see also:
Marquee Clients
References

Executive Bios


Steve Alexander
President


Alan Ziegaus
Chief Executive Officer, Southwest Strategies


Chris Wahl
President,
Southwest Strategies


Laurie Black
President,
The LJ Black Consulting Group


Renee Herrell, M.A., CFRE
Principal, RCH Consulting


Richard Ledford
President, Ledford Enterprises


Sally B. Romoser
Principal, Harrison Graham

 



  "We were so impressed with Mr. Alexander's skills and his insights into the government process, that we invited him to facilitate our annual goal setting. Mr. Alexander is very skilled at what he does... and he enjoys it immensely."

Crystal Crawford
Mayor, City of Del Mar


 



     
 

When meeting someone for the first time, one of the first questions I'm asked is, "Who is The Steve Alexander Group?" I'm proud to introduce the talented professionals who bring decades of award-winning experience in creative strategic planning, strategic communications, board and leadership development, conflict resolution, collaborative problem solving and team-building, facilitation and mediation and media training and crisis communications.

We empower our clients by helping them make decisions that get results -- and by partnering with them to build successful teams that can fulfill the mission, vision and goals of their businesses and organizations.

We look forward to learning about you and exploring how The Steve Alexander Group can work with you to help you achieve your goals.

Strategic & Crisis Communications
Facilitation & Mediation
Coaching, Team Building, Board & Leadership Development
Media Training & Presenter Training
Focus Groups, Research and Opinion Leader Audits



EXECUTIVE BIOS

Able to leap tall buildings at a single bound, faster than a speeding bullet... wait, that's Superman! But we think our professionals are all communications super heroes, too -- and when you read about them, we think you'll agree.

Steve Alexander
Facilitator and Communications Strategist In Public Affairs

A seasoned communications strategist, Steve Alexander was voted "50 People to Watch" influencing San Diego's future by San Diego Magazine in 2007. He is currently president of The Steve Alexander Group, providing public affairs consultation, specializing in strategic communications, media relations and crisis communications, facilitation, training and team building and meeting management.

Alexander has unique expertise in collaborative decision-making and consensus building. His media training has included hundreds of leaders and communicators throughout the country. As the former regional director of Burson-Marsteller, the world's largest public relations firm, he built the market in San Diego for the agency, and worked with numerous worldwide projects and clients. He has facilitated such challenging public participation and policy projects as the San Diego State University Aztec Identity Task Force, Alliance Healthcare Foundations' regional uninsured program, the Naval Training Center visioning project on behalf of the McMillin Companies and planning for the San Diego Regional Airport Authority.

Alexander has directed projects for QUALCOMM, Scripps Health, The Nature Conservancy, UC San Diego, San Diego County Water Authority, the Council of Community Clinics, the cities of Coronado, San Diego and Del Mar, Downtown San Diego Partnership, LEAD San Diego, Callaway Golf, Monterey Bay Aquarium, The Big Sur Land Trust, California Coastkeeper Alliance, and Father Joe's Villages, among others. He worked closely with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, Chamber of Commerce and other business groups on a project to position and develop a brand for San Diego as a high profile technology and biotech community. He also served as a gubernatorial appointee as president of the California Medical Board, and chairman of the state's regulatory board for the behavioral sciences in the California Department of Consumer Affairs. He has extensive knowledge of government and consumer regulation issues and board management and training.  

Mr. Alexander has also served as a Vice President of Public Affairs at Stoorza, Ziegaus & Metzger. There he worked with clients including the University of California Riverside, GTE, USA Waste, Kaiser Permanente and California's SmartCommunities. His work on the National Automated Highway System Consortium and The Naturelands Project resulted in top honors from the American Association of Political Consultants, earning two "Pollie" awards. He keynoted New Zealand's first conference on communications and behavior change on behalf of the Ministry of the Environment, and been hosted in Chile to work on their country's natural resources planning.

Mr. Alexander is a recognized leader with a long history of community and political involvement. He served as a commissioner for San Diego's Park and Recreation Board and chaired the Mission Bay Park Committee. Under his leadership, the city developed an award-winning public outreach effort. With wide-ranging community support, each reviewing agency unanimously approved the Bay's master plan to guide future development into the 21st Century in the world's largest aquatic park. Through his work, Mr. Alexander has developed an excellent reputation with elected officials, government staff, and business and community leaders throughout the region, where he has served on a number of boards and committees.

Mr. Alexander has also worked as executive director for a statewide professional association, where he directed statewide government and public relations efforts and membership development campaigns. He has a bachelor's and master's degree in the behavioral sciences and experience as a counselor, facilitator, focus group leader and trainer. He has facilitated numerous public and private meetings for groups, organizations and governmental bodies, and conducted focus group activities with various special and public interest groups. As a licensed marriage and family therapist, he honed his communications and facilitation skills and mediation background and now applies these talents to his work in facilitation and strategic communications in public relations.   

Mr. Alexander is a member of the International Association of Facilitators, the International Association of Public Participation, and an active member of the Cinema Society of San Diego. City leaders have officially recognized him for his contributions to the community.

 

Alan Ziegaus
Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Strategies

Alan Ziegaus is one of the nation's leading public relations and public affairs practitioners. An award-winning former journalist, he has been recognized by the industry and his peers as a cutting-edge counselor in the fields of strategic planning, crisis communications, media training, message development and public and community relations.

Alan's 30 years of experience include consulting for a wide range of companies seeking to understand California markets and governmental agencies. Among the businesses and organizations he has served are Pardee Homes, San Diego Gas & Electric, JMI Realty, Scripps Health, Wal-Mart, Qualcomm, County of San Diego and General Motors. He has also closely consulted with attorneys, investment bankers and others on a broad range of communications crises.

Selected by Inside PR magazine as a national recipient of the prestigious Public Affairs Professional of the Year Award for his public affairs and political campaign initiatives, Alan has gained wide recognition for developing effective strategies with the media.

His political work includes consulting on more than 150 candidate races and ballot measures throughout the State of California. His win percentage exceeds 95 percent in those political efforts.

Alan has maintained a strong record of involvement in the public sector, serving for nine years on the San Diego County Planning Commission, five years on the city of San Diego's Civil Service Commission and four years on the Centre City San Diego Planning Committee. He is currently a member of the Board of Library Commissioners for the city of San Diego and a popular guest lecturer on public affairs at industry and professional seminars.

A graduate of San Diego State University, Alan holds numerous journalism awards from his years as a staff writer at The San Diego Tribune.

 

Chris Wahl
President of Southwest Strategies

Chris Wahl is an award-winning public affairs and public relations practitioner with nearly 20 years of experience. He specializes in helping clients secure land-use and regulatory approvals for controversial projects and issues. He also specializes in forming complex community coalitions and handling high profile media assignments, serving as a spokesperson for clients in times of crises.

Most recently, Chris played a key role in helping San Diego Gas & Electric win regulatory approval of the company's $1.9 billion Sunrise Powerlink transmission line that will deliver renewable energy to San Diego County. He also worked closely with Westfield Corporation to secure approval of the company's $900 million revitalization of the University Towne Center shopping center. Both projects faced significant opposition before being approved.

Wahl has won numerous awards and has been professionally recognized many times for his work, including the receipt of three prestigious Silver Anvils, the highest distinction awarded by the Public Relations Society of America; more than a dozen Edward L. Bernays Awards, and two Education, Marketing and Promotion awards from the California Redevelopment Agency. In 2009, San Diego Metropolitan Magazine named Chris a "Mover to Watch," and in 2005 also named him one the top professionals in San Diego. In 2003, he was honored for his work as a media spokesperson for a military software company victimized by terrorism in Kuwait. During the crisis, Wahl was featured on CNN, the CBS Evening News and every major television station in San Diego.

Prior to Southwest Strategies, Chris served as President of Wahl Associates, Inc. where he worked with Unocal Corporation and Tosco Refining Company on the Central Coast. Before forming his own firm, he was Vice President for a prominent Southern California public affairs firm and in government relations for the American Bankers Association in Washington, D.C.

Active in the community, Chris is currently the President of the San Diego Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and a committee member of the San Diego Bowl Association. He is a graduate of the University of California Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

 

Laurie Black
LJ Black Consulting

Laurie Black, past San Diego Port Commissioner and president of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, is well known as a keen and prolific producer of new and innovative ideas, with the integrity and critical insight to develop focused and successful missions and strategic plans. As a senior counselor and communications strategist, she has a gift for fostering the best government and community relations work with clients.

She has been an important part of the political and business landscape in San Diego for over twenty-five years, spending the greater part of her career working for local, state and federal candidates for elective office.   As a former Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Lynn Schenk, she served as chief liaison to all governmental agencies, local and state elected officials, and local business and community groups.

Laurie has served on the San Diego City Library Commission and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board. She currently sits on the Board of Overseers at the University of California San Diego and is co-chair of the LEAD San Diego Leadership Trust. She is also an Ambassador for Higher Education at San Diego State University; has served on the Board of Directors of the San Diego City College Foundation as well as the Community College Advisory Board for SDCC; and was chosen to help establish Partners for K-12 School Reform with San Diego Dialogue.

Well known for her advocacy on mental illness, Laurie has been recognized for her contributions to the community by the Salvation Army, the Downtown San Diego Partnership, Athena/UCSD Connect, and the YWCA. San Diego Magazine also cited her as one of "50 People to Watch" and has received a leadership visionary award, Quality of Living, from LEAD for her dedication to the community.  

Laurie is a graduate of the CORO Summer Program and LEAD San Diego.   She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Women's Studies from San Diego State University.  

 

Renee Herrell, M.A., CFRE
Principal, RCH Consulting

Renee Herrell founded RCH Consulting in 2004 to provide creative and comprehensive solutions to nonprofit organizations through increased fundraising, strategic planning and board development.

Her fundraising focus is on capital campaigns and developing major giving programs for nonprofit organizations. Renee offers comprehensive campaign planning services including feasibility studies, campaign plans and campaign management. Working one-on-one with executive directors, director of development and board members, Ms. Herrell creates fundraising plans that outline individual strategies and approaches for donors, resulting in successful cultivation, solicitation and stewardship. Capital campaign clients include Boys and Girls Club of Southwest County ($17 million), Junior Achievement of San Diego ($5 million), Colorado Rocky Mountain Schools ($10 million) and Bozeman Schools Foundation ($12 million). Through conducting the organizational strategic planning process, Ms. Herrell works with clients to set goals and objectives to develop a multi-year plan as well as implement action items to achieve goals, often facilitating a large organizational change in culture. Strategic planning clients include San Diego Architectural Foundation and the Chula Vista Nature Center.

Her significant experience with nonprofit board development includes conducting board retreats, trainings and recruitment of new board members. Ms. Herrell works with board executive committee to identify, recruit, orient and train new board members. Board development clients include San Diego Foundation Arts and Culture Working Group, Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corporation and the Planning and Conservation League.

Ms. Herrell currently serves as a Board member for the Association of Fundraising Professionals San Diego Chapter and the Alumni Board for the University of San Diego.

As an instructor at University of California, San Diego Extension and the University of San Diego, Ms. Herrell teaches fundraising and strategic planning and regularly speaks at conferences on topics such as major giving, engaging Gen X and Y as philanthropists and board development. Her fundraising articles are regularly published in the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ publication, Advancing Philanthropy.

Renee holds a Masters in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of San Diego and a Certificate in Fundraising and Development from University of California, San Diego.

 

Richard S. Ledford
President of Ledford Enterprises

Richard Ledford, president of Ledford Enterprises Incorporated, is well versed in policy development, politics and advocacy. He has extensive experience in government, including: twelve years as chief of staff to a ranking Republican member of the California State Assembly; two years as chief of staff to the Chair of the State Board of Equalization and two years as chief of staff to the Mayor of San Diego.

Richard's non-government experience is also significant. As the vice president for community relations for the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, he served as the advocate for this region's third most important industry and was senior vice president for public policy for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the largest regional chamber west of the Mississippi River.

He has been engaged in number of regional projects, including NTC Redevelopment, Campbell Shipyards Convention Hotel Site, Midway Redevelopment, regional open space efforts and Port Tideland redevelopment (both the North and South Embarcadero areas).

Richard also plays an important role in a wide range of community activities, including serving as a member of the Board of Directors and Management Council for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Co-Chair of the Biocom Legislative Committee and past Chair and current member of the San Diego Business Healthcare Connection. His community board service includes the San Diego World Trade Center (past Chair) and past Chair, Greater San Diego Meals-On-Wheels.

Richard holds a BA in Political Science from the University of San Diego and a Masters of Public Administration from San Diego State University.

 

Sally B. Romoser
Principal of Harrison Graham

A seasoned marketing and business consultant, Sally has worked for 20 years on teams with allied consulting firms such as The Steve Alexander Group and directly for clients of her firm, Harrison Graham. A graduate of The Ohio State University School of Journalism and accredited in public relations (APR), she has an extensive PR background which evolved over the years into strategic marketing, branding, research and strategic planning. Over the past 10 years, she has developed extensive background in customer service and creating an internal brand culture to increase company worth.

Sally presently conducts regional, national and social media communications campaigns for Campland on the Bay and the Riverside Medical Clinic, for whom she ghostwrites a monthly column bylined by physicians for Inland Empire magazine. She leads a 23-member board through research, brand development and strategic communications planning for Riverside County Regional Medical Center Foundation, consulting with the economic development team of Hesperia, Calif. and serving as on-call marketing director for Air Cleaning Systems, Inc. She also has worked with The Steve Alexander Group on clients such as The Nature Conservancy, San Diego Data Processing Corp, UC San Diego and The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County.

With extensive experience and passion for strategic branding and organizational development, Romoser also serves as executive vice president of Brand Savants, Inc., a management consulting firm providing strategic direction to companies seeking a strong integrated brand presence. The company also employs a virtual business model similar to the strategic partnership model of The Steve Alexander Group, tapping multi-disciplinary experts to fulfill client needs on a customized basis.

Creative direction remains a strong part of Romoser’s tool chest and she recently conceived, directed and produced radio and TV commercials for Riverside Medical Clinic. Sally is a seasoned copywriter and regularly produces news releases, brochures, direct mail, e-newsletters and annual reports for clients.

Prior to launching her own firm in 1991, Romoser was executive vice president of Roni Hicks & Associates, Inc., which during her five-year tenure, was among San Diego’s top 10 full-service marketing firms.

 
 
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