maria rodriguez

Maria Rodriguez
President and CEO
Maria Rodriguez leads more than 35 staff at Vanguard—the PR agency she co-founded with a business partner at age 27—working 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 henderson

Karen Henderson
Karen has more than 35 years of finance and accounting experience. She specializes in managing the accounting operations across sectors, including government, nonprofit and private industry. She has been with Vanguard since Neil Young was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1995).
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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.
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Senior Leadership Team

brenda foster

Brenda K. Foster, MPA
Senior Vice President
Brenda has dedicated her career to promoting causes that are close to her heart, successfully directing strategic communications campaigns for nonprofits, governments, universities and foundations. She leads Vanguard’s Health and Wellness practice.
Get to know Brenda

crystal borde

Crystal Borde
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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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.
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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.
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Jane Tobler

Jane Tobler
Vice President
Jane brings more than 20 years of strategic communications experience to her work with nonprofits, community groups and the government. She has spent most of her career working on public education, public health and prevention, behavioral health and issues that affect children and families.
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vanguard communications staff