Meet the team
We’re not your typical consultants—parachuting in, spouting jargon and offering templated solutions from some other client’s long-ago problems.
We listen first. We speak your language. We figure out your specific challenges and apply solutions that will work—for you, in today’s world. After all, we’ve been in the trenches ourselves.
The genesis of all this? Every time Mark Ragan or Jim Ylisela conducted a workshop or spoke at a Ragan conference, someone in the audience (often several someones) would ask: “Can you come to my organization and help us with that?” Well, sure. That’s why Mark and Jim created Ragan Consulting Group and then invited their friends (who happen to be top consultants in their respective fields) to join them.
The result is the brilliant array of communications talent you see here. Check out our consulting chops below.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Julie.
Strategic Communications Consultant
Julie Baron is a strategic communications consultant at Ragan Consulting Group and has 29 years of communication experience. She is a resourceful communication strategist with demonstrated ability to work internally within the organization, as well as externally within the community. Her functional expertise includes employee and leadership communications, global communications, training and public/media relations. Julie has a proven track record of improving financial and operating results through communication.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Julie.WATCH VIDEO
Change Management and Diversity & Inclusion Consultant
Kim Clark is a change management and diversity & inclusion consultant at Ragan Consulting Group. Kim has long focused on messaging, audiences and how communications shape people's experience. Her career spans radio, documentary filmmaking, agency partnerships with Discovery Channel, marketing, brand strategy, writing, training and teaching at a university. Since entering corporate cultures at KLA-Tencor, PayPal, NetApp and GoDaddy, she has used various channels to engage employees and facilitate transparency and trust in organizations. At GoDaddy, she built an infrastructure and internal communications strategy from scratch and moved the needle 13 points in trust in just six months as measured by its annual engagement survey.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Kim.
Persuasion and Influence Consultant
Joe Friedman is the persuasion and influence consultant at Ragan Consulting Group. He has 30+ years of sales, sales management and training/consulting experience. Joe started his career at Northeastern Illinois University’s business school, teaching sales and marketing courses and classes in management, finance and personnel. In 1993, Joe co-founded Zehren Friedman Associates, which teaches the “persuasive arts” of selling, presenting, negotiating and influence. As CFO, Joe oversees client development, program delivery and people development. He conducts 100+ days of training annually. He previously worked at First National Bank of Chicago and at The Executive Technique, a firm specializing in presentation skills training.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Joe.
Speechwriting and Executive Communications Consultant
Rob Friedman is a speechwriting and executive communications consultant at Ragan Consulting Group. He began his career at Ragan Communications, editing Speechwriter’s Newsletter and conducting business writing workshops. He worked with founder Lawrence Ragan to create the first national speechwriters conference. Rob was a speechwriter for Ameritech and the AMA before spending 20 years at Eli Lilly, including nine as senior director of executive communications, writing for three CEOs and other senior executives—speeches, op-eds, annual reports, video scripts and the occasional bar mitzvah toast. Spanning 30 years, Rob has instructed thousands of professional communicators worldwide in speechwriting, storytelling, TED talks and more.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Rob.
Email me at Deonna.Gallucci@raganconsulting.com for any questions about RCG.
Administrative and Project Manager
Deonna Gallucci is the administrative and project manager at Ragan Consulting Group. She handles a variety of administrative duties including helping to book consultants at events nationwide, assisting accounting with billings and expenses, organizing companywide events and handling special projects for client work. She has over 10 years of experience providing administrative support in industries including hospitality, events and technical industries. She is passionate about helping others to make their lives easier. Before joining RCG in 2018, she was senior client relations manager for Total Coordination Professionals, working with more than 500 clients and vendors throughout North America.
Email me at Deonna.Gallucci@raganconsulting.com for any questions about RCG.WATCH VIDEO
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Carlos.
Social Media Consultant
Carlos Gil is a social media consultant at Ragan Consulting Group. He is a first-generation Latino marketing executive, international keynote speaker, and award-winning digital storyteller with over a decade of experience leading social media strategy for global brands. Carlos’ work has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Inc., Entrepreneur and Social Media Examiner. Carlos hosts “Real Talk,” a Facebook Watch series in partnership with Nasdaq and Entrepreneur magazine. Carlos is founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based Gil Media Co. A dynamic and charismatic speaker, Carlos’ presentation pedigree includes bilingual keynote speeches for clients across the United States, Europe and South America.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Carlos.WATCH VIDEO
Chief Financial Officer
Brian Gilbert is the chief financial officer at Ragan Consulting Group overseeing the company’s accounting, legal, HR and IT departments. Brian started his career in public accounting and since then has worked for several professional services companies including a law firm, an advertising agency and a startup prior to starting at Ragan. Brian is also currently the Chief Financial Officer of Lawrence Ragan Communications, Inc., the Treasurer for The Meals on Wheels Foundation of Northern Illinois in suburban Chicago and the Treasurer of Boulder Ballet.
Email me at BrianG@ragan.com for any billing, invoicing or contracting questions.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Katrina.
Katrina Gill is a measurement consultant at Ragan Consulting Group. She has 20 years of diverse research experience, from the planning and development of projects through the presentation of results and recommendations for action. She is an experienced manager of both qualitative and quantitative research projects in many fields, ranging from employee to consumer research, and specializes in communication audits. She is a formally trained statistician, focus group moderator and in-depth interviewer. Katrina’s academic background is in research methodology, and she completed post-graduate study on a doctoral (Ph.D.) track in clinical psychology. In her free time, Katrina likes to spend time with her family, volunteer at the local animal shelter, travel to new places and cheer on the Chicago Bears.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Katrina.WATCH VIDEO
Email me at Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to learn more about our consultants.
Head of Business Development
Kristin Farmer is head of business development for Ragan Consulting Group, conferring with prospective clients as they tell stories about the interesting challenges communicators face today. She also heads the sponsorship sales team at Ragan Communications, working with top communications vendors for Ragan’s conferences and online content marketing programs. Prior to joining Ragan and RCG, Kristin spent three years in corporate communications for PepsiAmericas, where she wrote stories, produced videos and planned conferences. She worked through the Pepsi rebranding in 2008 and the three-way merger of PepsiCo and its bottling system in 2009.
Email me at Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to learn more about our consultants.WATCH VIDEO
Video Production Consultant
Shannon High-Bassalik is a video production consultant for Ragan Consulting Group and chief creative officer for HighBall Media Group. She has used her storytelling skills across all platforms and types of media content. From broadcast news and documentaries to entertainment series, High-Bassalik has covered and met fascinating people, creating both interesting characters and innovative digital products. She is known for building audiences, whether for a cable news program or a short social media video, and she has developed programs including “Borderland,” NBC’s “The Curious World of Jay Thomas,” CNN’s “Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien” and MSNBC’s “The Dylan Ratigan Show.”
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Shannon.
Manager Communications Consultant
Bryant Hilton is the manager communications consultant at Ragan Consulting Group. As a global communications leader, he helps clients cultivate strategies that increase employee engagement, especially during transition, growth and crisis. He helps clients uncover purpose and unique stories, build strong employer brands, leverage leadership communications, and enable people managers to be communicators. Bryant brings his clients deep communications experience derived from agency and corporate assignments, experience as a business owner, work with companies from startups to Fortune 50, and roles with global responsibility. He has built employee communication programs from the ground up for several organizations.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Bryant.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Nick.
Crisis Communications and Brand Journalism Consultant
Nick Lanyi is the crisis communications and brand journalism consultant at Ragan Consulting Group, helping clients craft stories that move audiences to act. An independent writer and communications consultant, Nick led the public affairs practice in the D.C. office of Porter Novelli and was managing director at public affairs boutique LMG. At both agencies Nick was a go-to speechwriter, crisis communications counselor and media trainer. He has helped Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, trade associations and nonprofit institutions create content, raise their profiles and navigate crises. An award-winning reporter, Nick’s 15-year journalism career includes several years as executive editor for Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Nick.WATCH VIDEO
Change Management Consultant
Diana Peltier is a change management consultant with Ragan Consulting Group. She has over 20 years of experience delivering on the people side of change through impactful communications. Diana has a demonstrated track record of engaging audiences, elevating the purpose and brand of organizations and making a meaningful difference in employees’ work lives. She has served in senior communications roles with Fortune 500 companies, non-profits and the Big 4 – including as the Global Head of Communications and Engagement for EY. Diana also has extensive change management experience, most recently as a Global Change Management Lead for the world’s largest SAP implementation.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Diana.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Eileen.
Eileen Ryan is a photography consultant at Ragan Consulting Group. Eileen finds photography an entryway to so many worlds. All in one week she has photographed in a homeless shelter, taken pictures in the ER of a major trauma center, and photographed President Bill Clinton. The stories she tells through the lens reveal the human spirit and the disparate life journeys people take. Eileen has photographed worldwide for corporations, universities and not-for-profits. Eileen has received numerous grants and has exhibited internationally. She has taught schoolchildren, college students and adults to express their story through the lens of photography.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Eileen.WATCH VIDEO
Email me at Rebecca.Shaffer@raganconsulting.com for any questions about RCG.
Rebecca Shaffer is the managing partner of Ragan Consulting Group, responsible for growth strategy, operations, marketing and business development. Rebecca often joins fellow consultants on internal communications projects, assisting with benchmark studies, focus groups and vehicle analyses. She oversees project management of large-scale client work. Previously, Rebecca spent seven years as a conference producer at Ragan Communications, creating tailored content for corporate communicators before becoming a senior internal communications analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, managing special projects, town halls, leadership meetings, and employee award programs, and writing for its intranet.
Email me at Rebecca.Shaffer@raganconsulting.com for any questions about RCG.WATCH VIDEO
Internal Communications Consultant
Kelly Sheppard is an internal communications consultant with Ragan Consulting Group. Kelly has more than 20 years experience as a communications professional with a focus on Internal Communications. Kelly began her communications career at Porter Novelli in New York City, where she served on public relations campaigns to promote product lines for Gillette. In 2000, Kelly joined Starbucks Coffee Company and spent the next two decades elevating this iconic brand and engaging its more than 300,000 employees worldwide. Kelly developed and implemented public relations strategies to build brand loyalty for Starbucks’ coffee, beverage and merchandise businesses. She transitioned to Internal Communications to lead the production of weekly and monthly publications, compose communications for the CEO and other senior executives and shine a light on the company’s deep commitment to community involvement through articles and events. Known as an expert writer and editor, Kelly spent two years as a Starbucks newsroom storyteller, highlighting product innovations and diversity and inclusion initiatives before delving into social impact work and philanthropy.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Kelly.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Jim.
Co-Founder and Senior Partner
Jim Ylisela, co-founder and senior partner of Ragan Consulting Group, is an award-winning veteran Chicago journalist and a former publisher of Ragan.com. He brings more than 30 years of experience in writing, editing, communications research and consulting. Ylisela has designed and organized newsrooms for many organizations, including Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where he served as a faculty member and co-director of Medill News Service from 1988 to 2001. He works with communicators to create brand journalism news sites, organize and train writers and editors and restore reporting (and creative storytelling) to internal and external communications.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Jim.WATCH VIDEO
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Bob.
Visual Design Consultant
Bob Zeni is a visual design consultant for Ragan Consulting Group. He has 30+ years in editing and design for publications and organizations and teaches design at Chicago's School of the Art Institute. Equally accomplished as a writer and designer, Bob Zeni is an expert on the editorial process for developing high-impact, highly effective visuals. The imprint of his design talent and editorial sensibility can be found on numerous commercial publications, including the Chicago Sun-Times, Crain's Chicago Business and Advertising Age. Since founding Bob Zeni & Associates in 1988, he's produced websites, visual identity systems, employee communications programs and cultural change initiatives.
Email Kristin.Hart@raganconsulting.com to connect with Bob.WATCH VIDEO