akhia communications announces leadership appointments, promotions

HUDSON, Ohio—July 23, 2018 – On the heels of releasing its new brand and focus on holistic business communication strategy, akhia communications has announced key leadership appointments and agency promotions as part of its ongoing growth strategy.
Ben Brugler, who stepped in as CEO and president of akhia communications earlier this year, views the creation of the COO role filled by Angela Bachman and the vice president, client services role filled by April Wonsick to be the keys to elevating both internal and external operations for the agency’s employees and clients.
"By creating the role of COO and vice president of client services we are reinforcing two of our most critical objectives – client experience and operational efficiency. They go together in a way that will deliver on our mission to service and our vision to be an organization’s most valued resource,” said Brugler. “Angela and April have a combined 17 years of experience at akhia communications and nearly 30 years in the industry overall. They know us, they know our clients and they know our industry. They are going to combine this knowledge with their passion for client service and help lead us into the next era of akhia communications." 
Angela Bachman most recently served as vice president, client operations and general manager prior to that. She has more than 15 years of agency experience, 10 of which have been with akhia. As COO, Bachman will be the second in command under Brugler and will oversee the overall financial health of the organization, evaluating performance and efficiencies through analytical reporting and ensuring the work provided to clients is of the highest standards. She is a graduate of Kent State University and resides in Twinsburg, Ohio.
April Wonsick has been with akhia for seven years and has 15 total years of agency experience. She previously held the roles of director, account service and account director for akhia.
As vice president, client services, Wonsick will be focused on ensuring complete client satisfaction from agency products to upholding the agency’s service model, as well as new business development. She is a graduate of Ohio University and resides in Macedonia, Ohio.
In addition to executive appointments, akhia communications recently announced additional promotions across the agency, including the appointment of three associate directors.
“Our strength comes from the passion of our employees,” Brugler said. “We have such a talented and committed team of professionals who truly make an impact on our clients’ businesses every day. These promotions are well deserved and will have a positive impact on our business and clients for years to come.”
Associate Director Promotions:
Celeste Conklin has been promoted to associate director, client services for akhia. In her new role, Conklin will have an increased focus on overall client satisfaction, continued support of new business efforts and expanded oversight into professional development and mentoring of the client services team. She has 16 years of communications experience in agency, corporate and nonprofit environments. She is a graduate of Mount Union University and originally hails from Niles, Ohio. She is a current resident of Broadview Heights.
Kelly McGrath has been promoted to associate director, operations. In this role, McGrath will maintain her current account director responsibilities for several accounts while also focusing on new employee onboarding, account profitability and client onboarding. She has nearly 20 years of experience in both agency and corporate environments and has been with akhia for eight years. McGrath is a graduate of Walsh University and earned her MBA at Ashland University. She originates from New Castle, Pa., and currently resides in Stow.
Jason Smith has been promoted to associate creative director. Previously senior art director, Smith has been with akhia for four years and has more than 14 years of agency experience. In his new role, Smith will focus on quality control, mentoring and elevating the creative product for akhia’s clients. He is a graduate of Kent State University and resides in Akron.
Client Services Department Promotions:
Olivia Tormento has been promoted to account director. She has 10 years of agency experience, eight of which have been with akhia. As account director, Tormento will focus on growing her portfolio of accounts, building client relationships, deepening her knowledge of the clients’ industries and helping to elevate the work to exceed expectations. She is a graduate of Kent State University and resides in North Royalton.
Bridget Hagan has been promoted to Media Relations Manager where she will be focused on high-level media relations strategy, expanded relationships with key media targets and influencers, and strengthening akhia’s media relations offering to clients. Hagan has been with akhia two years, holding the position of senior media relations specialist and has nine years of experience overall. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Kasey Bertolino has been promoted to account manager with a focus on agency operations. Previously senior account executive for akhia, Bertolino will maintain client services responsibilities, as well as work with agency leadership on internal agency initiatives, including new business support and process improvement. Bertolino has 12 years of agency experience and has been with akhia since 2012. She is a graduate of Kent State University and resides in Stow.
Jodee Juarez has been promoted to account manager. In her new role, Juarez will be taking on more responsibility for account growth and profitability, planning and strategic development, and client relationship management. With eight years of agency experience, she is a graduate of Marshall University and received a Master of Arts, Public Relations, from Kent State University. Juarez resides in Cuyahoga Falls.
Creative Department Promotion:
Brian Willoughby has been promoted to art director. Previously associate art director, Willoughby has worked at akhia for five years and specializes in both graphic design and video production. In his new role, he will take on additional responsibilities with clients and ensure creative quality. He is a graduate of The University of Akron and currently resides in Akron.
Optimization Department Promotion:
Bill Delaney has been promoted to senior content architect. Delaney has been with akhia for five years and held positions as a reporter and editor prior to that. In his new role, he will continue to build strong relationships with client subject-matter experts, create compelling content and assist in the creation of holistic content strategies for akhia’s clients. Delaney is a graduate of Ohio University and currently resides in Lakewood.
Operations Department Promotion:
Kelsey Ellashek has been promoted from human resources coordinator to human resources generalist. Ellashek joined akhia in 2015 and is a Society for Human Resources Management-certified professional. In her new role, Ellashek will take on increasing responsibilities related to employee relations, recruitment and benefits. She is a graduate of Kent State University and resides in Macedonia.
about akhia communications
Founded in 1996, akhia communications is an integrated communications firm that distinguishes itself by focusing on a company’s business objectives and providing strategic solutions, including marketing, sales lead generation, public relations, social media and reputation management. akhia is located in Hudson, Ohio. The organization was founded on a philosophy of message integrity and best-in-class account service. Today, that philosophy remains in the form of the agency’s dedication to strategic execution for its clients spanning a wide range of industries in the business-to-business, service and consumer sectors.