Founded in 1999, Carson Stoga Communications is a boutique public relations agency made up of only senior level professionals who deliver marketing & communications expertise to its clients.
Our team is experienced in all aspects of public relations and involved in every aspect of each client – from crafting a proposal and planning an event to maintaining relationships with the media and researching new opportunities. We are committed to developing personalized, integrated programs that help clients build brands and achieve business objectives through the media. We work to create innovative, results-oriented programs and activities for every client in order to solidify their presence in various media platforms, increase their exposure and, of course, impact the bottom line.
Media Relations and Social Media, Strategy, Account Lead
Susan Stoga is a marketing and communications professional with more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications. An award-winning communication and media relations strategist, Susan’s work has been recognized by the International Association of Business Communicators, the Public Relations Society of America and the Publicity Club of Chicago.
For the past 10 years, Susan has served as strategic counsel for numerous firms seeking to utilize the media to convey their brand messages.
• For Mosquito Squad, she developed a micro-market educational program to highlight the steps homeowners can take to reduce mosquito and tick populations in the yards, generating exposure in 75+ markets, including Chicago. Area placements included FOX News, WGN-TV and the Chicago Tribune.
• For the Awards & Recognition Association, she developed an outreach program utilizing the Association’s “Blue Ribbon” panel of former NCAA coaches. Via aggressive media relations, the team generated wide spread coverage featuring the ARA’s key messages in national and local market outlets including Associated Press, Reuters, ESPN and USA Today.
• For A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts, she designed the first ever social media strategy, utilizing industry specific bloggers and major media to raise the profile of the firm, increase sales and user loyalty.
Previously, Susan served as executive director of corporate communications for publicly held Enesco, Inc., a $550 million Fortune 500 firm. She also held senior account management positions with internationally-known public relations firm Hill & Knowlton and Golin-Harris. She also served as public relations manager for Hyatt Hotels Corporation, handling trade and crisis communications for 110 hotels in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.
She received a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from The University of Iowa and has continued her education by participating in The University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop.
Media Relations, Account Lead
A seasoned public relations professional of 20 years, Patti Thomas, has also been instrumental in the development and execution of some of the most award-winning public relations campaigns for the world’s best known brands. Her hands-on approach from plan development through management and execution of integrated marketing programs has earned her high praises and long-standing client commitments.
Patti specializes in creating strategic point-of-use and consumer awareness programs that successfully helped rejuvenate and reposition brands. Over the last year, she has led media relations outreach efforts for the ARA Sportsmanship Award, A.C. Moore Arts & Crafts and Mosquito Squad, literally generating millions in media coverage. Her work with the Awards and Recognition Association, which included implementing a strategy of positioning the association as a leader in promoting good sportsmanship, has resulted in quadrupled media results and awareness in its first four years, reaching 380 million Americans while driving down cost per impression of $.0001184.
Prior to joining the CSC team, Patti managed the widely successful mobile marketing campaign, Potty Palooza and, the first-of-its-kind Charmin University program, which alone resulted in more than 300,000 registrants and 135 million media impressions in one year. She was responsible for overall concept development and implementation of “The Return of Mr. Whipple” Charmin program, one of the most successful media relations campaigns in P&G history garnering 340 million on-message media impressions in one day.
Patti also served as senior team member at Manning, Salvage & Lee where she served as a primary media trainer and wrangler for celebrity and expert spokespeople including: Patricia Heaton, Teri Garr, Ekatarina Gordeeva, Buzz Aldrin, Charlotte Rae, and more. Early on in her career, Patti played key account management roles at Ketchum and Ruder-Finn for Nestle’, Sony and Wendy’s where she implemented numerous media and event-focused programs.
Patti earned her bachelor of arts degree in communications at the University of Wisconsin.
Media Relations & Social Media, Account Lead
With nearly 15 years of public relations experience, Andrea Schnorr specializes in both media relations and social media for the CSC team. Throughout her career, Andrea has developed and implemented successful communications programs for a number of high-profile companies including Archadeck Outdoor Living Brands, Clare Oaks senior living, Enesco, the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Northern Illinois Food Bank and Kronos Foods. With extensive experience in media relations, Andrea has secured coverage in a wide range of outlets, including national business, consumer print and trade publications.
Using a proactive pitching approach, Andrea has established relationships with Chicago media, as well as with bloggers, editors at consumer packaged goods, food and beverage, retail and other trade publications. Additionally, her ability to effectively counsel clients, manage multiple projects and execute communications strategies has helped her to garner strong client relationships.
Her recent placements include:
• Wall Street Journal for National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
• SELF Magazine for National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
• WGN Midday News Chicago for Northern Illinois Food Bank
• Recipedia, e-newsletter for Restaurant Business, for Kronos
• ABC News Chicago for Santa’s Village Azoosment Park
• CBS News Chicago for Northern Illinois Food Bank
• Daily Herald for Archadeck of Chicagoland
Prior to joining Carson Stoga, Andrea managed regional and national communications efforts for the former Classic Residence by Hyatt. She also served as an account supervisor for a large Chicago-based PR firm where she was responsible for managing communications programs for clients such as Dow Chemical Company, Molex Incorporated, Rogers Corporation and Syngenta Seeds.
Media Relations, Associations/Issue Advocacy, Digital, Special Events
Michael Kerr is a member of the Carson | Stoga team supporting all phases of communications, public relations and event management. Michael has an extensive background in non-profit program management, issue advocacy, and event management. Before joining CSC, Michael worked as a digital communications and events consultant with Stewards of Change Consulting, a boutique national consulting organization focused on improving services to health and social services agencies. While at CompTIA/TechAmerica, among the largest IT industry associations, he directed and supported significant member programs and events, ran customer-focused market development programs, and delivered research publications around the government technology market.
Prior to joining TechAmerica, Michael worked in Program Management and Events Management for the Software & Information Industry Association, the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI), and GTE Main Street.
Michael earned an MBA, Marketing, from the University of Minnesota Carlson School and a Bachelor of Science, Finance, from Arizona State University.
Special Events, Promotions and Strategy
Jennifer McAndrews has spent more than 20 years as an event planner and fundraiser serving child welfare, religious and sporting organization in the Greater Chicagoland area. As one of our special event coordinators, Jen organizes all aspects of Carson Stoga events, identifies and recruits sponsors to underwrite promotions, works with clients to develop cause marketing alliances, recruits and manages volunteer teams and provides on-site assistance for events.
Jennifer began her career working for famed Chicago retailer Crate & Barrel, where she managed employees at one of the chain’s busiest stores. A lifelong Cubs fan, Jen is the mother of six and a foster parent through Safe Families. She is also chairman of the board for Let It Be Us, a newly formed 501 C-3 dedicated to generating awareness of adoption from foster care.
Kellie Lewis | Senior Associate, Media Relations and Social Media
At Carson Stoga Communications, Kellie Lewis specializes in media relations including blogger, consumer, print, broadcast and trade publications. She has developed close relationships with editors and reporters from local, regional and national media outlets. She regularly places the firm’s clients in publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Real Simple, O, At Home and Parenting Magazine, among a host of other prominent outlets.
Through her aggressive media outreach, Kellie has secured the firm’s clients for interviews with major market media that meet the client’s targets. She works primarily with the firms’ consumer client base including A.C. Moore, Mosquito Squad, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and Archadeck, and also has extensive experience with travel & tourism clients such as Lake Lawn Resort, Hotel Orrington and more.
Prior to her role at Carson Stoga, she held vital managerial positions with global communications giant, Motorola, where she launched her career as new product manager and continued to work with the company for 15 years.
Flavia Danca has worked with Carson Stoga Communications in several capacities since 2002. She began as office manager and now works in event coordination. She enjoys planning and executing the many details surrounding client events, including Plaza del Lago’s Annual Antiques Appraisal Event, which just completed its 10th year, as well as its popular annual summer concert series. She also helped coordinate the opening events surrounding National Pasteurized Eggs facility in Flandreau, SD and the ribbon cutting festivities for Kronos Foods’ new suburban Chicago headquarters.
Prior to joining the CSC team, Flavia worked for nearly 15 years in the real estate sales, tax assessment and customer service arenas. Lucky for us, Flavia has been able to apply many of those same excellent organizational and problem solving skills for issues with our clients.
Flavia earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Elmhurst College.
Sharon is the glue that holds it all together at Carson Stoga Communications. Whether it is assisting clients, helping our staff or working on-site at client events, she is the “go to” person at our firm. Prior to joining our team, Sharon worked in the IT industry handing programming and business analysis. This background makes her perfectly suited for her position at Carson Stoga.
She has studied computer science and business at Harper College