Our Team

The Brand Guild was founded in 2010 by Barbara Martin and Jayne Sandman. The company grew from a shared belief that dynamic brands need a collaborative communications and marketing strategy to succeed in today’s ever-changing landscape. Jayne and Barbara have built an agency of specialists, with expertise in-house across our departments—Public Relations, Marketing, Events and Creative—to deliver meaningful results to our clients.

The duo has been profiled in The New York Times’ Sunday Styles cover story as “the architects of the new Washington,” named to the Washington Business Journal’s Power 100 List, cited by GQ Magazine as one of the “50 Most Powerful People in Washington,” and selected by BizBash magazine as among the top event innovators in the country.

At The Brand Guild, we believe that diverse ideas, perspectives and backgrounds create a stronger and more creative agency that delivers better results. We strive to be a wholly inclusive workplace, where everyone feels empowered to bring their full, authentic selves to work. We are committed to building a team, cultivating leaders and establishing a culture that upholds these values.

Principals

Barbara Martin

Co-CEO and Co-Founder

Jayne Sandman

Jayne Sandman

Co-CEO and Co-Founder

Leadership

Amy Clark

Executive Vice President, Public Relations

Amy oversees the creation of communications strategies and the execution of media outreach for The Brand Guild’s portfolio of clients. She leads the press team’s three divisions in the areas of consumer lifestyle brands, F&B & hospitality, and real estate. A seasoned communications specialist, Amy has two decades of PR agency experience in New York and Washington DC, guiding some of the most iconic consumer brands in the world, including Jameson Irish Whiskey, JUST Water, Ace Hardware and Hasbro. She has a developed expertise in all areas of communications, including developing strategic campaigns, brand positioning and messaging, and media training. She has extensive relationships with top-tier media.

Annie Perezchica

Executive Vice President, Events

Annie leads The Brand Guild’s events department where she successfully oversees more than 100 events per year ranging from brand launch parties targeting the country’s top influencers to 20,000-person ticketed festivals. Whether she’s working with iconic brands like Brooks Brothers and Kiehl’s, rapidly-scaling startups like Sweetgreen or SoulCycle  or powerhouse corporate clients like Amazon and Bloomberg, Annie brings unique concepts and dynamic experiences to every event she creates. With more than 15 years of high-level event planning experience, Annie began her career at one of DC’s premier event planning and catering companies, where she worked on the most high-profile events including the Vanity Fair/Bloomberg White House Correspondents’ After Party, Washington Times 35th Anniversary with President George H.W. Bush and numerous Presidential inaugural events including the Presidential Inaugural Luncheon for President Barack Obama.

Vanessa Rodriguez

Executive Vice President, Marketing

Vanessa leads the Marketing Team at The Brand Guild, creating and implementing strategic integrated campaigns for clients. She’s a senior marketing leader with over 15 years experience developing consumer brands. Formerly an SVP at a top global advertising agency, Vanessa led cross-industry award winning brand campaigns (including food, retail, tech, financial services and wellness categories). Before joining The Brand Guild, she served as the Head of Brand at &pizza, the purpose-driven pizza shop. She’s passionate about showing the power of brand and purpose and how it can truly drive business value.

Katharine Ragsdale Bared

Senior Vice President, Operations

Katharine leads the operations department at The Brand Guild, overseeing the accounting, legal, HR, staffing, recruiting and property management for both the DC and NY offices. Focusing on both the day-to-day operations as well as strategic long-term planning, Katharine works across all departments to ensure The Brand Guild is optimized for growth and meets organizational goals. With over a decade of experience in client services and media – from POLITICO to Washingtonian Magazine to The Brand Guild when it was BrandLinkDC – Katharine brings a wealth of experience to the organization.

Lance Hayden

Vice President, Creative

Lance oversees the creative team at The Brand Guild, helping deliver thoughtful, innovative work across the social media and visual studios. Whether he is developing complete branding solutions for Fortune 500 real estate companies, creating memorable campaigns for top tech companies and consumer brands, or even helping save the dollar bill (you’ll have to ask him about that one!), Lance has guided his clients to elegant design solutions for complex problems. With close to two decades of experience in branding, marketing, identity design, collateral and UX/UI design, and a career spanning technology, consumer goods and real estate industries, Lance brings a varied background and wide range of expertise to his work at The Brand Guild.

Alix Bortnick

Associate Vice President of Growth

As AVP of Growth, Alix drives strategic planning and business development for The Brand Guild, facilitating cross-department collaboration and distilling creative vision, all while maintaining a nuanced understanding of each client’s particular mission. She brings extensive experience as a strategic lead and interdepartmental project manager, and in the last 10 years as a growth executive for large and mid-size agencies has led winning pitches for Fortune 500 companies. Early in her career, she helped launch a high-end jewelry company, thus kickstarting her love for the art of branding. Alix holds a B.A. from Syracuse University.

Stephanie Covello

Associate Vice President, Integrated Marketing

Stephanie leads the Integrated Marketing team at The Brand Guild, managing the strategy, creation and execution of multi-channel national campaigns for consumer and lifestyle brands. She oversees a team who specializes in marketing strategy, influencer marketing, integrated activations, strategic brand and talent partnerships and executive profile-raising for both established and emerging brands. Stephanie has extensive experience brokering engagements with professional athletes, chefs, and celebrity talent on behalf of the national consumer brands she’s represented including but not limited to Framebridge, Birchbox, Yoobi, Imperfect Foods, JUST Egg, and Jaanuu. She brings a creative lens and thoughtful approach to her client teams to help them reach their business goals. With more than 12 years of agency experience, Stephanie has been a part of award-winning brand and sports marketing teams for accounts including Staples, MetLife Stadium, Discover Financial Services, and Special Olympics.

Sarah Lawson

Sarah Lawson

AssocIate Vice President, Brand Strategy

As AVP of Brand Strategy, Sarah leads a team that drives research-backed brand strategy projects for companies of all sizes — from venture-backed startups to key national brands — with a focus on identifying advantages and building narratives. Before joining The Brand Guild, Sarah was Special Projects Editor at Fast Company where she led the programming for the Innovation Festival, managed Most Creative People, Most Innovative and Innovation by Design communities, and forged brand partnerships. Her work has also appeared in New York Magazine, The New York Times, and Complex.com.

Giselle-Marie Roig

Associate Vice President of PR, F&B

Giselle leads the PR team focused on food, beverage, and hospitality clients. She has 14 years of experience helping brands tell their story, including Sweetgreen, Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey, &pizza, and Imperfect Foods, generating billions of earned media impressions. Additionally, she has overseen press for over $150 million in hotel renovations and launches for hospitality brands within the Marriott family. Prior to joining The Brand Guild, Giselle created and managed press campaigns for New York Times bestselling authors at some of the world’s top publishing houses.

Sofia Royce

Associate Vice President of PR, Real Estate

Sofia leads The Brand Guild’s Real Estate team and crisis response services. She specializes in developing and executing impactful media messaging and strategies as well as providing ongoing counsel to clients in real estate, government, sports, and tech. Sofia’s successes include masterminding the press efforts of The Wharf, one of the largest waterfront development projects in the country, resulting in 3 billion press impressions in the opening week alone. She also leads press efforts for large-scale development projects and their corporate executives across the country, leading a team that consistently secures coverage in media outlets ranging from local broadcast and regional trade publications to national lifestyle and top-tier business outlets. Prior to joining The Brand Guild, Sofia managed communications campaigns for a variety of policy-focused clients ranging from immigration to education to presidential candidates to documentary films. She has also created and worked on crisis and corporate social responsibility campaigns for some of the world’s largest energy companies and is experienced in C-suite media training.

Team

Deanna Fleming

Senior Director of Digital Marketing

Alex Miller Murphy

Senior Public Relations Director

Betsy Tucker

Senior Director of HR

Abby Colby

Social Media Director

Jessica Davis

Public Relations Director

Erin Doyle

Art Director

Mackenzie Groarke

Senior Events Manager

Isabel Lamb

Senior Public Relations Manager

Emilia Peixoto

Senior Public Relations Manager

Courtney Pories

Senior Public Relations Manager

Katina Stevenson

Senior Marketing Manager

Sarah Worley

Senior Marketing Manager

Clare Zenczak-Murray

Senior Public Relations Manager

Yasmin Atef

Events Manager

Christina Daly

Social Media Manager

Cara Harbinger

HR Manager

Bethany Kattwinkel

Public Relations Manager

Amanda Katz

Public Relations Manager

Shelbi Roe

Growth Strategy Manager

Alexis Atkins

Marketing Associate

Sarabeth Blakely

Growth Strategy Associate

Jill Cameron

Public Relations Associate

Maddie Caywood

Public Relations Associate

Meredith Elliott

Public Relations Associate

Shannon Hope

Events Associate

Natalie Jaffe

Events Associate

Alyssa Merti

Public Relations Associate

Ellen Pierson

Marketing Associate

Mary Louise Randolph

Design Associate

Rebecca Rawiszer

Public Relations Associate

Blake Richardson

Social Media Associate

Rachel Small

Brand Strategy Associate

Liz Ugolini

Operations Associate

Charlotte Wallace

Marketing Associate

Erika Winter

Public Relations Associate

Sofia Deeb

Social Media Assistant

Grace Demeritt

Public Relations Assistant

Lauren Herrmann

Public Relations Assistant