The Wixted & Company Team
Wixted & Company’s communication professionals are all familiar with the media—as Emmy Award-winning television reporters and anchors, newsroom journalists and longtime public relations professionals. They know how the media think. What’s more, they understand how communication decisions translate in the court of public opinion and work to prepare executives, leaders and spokespersons to handle the toughest communication situations with clear and consistent messaging.
With more than two decades of experience, Eileen has a keen understanding of issues affecting the nuclear, health care, energy and manufacturing industries. In fact, two-thirds of commercially owned and operated nuclear power plants in North America and over 500 of the nation’s hospitals depend on Eileen for expert counsel, media support, training and drills.
Eileen is a native of Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from Michigan State University with a mass communications degree, she spent a decade as a broadcast journalist and anchor, during which time she received an Emmy Award and her health segments were nationally syndicated. Eileen also authored Media Guide to Radiological Issues; served as interim senior vice president of communications and government affairs for Advocate Health Care, Illinois’ largest health care system; and was a faculty member for the U.S. Naval Academy Homeland Security Leadership Program.
Jake brings a background in communication plan development and marketing for diverse clients that include multi-million-dollar corporations and nationally recognized nonprofits. He is experienced in writing, marketing and enterprise communication management.
Jake is a graduate of the University of Iowa and earned his master’s degree in public communication from the American University.
Senior Trainer & Consultant
A native of Bancroft, Iowa, Lauri has 11 years of experience in television news and video production in the public and private sectors. She spent five years as a television news reporter, photographer and video editor for the NBC affiliate in Sioux City, Iowa, and the CBS affiliate in Madison, Wisconsin, where she ran the station’s news bureau. As a general assignment reporter, Lauri covered a broad range of news events ranging from human interest stories to crime and business news.
During her six years as a producer and writer for Iowa Public Television, Lauri created award-winning educational content for K—12 schools and produced content for the local programs, Student Voices and Zoom Iowa. She also produced and hosted live, interactive field trips using video conferencing technology. A familiar face to Iowans, Lauri is a past host for Festival, IPTV’s fundraising broadcast.
Lauri earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Iowa State University.
Consultant & Trainer
Jeff brings a unique and impressive communications background to Wixted & Company. His broad industry experience allows him to work closely with clients to develop high-impact communications strategies. He is also a skilled trainer, able to guide clients in handling even the toughest media interviews in a way that projects a positive image for the person and business.
Jeff began his career as a reporter with a daily newspaper in the Chicago area, and then served as a political campaign manager, analyst and speechwriter in the Illinois State Senate. In 2010, he moved to Thailand to work as a foreign media advisor under former Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. Most recently, he oversaw internal and external communications for an urban school district with 22 schools and 1,800 employees in Central Illinois.
Jeff earned his bachelor of science degree in newspaper reporting from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, Illinois.
A broadcast journalist since 1967, John joined KHOU-TV in Houston, Texas, in 1981, where he covered the first mission of the space shuttle. He spent the next 10 years as a space and science reporter, providing in-depth coverage of the first 35 shuttle missions and serving as a regular contributor to and consultant for CBS News. His stories were syndicated to CBS affiliates and other outlets in more than 100 countries and on CNN. In 2006, ABC News brought John on board as a field producer responsible for creating content for World News, Good Morning America and Nightline.
John has earned numerous awards for his work, including from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (three Emmy Awards), National Telly Awards and Aviation and Space Writers’ Association. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati.
Senior Communications Advisor
In addition to spending more than a decade as a corporate marketing director, Tamera has led a variety of organizations in the areas of branding, graphic design, advertising, media relations, copywriting, event management, web development and strategic marketing planning.
Tamera’s experience also crosses a range of industries including hospitality, real estate, industrial technology, construction, retail and publishing. She is a graduate of Iowa State University and the University of California, Los Angeles.
Accounting & Contracts Manager
Gerri earned an associate’s degree in business administration from Des Moines Area Community College and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Baker University in Baldwin, Kansas.
During his years working for CBS and ABC affiliates in the Midwest, Jeff covered state and national events—including the World Series and the NCAA Basketball Tournament—and interviewed former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, football great Walter Payton and baseball legend Bob Feller. Having experience in writing, producing and editing newscasts on a daily basis gives Jeff an intimate knowledge of the news media and how to best tailor messages for their audiences.
Jeff earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State University with a minor in psychology. In 2010, Jeff was honored with a regional Emmy Award for his directing work with Mediacom Communications.
Training Program Manager
Prior to joining Wixted & Company, Ashley was a consultant for a global provider of HR services where she managed a database of clients in both manufacturing and administrative fields.
Ashley graduated from Iowa State University with degrees in Mathematics and Economics.
As a television journalist, Diane worked as an anchor and reporter in diverse markets from Des Moines, Iowa, to St. Petersburg, Florida. Over her career, she has had the opportunity to interview public figures like Oprah, Jerry Seinfeld and Miss America, athletes like Alexander Ovechkin and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, along with many others. She is known for her fair and balanced reporting, and is adept at putting people at ease during the interview to allow their true personality to show through.
Diane won the 2006 Sports Feature Award from the Associated Press, and has been nominated for several Emmy Awards. She earned her bachelor of fine arts degree in journalism and broadcast news from Georgia State University.
Consultant & Trainer
His 20-year career in television and radio includes serving as news director at WHO-TV in Des Moines. Under Al’s leadership, WHO-TV ranked among the top-rated NBC affiliates nationwide, earned three Emmy Awards and was recognized six consecutive years as Iowa’s best television news department. His broadcast news experience also includes WHO-AM and radio stations in Omaha, Neb., North Dakota and Montana. Al garnered extensive media relations experience as communications director for a world-class scientific research center and as the public relations director at a full-service marketing agency. He coordinated coverage from such notable media outlets as TIME magazine, National Public Radio, The New York Times and CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360. Al is a military veteran who served six years in the U.S. Army including a four-year tour with Allied military intelligence in Berlin. He attended the University of Maryland-University College Europe and Brown College in Minneapolis.
His 20-year career in television and radio includes serving as news director at WHO-TV in Des Moines. Under Al’s leadership, WHO-TV ranked among the top-rated NBC affiliates nationwide, earned three Emmy Awards and was recognized six consecutive years as Iowa’s best television news department. His broadcast news experience also includes WHO-AM and radio stations in Omaha, Neb., North Dakota and Montana.
Al garnered extensive media relations experience as communications director for a world-class scientific research center and as the public relations director at a full-service marketing agency. He coordinated coverage from such notable media outlets as TIME magazine, National Public Radio, The New York Times and CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360.
Al is a military veteran who served six years in the U.S. Army including a four-year tour with Allied military intelligence in Berlin. He attended the University of Maryland-University College Europe and Brown College in Minneapolis.
Cindi began her career in California in the Coldwell Banker Real Estate regional office, where she organized Million Dollar Club events for salespeople. After returning to the Midwest, she spent 15 years at Kragie/Newell-Integer advertising agency in various marketing and client services roles, including media buyer and national accounts manager working primarily on the NAPA Auto Parts account. Also, she spent five years with OnMedia/Mediacom Cable as a research analyst for the TV ad sales department.
Cindi earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Iowa State University, with an emphasis in advertising.