Our Team

Since 1984, Curley & Pynn – The Strategic Firm® – has provided public relations and marketing communications program management to corporate, government and nonprofit clients who recognize the need to communicate with all who have an interest in their success.

Our team contributes to phenomenal growth for clients throughout Florida and beyond, planning and executing award-winning strategies in a wide variety of industries, including professional services, power generation and distribution, technology, dining, economic development, hospitality and health care.

As the Central and North Florida affiliate of MSLGROUP, one of the world’s largest public relations firms, our Orlando-area firm offers clients access to a wealth of services and a worldwide network of offices staffed to meet their needs.


Dan Ward

Dan Ward, APR, CPRC
Dan enjoys finding creative solutions to client challenges and celebrating the successes of Curley & Pynn’s team of talented professionals. When he’s not crafting a message, developing a publicity strategy or managing an event, he can be found in his office creating a staff limerick challenge. A proud graduate of the University of Central Florida, Dan is chair-elect of UCF Alumni and is an adviser to the Nicholson School of Communication, 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, Florida Public Relations Association and Florida Research Consortium. 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 public relations professional with more than 15 years of in-house and agency public relations and news room experience. She is president of PRSA Orlando and has proudly served on boards dedicated to her profession and the arts throughout the community. Her favorite workout is chasing her toddler, Emma, with her husband, Dylan, in tow.

Escobar Kacie

Kacie Escobar, APR
Vice President
Kacie offers five years’ experience managing campaigns and special projects for clients in the economic development, government, technology and tourism industries. Passionate about leadership and professional development, she’s a proud board member for the FPRA Orlando Chapter, a graduate of the LeadershipFPRA Class II and serves as an advisor for Kappa Alpha Theta’s chapter at Stetson University.  Outside the office, you will most likely find Kacie traveling with her husband, Juan, or at home snuggling 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, she handles all the important business stuff and we’d be lost without her). Additionally, she often serves as the first point of contact for clients and associates. Connie is a native New Yorker and the proud mom of four children, Xzalia, Xamara, Xena and Luis.

Lytle Elizabeth

Elizabeth Lytle
Communications Strategist
Elizabeth (“Liz”) manages public relations and marketing strategies for a variety of clients in the hospitality, energy and technology industries. She’s 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.

Ellie Hodgkins

Ellie Hodgkins
Associate Communications Strategist
Ellie is a natural-born communicator with a background in marketing, event planning and business development. Outside the office, she loves attending live concerts, film bingeing, admiring the fine arts and traveling whenever possible. While Ellie loves working at Curley & Pynn, her most important roles are daughter, granddaughter, sister, aunt, fiancée and friend.

Sarah Kelliher
Communications Specialist
Sarah has a passion for storytelling and empowering others, and at the end of each day just wants to make the people in both her professional and personal life smile. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Central Florida, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Marketing with a minor in Journalism Studies. When Sarah isn’t at Curley & Pynn, she is either working out, live-tweeting every Green Bay Packers game or re-watching a Marvel movie she probably has already seen five times.

Rachel Ilardi
Communications Specialist
Rachel loves a good story, whether reading about it herself or communicating it to others. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Central Florida, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Writing & Rhetoric. When she isn’t at Curley & Pynn, she’s spending time with family, visiting Quotes, the PR Club at UCF, volunteering with her church or trying to ride the latest attraction at Central Florida’s theme parks.

Cynthia Moffett
Communications Specialist
A skilled relationship builder and loyal friend, Cynthia enjoys the challenge of a new adventure and is serious about producing quality work. She earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising and public relations from the University of Central Florida. Cynthia’s hobbies include exercising, scoping out Orlando’s best eats and sharing memes with her loved ones.

Diana Forero
Client Support Specialist
With experience in process improvement, data entry and analysis, Diana assists with generating reports and maintaining client databases to support the agency’s award-winning work. When she’s not at Curley & Pynn, you’ll find her spending time with her family (including her puppy, Bella), at the beach or watching Netflix (and trying to stop herself at just one episode!).

Andrea Cova
Client Support Specialist
Andrea graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Economics. She has an extensive background in research, data analysis, project management and planning. Outside of the office, you can find her exercising (at the gym or exercising her skills as a taco connoisseur), at the dog park or binge-watching true crime documentaries.

Our Philosophy: Five Steps to Professional Success

We approach every aspect of client service through our “Five Steps to Professional Success.” These core business principles distinguish us as The Strategic Firm®, guiding us to do the right thing thoughtfully, effectively and with precision.
  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.

We also subscribe to the Public Relations Society of America’s Code of Ethics and hold this code parallel with our philosophy, utilizing it to carry out responsibilities and overcome challenges.

Our History

We’ve been around the block. Here’s more about our history as Orlando’s first public relations firm

Joe Curley and Roger Pynn
The legacy began. Roger Pynn and Joe Curley recognized a need for a consulting firm that would provide strategic solutions to Florida businesses, and started with a little but simple pledge: Tell clients – based on our experience and the data available to us – what they need to hear, rather than what they want to hear.
Florida Cypress Gardens signs on as the firm’s first client. Relationships with accounting giant Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers), one of the state’s largest law firms Akerman, Senterfitt & Eidson (now Akerman LLP), and the Central Florida Blood Bank (now OneBlood) quickly followed.
Current University of Central Florida instructor, Joan McCain, was hired as the first employee. (Roger Pynn “facilitated” a first date for Joan with her future husband … but that’s another story.)
Curley & Pynn became the Central and North Florida affiliate of MSLGROUP, one of the world’s largest public relations firms, offering clients access to a wealth of services and a worldwide network.
Universal Studios Florida grand opening Orlando Sentinel
Curley & Pynn managed public relations for the grand opening of Universal Studios Florida, initiating a nearly 30-year relationship with Universal Orlando Resort.
PRSA Silver Anvil
The Public Relations Society of America awarded Curley & Pynn with the society’s highest honor, the Silver Anvil, for managing the Astronauts Memorial Foundation Dedication. Curley & Pynn was the first Florida public relations agency to receive this award.
Kidsuite Rendering
In an event welcoming nearly 60 travel journalists from around the globe – and their families – Curley & Pynn launched Holiday Inn KidSuites, a concept now adopted by many hotel companies.
Curley & Pynn helped UCF, USF and numerous partners launch the Florida High Tech Corridor Council as an economic development initiative to grow high tech industry and innovation through partnerships that support research, marketing, workforce and entrepreneurship. The agency has served as The Corridor’s public relations and marketing agency since its inception.
Curley & Pynn managed the debut of the Holiday Inn Family Suites Resort, later rebranded as the first Nickelodeon Family Suites Resort.
Roger Pynn was named to the inaugural class of the University of Central Florida Nicholson School of Communication Hall of Fame.
Co-Founder Joe Curley, APR, CPRC, retired and Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC, moved forward as president and CEO.
Curley & Pynn earned a registered trademark as The Strategic Firm® and launched its new website at www.TheStrategicFirm.com
Dan Ward, APR, CPRC, was named partner, taking on a minority ownership stake in Curley & Pynn. (Vice President Kim (Taylor) Stangle was named partner in 2008, before leaving the firm in 2016 and becoming “Mom.”)
Curley & Pynn launched its award-winning blog, Taking Aim, through which its team shared insights on the practice of targeted communications.
Roger Pynn receives Dillin Award
Co-Founder Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC, received the John W. Dillin Professional Award, the highest honor for an individual member of the Florida Public Relations Association that recognizes extraordinary contributions to the association and public relations industry overall.
BP Oil Spill
Curley & Pynn managed an award-winning crisis communications program for Visit South Walton in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, helping the beach destination achieve record-breaking visitation within a year.
The University of Central Florida Nicholson School of Communication inducted Dan Ward, APR, CPRC, into its Hall of Fame.
Roger Pynn became president of the statewide Florida Public Relations Association, America’s oldest professional society for public relations practitioners.
Dan and Roge Orlando Business Journal
Twenty-three-year veteran of the firm, Dan Ward, APR, CPRC, took the reins as president and Co-Founder Roger Pynn, APR, CPRC, transitioned into the role of senior counsel.