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National Advisory Council

The Council members meet twice a year to provide advice and support to keep SJMC on pace with the communications industry.

Danny Akright, JO'10
Director of Communications
Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity

Megan Bannister, JO’13
Freelance Writer and Marketing Consultant

Michael Bates, JO'79
Director of Advancement and Strategic Gift Initiatives
Youth and Family Counseling, Chicago

Mac Brand, JO’76
Founding Partner
Bellwether Food Group, Inc., Dallas

Brittany Hopkins Bungert, JO’07
Director of Communications
Iowa Automobile Dealers Association

Claire Celsi, friend
Communications Consultant, Des Moines
Iowa Legislator

Brandi Dye, JO'18
Communications and Community Engagement Manager
Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Denver

John Garcia JO’86
Reporter, WLS-TV, Chicago

Graham Gillette, friend
Gillette Strategic Resources, Des Moines

Lynn Hicks , JO’91
Chief of Staff
Iowa Attorney General's Office

Melissa Hintz, JO’86 
Regional Research Director
KCCI-TV, Des Moines/KETV, Omaha

Ryan Johnson, JO'99
Manager, Strategic Communications
Two Rivers Marketing, Des Moines

Louie Laurent, JO’76
Chairman (retired),, Des Moines

Paul LeFort, JO'91
Director, Sales Development
The Nielsen Company

David M. Lubbers, JO’86
Freelance Sports Producer, Des Moines

Lydia Nevins, JO’11
Senior Communications Consultant
Delta Dental, Des Moines

Ezekiel Okeleye, JO'15
Senior Business Partner, Store Operations
Target headquarters, Minneapolis

Susan Patterson Plank, Friend, MPA’16
Executive Director
Iowa Newspaper Association

Katie Popp, JO’05
Marketing Strategy Consultant
Alliant Energy, Des Moines

Christine Riccelli, MA'97
Editor, dsm magazines, Des Moines

Amy Schmelzer, JO’96
Operations Manager
KCCI-TV, Des Moines

Jessica Spangler, JO'19
Director of Communications and Marketing
Mechanical Contractors Association of Chicago

Eduardo Tamez Zamarripa, JO’12
Head of Soccer Market Development
Musco Lighting, Oskaloosa, IA

Samantha Thorpe, JO’95
Freelance Editor, Writer, Producer, Des Moines

Chris Verlengia, JO'06, MCL'13
Senior Brand Marketing Manager
Wellmark, Des Moines

Kevin Waetke, JO’86
Associate Vice President, Corporate Marketing
Sammons Financial Group, Des Moines