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The Strategy Room

Celebrate Women’s History Month with the Women of Stanton

By: Ezraya Drumgo

This Women’s History Month we want to give a special shout out to the amazing women at Stanton Communications, who are strong, fierce, hardworking, admirable, and trailblazing women who work tirelessly to deliver quality services to our clients. 

Learn more about Lori, Emily, Melissa, Donna, Andrea, Dziko, Judith and Ezraya and some interesting fun facts that makes them all unique. 

Lori Russo, President 

President of Stanton Communications Lori Russo is the definition of “started from the bottom, now we’re here.” She first joined the agency nearly 22 years ago as an Account Coordinator after a stint in local TV news, and over the years worked her way up to President of the company.  

While her days of answering the phones are not behind her, she now spends most of her time developing communication strategies for corporations and associations, helping clients navigate crises, and preparing executive communication for CEOs and other corporate leaders. In addition to her role as President, Lori also serves as a Managing Partner for Joe Communications, a German American communications consultancy founded together with our Stuttgart-based partner Panama PR.  

Lori is an active member of the National Press Club, serving as co-lead of its prestigious Headliners Team with Donna Leinwand Leger. She was also named one of PRWeek magazine’s “40 Under 40” to watch. She’s mom to two boys and a rescue dog, and is married to a PGA golf instructor. 

Fun Fact: Lori is a self-described Scotophileand has visited Scotland nine times since 1996. She harbors dreams of one day owning a cottage on the Isle of Skye.  

Emily Wenstrom, Vice President 

 

Next to Lori, Emily is second for longest running tenure at Stanton Communications—she started her journey with the firm nine years ago. Emily, who is also aaward-winning published author, leads several client campaigns and helps to keep our team sharp and highperforming. 

Emily has over 14 years of experience developing integrated campaign strategies encompassing public relations, content marketing and digital platforming. She organizes teams to implement strategic messaging into compelling communications across written, graphic and video content to inspire and mobilize audiences.  

Besides Emily, her pup Pippi (who is also a woman of Stanton) has been featured in several Stanton blogs including our latest Celebrate National Dog Day with the Dogs of Stanton. 

Fun Fact: One of her favorite campaigns from her portfolio featured a zombie uprising, for which she delivered apocalypse survival kits to outlets throughout the Midwest. She kept one, and she is ready.  

Melissa DiMercurio, Senior Account Manager 

Melissa, who recently celebrated her two-year anniversary at Stanton, brings a decadelong career and passion for the hospitality, travel and tourism industry to the team. A native New Yorker, Melissa helps clients strategically develop communications plans that incorporate tactics from media relations, influencer targeting, partnership collaborations, digital content placement and more.  

She directs and inspires the team to build lasting relationships with our clients through resounding results, while remembering to have a little fun, too!  

Fun Fact: Melissa is the ultimate Justin Timberlake fan. She has seen every tour, including the ones back in his boy band days. 

Donna Leinwand Leger, Senior Advisor 

If there’s anything in the world that you’ve ever thought of doing, or a place you’ve thought of going, chances are Donna has already done it. Donna previously served as managing editor of USA Todaythe nation’s largest circulation daily newspaper and a top distributor of digital newsBefore that, she was a reporter covering breaking news, national and international crime, terrorism, and disasters.  

Donna provides our clients with high-level strategic counsel, particularly as it relates to how the media will interpret and cover a story. She’s a skilled writer and editor who is continually developing that muscle in the members of our team. 

Fun Fact: Donna is a past president of the National Press Club and has previously served as Chair of the Board of Governors. She also serves as Vice Chair of the National Press Foundation and is a proud graduate of its Paul Miller Fellowship. 

Andrea Procopio, Controller 

Andrea joined the Stanton team four years ago and has over 30 years of accounting experienceOver her 30-year career, she has worked with Fortune 500 companies, the hospitality industry, retail, manufacturing and government contractors. 

She is a graduate of Syracuse University and a native of Syracuse, New YorkAndrea manages the day-to-day financials of the firm as well as Human Resources, Business Advisor and team support. She’s also a member of the AICPA and the National Society of Accountants. 

Fun Fact: Andrea is a wine connoisseur. Her family in Italy has their own wine label and has been making wine for over 100 years.  Her father even made wine in his basement with the winepress his father brought over from Italy at the age of 19. 

Dziko Crews, Senior Account Executive 

Dziko is the newest addition to the Stanton team and has been a welcome addition since joining last year, in the early days of the pandemic. Dziko specializes in social media marketing, branding, email marketing, data analytics, content strategy and development. Prior to joining Stanton Communications, she served as the Communications Manager at Childhood Education International where she led all marketing and communications efforts to increase the organization’s global awareness and engagement among educators, practitioners, and community advocates.  

Dziko currently supports several accounts at Stanton including the American Statistical Association, Quad Graphics, and W. L. Gore & Associates (makers of GORE-TEX® products). Dziko also independently develops and implements branding, marketing, and communications strategies for small businesses and start-up organizations. 

Fun Fact: During the pandemic, Dziko has developed a love for solving panoramic jigsaw puzzles. 

Judith Rontal, Senior Account Executive 

Judith, our resident foodie, brings over seven years of experience in public relations to the team. She is a research connoisseur who can find just about anything we’re looking for, and never misses a beat when tracking media coverage. Judith’s portfolio includes a diverse set of clients including nonprofits, political campaigns, global associations, restaurants and chefs.  

She works with clients such as Live! Casino and Hotel, International Coaching Federation, and World Thrombosis Day providing media outreach, strategic communications strategies, and social media content creation. Judith’s passion for storytelling drives her work, creating a collaborative environment for her to develop deep relationships with her clients and their respective audiences. 

Fun Fact: Judith has a twin sister who also lives in Washington, DC. While they don’t look anything alike, theyre the same height! 

Ezraya Drumgo, Assistant Account Executive 

While Ezraya may be the youngest and newest to the world of PR, she never fails to bring her energy and desire to be the next PR maven to the team. Like Melissa, Ezraya is a native New Yorker and isn’t afraid to make it the topic of conversation. 

Ezraya’s work focuses on media research, creating content for social media, proactive media outreach and analyzing media coverage. Her background in public affairs—she worked at the Democratic National Committee and New York State Senate for Sen. Serranobrings insights about constituent services, legislative research and election coverage to the dynamics of public relations.  

Fun Fact: Ezraya is a first-generation college student with a bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University at Albany, SUNY. 




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