CLAUDIA BROOKS D’AVANZO
Claudia Brooks D’Avanzo is founder and president of Creative Communications Consultants, a marketing communications and public relations agency started in 1998. With more than 30 years’ experience, she has designed national, award-winning programs in consumer and lifestyle marketing, hospitality, retail, travel and tourism, sports marketing, healthcare, B2B, government and non-profit.
Prior to starting CCC, Claudia was an SVP with FleishmanHillard. While at FH, she managed the consumer marketing practice for the firm’s Southeast headquarters office. She started her career with Manning, Selvage & Lee and Lockheed Martin.
Her expertise covers strategic planning, program management, marketing communications, content marketing, experiential campaigns and special events, national promotions, media relations, social and digital campaigns, influencer alliances, grassroots marketing, internal communications and crisis/issues management. Her work has been honored with 10 Phoenix Awards from the Public Relations Society of America, four Gold/Silver Quill Awards from International Association of Business Communicators and a President’s Citation for Private Sector Initiatives.
A native of Marietta, GA, she attended Auburn University (War Eagle!), earning a B.A. in speech communications with a minor in journalism, and holds an M.A. in English literature from Georgia State University. She is a past chair of the PR Advisory Council for the Dept. of Communications/Journalism at Auburn, where she established the William T. Brooks Endowed Scholarship in Public Relations in honor of her father. In 2018 she was named a “Top Tiger” by Auburn’s Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, which recognizes the top fastest-growing companies led by AU alumni. Claudia and her husband Michael have two children – Arielle, an account director with CCC, and Adrian, a UGA Honors graduate who joins the Financial Due Diligence team at PwC this fall. When they’re not working, traveling or hanging with their kids, Mike and Claudia can usually be found on their rural Alabama farm where they spend most of their time mucking stalls, chasing chickens, playing with their dogs, building campfires and gazing at the stars.
Arielle D’Avanzo is an account director with CCC. She joined our team from Edelman, working in the Washington, D.C. and New York City offices where she developed proficiency in content development, consumer media relations, influencer engagement, launch campaign coordination, social marketing and research development. In D.C., she was a member of the Food & Nutrition Team, working on a variety of nutrition/health-focused national campaigns for major brands, including Taco Bell, Walmart, Grocery Manufacturers Association, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Partnership for a Healthier America, American Heart Association, Dannon and Kellogg’s where she worked with teams to help shape public perception and federal policy through influencer engagement, consumer awareness and education. With her sights set on the Big Apple, Arielle joined Edelman’s NYC office as part of the Consumer practice for Microsoft’s Xbox division. She helped manage the coordination and execution of seasonal consumer campaigns and media/influencer/celebrity-focused events around new product launches. Through her work in D.C. and NYC, she’s gained a deep understanding of the consumer media landscape, building a strong network of contacts through work with editors, reporters and influencers on in-depth feature stories and organic pitch opportunities. Arielle graduated summa cum laude from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in public relations and a minor in Spanish. She studied abroad in Cape Town, S.A as part of the Global L.E.A.D. program and held internships with Weber Shandwick, Padilla, Georgia Public Broadcasting, the Atlanta Community Food Bank and UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. An avid runner, she enjoys being outdoors (preferably accompanied by her Yorkshire Terrier and CCC team mascot Ellie) and experiencing other cultures – especially the edible parts – through travels to England, Scotland, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Canada, South Africa and Japan.
MEET SOME OF OUR TEAM
Lauren Dutton-Breen graduated from Suffolk University in Boston with a communications degree in hand. She soon high-tailed it to the West Coast to work for Fox Searchlight and enjoy summer year-round. While at Searchlight, Lauren’s work in the Awards Department helped to bring in 13 Oscar wins and 28 nominations. She later relocated to New York City where she ran her own PR and marketing agency for five years, and managed global public relations for St. Regis and The Luxury Collection Hotels. The California sunshine lured her West once again; Lauren is the former head of PR at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. She’s been part of the CCC team for five years. When she isn’t working, she loves to travel, cook and watch movies with her husband and their adorable dog Buckley, a mastiff who thinks he’s a lap dog.
Jennifer Dunaway is a PR consultant who began her career with us in 2004. From working with lifestyle marketing agencies to large consumer brands over the last 10 years, Jen’s expertise includes media relations, social marketing, community/influencer engagement and special events. She has worked with a variety of companies including HoneyBaked Ham Company, Intercontinental Hotel Groups, The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show, Morton’s Steakhouse, f’Real Foods, Rosewood Hotels and Simon Malls. A graduate of Vanderbilt University with a B.A. in communications studies and English literature, Jen served as president of Vandy’s Atlanta alumni chapter. She is an active volunteer with The Atlanta Community Food Bank and the Junior League of Atlanta, for which she was VP of marketing and currently is VP of community, planning the League’s centennial celebration this year. A true Hospitality State native, this Mississippi gal loves to cook and play hostess in her home in Atlanta.
Jessica Karp is a digital graphic designer with over 15 years’ experience. Originally from Florida, she graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in digital media and a specialization in interactive media. Jessica has worked with dozens of national brands, creating identities, sales collateral, developing websites, optimizing search visibility, creating interactive media and social marketing campaigns. When’s she’s not pulling all-nighters on behalf of her clients, she can be found restoring her mid-century modern home in Atlanta’s historic Collier Heights, playing the piano or just relaxing with her Siamese cat, Jeffrey— who, by the way, has his own Facebook page.
Lee Rankin is a marketing communications pro with 15 years of diverse, award-winning experience. Highlighted by work with creative agencies, global and national hospitality brands, technology startups and trade organizations, Lee delivers subject-matter expertise and value-enhancing solutions to every assignment and client relationship. In fact, he’s a former client of CCC and joined our group as a contributor and content creator in 2019. When he’s not traveling the globe and documenting those adventures (that’s him at the Pena Palace in Portugal), Lee makes his home in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, with a B.A. in history.
Meagan Swingle is a communications strategist with 18 years of experience crafting innovative PR and social media programs for global brands and Fortune 500 companies. Her specialties include marketing communications strategy, social media, content marketing, strategic partnerships, media relations and influencer marketing. Meagan began her career with the Atlanta Braves and helped lead the team’s PR department for more than a decade before heading to FOX Sports South to spearhead the network’s social media and communications programs. Meagan has been part of our CCC team since 2013 and loves PR consulting and helping brands share their stories through innovative strategies that turn casual customers into fans and loyal advocates. A graduate of Clemson University, she lives in Atlanta with her 8-year-old son, Rique, and their dog, Harry. The fearless trio love to hike and chase waterfalls in North Georgia, snow ski in North Carolina, play in the sand of the Florida Panhandle, and of course, cheer on their Clemson Tigers, anywhere they go.
Elayza Gonzalez is one of the newer members of our team. A native of Miami, she graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UF’s College of Journalism & Communications, one of the top-ranked programs in the country. Before joining CCC, Elayza was a Diversity Fellow at FleishmanHillard and worked with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofit organizations. As a fellow, she supported the FH Corporate Team providing media relations support and creating content for clients’ internal and external communications channels. Elayza also interned at LINKS WorldGroup, a Miami-based marketing/PR agency, where she represented clients in the travel and hospitality industry. Outside of work, she loves to dance – tap, hip hop and ballroom – and then rests with lazy Sundays binge-watching movies and TV.
Helen Sanders is our student intern. She’s a junior at the University of Georgia majoring in public relations and pursuing a certificate in new media and a minor in women’s studies. Helen has been working since before starting college: first at Salt Life, an apparel company based in Columbus, Ga., where she helped plan photoshoots, update websites and shadow the customer service team. While at UGA she worked at Southern View Magazine, assuming a variety of duties in editorial, paid advertising, social media, design and photography planning. She also studied abroad in Munich, Germany, and during that time wrote stories and produced video content around local cuisine and the changing cultural landscape of Southern Germany, featuring local residents and cultural thought leaders. After returning from Germany, Helen interned for a boutique PR agency, See.Spark.Go, helping to manage social media campaigns for national brands. She’s a part of the philanthropy committee for Alpha Delta Pi sorority, a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America and serves as marketing director for UGA’s Relay For Life, which supports the American Cancer Society. In her free time, this busy UGA student runs her own Etsy business and loves to travel, cook, read, listen to true crime podcasts and binge on Netflix documentaries.