Heather Whaling, President
As president of Geben Communication, Heather leads new business development and client strategy. An avid Twitter user, Heather can trace 75% of Geben’s business back to relationships that began online. This ability to turn social networking into business outcomes has helped Geben evolve into a highly respected, sought-after, award-winning PR firm. In addition to helping clients secure coverage in a range of high-profile media outlets – from the New York Times and Wall Street Journal … to Huffington Post and TechCrunch – Heather has been quoted in Inc.com, Entrepreneur and BusinessWeek about technology’s impact on communication and business.
Heather was selected as one of Columbus Business First’s “Forty Under 40” and named one of Columbus’s top 10 entrepreneurs by The Metropreneur. Recently, she launched theEM.co to invest in and support female entrepreneurs. She also serves on the Board of Directors for The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio.
Heather was one of five women bloggers to join Fairwinds Trading and Macy’s in Haiti in March 2010 to learn about the “Heart of Haiti” economic development initiative. She was also one of three social media correspondents selected by Outback Steakhouse to document the 2012 Outback Bowl via social media.
Just for fun: Thanks to her iPad, Heather rediscovered the joy of reading – especially books like Half the Sky and Pray the Dressmaker that show women overcoming the odds. Always up for happy hour, Heather won’t say no to a good glass of Zinfendel or craft beer. When Heather’s not working, you can probably find her catching up on the latest Shonda Rhimes show, attempting to become a runner or experimenting with meat-free recipes. Heather is most definitely one of the 91% of people who keep their iPhones within three feet at all times.
Megan Severs, Vice President of Client Strategy
As vice president of client strategy for Geben Communication, Megan is responsible for managing client relationships and strategy, while overseeing the development of the uber-talented Geben team. Megan has spent 11 years navigating the ever-changing landscape of public relations, social media and marketing communications in Chicago, and, for the last four years, Columbus, Ohio. With a passion for storytelling, Megan has helped shape the narrative for brands like McDonald’s, Simplot, Experience Columbus, WhiteWave Foods (Horizon Organic, Silk Soymilk), ConAgra Foods, ZonePerfect, The Home Depot, Chicago Festival Association and The Joffrey Ballet, on both a national and local level. Though Megan is a proud graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, she has turned into a true Buckeye at heart.
Just For Fun (and Favorite Spotify Station!): With a serious case of wanderlust, Megan has traveled across the globe, everywhere from the hidden alleyways of the Left Bank in Paris, to the awe-inspiring Andes mountains and ancient valleys of Peru, to the hauntingly beautiful mosques of Istanbul. When she’s not toting around her passport, you can find Megan with her nose in a book, teaching herself to bake (she can make a mean box of Betty Crocker brownies), drinking flights at local breweries and chasing around her dog, Albert, who she is convinced may be a terrorist. Megan has eschewed iTunes in favor of ad-free Spotify, which is set permanently to her “Boys & Girls with Geetars” playlist.
Taylor Ray Orsbon, Account Manager
As account manager, Taylor Ray Orsbon is responsible for developing and implementing traditional and digital PR strategies for several Geben Communication clients. A creative storyteller and media relations strategist, Taylor’s experience includes media and influencer relations; social media; strategic brand planning; technical, news and feature writing; event planning; online monitoring and research. Taylor has a proven track record of securing high-profile placements in national media outlets and blogs, including Pando Daily, Mashable, Forbes, PureWow and Babble, among others.
With multiple planners and to-do lists in-hand, Taylor also specializes in project management and helping clients plan and execute creative campaigns. Before joining Geben, Taylor worked at one of the Midwest’s largest full-service marketing communications agencies, where she served a variety of clients in the tourism, consumer, technology, business-to-business and nonprofit industries.
Just For Fun: Continuously exploring all that Columbus has to offer, Taylor is an avid seeker of live music and a good craft beer. Both a coffee connoisseur and proud foodie, Taylor enjoys embracing new tastes and dining at a variety of restaurants. While at home, she admits she likes to indulge in the latest guilty pleasure sitcoms, but you can also catch her out and about at local events like dime-a-dog night at a Clippers game or OSU tailgates with her friends and family.
Bethany Cramer, Account Manager
Bethany Cramer, account manager, leads national media relations for B2B and B2C clients, while also developing and executing creative content marketing and social strategies that help clients achieve their goals. A master of organization and an out-of-the-box thinker, Bethany helps clients tell their stories in ways that are compelling, relevant and unique. Her strengths include research, media outreach, blogger relations, content creation and competitive intelligence. She has secured media placements for clients in major outlets such as USA Today, Entrepreneur, The Associated Press and Forbes.
Before joining Geben, Bethany worked as PR Manager at a marketing agency that served B2B clients in the workers’ compensation, healthcare and technology industries. Prior to moving to Columbus, she worked at an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity where she managed social media, external communications and event promotion. Bethany graduated from New York’s Public Honors College SUNY Geneseo where she studied business administration.
Just for fun: A fan of animals, books, lipstick, candles, flavored coffee, crafting and ketchup, it’s safe to say Bethany likes to find joy in life’s simple things. Even though she’s a transplant from upstate New York, Bethany may know more about Columbus allures than some life-long residents. Always trying new restaurants, attending festivals, shopping local and traveling to area attractions, she likes to experience everything the city has to offer.
Favorite Pandora Station: Morgan Page Radio or Lindsey Stirling Radio for upbeat electronic and alternative.
Brandi Neloms, Account Manager
Brandi Neloms, account manager, specializes in developing results-driven strategies and campaigns that ensure clients use the right tools to reach the right audience with the right messaging. Additionally, she is responsible for online community management, creative concepting, and local and national media, blogger and influencer relations.
Brandi brings five years of agency, community relations and marcom experience to the table and has worked with a variety of industries, including startups, manufacturing, B2B, consumer products, retail, restaurants/food service and more. She’s secured placements for clients in high-profile business publications like Black Enterprise, consumer publications like Woman’s Day and trade outlets like Architect Magazine. Brandi graduated from Kent State University where she studied public relations.
Just for fun: New to Columbus, Brandi is eating her way through the city and enjoying every brownie, bratwurst and burger she bites into. On Thursday nights, she’s usually sipping a glass of red wine in “Shondaland.” One of her life goals is to compete on Food Network’s “Chopped.”
Favorite Pandora Station: The smoothest tenor to ever croon love songs on record, Luther Vandross.
Jeana Harrington, Communications Manager
An original member of Team Geben, Jeana became the company’s first full-time employee in 2010. As communications manager, she is responsible for internal community management, coordinating Geben’s e-newsletter and assisting with proposal and new business development. Jeana also helps guide social media strategy, content creation and reporting for Geben’s clients, plus coordinates team-building activities and assists with client relations as the team’s “Cruise Director.”
Jeana is a self-proclaimed Twitter stalking ninja (If you’ve ever shared your email address on the web, she’ll find it!) with a black belt in editing and research. She regularly helps clients win PR/social media and industry awards, plus she has secured placements in leading publications, including Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Inc.com and FastCompany.com. She is a proud member of Otterbein College’s final graduating class (the school was renamed Otterbein University in 2011).
Just for Fun: Jeana is an avid reader, Golden Girls/The OC fanatic and lover of anything with caffeine or sparkles. With spare time and the right ingredients (directions are helpful too!), she’s also a surprisingly good cook. She never passes up an invitation to lunch or happy hour – especially when sangria and spinach dip are involved – and enjoys exploring Columbus and spending time with friends and family.
Favorite Pandora Station: Jeana converted to Spotify in 2014, thanks to her side gig as Team Geben’s resident DJ. There, she listens to “The Productivity Playlist,” “Girl Power” and “Spring Cleaning,” as well as any-and-all John Legend/Sam Smith tracks.
Lexi Messenger, Account Executive
As Geben Communication’s account executive, Lexi Messenger is a jack of all trades, providing support to Geben’s diverse portfolio of clients. Equipped with a “get it done” mentality, Lexi’s days are spent writing, researching and monitoring. Plus, she’s always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to blend traditional and digital PR.
Before joining Geben, Lexi interned at a non-profit arboretum, where she helped manage social media, wrote feature stories, worked with the local press and developed a love for all things nature. Additionally, Lexi interned for her alma matter, Ohio University, getting hands-on media relations and social media experience. While at Ohio University, Lexi was a member of the Ohio University Marching 110, a high-energy marching band. They even went viral – check out the YouTube videos!
Just for fun: Secretly a little nerdy, Lexi is a fan of books like A Game of Thrones, The Hobbit and Harry Potter (and their corresponding shows/movies). Outside of the office, you’ll probably find her being a wannabe crafter on Pinterest, cheering on the Ohio Bobcats or standing in line at the local coffee shop.
Favorite Pandora Station: Mumford and Sons or 90s Pop Radio (Both help turn a stressful day into a fun one!)
Beth Downing, Account Coordinator
As an account coordinator for Geben Communication, Beth Downing is responsible for content creation, social media management, research, trend monitoring and media list development – always while maintaining a laser-like focus on supporting client goals. A constant list-maker, Beth loves crossing out to-do items to keep projects moving forward, on time and on task.
Before joining Geben, Beth completed two internships, one at a a full-service advertising agency, and the other at a non-profit organ procurement organization. While she attended The Ohio State University, Beth was heavily involved in OSU’s chapter of PRSSA and spent three years on the executive board. Since graduating, she’s become involved in Central Ohio PRSA.
Just for fun: A lifelong bookworm, Beth enjoys reading anything and everything and does not discriminate against any one genre. She has studied Spanish for 10 years and plans to visit Spain before she turns 30. In her free time, Beth loves cooking, exploring Columbus and white wine.
Favorite Pandora Station: Mumford and Sons is her default but she also likes to mix it up with Jay Z or Adele, depending on her mood.
Heather Phillips, Account Coordinator
Heather Phillips, account coordinator, provides day-to-day support for several Geben Communication clients. Heather focuses on research, results reporting and trend monitoring, while also supporting social media management and media/blogger outreach.
Heather landed her first major media placement just months after graduating from Ohio University, helping to secure a story in USA Today for a Pittsburgh-based startup that she worked with prior to joining Team Geben. She also gained relevant PR and social media experience through two internships, one working with the digital media team at a full-service advertising agency and one as a student brand manager for a large corporate company. While she attended Ohio University, Heather was an active member of the Scripps PRSSA chapter and an account associate for their student-run PR firm, ImPRessions.
Just for fun: A Cleveland native, Heather is continuously exploring her new home and all it has to offer. Outside of the office, you’ll likely find her shopping all things local, dancing to live music, wandering the streets of Columbus with her dog or cheering on a Cleveland sports team. She loves to unwind with dinner and a glass of wine at one of her favorite restaurants, or at home behind her Kindle with a new recipe she is trying in the oven.
Favorite Pandora Station: Dave Matthews Band