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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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Kate explores how digital media can create meaningful change in the world when it reaches the right people at the right time. On the weekends you can find her tasting the latest DC-area craft brews with her husband.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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