Anita GarzaAnita Garza is an account executive at Elizabeth Christian Public Relations. Prior to joining ECPR, Garza was an events intern with the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival and a marketing apprentice with the Austin Film Society. She also worked as an event photographer and social media manager for several large conventions that featured celebrity talent from A&E, The Discovery Channel and The Travel Channel. She also spent a number of years as a lead in H-E-B’s business center. Garza is passionate about social media management, event planning and creative writing. Garza is from Port Lavaca, Texas, and holds an Associate of Arts in radio-TV-film from Austin Community College and Bachelor of Arts in communications from The University of Houston-Victoria.
Ashley Cunigan is an account associate at Elizabeth Christian Public Relations.
Prior to joining ECPR, Cunigan interned for Parachute Media where she created content and implemented digital media strategies for Camping With Dogs, a lifestyle brand for outdoorsy dog owners. She also interned for the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp where she regularly worked with national and international travel journalists. In her spare time, Cunigan enjoys reading, writing and traveling.
Cunigan is from Jacksonville, Alabama, and graduated from The University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and a minor in business.
Becky de Haro
Rebecca (Becky) is a native Austinite and a graduate of Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Science in Advertising and Public Relations. Throughout the course of her career she has developed integrated marketing, communications and events solutions for Fortune 500 companies as well as non-profit organizations. After working in-house with brands like Dell, Whole Foods and UCLA, she made the move to client-facing roles within recognized PR agencies in Los Angeles and Austin.
Locally, she has worked with clients including Four Hands Home, Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, Texas Cultural Trust, The Stephen F. Austin Hotel and Twin Liquors. Outside of the office, you can usually find Becky at one of Austin’s many amazing restaurants, at the Barton Creek Greenbelt or on the lake.
Blake Pousson is an account associate at ECPR.
Prior to joining ECPR, Pousson interned at Giant Noise Austin, a full-service public relations agency, where he worked with clients such as Museum of Ice Cream, New Mexico Tourist Department and Austin Parks Foundation.
Pousson is a native Austinite and graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in public relations with a minor in business administration.
In his spare time, Pousson loves to read, try the hottest new restaurants in the city and spend time with family and friends.
Camryn Lees is an account associate at ECPR.
Prior to joining ECPR, Lees interned at Benton Newell Communications Agency, a boutique firm in CITY, North Carolina, where she specialized in content creation, campaign execution and account management.
Lees is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and graduated from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina with a Bachelor of Science in communications with a concentration in public relations.
Carla Pineda is an account associate at ECPR.
Prior to joining ECPR, Pineda worked with Bumble and executed guerrilla marketing ideas and grassroots marketing initiatives. She was also an intern at ECPR, where she enjoyed compiling media lists, preparing social media posts, monitoring coverage for a diverse group of clients and supporting media campaigns.
Pineda has a Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in public relations and advertising from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.
In her spare time, she enjoys exploring new restaurants in the city and relaxing at Zilker with her new puppy.
Celeste Tamez is an account executive at ECPR working with healthcare clients, a professional sports team and real estate.
Prior to joining ECPR, Tamez worked for Texas A&M AgriLife Marketing and Communications where she developed and executed communication plans and marketing campaigns on the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service marketing strategy team. She also previously worked as an editor for RGP Media, LLC., which publishes both Texasliving and Brazos Monthly magazines.
Tamez is from Weslaco, Texas, and earned a Bachelor of Science in agricultural communications and journalism from Texas A&M University in College Station.
Senior Account Executive
Danielle Kaigler is a senior account executive with Elizabeth Christian Public Relations. Her clients include St. David’s South Austin Medical Center, the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Texas Mutual Insurance Company and more.
Before joining ECPR, Kaigler helped launch NLand Surf Park in Austin in 2017, supporting the team with key digital marketing strategies and event planning. She also has worked for Kardie Equipment and Conventures, Inc. in Boston. Aside from her work in traditional public relations, she also has extensive experience in event planning, social media marketing and website development.
Kaigler is originally from Boston where she fostered her love of New England sports teams. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in anthropology from Santa Clara University in California and earned her Master of Science in Management in Entrepreneurial Leadership from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.
In her spare time, she enjoys participating in theatrical productions and traveling.
Dennyse Salinas is an account associate at Elizabeth Christian Public Relations.
Prior to joining ECPR, Salinas was a post-grad public relations and social media assistant at J Public Relations, where she specialized in media relations, creative idea campaigns and influencer coordination. She also enjoys crisis management, creative writing and event planning.
Salinas is from Pharr, Texas, and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations.
Elizabeth Christian, a fourth-generation Austinite and journalism graduate of the University of Texas, founded Elizabeth Christian Public Relations in 1995 and served as the firm’s CEO until she sold it to long-time president, Kristin Marcum, in March 2022. Christian currently serves the firm in an of counsel role.
Christian has a four-decade career in public relations, journalism and political affairs. In addition, she is active in the community.
She is a vice chair of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation and past president of the Headliners Club and the Austin Area Research Organization. She is also actively involved with the Greater Austin Economic Development Corp. and the Greater Austin Crime Commission.
Christian has long been a leader of the Austin Chamber of Commerce, having served at various times as chair of the transportation, education and communications committees. She has attended (and helped underwrite) virtually every Chamber intercity trip and has made numerous visits to Washington with Chamber delegations to lobby for Central Texas interests.
Christian and her husband, the recently deceased former Austin Mayor Bruce Todd, have two grown children.
Hilary Portay joined Elizabeth Christian Public Relations in October 2021 after spending 10 years working in marketing & communications across various sectors. Most recently, Portay spent two years at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas as the organization’s communications manager.
Prior to moving to Austin in 2019, Portay spent 10 years living and working in New York City. There, she spent the bulk of her career working in the nonprofit sector at several large nonprofits including UNICEF USA—where she was part of the team that led the organization’s brand re-positioning—and Global Citizen—where she managed strategic philanthropic and corporate social responsibility partnerships with major corporations such as Cadillac, CitiBank, Gucci and Comcast NBCUniversal.
Portay earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Loyola University, Maryland and a Master of Science degree in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University.
Kat Griffith joined Elizabeth Christian Public Relations in September 2014 and has more than a decade of public relations experience. During her time at ECPR, Griffith has worked with clients across a broad range of industries including St. David’s HealthCare, Bridgemoor Transitional Care, Austin Board of REALTORS®, SouthWest Water Company, NLand Surf Park, I Live Here, I Give Here; Trinity University; and Southwestern University.
Prior to joining ECPR, Griffith spent six years in New York City developing and executing PR campaigns for national and global brands including Capital One, Timberland, Gillette, The Art of Shaving and Hewlett-Packard. Katherine played a key role in the execution of product launches geared towards young trendsetters – which included brand repositioning for Timberland, the launch of Venus Embrace Disposables (the first five-bladed disposable razor), and the Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor.
Griffith graduated in May 2008 from The University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations.
Chief Financial Officer
Kathleen Smith has been with Elizabeth Christian Public Relations since 1998. As chief financial officer, she oversees the day-to-day management of the firm and is in charge of accounting, HR benefits and building management.
Prior to joining ECPR, she worked for the Texas Exes Association at The University of Texas at Austin. Her responsibilities included coordinating events for alumni throughout the world. She was in charge of the computer system and served a stint as building manager. She helped create the first Texas Exes Web site. Smith has escorted alumni on a number of trips to different parts of the world both as paid staff and as a volunteer
Smith received a BBA in International Business from The University of Texas at Austin. She also studied at the University of Hawaii and in Mexico with the University of Arizona.
Senior Account Executive
Kelsey Stevens is a senior account executive at Elizabeth Christian Public Relations and works with a variety of clients including JE Dunn Construction, St. David’s HealthCare, Texas Health Action and Texas Mutual Insurance Company, among others.
Stevens is a skilled communicator whose expertise includes event coordination, writing, and developing media pitches and announcements on behalf of clients. Prior to joining ECPR, she interned at the Texas Department of Public Safety in the Media and Communications Office, where she worked on tasks such as media relations, event managements and writing press releases on behalf of the agency.
Stevens is from Elgin, Texas, and graduated from the University of Houston-Victoria with a Bachelor of Arts in communications.
Chief Executive Officer
Kristin Marcum is Chief Executive Officer of Elizabeth Christian Public Relations (ECPR) and publisher of The Austin 100. Marcum acquired the firm from founder Elizabeth Christian in March 2022.
ECPR represents a diverse roster of clients, including St. David’s HealthCare—one of the state’s leading healthcare systems—and Texas Mutual Insurance Company—the state’s largest provider of workers’ compensation insurance, among others. In 2017, the firm led the communication campaign to bring Major League Soccer to Austin.
Marcum joined Elizabeth Christian Public Relations in 1999, worked for the firm for three years, and rejoined ECPR in 2003. A graduate of Texas State University, Marcum earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication with a public relations major and political science minor. She completed specialized training in crisis communications at Harvard University.
Marcum is a graduate of Leadership Austin, a former Austin Area Research Organization (AARO) McBee Fellow, an AARO member and a 2016 AU40 finalist. Marcum serves the following organizations as a member of the board of directors: Austin Ed Fund (in support of Austin ISD), Addressing Cancer Together and United Way for Greater Austin. She is also a volunteer for the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).
In 2018, the Austin Chamber of Commerce named Marcum a “Volunteer of the Year,” and in 2022, she was one of 10 women to receive an Austin Business Journal “Women in Business” award.
Marcum has three children, ages 16, 16 and 11.
Senior Account Executive
Matt Grilli is a senior account executive with Elizabeth Christian Public Relations. His client portfolio includes St. David’s Medical Center, Heart Hospital of Austin and Samsung Austin Semiconductor, among others.
Prior to joining ECPR, Grilli spent over a decade in the sports industry. He thrived in public relations and media relations roles with the Iowa Cubs, Minnesota Twins, and most recently, the Atlanta Braves. Grilli was a critical voice in executing each teams’ communications strategies, while serving as a liaison between the club and the media.
Grilli also spent over three years working for a Minor League Baseball league office in Austin—a time in which the suburban Chicago native became enamored with Central Texas. In his role as the lead communications contact, he brought change to the organization’s public relations approach, including implementing actionable initiatives and modernizing publications.
Grilli graduated from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor of Science degree in sport management.
Executive Vice President
Levente McCrary joined Elizabeth Christian Public Relations in December of 2009 and has 15 years of public relations experience. During her time at ECPR, McCrary has managed numerous high-profile clients including Google, Brookfield Residential, Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare, Texas Mutual Insurance Company and Twin Liquors, among others. This client work has highlighted her talents in media relations, writing, crisis communications, and client and event management.
In addition to executing media campaigns, McCrary has coordinated client events, such as Google Fiber and self-driving car announcements, press conferences at Austin City Hall and the Texas State Capitol, and workplace safety campaigns in various markets across Texas.
Prior to joining ECPR, McCrary coordinated PR for Southern Methodist University (SMU), where she handled media efforts for the university’s key lecture series, development events, student activities and awards, and media relations for all colleges across campus. As an integral part of SMU’s News & Communications team, McCrary also helped coordinate Fox News Channel’s live broadcasts of “Hannity & Colmes” and “Live Desk with Martha MacCallum,” as well as ABC’s “Good Morning America” broadcast from campus.
McCrary got her start in PR at The Richards Group in Dallas and Saunders-Ream in Fort Worth, working with national consumer clients.
A native Tennessean, McCrary earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and journalism from Texas A&M University and a Master of Science degree in public relations and advertising from Texas Christian University.
She’s an active member of the Junior League of Austin, the Mayor’s Corporate Engagement Council, and regular supporter of Austin Dog Rescue.
Lia Truitt joined Elizabeth Christian Public Relations (ECPR) after gaining valuable public relations and media experience as The University of Texas beat reporter for KTBC-TV/FOX 7 in Austin.
Truitt’s prior experience in the news industry paved the way for her transition to the public relations field. In her time at ECPR, she has worked with a broad spectrum of clients, such as Austin FC, Visit Austin, the Downtown Austin Alliance, Google, Las Palmas Medical Center, Orangetheory Fitness, JW Marriott Austin and the Children’s Hospital Association of Texas, among many others.
This client work has allowed Truitt to gain valuable experience in creating and executing strategic communications plans, managing media campaigns, material development (including legislative), video development and production, and coordinating and promoting client events.
Originally from Houston, Texas, Truitt is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Journalism degree with a concentration in broadcast journalism.
She is an active member of the Junior League of Austin, serving as chairs for various committees. Truitt is also an active supporter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and was honored to be a Woman of the Year candidate.
Senior Account Executive
Nico Ramsey is a senior account executive at Elizabeth Christian Public Relations (ECPR) and an active philanthropist in Austin.
Prior to ECPR, Ramsey served as a director of community relations at Velocity Credit Union. There, he worked with Central Texas nonprofits that focused on breaking the cycle of poverty, providing access to affordable health care, and administering safe animal adoption and rehabilitation services, as well as organizations with strategic goals in diversity, equity and inclusion.
He serves on the Board of Governors for the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, The Human Rights Campaign and the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce. Ramsey is also affiliated through committee work with the City of Austin’s Corporate Engagement Council, United Way for Greater Austin, ZACH Theater and Leadership Austin.
Ramsey earned his bachelor’s degree in mass media communication from St. Edward’s University.
Sarah Warnke is an account associate at Elizabeth Christian Public Relations.
Prior to joining ECPR, Warnke interned at The Power Group where she coordinated media relations, wrote content for external distribution and compiled media coverage reports. She also completed contract public relations work for Lux214 Media Group. Warnke’s passions include writing and developing creative solutions to complex business challenges.
Warnke is from Dallas, Texas and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and a minor in business.
Tina Shively uses her storytelling skills to help our clients show the world what they do and why they do it, on-screen.
Experience in both local and national television news preceded Shively’s career with ECPR. She was an anchor and reporter in Austin, Texas; Rochester, New York, and Amarillo, Texas. Her first job in television was as an assistant producer for The CBS Evening News in New York City. It was there she earned an Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for her contributions to the coverage of the September 11th attacks. Shively also has a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Award.
Shively is a native of the Bronx, New York and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcasting from the State University of New York at Oswego.
Senior Account Executive
Victoria Gonzalez is a senior account executive with Elizabeth Christian Public Relations. Her clients include the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare and the Austin Board of Realtors, among others. Gonzalez’s expertise includes creative writing, event planning and research.
Prior to joining ECPR, Gonzalez worked for Kendra Scott, LLC for several years, where she managed the No. 1 grossing store in the country and strategized and implemented sales plans in order to meet and/or exceed various revenue goals. She previously served as an events assistant for Pearl Events.
Gonzalez is from Harlingen, Texas, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in advertising and public relations from St. Edward’s University, and she is a current member of Austin’s Young Women’s Alliance.
Walter Zaykowski joined Elizabeth Christian Public Relations in January 2020.
Zaykowski has more than a dozen years of professional experience having previously worked for the Boston Bruins, in the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives and for the Austin Chamber of Commerce.
Zaykowski is an experienced speechwriter, messaging strategist, crisis communicator and communications strategist. He is no stranger to high pressure situations thanks in large part to his time counseling elected officials on matters of national consequence.
During his time at the Austin Chamber, Zaykowski used his communications expertise to reshape the Austin Chamber’s messaging and communications practices. He authored the organization’s first messaging platform and crisis communications plan and implemented change across the organization from the board level on down.
For two and a half years, Zaykowski also led the Chamber’s efforts to help Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) attract more domestic and international air service for Austin. He played a major role in securing new nonstop service from Austin to Frankfurt on Lufthansa and from Austin to Amsterdam on KLM. Zaykowski’s work took him around the world to represent the Austin Chamber and Austin’s business community in meetings with international airlines.
A native of Rhode Island, Zaykowski earned his bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He moved to Austin with his wife in 2013 following his time working in Washington DC.