Michael P. Meehan is President & CEO of VennSquared Communications managing the company’s day-to-day operations.
For more than a quarter of a century, Meehan has been at the epicenter of the communications, politics and policy spheres, bringing clear and concise successes from the combative court of Capitol Hill to the crucial priority policy issues concerning companies, foundations, trade associations, non-profits and issue coalitions.
As testimony to his ability to find consensus and generate progress, both Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush nominated Meehan to serve as a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees all U.S. international broadcasting companies in the area of public diplomacy. In 2010 Meehan resumed his public service, when the full Senate confirmed him for a three-year term on the bipartisan Board. Governor Meehan is the chair of the Middle East Broadcasting Network, as well as Radio Free Asia. He chairs the BBG Strategy and Budget Committee and co-chairs the Global Internet Freedom Committee.
Meehan is an expert in communications, national media, message development and implementation, polling and election politics. He is strategically positioned to build targeted and personalized public relations campaigns that amplify determined public policy goals. Meehan served as Senior Communications Advisor to Senator John Kerry’s presidential campaign.
Meehan has held positions of implementation in the public policy and media relations’ arenas – serving as chief of staff for senators, directing the top political and communication posts to all three national Democratic parties, working in key advisory positions for many U.S. Senators, including a Senate Majority Leader, as well as two U.S. Representatives.
The New York Times wrote that Meehan “specializes in adversarial situations.” Smart details and quiet passion are other unique elements of Meehan’s portfolio. As a crisis communications expert, he helps people and companies successfully navigate any situation.
From sports reporting in his early years to teaching social studies to grades 5 to 12, to senior private sector experiences as the first president of BGR Public Relations, where he maintains a strategic partnership, Meehan’s nuts-and-bolts knowledge of how to connect in reality and not in hype is crucial to his success. His media training has been hailed as irreplaceable, most recently working with C-suite executives preparing for IPOs and financing rounds.
In 2009, Meehan launched Blue Line Strategic Communications, transforming into a top boutique firm, VennSquared Communications in 2011. In addition to growing a successful communications and political consultancy, Meehan spent three years as senior vice president at Virilion, a digital media company from 2008-11. He holds a degree from Bates College in political science and education.
Diane Zeleny serves as Senior Advisor at VennSquared Communications.
Most recently Ms. Zeleny was VP for strategy and communications at the Legatum Institute in London as well as executive director of the Institute's annual summer school devoted to looking at today's challenges through a historical prism. In her 18 year career with the U.S. government Diane served as Director of Communications and External Relations at the Broadcasting Board of Governors, Director of the Global Media Hub in Brussels, Belgium, and Director of Communications to the Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the State Department.
She also served for 4 years as Director of Communications and Government Relations at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague. Zeleny is Chairman of the Board of the Freedom to Connect Foundation, a non-profit devoted to supporting the development of technology used to counter internet censorship.
Sarah is Senior Vice President at VennSquared Communications responsible for the Seattle Office. Previously, Sarah served as Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer’s communications director for two terms.
Sarah has extensive experience working with top elected officials, state and national media giving her a keen understanding of media and public relations. Whether planning and executing public relations for major policy initiatives, business investments or large events, Sarah’s approach is smart, creative and enthusiastic. She knows how to develop communications strategies and deliver the right message at the right moment.
Prior to her tenure with Governor Schweitzer, Sarah served in the press office of then Denver Mayor and now Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. She also worked as an on-air reporter and assignment editor at KULR-TV an NBC affiliate and as Communications Director for the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance.
Sarah grew up on a Black Angus cattle ranch in central Montana and holds a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communications from Montana State University – Billings.
Kerry is Vice President at VennSquared Communications responsible for the Silicon Valley Office. Previously, Kerry worked for over thirteen years at the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto where she held positions in business development, demand generation, corporate philanthropy, marketing communications and program management.
Kerry’s most recent position at HP was in the online store, HP Direct, building, launching and running interactive marketing programs designed to increase web traffic and drive sales while improving ROI. In this role, Kerry was responsible for scaling HP's online display advertising presence, using traditional and new models to purchase media and track campaign performance. Kerry also managed HP's comparison shopping program, growing HP's web traffic and sales with partners like Google, Bing and PriceGrabber. She has managed strategic partnerships with key vendors throughout her career.
Prior to her tenure at HP Direct, Kerry spent four years in HP Corporate Affairs where she led the product grant strategy for all U.S.-based philanthropy programs. Kerry facilitated strategic alignment between HP philanthropy and a variety of business units, ensuring that HP’s leading product solutions were available to recipient schools and non-profit organizations. She was responsible for cross-functional operations planning across marketing, sales and supply chain organizations.
Before joining HP, Kerry worked for four years in Washington DC in a range of communications and spokesperson positions for organizations such as the White House Conference on Small Business, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, The Clinton/Gore Campaign and the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
Kerry holds an undergraduate degree from Bates College and an MBA from Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management. She lives in Silicon Valley with her husband and two children.
Erin Grandstaff is Vice President of VennSquared Communications.
Prior to joining VennSquared, Erin served as account executive at Blue Line Strategic Communications where she was responsible for the day-to-day operations, client interaction, and implementation of strategic plans and supports a wide range of other client needs.
In 2007, Erin worked for the ONE Campaign. While at ONE, she was the Student Outreach Coordinator and then moved into the role as a national campaign coordinator for the presidential initiative, ONE Vote ’08. Erin was a professional staff of U.S. Senator Harry Reid from 2004 to 2007.
Erin holds a BA in Political Science and Spanish with a minor in Art History from Indiana University.
Elizabeth Bennett serves as executive assistant to Michael Meehan.
Prior to joining the VennSquared, Elizabeth worked as Administrative Coordinator for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, as well as Health Volunteers Overseas. She worked for Winning Connections as a research and operations associate during the 2008 presidential election.
Elizabeth holds a BA in English from the University of Mary Washington.
Charlie Patterson serves as account manager at VennSquared Communications and is responsible for day to day operations, media relations, writing and research, producing client materials, and other client needs.
His previous work includes time spent as a scholar with Blue Line Strategic Communications in Washington, DC and an internship with the Robertson Marketing Group in Salem, VA.
Charlie holds a BA in Political Science from Roanoke College.
Halley Dodge serves as account manager at VennSquared Communications and is responsible for day to day operations, social media, media relations, writing and research, producing client materials, and other client needs.
Her previous work include a internship with DCI Group, a public relations and lobbying firm in Washington, DC, and a internship with Lagardère Unlimited, a worldwide sports management and entertainment company.
Halley holds a B.A. in Journalism specializing in Public Relations and Advertising from the University of Arkansas and is a DC native.
John Reid Sidebotham serves as account manager at VennSquared Communications. Prior to joining VennSquared, John Reid was an intern at Woodbine, an advertising and marketing in agency in Winston-Salem, NC and an intern at the House Democratic Caucus in Washington, DC.
John Reid holds a B.A. in Political Science from Wake Forest University in North Carolina.