Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Welcome Digital Communication Leaders

Tonight our class is privileged to host two leaders in digital technology, social media and strategic marketing: Katherine Bradford and Lee M. Gills.

Bradford, Vice President Development for NOVO1, has been a ten year contributor to SMU's Communication Studies Division, serving on the CCPA Advisory Board and guest speaking for PRSSA. She has more than 20 years of sales and technology experience, including work with Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. She has implemented and managed IT and sales in high tech, engineering, telecommunications, and oil and gas industries both nationally and internationally. She serves as on the Veterans Work Program committee, she is the Program Chair and member of the Operations Committee Board for CEO Netweavers, Initiator and Founder of Career Jump-Start and is a Big Brother Big Sister volunteer.

Gills, is Executive Vice President for EMS (Excel Marketing Systems, Inc.) Over the last 16 years Gills has held executive positions for top-rated BPO companies and has worked with Fortune 500 corporations, including First USA, VZW, Citibank, Chase, Assurant, Ace Insurance. For the last two years Lee has consulted with Fortune 500 companies to incorporate a “response driven” social media offering.

We're pleased to have you both. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Welcome Frank Roby

Frank Roby is a standout among Dallas’ distinguished communication leaders, with extensive background in business and nonprofit management in the U.S., Africa, China, India, and Mexico. As the CEO, founder and Board Chairman for Concero Global, Inc., he employs a strategy of "conscious capitalism," when advising socially responsible start-up companies around the world. As the former CEO of Holmes Murphy Texas, he helped develop the company into one of the regions’ largest business risk and insurance advisory firms. But just last fall he expanded his focus by becoming CEO of Empower African Children, where he also serves as a member of the Board of Directors.

Service is among Mr. Roby’s chief attributes. He serves on the Dallas Regional Chamber board, the North Texas Food Bank, and worked with St. Stephens Hospital in Delhi India. He is also a member of the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations and the Dallas Assembly. An active SMU alum, Mr. Roby serves as an Executive Board member of the Meadows School of the Arts with a concentration on Communication Studies.   

Previously, he served as Vice Chairman of the Board for the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Ft. Worth and as Board Chair of the North Texas Food Bank.  In Mexico, he was a founding board member and Board Chairman for Juntos Servimos, and he worked in Nigeria with Vision Africa. He has chaired the Talent/Workforce/Education Committee of the Dallas Regional Chamber, served on the Dallas Achieves Commission for DallasISD, was District Representative of the Dallas ISD Bond Committee and the University of Texas at Dallas Development Board.
Roby remains active in the First UMC in downtown Dallas and in the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. So it came as no surprise when I asked SMU colleague and Roby fan, Maria Dixon, what stands out about Mr. Roby, she said, “He’s a great Sunday school teacher.” 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Welcome Matt Gobush

As ExxonMobil’s manager of corporate communications, Matt Gobush, handles the corporation's executive speech program, is responsible for the energy policy blog, all shareholder publications, internal communications, opinion research, and oversees functional and regional communications. 

Gobush joined ExxonMobil in 2005, after 12 years in Washington, D.C. There he served the federal government during the Clinton Administration, worked in the U.S. Department of Defense and at the White House, where he was director of communications for the National Security Council.  He worked on Capitol Hill, first as director of communications for the Democratic Staff of the Committee on International Relations in the U.S. House of Representatives, and later as director of communications for Senator Joseph Lieberman.  Additionally, Gobush held senior positions in several presidential election campaigns.

As a spokesperson for a giant multinational energy company, Gobush joins our class tonight to help Communication Studies students understand how global politics and media trends affect communications, and thus, businesses, and how an integrated communications approach can help companies take on the toughest energy challenges.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Maureen Locus, head of public relations for Brinker International, brings a range of PR experience to our class this evening. Prior to joining Brinker in 2007, she worked in sports media, hospitality, technology, finance and healthcare. Today, Locus focuses on promoting the Chili’s Grill & Bar brand. When she’s not pitching and landing national publicity for the 1,500-plus unit restaurant, she’s managing PR for the company’s national nonprofit campaign, Create-A-Pepper to Fight Childhood Cancer with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Locus works to secure media placements on a local and national level, to develop key messages for Chili’s social media channels, and to monitor the organization’s media hotline. An integral member of Brinker’s crisis support team, Locus responds to crisis communication situations within the restaurants.

Locus was an assistant account executive at McCrory & Associates, a small, boutique public relations firm with five star hospitality clients. She began her agency experience as an account coordinator at HCK2 (formerly Michael & Partners) representing key accounts including, Hewlett Packard. In sports, she served as the media liaison for Global Games, a men’s under-22 international basketball tournament, worked in the sports marketing department for the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) in conjunction with the Big 12 Conference, planning and carrying out event management during the 2003 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship and the 2004 Big 12 Conference Men’s & Women’s Basketball Tournaments.

A graduate of the communications program at Texas State University, Locus is a member of PRSA Dallas chapter and International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). She is also involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas and serves on several community committees.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Welcome Robert Martin

Known as the strategist at Dallas-based MM2 Public Relations, Rob’s co-workers have dubbed him “the one who can take a totally off-the-wall idea and bring it down to earth.” Rob Martin, the Principal and Managing Director of this creative marketing and communications firm, founded the company with partner Larry Meltzer. As former senior executives with Fleishman-Hillard and previously the founding partners of Omnicom’s Blue Current Public Relations, the Martin and Meltzer team launched MM2 PR only a few years ago. But they’ve been working together more than 10 years.

The combined expertise in national media relations campaigns, buzz marketing programs, financial communications and brand building has helped their boutique firm build a client roster that includes companies in the consumer, health care, technology, energy and manufacturing sectors.

Check out their energetic website at

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Welcome Michael Lake

It hardly seems accurate to introduce Burson-Marsteller’s Mike Lake as a guest speaker in tonight’s Dallas Communication Leaders class. The “communication leader” part is abundantly true, as Lake has 25 years of extensive national political experience, and private/public sector public relations expertise in developing public policy programs, media campaigns, grassroots operations, marketing programs, advocacy advertising campaigns and crisis communications strategies. As head of Burson’s Southwest operations and Chair of the U.S. Public Affairs Practice, Lake is credited with building the Dallas office, and helping make it the third largest agency in this market. He’s a member of the Dallas Press Club, Texas Association of Business, Dallas Friday Group, PRSA and the National Register's "Who's Who" in Executives and Professionals.

No doubt he has earned top ranking among communication professionals. But it’s the “guest speaker” part that doesn’t ring true. Lake is hardly a guest in the halls of SMU’s Communication Studies division. Rather, he has become a highly regarded fixture, having spoken in dozens of communication classes over the years, serving on and/or presiding over the CCPA Advisory Board, opening his office to countless communication interns, and tirelessly mentoring our students.

And who better than Mike Lake to help students discern what type of communications work to pursue in this competitive and vast field? He’s done it all. Lake has directed international, national, state and local communications programs for most business sectors, from airline and telecommunications to education and agriculture. He has handled a raft of complicated crisis communications issues including the crisis in the beef industry surrounding mad cow disease in the U.S.

We are privileged to welcome Mike Lake, more than a guest speaker. 

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Welcome Edelman's Jennifer Little and Ashley Maddocks

It's Edelman night in SMU's Communication Studies division as our class welcomes two communication professionals who represent a range of experience in one of the top PR firms in the world. 

At the seasoned executive level, Jennifer Little, Senior Vice President, Consumer Marketing of Edelman Southwest, handles the company’s consumer marketing practice.

After honing her skills as Ketchum’s Vice President and account director and later as Pizza Hut Inc.’s Director of Public Relations, Little joined Edelman, where she serves as senior counsel, strategy and planning, with expertise in retail, food/restaurants, travel & tourism and consumer technology. As the account director for Dickies work wear, she manages the brand’s national media relations program and special events. Her recent marketing campaign for Dickies landed the brand a feature in the New York Times.  She also created the first national editor event for the brand in the Dickies Showroom in NYC. 

Much newer to the profession is Ashley Maddocks, who, after two years at Edelman, serves as an Account Executive in consumer practice, responsible for trend monitoring, monthly reporting, weekly status updates and media relations for her clients, including Dickies.

We are honored to have you both.