About the Board
The Advertising + Public Relations Professional Advisory Board is an important link between the Department and the professional world. Board members assist the faculty in evaluating and planning the curriculum. They also mentor students, visit classrooms, speak to students, host internships, and assist in strategic planning.
Statement from Members
We are proud of the Department’s many achievements, but more importantly, excited for its bright future. A large part of our celebration will aim to expand and rejuvenate the relationships between alumni, students and faculty. The Professional Advisory Board is the keystone in our effort to deepen the interaction among these three groups.
To infuse real-time marketplace learning opportunities into the communications program using currently-employed professionals from the communications industry (agencies and non-agency people).
Professional Advisory Board Members
Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer
Andrea Brimmer is the chief marketing and public relations officer of Ally Financial Inc. She joined Ally in 2006, spearheading the creation of the Ally brand, developing everything from the brand pillars and cultural framework to the value proposition and delivery in the marketplace. Under her direction, Ally emerged with a strong reputation as a “different” kind of financial services company, dedicated to solving customer pain points that traditional institutions ignored.
Brimmer was named chief marketing officer in 2015. In 2016, she launched the company’s first unified brand campaign, “Do It Right”, highlighting Ally’s unique focus on doing the right thing for customers. The campaign not only aligned the full scope of the company’s product offerings under one mantra, it also reflected the company’s internal culture and core values. “Do It Right” became a point of pride for Ally and resulted in the highest consumer brand sentiment and awareness in company history.
Brimmer is widely recognized as one of the country’s most innovative and effective marketing leaders. Among her many honors and accolades include being named a winner of Adweek’s 2020 Brand Genius awards for marketers who have skillfully led their brands’ messaging to new heights. She has been named three times to Forbes’ list of World’s Most Influential CMOs and a two-time honoree of 100 Leading Women by Automotive News.
Prior to joining Ally in 2006, Brimmer spent 20 years on the agency side in Detroit, where she led the Chevrolet account and launched the iconic American Revolution campaign. She sits on the Professional Advisory Board of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University and the Board of Directors for eHealth, Effie Worldwide and the Ad Council. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, where she also played varsity collegiate soccer for four years.
Senior Director, Account Management
Bree K. Balogun is an award-winning advertising and marketing professional with a strong acumen in Account Management and Client Service. With more than 15 years of agency experience she has worked with a plethora of brands, varying from fortune 500 companies to emerging start-ups, in developing integrated national advertising campaigns and effective marketing strategies across all mediums.
Having worked with a wide range of industries, such as Retail, Automotive, Consumer Packages Goods, Financial Institutions and Lifestyle Brands, Bree is passionate about leveraging branded content, event activation, and influencer initiatives to cultivate meaningful relationships between brands and their core diverse audiences and consumers.
As VP of Account Management at REVOLT TV’s internal creative agency, #000000, Bree leads the Account Management and Project Management departments, oversees operations, and safeguards the client portfolio. She has a strong passion and understanding of diverse markets, allowing her to lead strategies uniquely structured to make an impact on targeted audiences.
Bree holds a bachelor’s degree in Advertising from Michigan State University, where she sits on the College of Communication’s advisory board. She loves tacos, traveling and documentaries. On weekends you can find her exploring Atlanta’s food scene with her husband and four year-old son.
Director, Chicago Market Advisor
Eric Benderoff is a senior leader known for high-stakes media relations, crisis management, media training and journalistic leadership with expertise in content development, message strategy, editorial writing and brand awareness. He is a media strategist for several key BCW clients, including Accenture, Bank of America, Ford and Walgreens, as well one of the agency’s preferred C-suite media trainers. A former journalist with two decades of top-tier newsroom experience, Eric brings a working understanding of modern newsgathering to his communications strategies.
Before joining BCW, Eric worked at the Chicago Tribune as a business editor, columnist, reporter and feature writer specializing in the intersection of technology and culture. As the Tribune’s personal technology columnist, Eric’s work was distributed to national newspapers and countless consumer-focused websites. He discussed technology trends each week on Chicago's top morning drive radio show, hosted a weekend cable TV segment and appeared regularly on Chicago public television.
Eric is a graduate of Michigan State University and serves on the school’s Professional Advisory Board for the Public Relations and Advertising department and is the former chairman of his Local School Council for Chicago Public Schools.
Eric has received several awards, both individually and as part of client teams, including:
·PRWeek Crisis or Issues Management Campaign of the Year 2016: First Place; First case of Ebola in the U.S., on behalf of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
·Global SABRE, Holmes Report 2015, for Ebola crisis response for Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
·PRWeek Corporate Branding Campaign of the Year 2013: Finalist for key industry award
·PRWeek Award for B2B Campaign of the Year 2013: Finalist for key industry award
·SABRE, Holmes Report Certificate of Excellence 2013: Winner of SABRE Certificate of Excellence for innovative press kit
·Various Business Journalism Awards: Best breaking news, Kmart/Sears merger, Society of American Business Editors & Writers; Three-time Peter Lisagor Awards Finalist, Society of Professional Journalists/Chicago; Jesse H. Neal Certificate of Merit, American Society of Business Press Editors; Two-time winner of Cahners Medal of Excellence
Senior Director of Content & Social
Hanna Gbordzoe (Porterfield) is a Senior Director of Content & Social at Development Counsellors International (DCI), based in Boston. She first joined DCI in 2014 and worked in the firm’s economic development division for five years before a brief pivot to healthcare/pharma social media at W2O Group. Hanna returned to DCI in 2021 to lead social media and content marketing, working across business, talent and visitor attraction for cities, states, regions and countries.
Throughout her career, Hanna has helped places from Baton Rouge to Orlando and Michigan to the Netherlands to tell their story to potential investors, talent and travelers online. While her specialty lies in social media and content marketing, Hanna’s attention to detail allows her to connect the dots across broader integrated marketing communications programs.
Founder + Creative Director
The Adventure Agency’s founder Megan Gopp has been a graphic designer for 10+ years—or more, if you count the years she spent hand-making greeting cards and designing t-shirts for school functions. Before starting & growing The Adventure Agency, she worked her way up from unpaid intern to Senior Art Director for an ad agency in Downtown Chicago. Although the high-rise office and window with a view was nice, she chose to pursue the road less traveled instead. Today she’s an award-winning, highly valued creative partner to brands around the world who are doing great things.
Megan graduated from MSU in 2012 with a BA in Advertising. As of 2021, she has worked with over 50 companies (including Starbucks, Dunkin' and Hyatt), and teaches a course on Personal Branding at MSU. She loves to travel, her favorite food is cheese and she listens to true crime podcasts during the workday.
Director of Multicultural Marketing
Erica Hughes is an award-winning marketing and advertising executive with a breadth of experience working for Fortune 500 companies. With a love of connecting brands with consumers, Erica has managed marketing strategies for iconic brands such as Chick-fil-A, Chevrolet, Slim Jim and Reddi-wip, just to name a few.
Currently, Hughes serves as the Director of Multicultural Marketing at Ally. As the first ever multicultural marketing hire at Ally, Erica is responsible for creating and leading the vision and strategy for multicultural marketing. In addition, Hughes leads the organization’s efforts to increase awareness and consideration amongst diverse consumers segments.
Before joining Ally, Hughes lead digital & social media strategy at Chick-fil-A. Prior to joining Chick-fil-A, Erica worked at Conagra Brands from 2012-2018. While at Conagra Brands, Erica took on a lead role in transitioning the organization from a traditional marketing company to a forward-thinking digital marketing innovator. In March 2017, Erica’s team at Conagra Brands was recognized by AdExchanger as a Top Ten Programmatic Advertiser.
Erica Hughes is a native of Flint, MI and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Michigan State University. In addition, she obtained a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Northern Illinois University.
Vice President, Global Brand Practice Development
Nick Lucido is Senior Vice President, Consumer PR for Ogilvy in Chicago overseeing the Tyson Consumer PR business. Nick joined Ogilvy after more than 12 years leading integrated consumer programs for Edelman. Most recently, he oversaw Edelman’s relationship with Mars Inc. in the US, while also designing and implementing global campaigns for Nissan, creating earned storytelling programs for GSK Consumer Healthcare and supporting Kellogg’s US Olympic Committee sponsorship.
MPS Project Management, Communications, and Cybersecurity
Mone' Ross is from Detroit, Michigan, and lives in Washington, DC. She leads JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s (JPMC) client-facing, cybersecurity educational effort that helps 250,000+ employees, domestic and international Fortune 500 companies, federal agencies, and other financial firms strengthen their cyber resilience. Mone’ is committed to amplifying the value of digital safety to all audiences and frequently presents cyber best practices as a guest lecturer at Michigan State University, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and various Toastmasters International clubs across the country.
Before JPMC, Mone’ served as a project manager for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; stakeholder relations manager for the U.S. Coast Guard Cyber Command – Office of Cyberspace Forces; congressional aide for the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight & Government Reform Committee; digital media manager for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.; and communication intern for U.S. Senator Gary Peters of Michigan.
Mone’ graduated from Michigan State University in 2013 (Bachelor of Arts, Communication with Public Relations specialization) and Georgetown University (Master of Professional Studies, Public Relations- Corporate Communications). She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., JPMC’s Global Cybersecurity Diversity and Inclusion Council, The Lady Chapter, Inc. Executive Board, and the Michigan State University Professional Advisory Board for the College of Communication, Arts, and Sciences (Advertising/Public Relations Department).
Senior Manager, Strategic Brand Communications, Pernod Ricard USA
Blaine Rueber is a Senior Manager, Strategic Brand Communications at Pernod Ricard USA where he manages external U.S. campaigns for Pernod’s wine and spirits portfolio. Pernod Ricard is a French company, the world’s second-largest wine and spirits supplier, and owns iconic brands like Jameson Irish Whiskey, Absolut Vodka, Kahlua Rum, Malibu Rum, Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet, Perrier-Jouet, and many more.
Prior to Pernod, Blaine led the Newell Rubbermaid account at BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe). While at BCW, Blaine led the response to the This Is Us Crock-Pot Crisis in which his team was awarded a 2018 Cannes Lions Silver Lion in the Real-time Response Category.
Blaine started his PR career at Hunter Public Relations where executed consumer campaigns for E. & J Gallo, Sperry, Amazon, Campbell’s Soup Company, TripAdvisor, and Pepperidge Farms.
Sr. Director, Content and Influencer Marketing
Danielle has worked in the content and media industry for over 9 years. Her background ranges from working at media companies, publishing companies and agencies. Danielle helps clients create channel and connection strategies that are driven by data and measurement. She has worked in both the B2B and B2C space with clients ranging from IBM, Walmart, Ticketmaster, Samsung, Amazon, and many more. She is truly passionate about content creation, how it is distributed and the measurable data it provides.
Larry is a true integrated communications expert developing solutions for major corporations. He started in the business 38 years ago when there were 3 television networks and has followed the evolution through today where consumers have over 5,000 media choices per day. He has seen the business evolve from one of “gut” decisions to a highly data driven metrics practice. He has successfully helped to grow brands in all categories: Subway Restaurants, Shell Oil Company, Audi, Staples, GlaxoSmithkline and many others.His work has been recognized in the industry with awards for Media Plan of the Year, Best Partnership, Emerging/Experimental Media and Innovations in Digital Solutions.
The one constant in this charging media landscape is Larry working for MediaCom his entire 38 year career.