Our Core Team
Leading the BrightLeaf Group team are experienced professionals recognized as subject-matter experts in communications.
- Strategic communications consultants
- Web developers
- Application developers
- User Experience designers
- Accessibility experts
- Security analysts
- Graphic designers
- Instructional designers
- Content strategists
- Digital videographers
- Project management professionals
Founder and CEO
Jane Scott Founder and CEO
Jane has been developing leading-edge solutions in strategic communications for over 30 years, working closely with local and global clients across a wide range of industries. As an entrepreneur and CEO, Jane has grown BrightLeaf Group from a one-woman, home-based business to a substantial, multi-talented company serving clients throughout the U.S., Europe, Canada and Asia. As the primary account executive, she oversees innovative customer solutions, enabling an expert team that delivers the highest level of customer service in our industry. Her experience at BrightLeaf Group includes working with Fortune 500 and other clients in the health, technology, energy, consumer and government sectors.
She is a speaker and leader contributing to international professional organizations that focus on communications, technology and continuing education for entrepreneurs and their teams. Jane holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of North Texas and is a graduate of the top-rated Birthing of Giants, an intensive three-year CEO continuing education program at MIT.
Joanne Severn Contract Manager
Joanne manages agreements between BrightLeaf and its customers, prime contractors, subcontractors, vendors and others. She brings over 27 years of experience in Contract Management and Procurement in public and private sectors, and has specialized in complex Information Technology (IT) products and services.
Joanne managed major IT contracts including Texas.gov, the official website of the State of Texas, and the Data Center Services program, which included contracts valued at over $1 billion. This contract management included monitoring vendor performance, monitoring Service Level Agreements, reporting, developing RFPs, negotiating, managing awards and overseeing Statements of Work.
Director, Strategic Partnerships
Brady Haarmeyer Director, Strategic Partnerships
Brady builds close, collaborative relationships with BrightLeaf’s client partners. He is dedicated to ensuring their project is set up for success from the moment BrightLeaf learns of the opportunity. He also builds strategic relationships with our industry partners to ensure the most comprehensive and innovative solutions for our clients.
By ensuring proper planning during the earliest stages, Brady enables the expert BrightLeaf team to design, develop, and deliver best-in-class services.
Brady brings 15 years of progressive business development experience in both the public and private sectors, along with 9 years of federal contracting experience. He has created industry-changing partnership programs for Fortune 500 companies, consistently delivered growth opportunities, and driven client-centric results spanning multiple industries. Brady has also successfully created strategic growth strategies for private start-ups that have attracted additional investors.
Brady holds Bachelor's degrees in Communication Studies and Marketing from the University of North Texas. He also achieved Level 3 Federal Acquisition Certification (FAC-C), the highest level in federal civilian contracting.
Director, Digital Transformation
Todd Ruff Director, Digital Transformation
Todd Ruff is a digital transformation leader with a stellar record of accomplishment in delivering results for B2B, B2C, public sector, and nonprofit clients over a 20+ year career. He has led the creative strategy, development, and delivery of digital products for regional to global organizations including AT&T.com, Dell, Intel, 7-11, Pizza Hut Rewards, Verizon, and HBO, as well as smaller innovative organizations and start-ups.
A highly collaborative and dedicated leader, Todd provides strategic counsel that inspires and empowers BrightLeaf’s creative and technical team members to deliver exceptional results. He is well known as a constant champion for clients, supporting them with deep experience in revealing and developing the essence of a brand, determining messaging and pathways for target audiences, creating customer nurture strategies, operationalizing digital platforms, and strategically driving operations and financial management.
Todd holds a Bachelor's degree in communications and public relations from the University of Utah.
Beth Shiroishi Director, ESG
Beth Shiroishi is an ESG and communications professional who is passionate about impact measurement, skilled in communications strategy, and delighted to bring data to life. With 20+ years of experience, Beth leads BrightLeaf’s ESG team in developing creative strategies and solutions for our clients.
Beth helped architect and build AT&T’s corporate social and environmental responsibility discipline and team from the ground up while serving in several Vice President roles in Global CSR, Sustainability and Philanthropy, and Corporate Citizenship, as well as in her role as President of the AT&T Foundation. To integrate sustainability throughout the company’s operations, Beth developed strategies and initiatives to drive internal change; developed and communicated AT&T’s positions; assessed and interpreted sustainability trends to determine the direction for the company; developed and launched a companywide activation strategy to engage 200k+ employees, and spearheaded external stakeholder engagement that included nonprofits and non-governmental organizations.
While she was leading the team responsible for devising and implementing the ESG reporting and CSR media communications strategy, AT&T was awarded Corporate Responsibility Magazine’s highest CSR honor and AT&T was listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the first time.
Beth’s experience in CSR and ESG measurement runs deep. While leading AT&T’s philanthropic strategy, Beth swiftly facilitated the company’s move into impact measurement of social good programs, embedding metrics from start to finish to understand the true impact on the company and society. She also pioneered an analytics system and team to better understand the impact of the company’s social good work on its reputation.
A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Beth now serves on its Board of Trustees as a member of the Executive, Student Success, and Governance Committees.
Innovation & Technology
Ed Garner Innovation & Technology
Ed Garner is a digital services team leader with 20 years of experience in eLearning and software development for corporate, government, higher education and K-12 clients. He is passionate about solving business and technical challenges, mentoring creative and technical teams, and helping our clients achieve their full potential.
Ed’s experience includes a variety of roles, including Director of Learning Technology and Software Developer for large technology companies, as well as Principal Engineer, Vice President and Director of Technology. His responsibilities have included content management, quality assurance, implementation of Project Management Institute (PMI) principles, migration from Flash to HTML5 development, as well as strategy, staffing and budgeting for key opportunities. Ed earned a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin.
Senior Captioning Manager
Jack Spellman Senior Captioning Manager
Jack has experience with closed-captioning production and operations dating to the 1980s, managing offline and real-time captioning production teams and coordinating the efforts of staff and freelance independent contractors to provide captioning for a wide array of producers and broadcasters. He assists BrightLeaf customers with setting up and managing offline and real-time captioning of events for in-person and remote audiences (including symposia, conferences, graduations, and sports events), television broadcasts, and live to the web.
Before joining BrightLeaf, Jack worked for the National Captioning Institute (1980-83, 1985-89) and the Media Access Group at WGBH (1990-2008), where he helped develop operational procedures and created captioning for network broadcasts, and opened and managed NCI's New York City captioning facility, which produced captioning for commercials as well as network and cable broadcasts. Jack also helped develop real-time captioning production of national and local news and sports broadcasts, initially under the aegis of the U.S. Department of Education and later independently, for the Media Access Group, eventually being named operations manager of the Group's real-time captioning office.
Publications and Communications Project Manager
David Espinoza Publications and Communications Project Manager
David Espinoza oversees the design and development of high-profile publications for corporations, government agencies, technology standards organizations, and non-profits.
David has 25 years of experience in publications’ project management, design, production, accessibility, and deployment. He has developed production processes and implemented new technologies for corporations including Harcourt, Educational Testing Services (ETS), and Pearson. He also has built a number of successful publishing departments designed to meet evolving client needs efficiently.
Senior Digital Project Manager
Mark Macdonald Senior Digital Project Manager
As a Sr. Project Manager, Mark’s role is to ensure that our team has the talent, resources and client interaction necessary to deliver positive digital experiences. He is well-versed in website and software development and has experience with several content management systems (CMS), including WordPress, Drupal and Craft.
Mark co-founded and operated a successful custom software and web development company for over 24 years prior to directing the company through acquisition in 2020. He has managed hundreds of websites and web-based application development projects for clients in both the public and private sectors.
Roger Glenn Web Development
Working with multiple content management systems such as Craft CMS, ExpressionEngine and Statamic, Roger follows widely adopted best practices and future-proof workflows such as mobile first and modular design. He also designs performance into websites to intelligently balance visual aesthetics with practical metrics such as page speed, page weight and perceived performance. Roger works closely with our UX/UI and visual designers and is familiar with many design prototyping tools.
Roger has worked with diverse organizations including ACL Live at Moody Theater, Bausch & Lomb, Capital Area Council of Governments, Disney, Harris County Appraisal District, Home Depot, KKR, Laura Mercier, LBJ Presidential Library, Texas Women’s Health Program, Walmart Canada, and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin.
Accessibility QA Manager
Erik Stearns Accessibility QA Manager
Erik Stearns is a seasoned Accessibility Quality Assurance Manager with 25 years of experience. He has led many successful projects and teams in testing and remediating a wide variety of web applications and documentation. Erik brings an unwavering passion for WCAG and Section 508 accessibility due to his being born legally blind, and he is committed to making a positive impact in people’s lives through delivering quality products accessible to individuals with disabilities.
Erik’s experience spans a wide range of industries, including banking, education, eCommerce, medical, and many state and local government entities. Erik is well versed in accessibility IT tools such as JAWS, NVDA, Narrator, SortSite, VoiceOver, Axe, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Wave, accessibility plugins for the top browsers, and open source-based accessibility packages. His experience with quality assurance and software development life cycle management software includes Adobe Acrobat DC Pro, HP-ALM, Selenium, Microsoft Visual Studio, SQL Server, Team Foundation Server, SharePoint, ClearQuest, J-Meter, Oracle SQL, Pivotal Tracker and Jira.
Erik holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management from The University of Texas and a Project Management certification from Consulting Solutions.
Senior UX Designer
Thomas Wilson Senior UX Designer
Thomas Wilson is an award-wining UX, Service Designer, Product Designer and former Creative Director providing design leadership and experiences with UXUI design, product, and service design. His first job while in college was working as an Art Director at Burdine’s in downtown Miami (now Macy’s). Thomas continues to work for notable and highly visible clients such as AIG, Experian, Amazon, NASA, LPL Financial and Kroger as well as a host of tech startups, SMBs and Fortune 50s-500s in Big Data, Fintech, health care, retail, HMI (Human-Machine Interface) and security.
While Thomas has spent the majority of his career in Houston, Miami and Austin, he also manages UX and design teams around the globe with extensive focus on South America and Eastern Europe. He’s no stranger to bootstrapping product design and creative endeavors, having moved the needle and launched MVPs at approximately 50 startups in B2B, B2C, recruitment and internal communications.
Thomas has been recognized in Inc. 500 twice and his client site was listed in Forbes 'Best of the Web.' His certifications include a Nielsen Norman Group (NNG) Masters, and in UX Management.
Emily Sharp Visual Design
Emily offers over 20 years of creative design experience across a broad range of corporate and government clients and projects. Her design concentration lies in accessible web, mobile and interactive design, print design, motion and still graphics, illustrations, and photography. Emily leads our design team in producing accessible online publications and other online materials using the latest interactive formats.
Her experience includes corporate-level communications work for our global and local clients, including Capital Area Council of Governments, Coca-Cola, Dell, Dynegy, Hanger, Schlumberger, Seton Hospital, Texas Women’s Health Program, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, The University of Texas, and many emerging technology companies. Emily holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design from The University of Texas at Austin (Dean’s List, Art and Design Scholarships).
Leslie Kameny Visual Design
Leslie is a multi-disciplinary designer and creative director with an eye for innovation and for delivering relevant and strategic design solutions. She brings over 20 years of design experience to BrightLeaf Group, leading our teams toward award-winning results. Leslie's areas of expertise reside in print design, web and interactive design, brand identity, and content creation for high-profile clients. Her work spans such varied fields as sustainability, education, technology, healthcare, life science, transportation and finance.
Leslie’s efforts are guided by the belief that good design helps to facilitate social change. She has worked with executive management at high-profile clients including the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, American Heart Association, IBM, KKR, Olympus Corporation and The Colin Powell School at the City College of New York.
Leslie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in addition to studying the intersection of art and function at Boston University, with continuing studies to adapt to the ever-changing world of communications design and literacy.
Cindy Mehallow ESG Advisor
Cindy is a senior sustainability and corporate social responsibility advisor, strategist and writer. She believes in the power of storytelling to engage audiences, create understanding and drive change. Trained in the new Global Reporting Initiative Standards, Cindy has deep knowledge of non-financial reporting practices. She was among the first professionals to obtain the Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) credential from the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, and also brings extensive experience in corporate and employee communications and change management. Her strategic thinking, research, analysis and content development skills produce successful results even in the most challenging scenarios. Cindy has assisted BrightLeaf clients from diverse industries including KKR, Dell, and Kimberly-Clark.
Cindy has held a variety of leadership positions in both professional and community organizations that focus on communications, sustainability and environmental issues. She embarked on a lifetime of learning by earning a degree in Communications Studies from Northwestern University and also studied marketing and advertising at The Wharton School. Cindy continues to expand her knowledge through traditional and new media channels.
Senior Writer / Communications Strategist
Karen Johnson Senior Writer / Communications Strategist
Karen Johnson has over 30 years’ experience in marketing communications for a variety of industries. Now focused primarily on messaging, writing and editing, Karen had a successful consulting business for several years counseling top C-Suite executives at high-tech start-up companies and aligning their business models with solid communications planning. Her most recent position was as Vice President and Editorial Strategist at a Texas PR agency. She also served as the Southwest Regional Manager for two international semiconductor PR firms.
Karen’s proudest career accomplishments were in her social marketing work as a maternal and child health communications consultant with The Futures Group, a top implementing partner of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the world’s largest bilateral donor. Working with USAID and other global donor agencies, Karen traveled to some of the most remote locations inside developing countries in Africa and Southeast Asia – Niger, Ghana, India, and Bangladesh – to troubleshoot, develop strategies, conduct media training and implement crises communications plans as needed. She also offered stateside support in crisis planning and health campaign messaging for campaigns in Senegal and Morocco, and also for Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Kazakhstan.
With several years of experience in the legal field, Karen’s original goal of going to law school morphed into communications when she fell into her first communications job at a Texas lobbying association while attending college. She quickly moved up to Communications Director for a state housing finance agency before starting her own business a few years later.
Karen received a B.S. in Communications with a political emphasis from the University of Texas at Austin.
Strategic Communications – Philanthropy
Sammie Grunwald Strategic Communications – Philanthropy
Sammie is a C-level executive with more than 27 years of experience in strategic communications and critical fundraising for nonprofit organizations focused on human services, education and healthcare. She is passionate about fundraising and creating opportunities for generous individuals, foundations and companies to significantly impact their communities with their gifts.
Sammie has increased philanthropy results for giving programs through planning, developing and executing effective appeal communications and case statements. She understands the importance of telling a project’s story successfully by knowing the audience, appealing to them personally and stewarding their gifts meaningfully.
She has considerable experience in all aspects of fundraising including capital campaigns, planned giving, major giving and annual programs such as employee campaigns, giving societies, special events, sponsorships and recognition tributes. Sammie’s expertise enables her to create layered approaches for cultivating donors and successfully matching them to projects that appeal to them. She holds Bachelor and Master Degrees in Business Administration and Marketing from Texas A&M University along with Certification as a Fundraising Executive (CFRE).