Meet Arin Gray – a business owner, a team builder, and a public engagement expert. Arin brings over 15 years of experience developing and implementing communication and public engagement plans. Her priority is identifying project- and client-specific solutions, not cookie cutter plans. She has expertise in facilitating public meetings, strategic planning, and crisis/issues management. Her approach is an expert combination of proven engagement tools that capture a community’s values and vision to build consent and support of projects while promoting clients’ values, keeping projects moving forward, and enhancing the technical aspects of a project.
She employs this ability to balance priorities at home with her two children. Arin is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Communication Studies. She and her husband live for weekends on the lake and traveling with their kiddos.
Arin is our President and your communication and public engagement expert.
Meet Pete Peters - a facilitator, a connector, and the person that makes things happen. A native Central Texan and dog lover, Pete is a media and public relations consultant with nearly 50 years of experience. He brings people together and is a trusted advisor on business development, strategic communications, and government affairs. Pete excels in analyzing problems and proposing real solutions having worked with over 600 specific campaigns and efforts for clients. His strength is in making connections. He is a strategic thinker, dedicated to clients and partners.
This gift for strategy and dedication have also made Pete a successful marathon runner and a master chess player. Pete earned his bachelor’s in Communication Studies and master’s degree in Communication, Journalism and Public Relations from the University of Texas at Austin.
Pete is our Vice President of Public Affairs and your innovative solutions developer.
Meet Julie Richey – a project manager, a customer service professional, and a skilled communicator. Julie brings more than 15 years of experience in communications, client relations, sales, and managing project resources. Her understanding of stakeholder needs and skill in communicating complicated technical information to community members provides clients and communities with confidence in the engagement process. Julie is experienced and skilled in working with stakeholders individually to provide community members with the time and resources they need when working through sensitive issues during project development. She has a strong sales background and marketing experience that helps her to direct projects with relatable strategies that help drive success.
Julie uses her ability to patiently guide and effectively manage at home with her three young children, including a newborn.
Julie is our Director of Business Operations and your customer service and project management professional.
Meet Dr. Larry Schooler - an award-winning mediator, a teacher, and a consensus builder. Dr. Schooler began his career as a journalist before becoming a facilitator, public engagement, and communications consultant who provides dispute resolution and cutting-edge strategic guidance to a wide array of clients. Dr. Schooler is passionate about sharing his expertise. He has taught public policy consensus building in numerous contexts and is a sought-after conference speaker. He has been published widely on the topics of public engagement, conflict resolution, and consensus building. He is the author of a manual on effectively facilitating public meetings and a forthcoming book on how to engage the public in resolving large-scale issues.
He and his wife share a mostly conflict-free home with their two children. Larry is a graduate of Yale and went on to acquire a doctorate in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from Nova Southeastern University.
Larry is our Director of Consensus Building and Community Engagement and your mediation and facilitation guide.
Meet Claudia Arniella – a bilingual community engagement professional with over 10 years of public sector experience. Claudia is skilled at crafting community campaigns, leading public engagement efforts, facilitating workshops, and managing challenging projects. She has worked closely with low-income and minority populations and more than 150 community health centers across Texas on efforts related to healthcare, education, social services, development projects, and transportation. Claudia has a strong track-record in designing innovative and effective approaches to community engagement and has a knack for conveying complex information in an easy-to-understand, upbeat way.
Claudia is a graduate of the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies at UT Austin and holds a BS in International Affairs from Georgia Tech. She currently resides in East Austin and stays engaged with her very active five-year old daughter.
Claudia is our Community Engagement Director and your implementer of inclusive outreach.
Meet Haley Partin - a skilled communicator, creative thinker, and resourceful problem-solver. Haley brings over 6 years of experience in communications, event planning and management, facilitation, and multicultural outreach. Haley is a fluent Spanish speaker and has a passion for understanding multicultural perspectives, with an emphasis on African American, Asian American, and Latinx experience. Haley’s dedication to learning keeps her abreast of new tools and strategies to expand outreach efforts and engage a diverse group of stakeholders.
Haley indulges her curiosity outside of the workplace by reading literature from around the world, listening to educational podcasts, and traveling to new places. Haley holds a BA from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied English and African Diaspora Studies.
Haley is our Community Engagement Director and your resource for engaging and innovative outreach strategies.
Meet Elisa Leichty - an analytical and data-driven designer and marketer with more than a decade of hands-on creative marketing experience. Elisa builds compelling visual stories and communications campaigns that transform ideas into action. With a focus on nuanced messaging for a variety of audiences, she crafts tailored approaches to complement and enhance the public outreach efforts of the engagement team.
Elisa enjoys frequent group runs with friends, staying on top of headlines with a range of current events podcasts, and tending to the whims of her very small dog and even smaller pet crayfish.
Elisa is our Creative Director and your brand strategist and communications strengthener.
Meet Jacqie Wilson – an expert in customer service and communication with 9 years of experience in providing public involvement, customer service, and client relations services. She utilizes her excellent customer service skills with clients and in her interaction with the public to build confidence in client missions and even the most difficult projects. Jacqie brings a distinctive perspective and attitude with a sense of urgency that drives projects forward. Her experience working with patients in healthcare developed a care and sensitivity in her communications approach which is instrumental to her success in finding mutually beneficial outcomes for stakeholders and clients.
Jacqie exercises her skill for finding mutually beneficial outcomes with her 13-year-old son daily (and less often with her newborn baby).
Jacqie Wilson is our Community Engagement Manager and your problem-solving resource.
We value our team. We are inclusive, understanding and respectful listeners. We are compassionate, trusting, and positive.
We support each other to be our best, seek and value feedback, we develop and grow our staff, we celebrate each other as individuals, we have fun together.
We are problem solvers who want to do our best work, constantly learning, we hustle, and communicate clearly. We take responsibility for our personal growth and share with others how they can support us. We stay focused on what’s important.
We plan ahead. We follow processes that make sense. We continuously improve our processes, we set clear deadlines and expectations; we have healthy rhythms for managing changes and delivering feedback.
Our clients are depending on us to help with their initiatives and create positive results; we perform better by staying positive despite challenges; we believe in possibility. We believe what we do matters.
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