Impact PR & Communications’ Founder Filomena Fanelli is something of a publicity hound—particularly when it comes to getting the best media exposure for her clients.
She excels at what excites her, and that’s exploring the details of each client’s business to find the best, most unusual vein to mine for publicity. She loves storytelling and delves eagerly into company culture and context to determine what’s new or makes a client unique among competitors. Then she finds a fresh way to make it stand out in the overwhelming clutter of the media scene. Clients say she simply “gets it.”
Filomena got her start 20-plus years ago at Rubenstein Associates, where she quickly rose through the ranks to become a vice president. Recognized as a top publicist, she worked on some of the firm’s major real estate and financial accounts, representing Belz Enterprises, Commerce Bank, Faith Hope Consolo (at both Garrick-Aug Associates and Douglas Elliman), Grubb & Ellis, Lansco Corporation, Studley and others.
Today, she channels that energy to lead her own agency and help a diverse array of clients plot memorable events, secure speaking engagements, land leadership articles, craft sharp website content, engage in meaningful ways on social media and, of course, get their names in the news.
Being an entrepreneur is something of a family tradition, according to Filomena, who was named an ATHENA Leadership Awards Program honoree in 2018 and graced the cover of Hudson Valley Magazine’s Women in Business issue that same year. A past “Forty Under 40” recipient, she says she gets her business acumen from her late father, who founded a delivery service company, but the gift of being able to listen and problem-solve comes from her mother, a social worker. Her parents also gave her a love of the fresh air and green of the Hudson Valley, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.
Filomena is an involved member of the community and enjoys volunteering with Hudson Valley nonprofit organizations and national professional associations alike. She serves on the executive committee of the Public Relations Society of America’s Counselors Academy, the board of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce and the advisory board of the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation. Previously, she sat on the board of the Women’s Leadership Alliance and Hudson River Housing, and has served on committees for Family Services, The Arc of Dutchess, the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum and Special Olympics New York. Filomena was also a founding committee member of HDSA Team Hope Walk – Hudson Valley, a community advisor for The Daily Voice and hosted HVNN.com’s news show, “Business Newsmakers.” Filomena has presented for the Public Relations Society of America and the 92nd Street Y, among other venues, and is a frequent guest lecturer at Marist College, where she previously has taught public relations writing as an adjunct professor.
Executive Vice President
With 20 years of public relations experience, Kate brings a creative and fresh approach to her role at Impact PR & Communications. She is a trusted resource for media, her clients and colleagues, and her thoughtful and results-driven approach to the job are her hallmarks.
Prior to joining the Impact team, Kate worked at Quinn and held senior management positions at Mower and Carolyn Izzo Integrated Communications. A specialist in the lifestyle public relations space, Kate has driven the PR campaigns for Coney Island Brewing Company, Rosewood Bermuda, Capella Hotels & Resorts, The Roundhouse Beacon and more, garnering award-winning results including Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Adrian Awards in Bronze, Silver and Gold, and a Media Relations Award from PR Daily. She has an affinity for grand openings, product and service launches and re-positionings, and has spearheaded external communications campaigns for major brands across the globe in the food and beverage, travel and hospitality space.
Kate has served as a judge for the HSMAI Adrian Awards, and lends her time to her local schools and Meals on Wheels of Ridgefield. An avid photographer, voracious reader and involved community member, Kate was born and raised in the Hudson Valley. She now resides in Connecticut with her husband, two daughters and rescue pup, Charlie..
Associate Vice President
Kristin Delia, a long-time Dutchess County resident with deep Hudson Valley roots and a passion for the region’s unique culture and history, is at home as an associate vice president at Impact PR & Communications. Clients benefit from her industry acumen, social media savvy, and zeal for the profession, which she puts to work to contribute fresh creative ideas, craft and execute strategic campaigns, and secure top-tier media placements on their behalf.
Before joining the Impact team, Kristin was on the fast-track at Carolyn Izzo Integrated Communications, a Rockland County-based agency, where her knack for the PR business brought her from an intern to account coordinator to account executive. She spent those years managing events and conducting client communications and media outreach for a variety of well-known brands, including Coney Island Brewing Co.; The Roundhouse in Beacon, New York; Mexico Grand Hotels in Los Cabos, Mexico and Opal Apples, among other food and beverage, tourism and hospitality, and lifestyle clients.
Her passion for travel has led her across the world, inspiring her to spend her student years interning at a 5-star hotel in Lake Como, Italy, and, following graduating magna cum laude from Niagara University’s College of Hospitality & Tourism, working front-of-house at a luxury hotel in Westchester County. Combining her hospitality prowess with her love of storytelling and media made for a natural transition and, as they say, the rest is history.
Senior Account Executive
A news fiend and voracious reader, Cheryl relishes the strategy and planning involved in PR. Determining how a client’s story weaves into the news cycle, looking for unusual or compelling angles and helping clients stand out among their competitors are some of her strengths. As a senior account executive with the Impact team, she manages and services accounts, including real estate and construction, non-profit, finance and banking.
Raised in New York and now residing in northern New Jersey, Cheryl earned a master’s degree in public relations and marketing from Boston University and a master’s degree in education from New York University before taking time off to be a stay-at-home mom for her two sons. She resumed her career as a public relations consultant in 2008 and joined the Impact team in 2014. Cheryl is involved with Action to Cure Kidney Cancer and likes to run, hike and indulge her inner bookworm in her spare time.
Senior Account Executive
Kira Leasure brings a little bit of the Florida sunshine to the Hudson Valley as a senior account executive at Impact PR & Communications. On top of her bubbly personality, clients are sure to love her superior writing skills, digital strategy chops, and ability to strike up a conversation with anyone and everyone.
Before joining the team, Kira worked her way through the ranks at BowStern Marketing Communications, a top integrated marketing agency, in Tallahassee, FL. During her time there, she worked with a plethora of clients across the real estate, financial, hospitality and tourism industries. From content writing to forming sound marketing strategies, her clients always benefit from her diverse range of skills, and extroverted personality, to get things done. Prior to getting started in the industry, Kira received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Florida State University – go Noles!
Born and raised in Tallahassee, FL, Kira has a strong love for her community and funnels this through attending local events, being involved with her local Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) chapter and frequently shopping local. When she’s not writing away, you’ll most likely find her cooking for her friends and family, out on the town with her boyfriend or hopping on a plane to her next adventure.
Alli Long got her start at Impact PR & Communications as an intern, where her passion for storytelling and penchant for creativity contributed to a wide variety of client accounts. As the company’s longest-running intern, Alli spent nearly two years with the firm, learning the PR profession from some of the best in the business. She now rejoins the Impact team as an account executive.
As a Marist College graduate, Alli spent four years living in the Hudson Valley and experiencing all the wonderful things it has to offer. Upon graduating summa cum laude from Marist, Alli continued her education at Monmouth University, where she completed her master’s degree in English & Creative Writing and studied the impacts of powerful storytelling. After two years spent honing her craft, Alli has enriched her natural instincts for a good story and pitching, as well as her sharp writing and editing skills. Her ability to adapt her strong voice to fit a multitude of clients and platforms makes her an ideal communicator to have in your corner.
Before rejoining the team at Impact, Alli interned for Bayer Pharmaceuticals as a media relations intern, where she worked to secure top-tier media placements, write articles, and manage blog posts for several different business units. She also interned for Johnson & Johnson Consumer Health in the role of Global Employee Communications Intern, where she was responsible for researching, writing, and curating internal news articles for the company’s intranet. Her experience in global corporate settings has given her a keen sense of what makes for attention-grabbing communications with long-lasting impressions.
In her free time, Alli loves to spend time with her friends and family, go for morning jogs, and travel whenever she can.
Michelle joined Impact PR & Communications in 2016 after spending 16 years at IBM in the human resources department, where she liaised with and advocated for consultants making their way through IBM’s extensive consultant certification program. She also led implementation and training efforts related to business software.
An integral member of the Impact team, Michelle’s impressive interpersonal skills and technical savvy, along with her attention to detail and follow-up, make her an essential support person for her colleagues and Impact’s clients. From issuing press releases and tracking placements, to following up with clients and coordinating reports, Michelle enjoys the fast pace of the public relations world.
Born in the Bronx and raised in Westchester County, Michelle has been a Dutchess County resident for 18 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Pace University and serves on the East Hudson Women’s Soccer board and the Friends of Grinnell board in Wappingers.
Michelle lives in the Town of Poughkeepsie with her husband and three children. In her off hours, she enjoys running, playing soccer, keeping fit at the gym, reading and spending time with her family and friends.
An ability to move people to action and evoke emotion is at the center of what Sheila Bogan does as a consultant for Impact PR & Communications. With sharp writing skills and social media savvy, Sheila holds a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies, Journalism and Digital Arts from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont. Those, combined with her on-point project management skills, creativity and ability to create community connections, are what make her an invaluable asset to the team and client partners.
As a full-time community development manager at the American Cancer Society (ACS), Sheila manages one of the nation’s largest Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks in Westchester, NY — an event that brings together more than 20,000 people at Manhattanville College each fall. Since 2015, her diverse portfolio of events have raised more than $1 million for the not-for-profit.
Sheila’s interest and involvement in the community mesh well with what Impact stands for. She is a Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce Forty Under 40 recipient, Leadership Dutchess Class of 2019 graduate and co-chair for the Hudson Valley Young Professionals. In her spare time, Sheila, a Hudson Valley native and Dutchess County resident who enjoys spending time with her family, friends and cat named Shadow, volunteers for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and can be found raising a hand, and lending one, to various causes near and dear to her heart.