Executive Communication Training Instructors
Our trainers are active communication professionals from both sides of the political aisle.
Jenifer Sarver is CEO of Sarver Strategies and has more than two decades of experience in media relations, crisis communications, speechwriting, coalition building, and media and presentation skills training. Her career has spanned the corporate, nonprofit and political worlds, helping clients develop messages that will resonate with their core audiences and create strategies for effectively delivering those messages through the appropriate communications channels.
In launching Sarver Strategies, Jenifer focused her skills on training and storytelling, helping clients develop a narrative that effectively conveys their core values, and then preparing them to effectively deliver that message. Jenifer has extensive experience in media and presentation skills training, having conducted workshop and one-on-one trainings for a wide range of public figures including CEOs, foreign leaders, political candidates and office holders at the state and federal level and nonprofit leaders among others.
Jenifer spent nearly six years as Chief of Staff to Ambassador Karen Hughes, the worldwide vice chair of Burson-Marsteller. In addition to supporting Karen, leading the Austin office and helping drive new business development, Jenifer managed a wide variety of accounts, from corporate communications for a global consumer beauty brand to developing internal employee communications campaigns to overseeing all aspects of grassroots and media relations for a higher education coalition. She has also developed expertise in crisis communications, helping clients manage difficult situations from data breaches to bank failures.
Jenifer was the Deputy Director of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce in the Bush Administration. She also served as the Director of The Archer Center and was a Senior Advisor on the Washington, D.C. staff of U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Jenifer worked in public relations at Cunningham Communications and Public Strategies, representing high tech and communications clients, and began her professional career in political campaigns, working as a Finance Director, and later as a Deputy Campaign Manager on two separate congressional races during the 1996 election cycle.
Jenifer has volunteered as a speechwriter at the past two Republican National Conventions. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies. She received the degree of Master in Public Administration from American University. She is on the Advisory Councils of the UT Austin College of Communication and the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life, is on the board of the Archer Center and is chairman of the board of the Texas 4000 for Cancer. She was selected as a Texas Lyceum director in 2013 and as a member of the 2010 Leadership Austin Essential Class. In 2014 she was appointed as a member of the Texas Exes Council.
Marjorie Clifton is principal of Clifton Consulting LLC and founder of SpiketheWaterCooler.com and has over 17 years of marketing, communications and public affairs experience. Marjorie began her career in Austin, working with communication technology startups and went on to become a product manager and spokesperson for Kodak and Sony. Since 2003, she has been a consultant for corporations, non-profits, political campaigns and foundations advising them on strategic planning, coalition development and communications.
Marjorie is also a published author, speaker, and media commentator. She regularly appears on CNN, Fox, NBC, PBS and global television networks and national radio. Her passion is expanding women’s leadership and political participation. As part of this work, she builds and leads global training programs in media, communications, leadership, advocacy and organizing. Her projects have spanned five continents and nearly all fifty states.
Marjorie has worked with a range of clients including C-level executives of Fortune 100 companies, Members of Congress and non-profit leaders. Her clients have included the US Department of State, the Federal Reserve, the US Department of Energy, Coca Cola, Booz Allen Hamilton, Deloitte, Verizon, Google, Microsoft, the American Red Cross, Boeing, General Motors, Pfizer, Ebay, the American Medical Association and Conservation International.
Marjorie is co-founder of Community in Her Corner, a non-profit focused on professional development and local community building for female entrepreneurs. She is an executive board member of Running Start and founder of their Next Step program, which trains women 22-28 in career development and politics. She is also a board member of American University’s Women in Politics Institute.
Marjorie received her bachelor’s degree in Communications and Spanish from the University of Texas, where she is currently a fellow for the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Participation. She has her master’s in acting and corporate theater from Drama Studio London. Marjorie was formerly based in Washington, DC and has recently moved to Austin.
Christina Gomez Oliver
Christina Oliver is a nationally recognized digital strategist, public speaker, and presidential campaign alumna. She is responsible for internal and external digital strategy for the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), the primary wholesale supplier of electricity and water in Central Texas since 1937. Prior to joining LCRA, Christina worked in political and legislative affairs developing digital strategy for SuperPACs, political campaigns, trade associations, chambers of commerce and corporations. Her work includes the Romney Tax Plan microsite that amassed 250M views in 10 days and was hailed as the "cleverest use presidential campaign ad you'll see online" by Slate.
Additional Past Instructors:
Dr. Melody Chatelle
Dr. Melody Chatelle is a veteran of the national and state legislative arenas. Prior to forming Chatelle and Associates, her own political and communications consulting company in 1999, Melody worked for 12 years as Director and Vice President of Government Affairs for Mariner Post-Acute Network, the second largest post-acute health care company in the country with an operating base in 42 states. Before joining the health care industry in 1987, Melody served for 10 years in the Texas State Capitol as a legislative aide to a former Texas State Senator now serving in the United States Congress, as well as the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives.
On the national scene, Melody has served as Chair of the American Health Care Association's (AHCA) Legislative Subcommittee and was named the 1997 AHCA Outstanding Key Member. Her degrees include a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from the Department of Communication Studies, University of Texas at Austin; Master of Public Affairs (M.P.A.) from The LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin and an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Business from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, where she was named Outstanding Female Graduate.
Brooke McMillan is an award winning online marketing and communications expert specializing in non-profit digital strategy. She is a four-year South by Southwest Interactive (sxswi) Advisory Board Member, Texas Social Media Award winner and published author.
Brooke began her social media career at the LIVESTRONG Foundation after a decade in nonprofit industry. At a time when brands and nonprofits were just dipping their toes into social, Brooke dove in head first and created a grassroots online community of over 3 million passionate supporters. She created content for and managed all of the foundation's efforts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube as well as serving as the editor for the LIVESTRONG Blog.
Working in tandem with the foundation’s award winning Public Relations team, Brooke built and executed an online crisis communications strategy to help the organization move beyond the controversy surrounding the cycling career of its founder, Lance Armstrong. Serving as the only online community manager during this crisis, Brooke lifted the foundation's mission above the noise of a scandal and maintained a strong supportive online community through it all.
With a B.A. in Sociology from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, Brooke uses her skills as a trained social worker to manage difficult personalities and touchy situations online for various non-profit organizations and for-profit companies. She is a proud native Texan and a long-time Austin area resident. Follow Brooke on Twitter @mcmillanatx and connect with her at www.linkedin.com/in/brookemcmillan.
Ambassador Karen Hughes - Global Vice Chair of Burson-Marsteller
Amy Brown - Senior Vice President of Harris Media, LLC
Beth Carpenter - Social Communications & Marketing Manager, AARP
David Weeks – Weeks & Co.
Elizabeth Christian - President of Elizabeth Christian & Associates Public Relations
Heather McKissick – Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development at University Federal Credit Union
Hon. Mike Millsap - Millsap Consulting
James Aldrete - President of Message, Audience & Presentation
Jeremy Warren – S&W Capitol Advisors
Jim Arnold - Arnold Public Affairs
John Daly - UT Professor and Political Advocacy Expert
Liz Chadderdon - President of The Chadderdon Group
Michelle Milford Morse - Public Affairs and Advocacy Consultant
Nancy Bocskor - Former Educational Director for American Solution
Tracy Young - Vice President of Public and Government Affairs at the Texas Charter Schools Association
Tracy Grinstead-Everly - Public Policy Manager, Texas Council on Family Violence
Vincent Harris - CEO and President of Harris Media, LLC