About Us

As economic conditions continually evolve, businesses require more than “what has worked before” plans and tactics. They need an experienced team of critical thinkers who focus not only on communications strategies, but also on the business operations from which they are rooted.

We ask, “Why?”

Our team approaches every opportunity with an analytical mindset. We seek first to understand and support operational actions that will result in more powerful and purposeful communications with your stakeholders.

We do our research.

Inspired by Howard Hill, a celebrated bow-and-arrow hunter, we want to deeply understand everything there is to know about your stakeholders and the environment in which they operate. Otherwise, we’re “just walking in the woods.”

We help you sleep.

As your essential strategic partner, we’re keenly focused on what keeps you awake at night and prioritize work that matters most to the success of your business and its bottom line.


Client Service Philosophy

Our approach to client service was borne from discussions with business leaders who defined effective public relations firms as those that manage the function – not those that need to be managed. As the foundation of our culture, the “Five Steps to Professional Success” empower our team to answer this call, serving as strategic partners, trusted advisers and guardians of your reputation.

Five Steps to Professional Success:

1) Focus on what keeps the client awake at night.
A critical element of effective strategy is maintaining a steady vigil, understanding the current market and preparing for the unexpected. We apply a single-minded approach to addressing issues that keep you from sleeping well.

2) Analyze the big picture, not just the snapshot.
Only by understanding the environment in which you operate can you take advantage of opportunities and minimize threats. We rely heavily on research to help you understand the impact of world forces and identify opportunities.

3) Bring our clients solutions, not problems.
Innovative solutions create success. We are committed to your success and strive to provide advice and counsel to clients who realize that dynamic communications programs have the power to build, maintain and protect an organization’s reputation.

4) Anticipate; don’t wait to be asked.
In today’s rapidly changing business environment, if you wait to be asked, you’re just standing still. We apply strategic anticipation to identify and maximize emerging opportunities for clients.

5) Accept total responsibility and be accountable for everything you do.
Corporate, social and personal accountability continue to gain in significance. We lead by example with this commitment and guide clients to maintain strategic community involvement programs, open stakeholder communications and transparency in all dealings.


Meet the Team

We are passionate about developing leaders who think strategically, value hustle, have each other’s backs and give back to their communities. Our team is serious about what we do and humble enough not to take ourselves too seriously. Among us, you’ll find a cinephile, a hot sauce connoisseur, a Green Bay Packers podcaster, a long-suffering Detroit Lions fan who refuses to listen to said podcast, a 25-time (and counting) 5K competitor – and more. Interested in working with us? Learn what it’s like to join our team.

Dan Ward

Dan Ward, APR, CPRC 
President
Dan enjoys finding creative solutions to client challenges and celebrating the successes of his team. A proud University of Central Florida alumnus, he is immediate past chair of UCF Alumni and an adviser to the Nicholson School of Communication & Media, which inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2011. He and his wife, Rae, enjoy correcting the grammar of their two children, Megan and Makenna.

 

Pynn Roger

Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC
Senior Counsel
Roger thrives on helping organizations communicate, build relationships and solve problems. He’s passionate about professional development, higher education and community service – evidenced by years of dedicated service to the University of Central Florida and the Florida Public Relations Association. On the weekends, you can find Roger boating or traveling with his beloved wife, Shelley, travel agent extraordinaire.

 

Keroes Heather

Heather Keroes, APR
Vice President
Heather is a seasoned professional with more than 15 years of in-house and agency public relations and newsroom experience. She has proudly served on boards dedicated to her profession and the arts, including service as president of the PRSA Orlando Chapter in 2019. Her favorite workout is chasing her daughter, Emma, with her husband, Dylan, in tow.

 

Escobar Kacie

Kacie Escobar, APR
Vice President
Kacie is a results-driven practitioner who enjoys the challenge of an audacious goal. Passionate about leadership and professional development, she’s president of the FPRA Orlando Chapter, a proud graduate of LeadershipFPRA and an MBA student at Rollins College. After hours, you can find Kacie traveling with her husband, Juan, or walking their dog, Jack.

 

Mercados Connie

Connie Mercado
Firm Administrator
Connie has been with Curley & Pynn since 2002 and works directly with the team to manage day-to-day operations, including accounts payable and receivable, monthly reporting and vendor contract coordination (in other words, “the important stuff”). Connie is a native New Yorker and the proud mom of four children: Xzalia, Xamara, Xena and Luis.

Lytle Elizabeth

Elizabeth Lytle
Communications Strategist
Liz manages public relations and marketing strategies for a variety of clients in the hospitality and technology industries, and is passionate about relationship building and storytelling. Liz proudly serves as Curley & Pynn’s resident foodie and always has an oversized bottle of Cholula at the ready.

Sarah Kelliher
Associate Communications Strategist
Sarah is passionate about storytelling and empowering others; she loves to make people smile. When the University of Central Florida graduate isn’t at Curley & Pynn, she is either working out, live tweeting a Green Bay Packers game or re-watching a Marvel movie.

Rachel Ilardi
Communications Specialist
Rachel loves a good story, whether reading one or communicating one to others. The University of Central Florida alumna enjoys mentoring students in her role as vice president of student outreach for the FPRA Orlando Area Chapter. After hours, she enjoys spending time with family, volunteering at church or visiting the local theme parks.

Danielle Benghiat
Communications Specialist
Danielle is keenly aware of the power of writing and believes the best connections often come from effective communication. Outside of work, you can find her spending time with loved ones, binge-watching television shows (or writing her own), heading to Disney or blowing off steam at the gym.


Accolades

Since 1984, we have been privileged to work with many industry-leading brands. Through the years, this work has been recognized with countless awards, including the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Silver Anvil – which designates the nation’s best strategic and influential public relations campaigns – and the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) Dick Pope All-Florida Golden Image Award – which honors the state’s top public relations program. We have also been recognized among the PR NEWS Agency Elite Top 100 and by Expertise.com as a “Top Orlando PR Agency.”