Meet the Team
President and CEO
Ivy co-founded Spire Communications in 2006 with two primary aims: create an agency that truly understands the intersection of government and technology, and adopt a model where only senior level leadership is applied to clients’ communications challenges.
Ivy provides strategic marketing counsel to organizations to help build awareness and positive brand recognition. She has extensive experience in numerous marketing disciplines, including media and analyst relations, collateral development, presentations, media training, conference planning and crisis communications.
Before starting Spire, Ivy’s background included working at publicly-traded companies and marketing agencies. She has created and implemented marketing programs for well known public- and private-sector organizations such as the Federal Health Architecture, The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, DARPA, MicroStrategy, Oracle, Telos, Software AG, the Department of Homeland Security National Cyber Security Division, Army Logistics Information Systems, and the Army Medical Communications for Combat Casualty Care.
Ivy earned a Bachelor of Arts from The Johns Hopkins University.
Executive Vice President
A co-founder of Spire Communications, Steven has 20 years’ experience in marketing and advertising. He has held positions in large and small public relations and advertising agencies, worked for the federal government and held executive positions in the corporate domain. He has been creative director and a communications executive with: MicroStrategy, Ogilvy Public Relations, Potomac Incorporated and the U.S Army’s Morale Welfare and Recreation Marketing in Heidelberg, Germany.
His management skill and creative talents have been applied to advertising campaigns, special events, direct marketing and Web site development, enabling clients to reach their business objectives with compelling creativity and focused strategy.
Steve has created and managed communications, and advertising campaigns for a diverse range of clients, including: DARPA, The Centers for Disease Control, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, U.S. Army MWR, The American Cancer Society, and PHB Hagler Bailly, to name a few. Steven earned a Bachelor of Arts in rhetoric and communications science from the University of New York at Albany.
Michael specializes in clear, compelling and accurate strategic communication for federal agencies and major federal IT and national security contractors. His skills in issues management and writing help Spire’s clients address many mission-critical technology, policy and business challenges: cybersecurity, big data, cloud, mobile, budgets, procurement and healthcare, to name a few. By helping clients improve the writing, analysis and relevance of outreach to stakeholders, Michael helps increase stakeholder awareness that enhances clients’ mission performance and organizational success.
In more than 16 years in journalism and public relations, Michael has served as chief cybersecurity, homeland security and security technology reporter at Federal Computer Week and greatly expanded government-related PR for Symantec Corporation. Most recently, he had built a successful consulting practice with government agencies and commercial clients such as Microsoft Corporation, Booz Allen, Symantec and Battelle.
Michael earned a Master of Science degree in journalism from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame.
Beth Boyter has over twenty years of experience in accounting and business management. As the office manager, Beth provides broad human resources, financial and management support for agency.
Prior to joining Spire Communications, Beth held various positions within Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, serving as an Accountant for MCCS Finance, a Budget Analyst for multiple programs within the Personal and Family Readiness Division, and a Program Analyst for the Children, Youth and Teen Programs. She has also served as an Accountant in the private industry sector.
Beth has been certified as a public accountant and is currently working on her Master’s in Business Administration degree.
Beth received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Louisiana Tech University.
Jane applies her 20 years’ experience in public relations, marketing and journalism to develop high-level communications strategy and marketing campaigns for government and commercial organizations. Her experience spans high-tech PR, including telecommunications and healthcare. Jane’s PR acumen has led to major award wins, high-profile speaking placements, key interviews with sought-after media and prominent article placements in leading publications.
Prior to joining Spire Communications, Jane directed PR for business-to-government and business-to-business technology clients. Formerly a marketing director with a NASDAQ financial 100 firm, Jane led marketing and PR initiatives for the expansion into 20 markets.
In addition to her marketing and public relations experience, Jane served as a technology journalist writing for leading trade publications. Her extensive role with trade dailies, weeklies and monthly publications gives her an insider’s view on media requirements and effective public relations strategies.
Jane received a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from the University of Kansas, Lawrence.
Eric brings 20 years of public affairs experience to Spire. As an account director, Eric provides communications planning and drafts news releases and Web program descriptions for a portfolio of programs at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). His programs cover advanced aerial platforms, such as unmanned systems, X-planes, and manned systems, as well as innovative technologies in communications, networks, and electronic warfare.
He served most recently in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs as a media relations officer at the Pentagon. During his Air Force career, he served as public affairs officer and military spokesman in the United States, Germany, the Republic of Korea, and Japan. His positions included managing editor of Airman Magazine, the official magazine of the United States Air Force, and as deputy chief of media relations at the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) headquarters in Colorado Springs.
Eric earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communications management from Ithaca College and a Master of Arts in communications from St. Mary’s University.
Zhan possesses a diverse background in healthcare marketing that includes 15 years of experience accrued with in-house teams and agency positions. Zhan has extensive experience in collateral development, writing and editing, direct marketing and marketing planning, and leadership of cross-functional and cross-geographical teams.
In his current role at Spire, Zhan supports communications efforts at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Prior to joining Spire, Zhan was a senior marketing manager for Wolters Kluwer Health, a Fortune 500 healthcare publishing company where he developed marketing strategies for a $23.8 million portfolio of health textbooks and reference sources.
Zhan started his healthcare marketing career at the American Red Cross Biomedical Services National Headquarters, where he worked in various product management positions. His prior agency experience includes membership and development marketing for clients such as the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the American Health Care Association, and the American Health Lawyers Association.
Zhan earned a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in marketing from The Johns Hopkins University.
Jeff is a legislative affairs specialist with backgrounds in defense, legislative process, and political communications.
Jeff has extensive experience on Capitol Hill, most recently working for the House Committee on Armed Services as part of the full committee staff working legislative process. Before joining the Committee, Jeff spent time in a Congressional district office in Alabama working in the communications office.
As an account director at Spire, Jeff manages legislative affairs for a portfolio of programs at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that includes innovative technologies in, among others, communications, networks, and electronic warfare.
Jeff earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Auburn University.
Nicole is a skilled communicator with more than 10 years of experience in strategy development for high profile campaigns and project management for organizations in the federal government, information technology, nonprofit, higher education, gun manufacturing and travel/tourism sectors. Past clients include the DoD Biometrics Management Office (now the Biometrics Identity Management Agency) and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
In her role with Spire, Nicole supports the Federal Health Architecture (FHA) within the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. In this role, she provides strategic guidance on traditional and social media outreach, Web content development and internal communications support for the FHA.
Prior to joining Spire, Nicole was with Georgetown University’s University Information Services department as the communications manager for the information security office.
Nicole earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communications from James Madison University and a Master of Management degree from the University of Phoenix.
Christine Kerick is an experienced senior communication professional with a 12-year record of building effective communications programs for high profile organizations within the public and private sectors. Focusing on defense and government outreach, she helps agencies and organizations build end-to-end communications strategies that take advantage of multiple channels to convey positive program messages to key audiences.
Christine has created and managed public affairs and public relations programs for high profile organizations such as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Air Armament Center, the Federal Health Architecture, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the United Bank of Switzerland (UBS).
Prior to joining Spire, Christine was the public relations manager for Telos Corporation, and previously served as a public affairs officer for the U.S. Air Force.
Christine earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Air Force Academy and her Master of Arts degree from the University of Florida.
Tim is a writer and communications strategist with twelve years of experience supporting defense and commercial clients. He has more than two years of deployed experience in Iraq and Italy.
Tim spent two years in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) where he was a founding member of the Emerging Media Directorate and set a path for the department’s social media engagement, wrote articles for the press service, developed internal communication plans, and helped craft the policy that opened defense networks to social media.
Most recently, Tim supported the public affairs and strategic communications offices for NATO’s Operation Unified Protector in Libya.
As an account director at Spire, Tim manages communications for a portfolio of programs at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that includes robotics, cybersecurity, biology and education.
Tim earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
Shannon is an experienced and talented designer with a wide range of capabilities. She has created and managed brand identities, collateral, advertising, Word and PowerPoint templates, event signage, HTML emails, user interfaces and Web sites for a diverse client base. Her great skill lies in her ability to effectively communicate information and present concepts visually.
Shannon is expert in PhotoShop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, Dreamweaver and Microsoft Office. She is versed in offset and digital printing and graphics related Section 508 compliance.
Shannon's clients have included: Approva, Brabeion Software, CadenceQuest, DARPA, e-Security, Fauquier SPCA, Isabel Healthcare, Mandiant, Marketo, MicroStrategy, ODIN Technologies, Pharma Services Network, Premier Inc., Qlarion, SiloSmashers, USA Today, and Vovici.
Shannon contributed to the Approva "Greater Visibility. Better Controls" campaign (2006) which was awarded winner for the best "Integrated Marketing Campaign – Business to Business" by the American Marketing Association (AMA). She won first place in a brochure design contest for the National Recreation Services Association.
Shannon earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design from James Madison University.
Jim has 15 years of communications experience in agency, association and corporate environments. He has managed public relations campaigns for marquee clients that include Microsoft, Cisco, Software AG, USA TODAY, BMC Software and Monster Government Solutions. He has also worked with small companies and start-ups to create communications strategies and generate market visibility.
Prior to joining Spire, Jim was an account supervisor with Arnold Worldwide where he was highly successful in generating national media placements in television, radio and print. He has also managed the marketing and communications efforts for the Go RVing national advertising campaign.
Jim is an excellent editor and writer and possesses experience in analyst relations, collateral development, Web content, script writing and trade show management.
Jim earned his Master of Arts degree from Catholic University.
Dawn S. Onley
Dawn joined the Spire team in 2007, after a journalism career that spanned more than 20 years. Dawn was a reporter for several major newspapers, including The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J., The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., and The Philadelphia Daily News of Philadelphia, Pa. Her journalism work has earned her multiple industry awards.
As account director at Spire, Dawn manages strategic communications for major client accounts. Her areas of expertise include drafting media pitches, blogs, press releases; speaking and award nominations, and pitching stories to media outlets.
Before joining Spire, Dawn was editor of Defense Systems Magazine, which covers the Defense services, agencies and intelligence community and how they are transforming the way they do business through the use of technology. She also worked previously for Government Computer News, covering the Department of Defense.
Dawn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Norfolk State University.
Christina is a talented designer with experience ranging from contracting for IT providers to working on in-house design teams. Christina is highly proficient in Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, Acrobat, Quark, and Microsoft Office. She has produced branding, brochures, annual reports, and website designs and is well versed in coordinating print production.
She has produced creative and effective graphic designs for clients in government, military, entertainment, and information technology. Christina’s clients have included: U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), Army Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software and Solutions (CHESS), Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA), Hair Cuttery, Section 8 Music Group, and the Organization of Hope.
Prior to joining Spire Communications, Christina was responsible for the art direction and internal layout of Army AL&T Magazine, a quarterly publication for the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center, which won multiple MARCOM awards, an international competition.
Christina earned a Bachelor of Science degree in graphic design from Drexel University.
Senior Graphic Designer
Brian is an experienced design professional with a diverse range of talents. An expert in print and web design, photography and video, he is able to carry brand campaigns and consistency across multiple platforms. Brian has a strong background in all Adobe Creative Suite applications as well as Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro and Microsoft Office. He specializes in extremely intricate Photoshop design, demonstrating almost limitless boundaries as to what can be created.
Prior to joining Spire, Brian served as a senior designer and creative director for various design and marketing companies. He is also experienced in running his own successful design business, delivering high quality, creative designs and concepts to a wide range of clients.
Brian earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Digital Media Design from The Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC. During his tenure, Brian was recognized with the Presidential Scholarship and a First Place Visual Communications Award in the Student Show MCAD.