President & Partner
Lisa is a communications professional with over 25 years of experience in developing strategic public relations and marketing communications campaigns specializing in branding and consumer products. Since its creation in 2001, McKendall Communications has developed and implemented strategic public relations programs for a variety of clients within the toy, kids and consumer technology industries.
Previously, Lisa was a senior vice president at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide where she headed the consumer marketing practice for the Los Angeles office. She was named to the Ogilvy 50, recognizing the top 50 executives within the Ogilvy network worldwide.
Lisa joined Ogilvy following a successful eight years at Mattel, Inc., the largest toy manufacturer and marketer in the world. As director of marketing communications, her responsibilities included serving as a company spokesperson, media training for senior management, and developing targeted public relations programs relating to the reputation and visibility of the company’s most recognizable brands, including Barbie, Hot Wheels, Cabbage Patch Kids, Disney and Matchbox. Additionally, she provided strategic communications counsel for the launch of new Mattel products.
Lisa began her career at Golin/Harris International. While at Golin/Harris she was responsible for managing several consumer accounts including General Foods, Bausch & Lomb and Playmates Toys, gaining expertise in national new product launches, media-driven special events, media training, the development of comprehensive public relations programs and media relations.
Lisa earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a public relations emphasis at San Diego State University. She also graduated from the San Francisco Academy, an intensive nine-month program for senior public relations professionals and has completed several professional development courses at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the areas of public relations and communications.
Mara is an account supervisor in the San Diego office of McKendall Communications. Mara is a public relations professional with over 15 years of experience in the field. Prior to joining McKendall Communications, Mara ran her own, successful public relations consulting business. Mara provided consultation and implementation of public relations objectives to global companies such as Nintendo of America and Visteon Corporation as well as several PR and marketing firms including GolinHarris International and McKendall Communications. She has lectured on public relations at San Diego State University’s School of Theater, Film and Television; and has also handled public relations, advocacy, social communications and community outreach for national non-profit organizations including The Autism Society of America.
Prior to her consulting business, Mara managed logistics and public relations for large-scale corporate and political events at Columbia Resource Group (CRG). In addition to overseeing all aspects of event production, Mara created and implemented event-specific media relation’s plans, composed operational scripts, conducted community outreach, and solicited and managed speakers, presentations, sponsors and corporate funding. Some of Mara’s clients included Microsoft Corporation, Washington Mutual, the World Trade Organization, and Members of the United States House and Senate.
Before her position at CRG, Mara was a member of the management and production team that coordinated and oversaw elements of the 43nd Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C. She also served as associate producer of the National Information Infrastructure Awards in New York.
Prior to her career in public relations, Mara gained valuable journalism experience working in news production at both KXLY and KHQ Television in Spokane, Washington. Mara graduated summa cum laude from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minors in political science and history. While in school, Mara held the position of news editor at EWU’s weekly campus newspaper, The Easterner.
Mara is the proud recipient of the 2013 Combined Health Agencies, Volunteer of the Year Award for her pro bono work with the Autism Society of San Diego where she sits on the board of directors and manages the organization’s public relations, and social and digital media endeavors. Mara is also a longstanding member of the Public Relations Society of America.
Lydia Smith is a wonderful new addition to the McKendall Communications team. She brings to the company a wealth of real world experience with children and toys. She has been the owner and director of a play based, developmental preschool for the past 18 years. This realistic application of child development theories has proven to be an asset to McKendall Communications and its clients. She has a BA in developmental psychology from the University of California Santa Barbara and has completed her Masters coursework in Early Childhood Education from California State University Northridge. She has also maintained her professional development through courses at the University of California Los Angeles. She began her career in public relations at Golin/Harris working on projects with companies such as Bausch & Lomb and the California Avocado Commission and has most recently worked with clients including Poof-Slinky, Razor and Bandai of America.
Shannon Kalvig brings nearly 20 years of experience in public relations, marketing communications and events to McKendall Communications. Shannon develops and implements strategic campaigns that align corporate messaging and strategies with her clients’ objectives.
As a consultant, Shannon handles program development, account management, execution and analysis to ensure that the initiatives resonate with the key audiences. In her day-to-day role, she manages national and community campaigns and events to publicize products and promotions, as well as directs media relations outreach to generate awareness for products or services. She also works with a publicist for professional athletes, securing coverage in non-sports media. Her extensive experience includes organizing product launches, media tours, executive interviews, celebrity and special events, as well as press material development.
Shannon has played key roles in the launch and continuing momentum for various consumer and consumer technology products and services such as the launch of the 94Fifty Smart Sensor Basketball by InfoMotion Sports Technologies, AOL Music Now (sold to Napster), ongoing campaigns to reach an expanded audience for Nintendo Wii and Intel Centrino Mobile technology, and more.
During her career, Shannon has worked with a range of international brands to start-ups including Relativity Sports (part of Relativity Media), USA Networks, Verizon Wireless (How Sweet the Sound Tour), InfoMotion Sports Technologies, Netflix, Pepsi Bottling Group, Kinko’s Inc., Pepperidge Farm, Pioneer Electronics, Self magazine and MORE magazine, Zazzle, Zannel. She has held long-term consulting and in-house positions with GolinHarris, Culture Shop, Hill & Knowlton, Bratskeir & Company, The GCI Group, Edelman and Geltzer & Company.
Shannon is a graduate of the University of Arizona in Tucson with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a minor in business. She sits on the advisory board for the South Sound YMCA in Olympia, WA.
Strategic Socially Digital Marketing Specialist
Bringing your Product to Life – More Creativity, More Ideas, More Fun!
Paul is a fun-loving socially digital product marketer with over 15 years experience in bringing products to life within the consumer products channel. From branding to new business development and sales, he specializes at telling one’s story and generating a positive return on investment (ROI).
As a global digital executive with a track record of proven strategic and tactical marketing experience, here is how Paul adds value to companies and grows market share, drive revenues and deliver ROI.
- Leadership / Management / Executive
- Product Marketing / Product Launch / Branding
- Go-To-Market Strategies / Channel Marketing
- Product Line Life Cycle
- Sales & Forecasting
- Pricing, Budgets & P&L
- Website / Digital Media / Social Media / eCommerce
- Public Relations / PR / Communications
- Business Development / Sales / CRM
- Product Management / Project Management
- Product Development / Design / Creative Ideation
- Competitive Analysis / Consumer Insights / R&D
Lauren Yacker brings more than 15 years of public relations and marketing communications experience to McKendall Communications. She has worked with brands big and small, primarily within consumer industries including retail, consumer products, home goods, mom/baby products, food and beverage, travel and hospitality, packaged goods, health & wellness and entertainment. She specializes in building successful communications campaigns, planning and executing media events, working with spokespeople and celebrity talent, negotiating and maximizing sponsorships and has deep experience with the changing media landscape, including how to best leverage digital marketing and social media for maximum results.
Lauren most recently served as Vice President and General Manager, Los Angeles for Coyne PR where she oversaw consumer lifestyle clients including Outrigger Resorts, thinkThin, My Fit Foods and Hard Rock Cafe. Prior to that she served as Senior Vice President at Zeno Group, part of the Daniel J. Edelman Inc., where she led the West Coast consumer marketing team and oversaw national and global clients including Coca-Cola, Pinkberry, Sears, Kmart, Plum District, and Union Bank, managing the financial institution’s sponsorship of the San Diego Chargers.
Previously, Lauren served as Vice President at Ogilvy Public Relations where she managed an integrated marketing campaign for the American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Make it Possible campaign including site development and content generation for the campaign’s website, media strategy, sponsorship negotiation, media training spokespeople and material development. Lauren also worked with the Mexico Tourism Board and Tourism New South Wales. As Director at PainePR, Lauren managed clients targeted at women and moms including Pampers, Dreft, and Luvs for Procter & Gamble, Ancestry.com, Johnny Rockets, Hoover vacuums, DirecTV, and Ivory Soap. She oversaw the launch of the Pampers/ UNICEF “One Pack = One Vaccine” featuring Salma Hayek in 2008, which was awarded a PRism “Best of Show” and was a PRWeek Award finalist.
Lauren began her career focusing primarily on travel and hospitality and food and restaurants, working with such companies as Contiki (in- house) and Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau (in-house), as well as clients including Boston Market, IHOP, PF Chang’s, Hyatt Hotels, IMAX, Nature Made, Viking River Cruises, Stratosphere Hotel & Casino and Madame Tussaud’s.