the American Writers Museum Foundation and later interned with Freedman Consulting, where he researched a range of issues related to public policy and government affairs.
Originally from Dallas, TX, Patrick joined High Lantern Group in August 2013.
Sam Savin is an Associate at High Lantern Group's Philadelphia office. He is responsible for helping translate research and data into meaningful insights that help clients compete in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Sam joined High Lantern Group after working for several years in Baltimore and Philadelphia's municipal governments; he brings to HLG an expertise in research, writing, project management, and public policy.
A Minnesota native, Sam came to the east coast in 2009 to study history at Goucher College.
Susan Wile Schwarz is a healthcare analyst and communications strategist. Prior to joining HLG, she established the communications practice and advised on research design for a global health economics think tank, advisory group, and implementation partner to governments and the private sector. Susan also worked as a policy and research analyst at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. As an independent consultant, Susan advised not for profit organizations and mission-driven businesses on management, research, communications, partnership opportunities, and growth strategies. She has a Master’s of Public Health from Emory University and a Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in American History and Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies.
Scott Silviera is an Associate Director at High Lantern Group, where he supports thought leadership and strategic positioning projects in industries ranging from travel and tourism to technology and civic infrastructure. Scott is one of the firm’s experts on social media and issue analytics and helps clients develop new business applications for these rapidly evolving tools.
Before joining HLG in 2014, Scott graduated from the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, an experiential program that promotes effective and ethical leadership in civic affairs. While pursuing his undergraduate degree, Scott served as the Student Body President of California State University San Marcos and as a Vice President of the California State Student Association, where he advocated for 430,000 CSU students on a local, state, and federal level. Concurrently, Scott worked as a financial associate for Thrivent Financial and was the campaign manager for successful proposition and State Assembly campaigns.
Chief Editorial Officer
Kevin has provided strategic counsel and communications advice to dozens of Fortune 500 companies for more than 12 years. During that period, he has led crisis communications efforts on some of the highest profile antitrust, class action, and product liability trials of the last decade and helped companies develop and manage litigation communications teams. Kevin also served as a senior policy and communications advisor to two presidential campaigns and a Washington, DC-based think tank.
Ben Westhoven is a designer, problem solver and conceptual thinker. His experience as part of various design teams includes interactive design at Razorfish in Atlanta, as well as leading package design and branding at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles. From illustration to layout to typography, he believes that thoughtful design lives in the details of every project.
Ben graduated with honors from Auburn University’s College of Architecture, Design and Construction with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design. When he’s not pushing pixels around his computer screen, he enjoys working with his hands via photography, drawing and infrequent attempts at keeping old engines from leaking too much oil.