Communications Solutions For a better future for all

Summary

NEUWIRTH COMMUNICATIONS
I craft compelling stories that put organizations on the right side of history. And I'm passionate about redirecting capitalism for a better future for all of its stakeholders. As long as the interest to contribute to a better future is stirring inside your organization I can do this for you.
                 
EXPERTISE FOR CONSULTATION
ESG & Corporate Communications | Executive Communications | Brand PR | Crisis & Litigation Communications | Coalition Building | Community Engagement | Agency Management | Trade Association & Industry Representation

A snapshot of professional accomplishments

  1. President & Founder, Neuwirth Communications, LLC

    Project-based and ongoing counsel for businesses and nonprofit clients ranging from a healthcare institution managing through Covid-19, to Danone for a stakeholder audit, to B Lab, the leading nonprofit ESG standards organization which conceived of and administers the fast-growing B Corp certification. Services including ESG related communications, stakeholder mapping and assessment, communications planning, crisis and issues management, and cohort building.

  2. ESG Advisory Council Member, Porter Novelli

    Providing senior counsel to agency leadership and clients on ESG-related matters

  3. Chief Communications Officer, American Sustainable Business Council

    As fractional CCO for ASBC, which partners with business organizations and companies to advocate for solutions and policies that support an equitable, sustainable, stakeholder economy, I lead the Council in its effort to increase its visibility among thought-leaders and policy influencers that advances stakeholder capitalism. ASBC represents over 250,000 sustainable businesses in a wide range of industries and geographies.

  4. -
    Senior Director, External Communications, Danone North America

    Led and nurtured communications team overseeing a portfolio of 20 brands of the largest yogurt, organic food and plant-based food business in North America. Conceived of and directed PR and corporate communications for other business units of Danone in North America, including Danone Waters, Happy Family Organics, and Danone Manifesto Ventures. Transformed the communications function and services from a single category focus to serve a variety of categories, while combining operations with WhiteWave Foods.  Established the reputation for Danone North America as the largest Certified B Corp in the world, while continually preparing for and managing through dozens of crises, product withdrawals, various litigation, and other business interruptions. Drove awareness of B Corp Certification and relationships across the stakeholder continuum.

    Protected and promoted company/brands by serving as lead spokesperson, including Horizon Organic, So Delicious, Silk, Dannon, Earthbound Farm, and International Delight. Developed PR strategies and plans, directing and supporting brand teams.

    Integrated PR and corporate communications of Danone and WhiteWave Foods, during and following acquisition, resulting in positive company-focused media coverage. Built outcome-focused relationships with top-tier journalists; generated high-value deliverables by effectively managing company’s PR agencies.

    Led media briefings and trainings for senior management and subordinate spokespeople and wrote briefs to manage complex issues. Minimized reputation risk through crisis management and preparedness without impacting sales growth during the largest class-action lawsuit in food industry history.

  5. -
    Senior Director, Public Relations, The Dannon Company & Danone's North American Businesses

    Oversaw brand and corporate PR, as well as community relations where the company makes yogurt. Built close working relationships with senior management and communications teams globally, and proactively implemented best-in-class PR / communications practices, and global collaboration across regionalized structure; supported global Danone corporate communications and investor relations teams.

    Orchestrated campaign, increasing awareness of probiotics, resulting in consumer awareness of +70%, and category and company growth to market leader position (400% growth, 2005 – 2012).
    Devised brand and corporate PR for yogurt category (30% category growth, 2005 – Present).
    Forged mutually productive relationships, including publicity by working with business stakeholders, including the NFL, Partnership for a Healthier America, Clinton Global Initiative, and PETA.
    Resolved growth related issues at the manufacturing locations, resulting in harmonious community relations.
    Proactively influenced communications positions and practices of industry trade associations, including the International Dairy Foods Association, National Yogurt Association, and International Food Information Council, as well as Grocery Manufacturers Association through board and committee leadership.

  6. -
    Senior Vice President, Ruder Finn

    Re-built marketing practice of one of NYC’s largest independent PR agencies from less than $1M to more than $5M in two years through client counsel, team development, business forecasting, new business development, issues management, and event planning.
    Doubled the practice from 8 to 15 practitioners, serving clients including: The North Face, Keurig, GoDaddy, WW (formerly Weight Watchers).  Ruder Finn

  7. -
    Director of Corporate Communications, Acirca

    Served on executive committee of venture capital backed start-up organic food company, which was the fastest growing in its sector before being selling to Hain. Managed PR, product placement, and digital agencies. Successfully navigated issues and crisis communication, managed Web sites, employee communications, and cause-related marketing.

    Advanced awareness of Walnut Acres portfolio of organic soups, juices, pasta sauces, salsas, and kid’s snacks by developing corporate communications, PR, and consumer affairs capabilities.
    Accelerated creation of company and brand reputation to build product distribution, leading to successful sale. Managed communications for four acquisitions and 2 plant closures within 3 years.

  8. -
    Public Relations Manager, Danone Waters / Great Brands of Europe

    Created in-house PR department and protocols to support marketing communications, publicity and product placement for Evian in North America. Pioneered the first marketer-studio collaborations for product placement. Managed PR agencies and activation of sporting and entertainment sponsorships such as the US Open, Council of Fashion Designers of America, Women’s Professional Volleyball Association and Share Our Strength/NoKidHungry. Led marketing committee for bottled water industry to drive category growth, resulting in a recommendation to drink 8 glasses of water per day.

    Supported global corporate communications team during NYSE listing and other corporate milestones.
    Served as company/brand spokesperson; directed public relations & entertainment marketing agencies; directed internal communications; planned and implemented M&A communications for 3 acquisitions; represented company at industry associations; planned and directed community relations and crisis communications including the development of a bottled water plant in Mt. Shasta, CA for the company's domestic brands. evian natural spring water

  9. -
    Senior Account Executive, Porter Novelli

    Managed new product launches and PR campaigns for Gillette that helped resuscitate the company’s strategy back towards the razor/razor blade model away from disposables. Created guidelines for global agency network for product launches and line extensions of Gillette brands and products.
    Served as crisis counselor and marketing communications team leader for GNC and US public affairs team of Aerospatiale (now Airbus). Managed strategic planning, event production and budget management for clients.
    Selected for and completed BBDO account management training during Omnicom integration.  Porter Novelli

Proudest Accomplishments

Convincing my wife to move to NY & our ensuing children. Re-shaping capitalism for a better future.

Experience Highlights

  • Pragmatic stakeholder assessments, creative problem solving, team building, efficient resource use

Education Highlights

  • Harvard-MIT Program on Negotiation
  • Vassar College, Honors, English

Causes

  • Among the many pressing topics I care about are democracy, equality, and education

Interests

  • I am fueled to serve my clients most effectively when I'm running, cooking, reading non-fiction

Questions & Answers

Why did you choose your profession?
I grew up in a family that debates just about anything and as the youngest I quickly realized how greatly opinions can be influenced by words in addition to actions. After college I met a recruiter who told me about a whole industry dedicated to influence and that's where my fascination with and passion for public relations started. After many successful years launching and growing whole categories and new brands, in 2013 I learned about B Corps and it re-shaped how I thought about my career. Over the next few years I developed a passion to use the power of influence to profoundly change the trajectory of capitalism for the benefit of all stakeholders while maintaining growth and profitability in business.
How would you describe the lens through which you see the world?
I'm passionate about the truth and equality. And how the same fact can appear differently based on perspective. For example, you and I may both see the a storm cloud in the sky and interpret it entirely differently. As a farmer I might see the forecast for rain as good for my field of crops whereas if you're a beachgoer you may see a washed out day. I love seeing facts from multiple perspectives so I can help my clients communicate effectively to achieve the best outcomes by understanding the perspectives of all stakeholders.
What are your long-term goals?
In addition to continuing to nurture my children and be the best partner I can to my wife, my goals are to help businesses and other organizations find their stories and tell them most effectively for the benefit of all of their stakeholders.
What does reimagining capitalism mean to you?
First, reimagine capitalism means throwing out the idea that 'might makes right' because as history has taught us many times painfully, might can be very wrong when it comes to equality.  Stakeholder capitalism to me is a necessary and overdue correction to the greatest economic experiment in history. The fundamentals of capitalism work well and fairly only when the interests of all stakeholders are considered as opposed to only those of shareholders. 

 

Location

New York, NY