Our Team

Based in Syracuse, NY, and the surrounding areas, our public relations team of mid- to senior-level professionals has expertise in creating and delivering news and social media strategies that are tailored to help your organization reach its goals.

We are expert storytellers, first and foremost. We understand how to create the most compelling messages, tailored for different audiences, utilizing the most effective mediums – whether that’s the news media, social media, or other communications channels.

Members of the Strategic Communications team are very involved with the world’s largest and foremost organization of public relations professionals, the Public Relations Society of America, including serving in leadership roles at local, regional and national levels; and are active in ongoing conversations about the industry. Each member of the Strategic Communications team has appeared in local, regional and national media and have been published numerous times for their expertise in public relations. And several members of the team have also earned the industry’s prestigious Accredited in Public Relations designation.

We know that keeping up with the news media and navigating the digital landscape can be time consuming – and costly – for organizations. By engaging Strategic Communications, business leaders can react to communication needs more quickly and effectively, while also freeing up time to focus on how their long-term strategies tie into their day-to-day activities.

We make sure to understand and support each client’s whole business, providing concierge-level service to support the leaders at our clients’ organizations. Our team’s commitment to you is to deliver strategy, integrity, and business success.

Who We Are

Crystal DeStefano, APR

Crystal is owner and president of Strategic Communications. She focuses on leading the team in developing long-term strategies for current and potential future clients. Through her disciplined use of Strategic Communications’ 5 Step Process for Strategically & Successfully Sharing Good News, she ensures every client benefits from our approach to maximizing the power of the news media, using both traditional outreach techniques as well as social media to get a message across.

DeStefano has a degree in business and is Accredited in Public Relations by the Universal Accreditation Board. She has public relations experience from agencies in Albany and Syracuse.

Crystal has served as President of the Public Relations Society of America – Central New York Chapter, as Chair for the Northeast District of PRSA, and as the Northeast Regional Representative for the PRSA National Office. She is also a 40 Under Forty award recipient.

Virgie Townsend, JD
Vice President,
Client Strategy and
Business Development

Virgie leads the Strategic Communications team in creating ambitious, tailored strategies and materials for our clients’ organizations and thought leaders. She provides direct client support, as well as direction and oversight to other members of the Strategic Communications team. All of our clients benefit from Virgie’s 15+ years of experience helping companies, nonprofits, and individuals bring their insights to new audiences.

Additionally, Virgie represents Strategic Communications within the local business community and leads new client opportunities and initiatives.

As a journalist, essayist, and award-winning writer, Virgie’s writing has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Harper’s Bazaar, VICE, and other publications. Virgie received her bachelor’s degree in newspaper journalism, magna cum laude, from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and her J.D. from the Syracuse University College of Law. She is a bar-admitted attorney in Colorado. In 2021, the Central New York Business Journal recognized Virgie as one of its 40 Under Forty Awards honorees.

Alice Maggiore
Director of
Public Relations

With experience in Journalism and Public Relations, Alice knows how to make a story pitch stand out. As a news producer on two award-winning news teams, Alice made story coverage decisions daily. She understands the importance of research to find original content for newscasts, and what reporters need in order to tell compelling stories.

Alice transitioned to Public Relations in 2015 and continues to interact with local news media by making connections, pitching stories, and coordinating interviews for news coverage. She is proficient in writing for multiple platforms – including broadcast, print and social media – and always keeps a finger on the pulse of current events and culture.

This expertise amplifies the voice of Strategic Communications clients by highlighting the details that will most resonate with the media as well as our clients’ audiences, and presenting the content in a creative, memorable way.

Alice holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications, with a concentration in Production, and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, focused on Public Relations and Advertising. She is a 2018 graduate of the Leadership Greater Syracuse program.


Dr. Kelly Gaggin, Ph.D., APR Senior Advisor
Dr. Kelly Gaggin, Ph.D., APR Senior Advisor + Public Relations Consultant

Kelly is all about strategy. She helps to keep Strategic Communications clients focused on business goals and communications goals, while sharing her expert knowledge of what will garner positive attention from the news media and other key audiences. She also provides support to the Strategic Communications team and clients by anticipating what tactics or messages could be questioned, misunderstood, or otherwise derail client communications, and how to navigate those situations.

Kelly is Accredited in Public Relations by the Universal Accreditation Board, holds a Ph.D. in Mass Communications from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and is a Central New York 40 Under Forty recipient. She is also a published author, including her most recent book on Nonprofit Communications.

Jennifer Phillips
Senior Consultant and Analyst

Jen has experience in public affairs, social and traditional media monitoring and analysis, and PR measurement. She takes a deep dive into the results of our proactive public relations efforts and provides expert guidance on how we can adjust our strategy in real-time to continually grow the effectiveness of our communications for each client.

Jen has written extensively on the importance of incorporating measurement into public relations work, and has presented on topics including social media best practices and influencer measurement.

Elizabeth Greenaway
Public Relations Consultant

Elizabeth quickly embodies your organization’s unique voice and is constantly thinking about the bigger picture to help your organization reach your audiences most effectively. She is a master of content development, including content strategy and writing, and provides guidance on how to leverage various media to truly connect with your audiences and maximize your impact.

Elizabeth is also an adjunct faculty member for the School of Business and Hospitality at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. She serves on the board of directors for the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, and enjoys serving as the adviser to the Iota Mu Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta at Lycoming College.

Keith Calveric
Web and Graphic Designer

Keith has more than 20 years of experience as a professional graphic designer and web developer. He is an expert in understanding unique client needs and helping clients accomplish their goals by expressing messages visually in an engaging way. He works closely with our public relations team, supporting projects for the creation of brand logos, social media graphics, and as well as complete web design, SEO, hosting and maintenance of client websites.

Keith is committed to innovation in his design processes and has an intuitive grasp of visual storytelling. Through his expert understanding of website and social media audience behaviors, he strategically designs graphics that captivate social media users and website visitors, driving higher levels of engagement.

Keith is also a professional musician. He has been performing and writing music for over 35 years.

Click here to view some of Keith’s work.


Michael Meath
Senior Advisor

Michael Meath is the founder and former president of Strategic Communications, LLC. He now provides trusted counsel as an advisor to the company.

Michael is also the Interim Chair for the Public Relations Department and an adjunct professor in public relations at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, as well as an adjust professor in the collaborative professional master’s degree program in communications management at McMaster University.

Bret Moses

Bret has been filming and producing high-quality videos for clients for 20 years. He is very experienced, detail-oriented and professional, and our clients love the “magic” he creates. His work includes television commercials, corporate videos for large and small companies, documentaries, non-profit and educational videos, social media videos, and more.

Click here to view some of Bret’s work.

325 Productions

325 Productions is based in Syracuse, NY, and has produced videos around the world. With a uniquely creative approach and deep connection to the community, the beauty that this team captures and creates is another valuable asset for Strategic Communications and our clients.

Click here to view some of 325 Productions’ work.

Community Partnerships & Affiliations

Strategic Communications is a member of CenterState CEO, our team serves as leaders of the Public Relations Society of America, professors and guest lecturers at Syracuse University, and are strong supporters of many local organizations.