Ron Sylvester – Résumé

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Work Experience

Principal, Ronald C. Sylvester Communications | Public Relations, Columbus, OH (January 2011 – Present)

  • Built and managed a public relations/communications consultancy
  • Worked with for-profit and not-for-profit organizations on media relations, brand management, lobbying the Ohio General Assembly, website development, social media and content creation including the use of video
  • Managed client relationships through either long-term retainer relationships or on a project by project basis
  • Select clients include Ohio Farmers Union, Public Performance Partners, Crosspoint Human Services, Broad & High Partners and the Bexley Women’s Club
  • Services provided to clients include corporate communications planning, earned media planning and management, content creation, website development and maintenance, grant writing, lobbying, direct mail, social media management and presentation development

Director of Communications & External Relations, Ohio Department of Administrative Services Columbus, OH (February 2007 – January 2011)

  • Managed a staff of two government relations specialists and five communications professionals
  • Directly supported DAS Director on communications and intergovernmental relations
  • Planned and directed the consolidation of state employee benefits communications into DAS central office with an increase in quality of publications and a decrease in cost to the state
  • Managed internal and external crisis communications during state of Ohio’s largest data breach in 2007
  • Conceptualized and implemented the combination of communications and legislative personnel into an external relations model which lead to the more efficient use of personnel in support of the DAS mission
  • Sponsored Enterprise Employee Portal project to consolidate the delivery of human resources services and enterprise communication to a workforce of 58,000 spread across the state of Ohio
  • Led project to revamp DAS website including creating a governance model for greater business unit participation in Web communication
  • Led project on behalf of the Office of the Governor to establish social media guidelines for state agencies
  • Evangelized a consultant mind-set for staff and a focus on helping customers solve problems through better communication, marketing and relationship management
  • Maintained close relations with the Statehouse media resulting in favorable or fair coverage of DAS
  • Served as the DAS spokesperson in print, radio and TV
  • Writer of DAS Director’s major public addresses and Ohio General Assembly testimony


Change Agent, Crosspoint Human Services, Danville, IL (2005 – February 2007)

  • Worked to establish strategic partnership between two Central Illinois human services agencies
  • Served as communication and marketing director for agency serving the mentally ill and developmentally disabled
  • Spent one year guiding Prairie Center Board of Directors through strategic planning process
  • Led multi-disciplinary team to create treatment opportunities for the dually-diagnosed (Addiction/MI)
  • Provided marketing assistance to New Holland Apartments, an historic renovation which created 46 LEED Certified affordable housing units in downtown Danville
  • Worked with team to write successful grant and award applications for New Holland Project


Director of External Relations, ISS, Inc., Champaign, IL (October 2001 – 2004)

  • Directed Sales and Marketing activities for NIRS tissue spectrometer
  • Assisted president of company in managing NIRS product segment
  • Wrote and edited press releases, media fact sheets, and some technical documentation
  • Worked extensively with outside graphic artists in production of print and Web-based marketing material
  • Managed ISO 9001 Quality Management implementation project with consultant
  • Developed and presented PowerPoint presentations on new technology in U.S. and abroad in private and academic settings
  • Worked with team to write successful National Institutes of Health grants and renewals

District Sales Representative, Gordon Food Service, Champaign-Urbana, IL (1996 – August 2001)

  • Gained business experience through representation of a broadline distributor of food services and supplies
  • Attained weekly sales of $80,000 per week from beginning base of $20,000
  • Managed accounts receivables for my customer base
  • Increased margin and average order size on my sales route
  • Developed effective time and territory management skills

Communications Director, Ted Strickland for Congress, Portsmouth, OH   (1996)

  • Planned/executed earned media strategy for challenger in a hotly contested race
  • Published bi-weekly newsletter, The Strickland Volunteer
  • Wrote press releases, speeches, and op-eds
  • Devised events with field coordinator and friends of campaign
  • Developed theme and messages with Strickland and campaign organization
  • Served as candidate’s spokesperson

Press Secretary, Congressman Vic Fazio, CA-03, Washington, D.C.   (1995)

  • Worked successfully with district media to bring attention to his agenda and actions on behalf of No. CA
  • Served as Fazio’s spokesperson with California and district media
  • Wrote press releases, letters to the editor, edited op-eds from legislative staff
  • Gained experience working with TV news personnel in the Sacramento market
  • Prepared Fazio for national TV appearances

Press Secretary, Congressman Ted Strickland, OH-06, Washington, D.C.   (1993-1995)

  • Worked successfully with district, Ohio, and national media bringing attention to his work on specific issues; as a   freshman, he was the subject of a series of articles by the Washington Post and a radio series on NPR
  • Served as Strickland’s spokesperson
  • Researched and wrote press releases, speeches, floor statements, op-ed pieces
  • Produced bi-weekly cable-tv show, periodic radio shows, actualities
  • Communicated frequently with 6th District’s publishers and editorial writers; Congressman received seven of eight endorsements from district newspapers
  • Carried out duties as Strickland’s legislative assistant for energy issues

Staff Writer, Athens Messenger, Athens, OH  (1992-1993)

  • Covered politics and government for the Messenger, a daily newspaper

United States Navy, U.S.S. Raleigh LPD-1 (1987-1989)

  • Selected for Navy Sea College Program
  • Served during two of Raleigh’s deployments to the Persian Gulf


Ohio University, Athens, OH, Bachelor of Science in Journalism  (1993)


  • Major: Journalism (News Writing and Editing)
  • Concentration: Political Science