MARK DAVIS is a former White House speechwriter who has managed message strategies and drafted speeches for the C-Suites of more than a dozen Fortune 500s, in sectors ranging from defense and aerospace, to telecommunications and transportation, to the CEOs of three “supermajor” oil companies.
Mark is adept at high-stakes messaging. He has worked with international energy companies to balance global messages against local sensitivities. He has helped manage the messaging strategy for judicial appeals and “bet-your-company” lawsuits for a leading car company and a major railroad. He advised a major transportation company on one of the largest mergers in U.S. business history.
In the White House, Mark drafted the prime-time address President George H.W. Bush gave before a Joint Session of Congress to declare his determination to evict a dictator from Kuwait. He is the co-author, with Richard Torrenzano, of Digital Assassination: Protecting Your Reputation, Brand, or Business Against Online Attacks, (St. Martin’s Press, 2011), a book hailed by Charlene Li, author of Groundswell, and former CIA Director Michael Hayden as essential reading.
His op-eds have appeared in publications ranging from The Wall Street Journal to The Washington Post.
Mark was the Vice President of the Pacific Research Institute of San Francisco, and has served as a speechwriter and aide to former California Governor Pete Wilson. He has been an adjunct professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and has lectured at many major colleges and universities. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and Stanford University, Mark is the director of the Uptown Creative Strategies Group.
VINH VUONG has been an entrepreneur since his teens where he transforms ideas and prototypes into disruptive, high-valued startups through operational discipline, effective business development, and meaningful PR. The most notable startups that exited (before he entered college) include an algae biofuel company and a mobile ordering software, both are well-established enterprises today.
Then at 19 years old, Vinh took his data-driven, social media expertise and began delivering more than a dozen winning political campaigns at the local, state and national levels. From there, he founded VUONG Global, an international communications firm, where Vinh guided FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 corporations - with a cumulative market cap of over $500 billion - through reputation management and digital transformation. He has worked with clients across a range of industries, including: financial services, healthcare, technology, private equity, and social & public sectors.
Additionally, being involved in many "war rooms" situations, from shareholder proxy fights to high-profile scandals, Vinh served as a data-driven crisis manager and strategic communications advisor for numerous corporate, startup/venture, government, and high-profile/high net-worth clients. He worked closely in many corporate litigation cases, including high-profile Supreme Court cases, political and policy campaigns, and is a highly sought after consultant to large, complex organizations, and high-profile individuals.
Today, Vinh serves as Chairman of his holding company, Vuong Holdings, and remains active as a consultant to select clients as a partner at both Uptown Creative Strategies Group and Bork Communication Group.
Vinh graduated from Penn State's Smeal College of Business with a bachelor's degree in management where he played a few seasons with the football team under Joe Paterno and a few seasons with the collegiate rugby team. He also completed the executive programs at the Harvard Business School and The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
ROBERT H. BORK, JR. is an experienced advocate specializing in the development and implementation of communication strategies in support of litigation and legal policy. In his many years of experience managing the public environment surrounding high-risk, high-profile litigation, he has worked on behalf of CEOs and general counsel of major U.S. and international corporate clients and their lawyers.
Mr. Bork is "considered a pioneer in the area of litigation PR," according to PR Week. He has designed strategies in some of the most important cases and policy battles in recent years. Mr. Bork's experience includes directing the litigation pr strategy for the former manufacturers of lead pigment, the national media campaign in support of ProComp, a coalition of hi-tech companies supporting the U.S. government's position in the Microsoft antitrust case, and the national earned media campaign of a large coalition of corporate general counsel seeking broad federal legal reform in Congress in the mid-1990s.
Mr. Bork regularly advises corporate counsel on a wide range of civil and criminal litigation including antitrust, product liability, intellectual property, securities fraud, economic espionage, white collar crime, mergers and acquisitions, First Amendment and employment discrimination. His work has been on behalf of clients in the automobile industry, pharmaceuticals, computers, software, chemicals, railroads, franchising, telecommunications, insurance, health-care, and former manufacturers of lead pigment. He has been engaged to counsel clients at every stage of litigation, from pre-litigation through appeals up to and including the Supreme Court of the United States.
"Bob Bork is not only one of the leaders in litigation communication he is also one of the top public relations strategists in the country," said Steven B. Hantler, former-assistant general counsel at DaimlerChrysler.
Mr. Bork has broad public policy experience in government and in journalism. He served as special assistant to United States Trade Representative Carla A. Hills. Earlier, Mr. Bork served as special assistant to U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey and was a visiting fellow at The Heritage Foundation. As a journalist, he covered international economics at U.S. News and World Report, was managing editor of the quarterly journal Regulation, and worked as a reporter at Forbes, the Detroit Free Press, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and at the Miami Herald. Mr. Bork was graduated from Carleton College with a degree in history. He was a Herbert J. Davenport Fellow in Business and Economic Journalism at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
ANDREW DAVIS writes opinion-editorials, speeches, presentations and white papers for Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 corporations. His work includes writing for a Middle Eastern energy company, a white paper for financial services firm to present to the World Economic Forum (Davos), and numerous industry association speeches for president of a major lodging corporation. Andrew holds a degree in history from the University of Texas at Austin and has been active in the Boys and Girls Club of Austin.
JEFFRY B. DAVIS shapes communications programs that contribute directly to achieving business goals. He has a track record of helping develop not just strategic plans, but initiatives that make sense financially and programmatically.
His work has taken him from small entrepreneurial startups to Fortune 100 boardrooms to federal agencies. He has worked in every corner of the communications world, including advertising, digital advertising, public relations, and corporate and strategic communications.
Jeffry began his career at an ad agency working as a copywriter and a publicist, contributing work for clients like Zale’s Jewelers and a local startup at the time, Southwest Airlines.
He became part of the national public relations team at AT&T developing an innovative branding and market-relations strategy for the West Coast, including an innovative mix of community and arts funding, sponsorships and special events to establish AT&T as a business and consumer brand.
He spent time in Silicon Valley developing branding and product launch strategies in the technology sector. He has developed communications plans for large-scale corporate downsizing, for regulatory issues, and for an IPO. In recent years Jeffry has directed advertising and outreach efforts for federal agencies, most notably the Coast Guard, US Census, Department of the Interior and US Customs and Border Protection, where he directed CBP’s national advertising to meet mandated expansions of the US Border Patrol.
Jeffry is a journalism graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He currently lives and works in Washington D.C.
JAMES LEE, president of The Lee Strategy Group, has almost 25 years of experience in political and corporate campaigns throughout California. He cut his proverbial teeth in the bare-knuckle arena of California campaigning, including presidential, gubernatorial, senate, initiative and city council races as press secretary, coalition director and campaign manager.
A noted media and online trainer, and speaker, James has built a multi-disciplinary approach to media relations centered around the strategic coordination of various disciplines and stakeholder interests to achieve a client’s goal, including corporate brand reputation, investor relations, labor and internal communications, media relations, event planning and support, crisis communications and training, and government affairs.
Prior to forming The Lee Strategy Group, James was a director at the global communications firm Burson-Marsteller, working on a wide array of issues demonstrating his intuitive understanding of the linkages between communications, brand value, issues management and business goals.
Prior to work in the private sector, James served as Communications Director for the California Environmental Protection Agency, where he oversaw communications and public outreach on a wide range of health and safety issues.
He also served as California Governor Pete Wilson’s Deputy Press Secretary, where he was one of the Governor’s chief spokesman and managed communications outreach and relations with national and local television and radio stations.
James’s extensive media experience also includes work in television, radio and entertainment promotions at media companies such as Paramount Pictures, KABC-TV, Gannett Broadcasting and CBS Radio. James maintains relations with a national and statewide array of reporters, bloggers, columnists and editors.
Born in Taipei, Taiwan, James immigrated to California with his family and grew up in Los Angeles. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business and journalism from the University of Southern California and is active in several professional and charitable organizations, serving on several boards.
JAMES STROCK serves the senior leadership of companies to take a strategic and global approach to communications. A longtime leader in the environmental/energy/sustainability space, he is well placed to add value in any high-stakes, multi-stakeholder challenge.
The founding Secretary for Environmental Protection of the State of California, and former chief law enforcement officer of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Jim has extensive, hands-on experience in communications, management, and leadership development. His service runs the gamut from entrepreneur, to executive, to board member, to project manager, to consultant. He is a professional speaker and the author of three books: Serve to Lead (about the new challenges of 21stcentury leadership), Theodore Roosevelt on Leadership, and Reagan on Leadership. Website: servetolead.org.
RICHARD TORRENZANO, chief executive of The Torrenzano Group, has extensive experience in the world’s financial markets. For nearly a decade at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), he was a member of the Big Board’s management (policy) and executive (operations) committees.
While at the NYSE, he led one of the largest – and what was widely perceived as the most effective – communications and public policy staffs of any financial institution in the world.
Richard managed some of the most visible global corporate crises in our lifetime. He developed and implemented public strategies to deal with significant market moments including: the market crash in October 1987, the 1998 Federal Reserve Bank’s $4 billion recapitalization of Long-Term Capital Management, insider-trading scandals, hundreds of corporate mergers, acquisitions and IPOs, governance and shareholder activism issues, as well as bankruptcies.
Based in London in the 1990s, Richard was director and senior vice president-corporate affairs and a member of the Executive Management Committee for SmithKline Beecham, Plc. SB, which was one of the world’s leading healthcare companies, now merged with Glaxo.
A recognized global expert in crisis management, Richard has counseled chief executives and boards of international corporations in Europe and Latin America, as well as several heads of state.
Following the September 11 attacks, he provided counsel to top executives at Merrill Lynch, Lloyd’s of London, the Nasdaq Stock Market, the National Association of Securities Dealers, the American Stock Exchange and the Security Traders Association.
Richard is an avid sailor.
CHRISS WINSTON became the first woman to head the White House Office of Speech Writing as Deputy Assistant to the President for Communications and Director of Speech Writing for President George H.W. Bush. She also oversaw the White House Offices of Media Relations and Public Affairs. Chriss also served as Deputy Director of Communications for the Bush/Quayle presidential campaign.
Earlier, Chriss was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor and Director of Information for the U.S. Department of Labor under President Reagan and Director of the Office of Public Liaison for the United States Information Agency. Since 1994, she has headed her own consultancy, CorporateWord, which provides executive speech writing, editorial services and strategic communications for a wide range of clients. A longtime political campaign professional, Chriss was selected as a teaching Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics in 2007 and taught political speech writing at American University.
Chriss has written and co-authored a number of books, and her political and policy writing has appeared in many national publications. During the 2008 election cycle, she founded and served as president of the “Take Your Kids to Vote Campaign.”