TEAM

CLAUDIA BROOKS D’AVANZO

Claudia Brooks D’Avanzo is founder and president of Creative Communications Consultants, a marketing communications and public relations agency. With over 35 years’ experience, she’s 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 MSL Group and Lockheed Martin.

Her expertise covers PR 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. Among the awards her work has received are 10 Phoenix Awards from the Public Relations Society of America, four Gold/Silver Quill Awards from International Association of Business Communicators, a President’s Citation for Private Sector Initiatives and others.

A native of Marietta, GA, Claudia 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, and has been named a “Top Tiger” by Auburn’s Harbert College of Business, recognizing the top fastest-growing companies led by AU alumni. Claudia and her husband Michael have two children – Arielle E. Lyons, a senior account supervisor with Edelman, and Adrian Brooks D’Avanzo, an MBA candidate at Vanderbilt University. When they’re not working, traveling or visiting their kids, Mike and Claudia (an avid equestrian) can usually be found on their rural Alabama farm where they spend lots of time mucking stalls, chasing chickens, snuggling dogs, building campfires and gazing at the stars.

MEET SOME OF OUR TEAM


“We’re so happy with Creative Communications. They’ve taken our PR to the next level with breakthrough programming and exceptional service. There’s no project too big or too small for this dynamic, professional team. Our brand successes are a direct result of the exceptional promotions they do for us. CCC also has played an integral part in the development of our digital and social media strategies. We’ve truly found an integrated PR partner that works seamlessly with the brand team and our other agencies.”
Shannon Gilreath
Vice President of Marketing
Rich Products Consumer Brands
LAUREN DUTTON-BREEN

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 practice 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 and is now overseeing PR for the new Four Seasons Los Cabos Resort on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula in California. She’s been part of the CCC team for several years as a national publicist and creative strategist. When not 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 SMITH

Jennifer Dunaway Smith is a PR consultant who began her career with us in 2003. From representing lifestyle marketing agencies to large consumer brands for 15+ years, Jen’s expertise includes media relations, special events, social marketing and community/influencer engagement. She has worked with a variety of prestigious brands and companies including Coca-Cola, Google, HoneyBaked Ham Company, Intercontinental Hotel Groups (IHG), 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 is a past president of Vandy’s Atlanta alumni chapter. She also serves on the advisory board for The Atlanta Community Food Bank and board of directors for the Atlanta Girls’ School. For years she’s held volunteer leadership roles with the Junior League of Atlanta, including VP of marketing and VP of community, overseeing the League’s recent centennial celebration. A true Hospitality State native, this Jackson, Miss., gal loves to cook and play hostess in her Atlanta home with her husband and pampered pooch, Huckleberry.

TESS MARKS

Tess manages influencer marketing campaigns for our clients, and contributes to creative planning and content development. A born and raised Georgia girl with a creative spirit, she graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in hospitality management. After graduation, Tess moved to Atlanta to begin her career in event management for a boutique firm specializing in corporate incentive trips. Soon after, she continued in the event space concepting and developing events in the home decor, food and fashion industries at AmericasMart. She executed cooking events with chefs such as Food Network’s Duff Goldman, and exciting roundtable discussions with some of the home decor industry’s leaders such as Courtney Novogratz and Alexa Hampton. At that point, social media was on the rise and sparked her attention. Tess left the event space and moved on to agency life and has worked in advertising and marketing for the past 10 years specializing in social media, content and brand development, influencer marketing and a variety of campaigns in the consumer goods space. But her proudest accomplishment is being mama to energetic toddler George, who keeps her and her husband equally entertained and on their toes. Outside of being “mom,” she’s active in her community Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta neighborhood association, is a passionate Peloton rider and a self-proclaimed “grandmillennial” whose idea of a good time is antiquing, Downton Abbey and a nice cuppa.

JESSICA KARP

Jessica Karp is a digital graphic designer with 20+ 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 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

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 after moving to Brooklyn in 2019. Lee loves to travel the globe and documents those adventures all along the way (that’s him at the Pena Palace in Portugal). He graduated from Colby College in Waterville, Maine, with a B.A. in history.

ALLISON KILLINGSWORTH

PR Intern Allison Killingsworth is a recent graduate of Auburn University with a B.A. in communications and minor in history. She served as historian for the Auburn Historians Society and was active in the Public Relations Student Society of America & Public Relations Council of Alabama. Her professional experience includes a prestigious internship with the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where she focused on special events. Passionate about history and the arts, Allison handled a number of challenging projects for the Smithsonian, including hosting virtual programs during the pandemic. In her free time, she loves spending time in museums, hanging out with her cat and watching – what else? – The History Channel.