Sara M. Katz is the founder and president of Katz & Associates, a full-service communication firm. Sara founded Katz & Associates in 1986 after tenures with former California Governor Pete Wilson and San Diego Mayor Susan Golding. With her team of communication professionals, Sara manages community relations, public involvement and public affairs strategies for her clients.
During her 25 years of public affairs experience, Sara has developed a recognized specialty in developing communication programs for local, state and federal public agencies. Her experience includes public outreach and involvement programs for major public works projects, social awareness programs and controversial public policy issues. Sara's wealth of experience ranges from issues management, coalition building and facilitation to strategic planning, media strategy and crisis management.
Under Sara's supervision, the firm has grown to more than 45 employees while maintaining a solid track record of personalized service, the hallmark of her boutique-size firm.
Lewis Michaelson is a facilitator, mediator, and environmental dispute resolution specialist with over 27 years of experience in designing and facilitating consensus-building programs for environmental, planning and impact analysis projects.
Using a collaborative problem solving approach, Lewis has facilitated community outreach and consensus for projects and issues involving a wide range of subjects, including transportation planning, energy production and transmission, wastewater and stormwater projects, airport facilities, regional water supply facilities, hazardous waste cleanup, watershed planning, military base closures and expansions, and land use management plans.
In addition to his project and case work, Lewis is the past president of the International Association for Public Participation. As a board member of IAP2, he was instrumental in spearheading the development of the Core Values for the Practice of Public Participation and the IAP2 Code of Ethics. He was also one of the three original developers of the Foundations of Public Participation training courses instituted by IAP2. Lewis is also a qualified member of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution Roster of Neutrals.
Lori Prosio is a senior vice president and corporate officer for Katz & Associates and leads all efforts for the firm's Sacramento area office, including management of a full-time staff of 16, business development, and corporate growth and operations for the firm. She has more than 15 years of experience directing and implementing advertising, social marketing, community outreach, public awareness and public involvement programs at the local, regional and state levels. Experienced in research, media relations, community outreach, crisis communications and social marketing strategies, Lori has experience overseeing multi-million dollar communication campaigns designed to educate and inform Californians about important issues such as consumer protection, driver and pedestrian safety, recycling, water quality and conservation, habitat restoration, air quality and commercial business marketing.
Lori is a certified International Association of Public Participation practitioner and is a member of the Sacramento Public Relations Association and the International Association of Business Communicators. Lori is a regular contributing columnist to the Sacramento Business Journal. She has a B.A in communication studies, and an M.B.A in Business.
Patricia Tennyson is the executive vice president/director of client relations for Katz & Associates. Patricia oversees community and government relations, communication, and public affairs strategies. She also facilitates community advisory panels, environmental scoping meetings, public meetings and strategic planning workshops.
Patricia has provided strategic counsel, facilitated public working committees and workshops and designed presentations for policy-makers and the community on a variety of technical issues. Such issues include water and wastewater, airport planning and education, boating and environmental issues. She has completed facilitation training coursework at Interaction Associates and coursework in resolving public policy conflicts at CDR Associates. Patricia has assisted a variety of public agencies to develop and implement public outreach and involvement strategies, as well as moderated NEPA and CEQA scoping meetings and public hearings.
Prior to joining Katz & Associates, Patricia was the public affairs director of the San Diego County Water Authority, where she developed and implemented innovative public outreach programs and strategies for community education and involvement for major regional projects.
Joseph Charest is a communication professional with more than 30 years of experience in corporate and agency public relations, advertising and marketing. He specializes in developing multidisciplinary communication programs designed to raise awareness of issues and frame public debates. Joe's experience includes work in the transportation, health care, non profit and environmental fields. His skills have been recognized with two national Silver Anvil awards, the PR profession's highest honor.
In addition to strategic planning, Joe is skilled at message development, spokesperson training and media relations. His excellent writing skills are put to use in creating op-ed articles, position papers and informational materials. Joe also brings experience in community relations, having worked on major, controversial infrastructure programs.
Prior to joining Katz & Associates, he served as president of The Gable Group, one of San Diego's largest public relations firms, for more than a dozen years and as president and senior vice president in two other communication firms. He also was a corporate vice president and assistant general manager in the Los Angeles office of Burson-Marsteller, the world's largest firm at the time.
Robin Rockey serves as a senior director for Katz & Associates, working on-site as the Southern Nevada Water Authority Capital Improvements Program project information manager.
Robin has worked for Katz & Associates for more than 21 years. Since 1997, Robin has provided community outreach, construction relations and project information management for the Southern Nevada Water Authority's $2.9 billion Capital Improvements Program serving the greater Las Vegas Valley. Projects include numerous pumping stations, large-diameter pipelines, a water treatment facility, two new water intakes and a raw water pumping system, each requiring a unique community and media relations strategy and approach. Prior to her assignment in Southern Nevada, Robin served more than eight years as on-site public information manager for the City of San Diego Metropolitan Wastewater Department. In this role, she handled community relations, public information and media relations for the multi-billion dollar upgrade and expansion of the region's sewerage system.
Allison Turner is a director and regional manager for Katz & Associates. She specializes in developing and implementing public involvement and information programs, environmental public affairs, environmental planning and process support, and risk communication. Allison currently manages stakeholder outreach strategy development and planning efforts in support of the U.S. Navy's Tactical Training Theater Assessment and Planning program. In this role, she develops stakeholder outreach strategies and public involvement plans for Navy and Marine Corps ranges to ensure the continued sustainability of operation and training activities.
Allison has extensive experience in developing strategic outreach plans and designing public and stakeholder involvement programs for environmental review processes. She has managed and implemented all aspects of the public participation process for 17 NEPA projects for the Navy and Marine Corps across the continental United States and in Alaska, Hawaii and Guam.
Allison joined Katz & Associates with rigorous training in environmental science, economics, law, public policy and project management, as well as nine years of management and customer relations experience in the private sector. Experience and training in several disciplines allow Allison to understand the complexities of environmental issues and "speak the language" of all involved stakeholders.
Joan Isaacson brings 20+ years of experience in community engagement, stakeholder facilitation, and urban and environmental planning consulting. Her commitment to formulating the best strategies for successful, viable project outcomes has made her highly valued by clients and communities.
At the core of Joan’s practice are expert skills in public participation programs, consensus strategies, working/advisory group facilitation, and community education. Her project portfolio includes general and community plans, transportation studies, public works initiatives, urban infill, CEQA/NEPA review, climate action plans, integrated resource plans, utility rates, open space and recreation plans, and construction management. She maintains a constant focus on innovation to more meaningfully involve the full community cross-section.
Prior to joining Katz & Associates, Joan led the Southern California community outreach team for a large, multi-service firm. She has a BS in Psychology and MA in Geography, and certifications from the International Association of Public Participation and American Institute of Certified Planners. She has served on boards of community and professional organizations, and regularly speaks in academic and professional forums.
Rebecca Nicholas is the Bay Area regional director for Katz & Associates. She specializes in public affairs and government relations, including grassroots coalition building. She has experience working with landowners, state and local elected officials, environmental justice communities, and tribal governments, on projects of all shapes and sizes.
Rebecca’s key areas of expertise are community outreach, stakeholder coordination, public education, and risk communication. Her project portfolio includes environmental review and remediation, transportation planning, habitat conservation planning, public works initiatives and construction management. Rebecca translates complex technical data into comprehensible terms for public use and works to ensure that outreach efforts are responsive to community feedback.
Prior to joining Katz & Associates, Rebecca served as a public affairs manager for an international engineering, construction and technical services firm, working on some of the nation’s largest infrastructure projects, such as the California Department of Water Resources’ Bay Delta Conservation Plan, California High Speed Rail and Governor Schwarzenegger’s Emergency Levee Repair Project.
Rebecca also worked as communication director for a statewide association, where she was responsible for all external communication, media relation management, coalition building, and grassroots advocacy for the engineering and land surveying industry. Prior to this, Rebecca worked as the policy and research manager for a statewide building industry association.
She has a BA in government and is a featured author of several publications in the engineering, water, and transportation fields.