Expanding Your Brand

October 27, 2017
Hosted by Merritt Hamilton Allen and Gary Potterfield

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Episode Description

Growth is great, right? Sometimes, companies grow right past the products and services they started out with. And then it's hard to explain what exactly your company does. Award winning CEO Maria Proestou of DELTA Resources will share how DELTA grew its brand from financial management to program and project management and IT.

The Brand Ambassadors

The Brand Ambassadors

Friday at 6 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Business Channel

PR and communication have bad raps as being frivolous ways for businesses to burn overhead dollars. The Brand Ambassadors will show listeners the best way to incorporate PR into their operations, whether a startup or a Fortune 500 firm.

Host Merritt Hamilton Allen is an economist by training and a PR executive by accident. She will give listeners expert advice on focusing their PR energy and money. She will be joined by co-host Gary Potterfield, who is an expert in integrating business goals into compelling creative campaigns.

Every firm has a compelling narrative that sets them apart from the crowd. Everyone, whether an intern or the CEO, can advance their career and their business by blending their own background into their firm’s narrative through strategic storytelling. The Brand Ambassadors is broadcast live every Friday at 6 AM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel.

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Merritt Hamilton Allen and Gary Potterfield

Merritt Hamilton Allen and Gary Potterfield

Merritt Hamilton Allen believes that every employee in every business can help promote that business. Merritt has leveraged unique stories and perspectives to persuade and inform those around her. She turned this personal brand into the company Vox Optima in 2005, and has since been awarded over $25 million in PR contracts. Vox Optima’s public relations clients include multi-billion-dollar organizations, start-ups, and everyone in between.

Merritt grew up in Silver City, New Mexico, where she got her first job in radio at age 13. She attended the University of Notre Dame on NROTC and National Merit scholarships. After graduation she served as a Navy public affairs officer for eight years, and led the Navy’s communication strategy for environmental, personnel, medical, and acquisition issues. Merritt is a disabled veteran.

Vox Optima closed its first year with a $1 million task order from the U.S. Navy. Vox Optima currently has 15 employees, offices in Albuquerque and the DC Metro area and its client roster includes NATO, the U.S. Navy, the Department of Defense, the Department of State, BAE Systems, the Census Bureau and several national trade associations

Merritt was honored as a Woman of Influence by NM Business Weekly in 2012. She was named the top-performing media and marketing CEO in New Mexico in 2013 by Albuquerque Business First. Vox Optima has been listed in the top five PR firms by revenue in the state for the last four years.

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Episode Directory

November 2017

October 2017

Jeff Bender


Jeff Bender is a retired Navy Captain Public Affairs Officer. He has had a wide range of assignments to include deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, an aircraft carrier PAO and the public affairs officer for the Navy SEALS to name a few. While stationed in Nebraska, Jeff started exploring the craft beer world. So much so that when he retired from the military in 2013, he went on to work at the largest Craft Brewery in Nebraska, the Nebraska Brewing. Every chance he gets, he visits a new craft brewery to sample the latest. His favorite beers include Hefeweizen, IPAs and various wheat beers but don’t count him out on a good pumpkin ale. Guest Jeff Bender

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Bob Lenz


Growing up in the Chicago area, Bob began drawing & painting while in high school at Arlington Heights Illinois. He occupied his free time on weekends & summers by entering local & storefront art shows. This lead to studying Fine Art at the University of Illinois. He left Illinois after graduation in 1961 to start a job as an assistant art director at one of the largest ad agencies in New York City, McCann Erickson. At McCann he climbed the typical ladder of success & by 1977 he was Creative Director of the New York Office. There he created the hugely successful campaigns for Miller High Life and Miller Lite. In 1979 Bob and four others left McCann Erickson to set up a new agency, Backer & Spielvogel. Starting in a hotel suite, Backer & Spielvogel eventually took up 6 floors in the Chrysler Building. Eventually Bob picked up the paintbrush again. Showing, painting, printing and teaching, Bob has established himself as a widely respected representational artist in both CT and NY. Guest Bob Lenz

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Bill McDaniel


Bill McDaniel is a physician and retired Navy rear admiral. In 2001, McDaniel served as Johns Hopkins University's liaison to the federal government after the September 11th attacks. McDaniel was a contestant on Season 2 of the U.S. reality TV Series, The Mole, which aired in the U.S. from 2001-02. In 2005, McDaniel led Naval Hospital Ship USNS Mercy in its tsunami relief efforts in Indonesia, where he worked in Banda Aceh and Nias Island. He also was part of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. He currently serves on the Patriot Support Advisory Board of the Behavioral Health Division of Universal Health Services. Guest Bill McDaniel

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Tim O'Leary


Tim O'Leary is the Director, Crisis Communciation for Witt-O'Brien. Tim regularly provides counsel to clients regarding sensitive and emergent business issues and serves as a client spokesperson. Tim also conducts media and public engagement training and serves as the PublicInformation Officer (PIO) on Incident Management Teams. He served as a PIO at the Mobile, Alabama Incident Command Post during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill response and was the PIO during recovery efforts of the Egypt Air flight 990 crash off the coast of Rhode Island in 1999. Tim provides media relations services to the energy and vessel management industries. Tim has engaged with local, national and international news media throughout his career, developing communications strategies to align with client goals. Guest Tim O'Leary

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Maria Proestou


Maria Proestou is the President and Chief Executive Officer of DELTA, which she co-founded in 2000. In addition to guiding the company’s growth and development, Proestou oversees quality control and serves as an expert on the Navy’s strategic planning, budgeting, and program management. She is one of only a few financial contractors qualified to work alongside the Lean/ Six Sigma experts to implement the NAVSEA Lean/Six Sigma practices. Proestou is a frequent speaker on issues related to defense contracting and the workplace. Guest Maria Proestou

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