Who We Are
JO TRIZILA – Partner
Jo Trizila is a multi-talented, high-caliber public/media relations and marketing pro, with over 20 years of experience building and leading integrated marketing and strategic public relations operations for companies. She has an in-depth background in directing marketing, promotions, media and public relations programs for major Fortune 500 corporations, small to mid-size companies and not-for-profits. She is experienced in conceptualizing, creating and implementing innovative promotional and marketing events. Additionally, she has held highly visible, leadership positions and has earned a reputation for continually making a positive bottom-line difference while fostering excellent relations and maintaining a high profile in business.
Jo is consistently successful in reengineering overall operations to minimize and maintain costs and increase profitability and exposure. She is experienced with developing and leading business opportunities and marketing strategies to maximize growth and increase revenue.
Jo has held high-visibility public relations positions as the direct liaison to clients, community leaders, elected officials and other businesses with experience in developing and maintaining an exemplary network of business and media contacts as a result of her strong communication skills.
Prior to Triz Com, Inc. Jo was the senior director of media relations for the Dallas Regional Chamber for four and a half years. Previously she was the director of marketing and publications for the Irving Arts Center.
She holds a bachelor of fine arts in theatre performance from the University of Texas at Arlington and has completed post graduate work at Wayne State University and the University of Dallas.
Her nonprofit activates are numerous and include Taste of the NFL: The Ultimate Dallas Cowboys Tailgate Party, On-Line/Silent Auction Chair (2006), Big Brothers Big Sisters, Big Sister (1999 – 2004), Big Brothers Big Sisters, Gala Chair (75th Anniversary – 2003 & 2004), The Freedom Run, Founding Member & Executive Committee (November 2001-2004), Dallas Theatre League, President (1999-2002), Irving Chamber of Commerce & Four Season’s Resort & Hotel Golf Tournament Chair (October 2000), Leon Rabin Awards, Chair (1998) and served on the Dallas/Fort Worth Area Tourism Council, Media Committee (1998- 2004). Jo is the recipient of the YWCA Woman of Achievement 2000 Technology and Communications Award (2000) and was selected for Texas Woman Magazine Woman of the Month (April 1999 issue). She is a Leadership Irving, graduate (1999-2000) and served as its Vice President (2000-2001).
A 40 under 40 award recipient in 2003, Karen Carrera APR, has counseled senior executives on strategic communications and branding issues for more than 20 years. Her expertise spans across healthcare, construction and design, education, energy, finance and insurance, and government and utilities. And she has trained hundreds of corporate spokespeople on how to navigate their way through a media interview or deliver an industry speech.
Karen’s acumen for developing and successfully executing integrated strategies has helped launch many new brands and brand initiatives including Anheuser Busch’s We all Make a Difference campaign, several hospital brand evolutions, new hospital institutes and clinics, and an architecture firm’s national brand. Most recently Karen led a brand evolution at Medical City that helped reshape and redefine its identity as well as guide a complex website overhaul—she launched a redesigned, reprogrammed site with entirely new content in six months.
In addition to branding, Karen’s counsel in crisis communications has helped organizations manage or avoid large-scale crisis events. For example, she has worked with large, urban hospitals across the country on malpractice or patient privacy lawsuits. She helped Turner Construction develop their international crisis planning process. And she led communication strategy and emerging issues in FedEx’s war room during 911.
A former NBC- and NPR-affiliate reporter, anchor and producer, she has a bachelor’s of journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, one of the world’s most recognized journalism schools. She has published articles in business journals, and has delivered key-note, panel and workshop speeches at many conferences. Karen sits on the board of the Texas Trees Foundation.
LISA TAYLOR – Account Executive
Lisa Taylor, account executive, is a former arts and entertainment writer for The Dallas Times Herald newspaper who now serves as an arts consultant as well as a creative writing teacher for after school programs at elementary schools.
KRISTA SIMMONS – Account Executive
Account Executive Krista Simmons has more than a decade of professional experience in the communications industry. She is an award-winning writer, editor and PR specialist, who has held a variety of communications positions, including director of public relations for Burk Advertising & Marketing, senior writer for Texas Wesleyan University, marketing and education manager for Plano Symphony Orchestra and executive editor for the “Fort Worth Business Press,” to name a few. In addition, she has served as a contributing writer for a number of print publications and sits on the board of directors for Score A Goal In The Classroom School Incentive Program, a nonprofit organization that supports K-12 students and educators in North Texas. She has experience in a wide range of industries, including education, aerospace and defense, professional services, HVAC, hospitality, fine arts, advertising and marketing, media, publishing, manufacturing, retail, not-for-profit and high tech.
STEFANIE LEE – Assistant Account Executive
Stefanie Lee, Assistant Account Executive for TrizCom, graduated from Texas Tech University with a B.B.A in Marketing. Ms. Lee brings a wealth of experience to benefit our clients and uses her skills to successfully communicate and manage important client information. Stefanie’s excellent organizational and administrative talents ensure the success of our projects. She has substantial experience in the Communications industry and has worked with a variety of organizations including those in professional services, healthcare, financial services, technology, and retail.
SUSAN BUCHANAN – Writer
Susan Buchanan is a New Orleans-based business writer, specializing in the economy, the environment, agriculture, precious metals, energy and shipping. She writes press releases for TrizCom and articles for The Louisiana Weekly newspaper, and is a blogger for The Huffington Post. Formerly, Susan was a commodities reporter at Dow Jones Newswires in New York.
PAUL RAFFERTY – Writer
Paul Rafferty is a longtime freelance writer and a former newspaper reporter and editor. His public relations experience includes management of two major public relations firms in the Dallas area. He writes for a variety of TrizCom clients.
ALLISON PLESS – Editor & Writer
Allison Pless, editorial assistant, has more than 20 years of writing, proofing and editing experience, including serving as managing editor of a community newspaper (both in print and online) and as a technical writer and project manager for a large non-profit. In the past she has volunteered her time writing and publishing state-wide and national newsletters for a women’s organization. She currently edits items for her church every week. Originally born in San Antonio (she is a 6th-generation Texan and proud of it), Allison has lived in Dallas for most of her life. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Not surprisingly, one of her favorite hobbies is reading.
JO SCHELLENBERG – Clip Reporter & Social Media
Jo Schellenberg has been with the TrizCom team for over three years. Her responsibilities include compiling clip reports for all of TrizCom’s clients as well as tagging each press release for additional social media exposure. In her free time, she is a mom, wife, actor and all around great gal.