maria rodriguez

Maria Rodriguez
President and CEO
Maria Rodriguez leads a talented staff of diverse individuals at Vanguard Communications — the PR agency she co-founded with a business partner at age 27— to advance social change and champion causes to help protect the health and well-being of our planet and its people.
Get to know Maria

Corporate Management Team

Karen Linscott
Chief Operating Officer
Karen has dedicated her career to improving health care in the U.S. She was a physical therapist before transitioning to work on health policy and bioethics at the local and national level. As the Chief Operating Officer, Karen is continuing this work by helping Vanguard support their clients’ efforts to effect change in the system.
Get to know Karen

Tracy Ferrell

Tracy Packard Ferrell
Chief Administrative Officer
With nearly 30 years of experience in human resource management and programs, facilities management and information systems, computer networks and special events, Tracy applies her talent to the planning and management of the firm.
Get to know Tracy

Gerry DeLeon
Controller
As Vanguard’s Controller, Gerry supervises the financial side of our work, ensuring that our clients can meet their goals within budget. For more than a decade, he has applied his accounting and finance expertise to help organizations achieve their missions.

Senior Leadership Team

brenda foster

Brenda K. Foster, MPA
Senior Vice President
Brenda has devoted her career to supporting nonprofit organizations as they work to call our attention to society’s needs, social injustices and opportunities for inclusive communities. This multifaceted strategist thrives at the intersection of awareness, advocacy and action, and has applied her expertise to change how people think and feel about issues that affect us every day.
Get to know Brenda

crystal borde

Crystal Borde
Director
When she is not taking too many photos or feeding her brain’s pop culture encyclopedia, Crystal brings more than 12 years of strategic communications expertise to organizations engaging diverse communities.
Get to know Crystal

LeAnne DeFrancesco

LeAnne DeFrancesco
Vice President
LeAnne has nearly 20 years of experience in editorial production, and brings particular expertise in developing customized content for diverse audiences, scriptwriting, advertising and messaging. She leads Vanguard’s Design+Editorial staff, comprised of designers, writers and editors.
Get to know LeAnne

Lisa Swanberg

Lisa Swanberg
Senior Vice President
Lisa has more than 25 years of experience managing health communications contracts for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Creating and improving channels for information dissemination to the public has been the core of her health communications work for nearly 30 years.
Get to know Lisa

vanguard communications staff