Our Team

Sean Rossall
Chief Executive Officer & Managing Partner

As CEO of Dick Jones Communications, Sean is our senior most public relations counselor. During his more than 15-year tenure, he has played an integral role in counseling clients and helping them to implement full scale strategic communications programs and brand building initiatives . Having developed and implemented public relations campaigns across a variety of sectors and with a multitude of challenges, Sean possesses a keen ability to connect clients with comprehensive public relations programs and plans that resonate with target audiences.

As a crisis strategist, Sean has provided clients with the immediate strategic counsel to manage and mitigate some of the most complex challenges of the day. Sought after for his expertise in crisis management and strategic communications, Sean is often featured in national and local media for his views on a variety of topics. His commentary has been featured on CBS This Morning, KTLA, Los Angeles Times, PR Week and many others.

Prior to joining Dick Jones Communications, Sean led the crisis and media relations practice at one of Los Angeles' largest and oldest public relations and public affairs firm. In this role, he helped connect clients’ public relations and political strategies in ways that supported their sometimes disparate demands.

In his early career, Sean worked as a corporate communications and social media specialist at the international entertainment and corporate public relations firm, BWR. While at BWR, Sean worked on numerous corporate entertainment and digital clients, including former Vice President Al Gore’s Current TV and Fortune 500 clients.

Sean received his Master’s Degree in Public Relations from the University of Southern California’s prestigious Annenberg School for Communication and his Bachelor of Arts in politics and history from Occidental College.

When not advising clients on communication challenges, Sean enjoys spending time with his wife, Michelle, and their two dogs, Brady and Jojo.

Scott Willyerd
President & Managing Partner

Presiding over Dick Jones Communications, Scott Willyerd has helped lead the transformation of DJC into a full service public relations firm.  Since his arrival in 2008, Scott has helped more than three dozen clients strategically build brands through national media relations campaigns, social media campaigns and helped clients navigate through crisis situations. 

Entering his fifth year as managing partner, Scott has built trusted relationships domestically and internationally. Those relationships have helped the firm develop sophisticated campaigns for clients that helped clients grow their social media presence and a profile within the national media.  The firm’s clients have been featured on The Today Show, CNN, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and on NPR.  Scott is also a frequent speaker on media relations tactics and issues related to higher education and journalism and can occasionally be found in the classroom teaching college classes on media writing and principals of public relations. 

A highlight of Scott’s career was assisting a client that was hosting a presidential debate.  The firm provided strategic counsel and on-sight help assisting the client with the event, including helping journalists on deadline in the “spin room.” 

Before joining Dick Jones Communications, Scott worked as a journalist and a news producer.  He started by producing weekend newscasts and eventually oversaw morning newscasts for the CBS News affiliate in Harrisburg, Pa.  He was also a radio producer for the Joel Riley Show and a news writer/anchor WTVN-AM.  One of Scott’s passions is documentary filmmaking.  He and two other filmmakers produced a documentary that chronicled the relationships between three fathers and sons in East New York as they proceeded through a national youth boxing tournament.  The award winning documentary was entitled Young Gloves. 

Scott received his Master’s Degree from the internationally recognized Columbia School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York.  He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting with a speech communication minor from Otterbein University. 

Outside of the office, Scott spends much of his free time with his wife, Dr. Katelyn Willyerd, and their two children, Quinn and Graham.  In the fall, you’ll find Scott and family working on the family apple orchard in southwest Pennsylvania. 

Maggy Ralbovsky
Executive Vice President & Managing Director

Maggy Ralbovsky develops communications strategies and advises a number of the country's leading colleges, universities, policy institutes, and foundations. She joined Dick Jones Communications after two decades of providing national media relations counsel with Morrison & Tyson Communications.

Prior to joining MTC in 1994, Maggy was a member of the university relations team at the University of Michigan, where her responsibilities included speechwriting, media relations, and special communications projects for President Jim Duderstadt.

She came to the University of Michigan by way of The New York Times, where she had been a business correspondent. Additional professional adventures included positions as coordinator of the International Business program at the Universität Mannheim in Germany; account executive at Connors Communications, a public relations firm in New York City; and government relations associate with the National Council of Savings Institutions in Washington, D.C.

She graduated from Georgetown University and received an MBA from New York University.

Laura Snyder
Vice President

A veteran at Dick Jones Communications, Laura has more than 15 years of strategic communications and media relations experience in higher education.  She has planned, developed and implemented high-impact national media relations strategies for more than 25 colleges and universities, resulting in positive coverage in almost every top-tier media outlet, including The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Today Show, ABC World News Tonight, CNN, NPR, The Associated Press and many others.

During a career at Dick Jones Communications that began as a student intern in 2000, she has identified, written and pitched colleges’ reputation-defining stories to national media; advised in crisis communications efforts; represented clients in meetings with media gatekeepers; and written strategic higher education executive communications, including speeches, opeds and internal and external messages.

As a freelance writer, Laura spent many years writing compelling content for the popular “love and relationships” channel of Netscape, generating more than 20 million page views per week. Her articles were often cited or discussed on nationally syndicated radio and television programs, including John Tesh Radio Program and television’s Inside Edition, and by the Associated Press and Fark.com. For her digital content clients, she has provided lifestyle and entertainment copy for mobile advertising and mCRM providers and created engaging content for social media communities.

She has reporting experience at the Morrisons Cove (PA) Herald and has written for Cosmopolitan, The Associated Press, Scripps-Howard News Service, Today’s Campus and College Planning & Management.

A passionate defender of the liberal arts, Laura earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from The Pennsylvania State University. Around the office she is known for offering unsolicited podcast recommendations and shamelessly eating the last donut at the breakfast meeting. She spends much of her time (and, if she’s being honest, her money) on her horse, Girl Friday. 

Jeff Canning
Account Director

Jeff brings more than five years of experience to his clients in media relations, strategic communications and journalism. He’s developed strong relationships with key writers, editors, and producers that have garnered thousands of placements in key outlets including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, Associated Press, CNN, Fox News, NBC Nightly News, NPR, U.S. News & World Report, Chronicle of Higher Education and countless others.

Before joining the Dick Jones Communications team, Jeff worked as a reporter at The Daily Record in Wooster, Ohio, covering several beats including local politics, crime and courts, K-12 education, business and economical issues, agriculture, religion and healthcare.

Earlier in his career, Jeff completed a semester long program with the Washington Journalism Center in Washington, D.C., where he served as a reporter on the business desk of The Washington Times during a critical juncture in our nation’s history. He heard words such as “economic Armageddon” thrown around the newsroom in the days and weeks following the collapse and bailouts of financial stalwarts like Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Jeff also served as a correspondent covering the historic 2008 Presidential election and the subsequent inauguration of Barack Obama.

Jeff received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Waynesburg University in Waynesburg, PA.

When he’s not on the job, Jeff is probably following one of his favorite sports teams, on a tennis court or golf course, or opting for a hiking trail or navigable waterway for his kayak.

Stephen Ceasar
Account Supervisor

Stephen Ceasar is an account supervisor with Dick Jones Communications. Stephen joined the firm in 2016. In his eight years in journalism, Stephen worked as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, Ariz., where he covered border and immigration issues.

At the Los Angeles Times, Stephen worked on the Times’ national staff, reporting as a national correspondent based in Los Angeles with datelines in Oregon, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona. As a reporter on The Times’ metro staff, he covered K-12 and higher education in California — where virtually every national issue affecting modern schools plays out. 

Stephen wrote about a landmark legal saga over teacher tenure rights, the debate over using test scores in teacher evaluations and a high-profile battle between a reform-minded school leader and a teachers union. He wrote extensively about litigation involving the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s second largest school system. He also reported on public and private universities, including the University of California and Cal State systems, as well as the 2.4-million-student community college system. Stephen also covered civil and criminal courts, writing about complex litigation and civil rights issues across California. 

Stephen was part of the team that won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the San Bernardino terrorist attack. He is a native of El Centro, California, located along the U.S.-Mexico border. He is a 2009 graduate of the University of Arizona. 

Maggie Pavlick
Account Executive

Maggie joined Dick Jones Communications in February 2015. Since then, she has worked to implement national media relations strategies for higher education clients. She has helped clients achieve placements in outlets like Time Magazine, The Washington Post, Inc., Fast Company and Business Insider, among others. In addition to writing and pitching stories, she has placed op-eds, developed targeted and comprehensive media lists for clients, and developed infographics and internal communications dashboards for clients.

In addition to her media relations roles, Maggie manages the social media accounts for the firm and has become resident graphic designer, creating infographics and branded materials for the company. She also manages, edits and produces Dick Jones Communication’s media planner, The Lede Edition. 

Prior to joining Dick Jones Communications, Maggie attended Duquesne University, where she earned a BA in Journalism and English and a MA in English with a focus on multi-media. For nearly two years, she wrote and edited The Choice blog, a blog focused on higher education news and advice, catering to parents and students throughout the college experience.

When she’s not catching up on news, Maggie enjoys exploring Pittsburgh’s booming restaurant scene and taking morning runs through her neighborhood. She also enjoys cooking and vicariously enjoying other peoples' pets. 

Theresa Hoffmann
Account Coordinator

Theresa joined Dick Jones Communications in June 2016, shortly after graduating from Duquesne University with an MA in English with a focus on multi-media. She earned her BA in English with concentrations in writing and film studies from the Cook Honors College at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Before embarking on her career in PR, Theresa worked as a leasing agent for an apartment complex, a part-time reporter for her hometown’s local paper, The Bradford Era, and freelanced for the communications and marketing office of the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

As one of the newest members of the team, Theresa assists senior team members in their responsibilities toward clients. She proofreads, creates presentations, conducts research and helps pitch and place stories.

Theresa spends most of her spare time listening to true crime podcasts, reading anything she can get her hands on, and fending off playful attacks from her two cats. She enjoys spending time outdoors whenever Pittsburgh’s fickle weather allows.

 

Nita McDaniel
Account Coordinator

Nita McDaniel joined Dick Jones Communications shortly after graduating from Reed College, where she studied representations of race in broadcast media. Previously, she worked as a research and writing associate in both art museums and academia, gaining a versatility of voice and an excitement for higher education that she now brings to her work at Dick Jones. In her spare time, Nita enjoys cooking new foods, going on hikes and watching films at independent theaters around Los Angeles. 

Samantha Chadwick
Research and Outreach Coordinator

Samantha is from Washington, PA and a senior at Waynesburg University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations and a minor in Journalism. Throughout her collegiate years, she has been involved with various organizations on campus such as the student-run PR firm, Red Brick Communications, the women’s basketball and track and field teams, the award-winning student newspaper, The Yellow Jacket, as well as the Waynesburg University Chapter of PRSSA. She currently serves as advertising manager for FORUM, PRSSA’s national newspaper and associate editor for The Yellow Jacket. This is her second summer interning with DJC.

Terry Greenberg
Senior Counsel

Terry Greenberg has managed eight newsrooms in five states during an award-winning journalism career and is now senior counsel with Dick Jones Communications.

Most recently, Terry has focused on restructuring traditional newsrooms to better serve print and digital audiences and working with businesses and organizations to understand how they can act as newsrooms to tell their story on their own platforms going well beyond the normal press release.

As editor and then vice president of audience at the Avalanche-Journal in Lubbock, Texas, Terry led the newsroom through a digital transformation with dramatic online traffic growth. Also during his tenure in Lubbock, the paper’s coverage of the Tim Cole case led to the first posthumous pardon in Texas history and changes in state law.

In Lubbock and elsewhere he has a record of launching new products, revamping existing products and restructuring staff to do a better job serving its audience.

Newsrooms under his leadership have won more than 150 state and regional awards, including Newspaper of the Year in Lubbock for 2014 in the Texas Associated Press Managing Editor’s contest.

In addition to extensive newsroom experience, Terry has taught 17 college media classes at Fullerton College, the University of Southern California and Texas Tech University. He’s set up intern programs with universities in many of the newsrooms he led. He also served as discussion leader six times at the American Press Institute and is past president of Indiana and Illinois Associated Press Managing Editors organizations. He occasionally appears as a political analyst on KAMC’s weekly public affairs show “Talking Points.”

Terry received a bachelor of arts in journalism from Cal State Northridge in his native Los Angeles and was named CSUN's journalism alum of the year in 1994.

Terry has three daughters. His youngest is a journalism/film major at the University of Minnesota.

He can talk passionately about music, movies, sports, politics, religion and, of course, writing, editing, news judgment and media.

Debbie Grant
Senior Counsel

Debbie Grant is a veteran communications professional with more than 35 years of experience in higher education.  During her tenure as vice president of communications and marketing at Tulane University, she managed all communications and marketing functions, including crisis communications, media and public relations, web communications, publications strategy and production, web communications and university-wide events for the main and medical center campuses.

She has directed communications responses in numerous areas, including animal rights, crime and safety, student deaths, employee issues, weather emergencies, athletics and hospital/medical issues. 

Debbie was a key member of the administrative team that worked on Tulane’s comeback after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.  She remained on campus with the university’s president through the storm, and was airlifted out with him several days later.  During Tulane’s relocation to Houston for three months, the communications group started an online daily newsletter, developed a new website and answered hundreds of media calls.  She and her team won the highest honors in communications, the national PRSA Silver Anvil Award and the Grand Gold from CASE, for their work in crisis communications after Katrina.

Katelyn Tilley
Senior Counsel

Prior to joining the Dick Jones Communication senior counsel team, Katelyn spent a decade in academia studying plant pathology, a field of biological and agricultural sciences. Her research on diseases of small grain crops and fungal toxins has been published in Plant Disease and Phytopathology. Katelyn has produced award-winning factsheets for growers and has been an invited speaker of the American Phytopathological Society. Passionate about education and science literacy, Katelyn earned her Ph.D. and a certificate in college teaching from The Pennsylvania State University and served as an instructor at The Ohio State University and California University of Pennsylvania. Given her experience in higher education, research and analysis, Katelyn brings a unique set of skills and perspectives to the firm. In her spare time Katelyn enjoys gardening and has an admitted fascination with The Bachelor franchise. 

Teresa Paulsen
Senior Counsel

Teresa is a senior marketing and communication leader with more than 20 years of experience working alongside C-suite executives, including university administrators, to drive organizations’ desired results. She has helped teams navigate through dozens of complex situations using a combination of methods, including progressive digital marketing, strategic media relations and executive coaching. Teresa loves to help leaders become the catalyst for needed change across organizations, working with them to establish their vision and metrics for success. She’s accomplished in diverse environments: from a global consumer-facing company to a large university and business-to-business entities to state government. Called a “natural talent in building consensus through skilled advocacy” with “extraordinary perceptions about her audiences,” Teresa is accomplished in marketing, branding, public affairs, crisis management and reputation-building.

Teresa’s university-specific expertise includes introducing and deploying business-to-consumer marketing strategies to further enrollment, retention and engagement objectives. She initiated and launched a major transformation to improve efficiency and effectiveness of communication practices, built an inclusive process for brand development, and ignited collaboration across the university in pursuit of common goals. Teresa was member of the chancellor’s cabinet and served as trusted advisor, with the chancellor noting, “I have been so fortunate to have you at my back, determining the right approach to messaging, responding to criticism when it has come, and in doing the right thing every time. I appreciate your directness, your enduring professionalism, your positive forward-leaning yet common-sense approach.”

Denis Wolcott
Senior Counsel

Denis provides more than 20 years of experience in public affairs, public education and outreach, consensus building, media relations, crisis communications, social marketing and strategic public relations. 

Denis is a senior advisor to Dick Jones Communications. At the firm, he utilizes his years of experience and depth of knowledge in developing and implementing successful regional and national public relations campaigns and marketing communications campaigns, as well as managing high-level issues for Fortune 500 companies, public agencies, community-based organizations, entrepreneurial businesses and growing institutions.

Previously, Denis was a communications manager at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, one of the nation’s largest water utilities. At MWD, he led a team that developed the multi-dimensional “California Friendly” campaign that established new paradigms for securing greater water efficiency through a communications and outreach program. The campaign created the “bewaterwise.com” website, now the premier water conservation website in Southern California. He also provided strategic counsel to senior management and oversaw media relations activities regarding positioning of urban water users in California’s ongoing water supply debates. 

Prior to joining MWD, Denis was a vice president at Stoorza Communications and provided public relations services to a number of clients, including AT&T, Sempra Energy, the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, City National Bank, Pardee Homes, Edison International, was media director for a state ballot proposition and has conducted media training sessions with dozens of company executives. 

Before entering public relations, Denis was a newspaper reporter and editor, having won several awards for his coverage of water issues, particularly those involving the Clean Water Act and illegal discharges into water supplies.

He is a current director and past president of the Public Relations Society of America-Los Angeles Chapter, was chair of PRSA’s Western District and a co-chair of PRSA’s international conference.  He is a graduate of the University of Southern California and is Accredited in Public Relations (APR).

Bill Tyson
President Emeritus

Bill Tyson was cofounder and president of Morrison & Tyson Communications, a leading national media relations firm serving colleges, universities, education policy institutes and foundations.  As a recognized communications and national media consultant, Tyson worked with the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, National Survey of Student Engagement, Community College Survey of Student Engagement, Ford Foundation Campus Diversity initiative and the Institute for Research on Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, he has provided national media consulting to scores of colleges and universities.

Prior to his work in media relations, which began in 1980, Tyson served as a consultant in health-care development. He later directed a development and communications campaign to build a medical college and support the opening of a regional university. He earlier worked as a newspaper national account executive, developing institutional advertising and marketing campaigns.

Tyson is a founding board member of the National Survey of Student Engagement and past advisory member of the Documenting Effective Educational Practices project and the National Survey of America’s College Students. He also served on the board of the American Association of Higher Education. He is author of the book, Pitch Perfect: Communicating with Traditional and Social Media for
Scholars, Researchers, and Academic Leaders

Richard Jones
Founder & Senior Counsel

Richard Jones has more than 35 years of experience in higher education public relations. Before founding the firm in 1987 in Dalton, PA, he was public relations director at the University of Scranton and assistant news bureau manager at Penn State University. He also served as president of the College and University Public Relations Association of Pennsylvania (CUPRAP) and has won five communications awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). He wrote the chapter on media relations for CASE's third edition of the Handbook of Institutional Advancement in 2000. He is co-author of a book, How To Get Noticed by the National Media: Your Complete Guide To High-Impact Publicity (Trellis Publishing, 2001). Jones also has worked for daily and weekly newspapers and in radio. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Penn State and a master's degree in television and radio from Syracuse University.