Jess Smith

Freelance Event Planner & Public Relation Freelancer

Location:Waterford, Connecticut, United States
2 Skills
4 Anita Ave, Waterford, CT 06385
Phone (860) 440-6191, E-mail:

Summary of Qualifications
Fourteen years experience providing communication strategies and execution

Demonstrated expertise in all avenues of communications to include internal communications, organizational assessments, media relations and crisis communication

Established and maintained effective relationships with national media

Trusted counsel for corporate and military leaders to help shape culture and develop communication strategies to increase revenue, productivity and organizational vision

Proven leader with honed management skills

Professional Experience
Independent Strategic Communication Consultant June 2011- Present
Provide varied communication support to government clients. Focus on strategic planning, media relations, event planning, employee and crisis communications.

Senior Strategic Communication Consultant November 2008- June 2011
CorpComm, Fredericksburg, VA
Supervise 10 geographically-distributed communication consultants in a matrix organization. Team lead for one of our largest client accounts – the Air Force Small Business Programs Office. Provide all communication and project management efforts, including vision, strategy, annual budget, senior leadership communication support and execution.

Develop communications plan including internal and external stakeholder identification, message development and delivery, and metrics to evaluate effectiveness.

Deliver high quality web design and content, fact sheets, social media plans, event coordination, videos, media interaction, articles, and a full-color newsmagazine bi-annually.

Maintain oversight of all aspects of the Air Force contract including proposal development, financial analysis, budget forecasting, personnel and resources management.

Strategic Communication Consultant December 2004- November 2008
The Wexford Group International, Vienna, VA
Provide trusted council to clients, primarily Department of Defense, to ensure high quality solutions and implementation to effectively communicate messages and goals.

Conducted organizational assessment to obtain better understanding of communication environment and established communication plan based on that evaluation.

Implemented communication plan to integrate messages, facilitate collaboration and partnership within the organization and align tactical recommendations for implementation.

Guest Services Manager September 2004-December 2004
Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa and Salon, Groton, CT
Supervised 15 people in all aspects of public relations, marketing, industry trends and sales for the spa. Provided leadership in regard to training all individuals to increase sales.

Strategic Communications Consultant January 2003-August 2004
The Wexford Group International, Vienna, VA (please see above description)

Reserve Public Affairs Media Relations Officer October 2002-October 2003
(Reserve time work was done in addition to full-time employment)
Headquarters Air Force Public Affairs, Pentagon, Washington DC
Acted as integral part of Air Force Press Desk working with Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition to support media and political aspects of issues relating to Air Force acquisition, specifically a highly visible, controversial contract between Boeing and the Air Force.

Public Affairs Media Relations Officer December 2001- October 2002
Headquarters Air Force Public Affairs, Pentagon, Washington DC
Recalled back to Air Force as a result of September 11th and war on terrorism. Supported Air Force Press Desk responsible for all media activities for Air Force during that timeframe.

Escorted media in Bagram, Afghanistan to Air Force assets involved in the war.

Primary point of contact for Task Force Enduring Look, office created to maintain all lessons learned for the war against terrorism. Coordinated dozens of interviews with top national media outlets including Washington Post, NBC, CNN and New York Times.

Supervisor of Media Relations September 2001- October 2002
(Recalled to active duty Air Force in December 2001)
J.D. Power and Associates, Westport, CT
Single focal point for media relations responsibilities for communications activities of telecommunications, energy, financial, health care and travel divisions within organization.

Public Affairs Officer June 1999- September 2001
Headquarters Air Combat Command Public Affairs, Langley Air Force Base, VA
Key team member responsible for media and public relations policy and direction for Fortune 100-level organization with 162,000 people worldwide and a 4.5 billion annual budget.

Advised and accompanied commander (four-star general) at national media events.

Maintained working relationships with national news media: CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and AP.

Acted as the Air Force’s spokesperson for the F-22. Conducted 30 public meetings around country, coordinated all media interviews and hundreds of public queries.

Director of Media Relations May 1997 – June 1999
9TH Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs, Beale Air Force Base, CA
Responsible for the media relations program for the Air Force’s sole U-2 reconnaissance wing.

Crisis communications expert; directed all media relations for international interest generated by Iraq’s threats to shoot down U-2s supporting United Nations missions.

Executed unprecedented national television coverage of the U-2 during Joan Lunden’s “Behind Closed Doors,” featured in a 40-minute prime-time piece on ABC. Sprang into action when an in-flight emergency jeopardized positive coverage of the flight. Quick thinking to focus on the pilot’s professionalism during flight neutralized potentially negative incident and pilot was lauded as a hero to a national audience of more than 5 million viewers.

Director of Public Relations November 1998- February 1999
United States Support Group, Haiti (deployed to Haiti while stationed in CA)
Junior-most officer selected to serve as the only public relations officer for multi-service military group conducting humanitarian mission in Haiti.

Advised military commanders in Haiti on all internal and external communication issues.

Managed national media coverage of Thanksgiving Day visit by First Lady Clinton.

Education and Training
1997 BS in Communications, Eastern Connecticut State University
1998 Defense Information School, Public Affairs Officer Course

References Available Upon Request
Skills (2) Rating
Event Planning
Public Relations