Debra Silimeo, Executive Vice President, Hager Sharp


[email protected]

Industry Experience:

  • Public relations, communications consulting, branding
  • Public policy, civic advocacy/government relations
  • Government agency (Small Business Administration, US Commerce Department)
  • Government contracting
  • Professional /civic organizations

Functional Experience:

  • Executive Vice President, national public relations and communications strategy firm, with $12million per year in revenue and 45+ employees
  • Associate Administrator, federal agency responsible for financial and technical assistance for the nation’s small businesses, with a central office staff of 25 and a field staff in 70 offices nationwide
  • Deputy Communications Director, US Commerce Department, coordinating communications for Commerce’s wide range of service including trade, e-commerce, the Census, NOAA, economic development, economic statistics

Key Business Transactional Experience:

  • Change in company ownership structure: helped lead conversion of $9 million dollar public relations firm from single owner to Employee Stock Ownership Plan while maintaining the best of the existing corporate culture and growing the business.
  • Re-branding of government agency and reorganization of the communications process: designed and implemented major shift in control of communications function from individual program office to centralized office, accompanied by new brand identifiers, messaging, and brand implementation throughout the agency and its 70 field offices.

What is the most important skill you bring to a corporate board?
Public relations and communications skills, supported by significant experience in the public policy arena and as a journalist, along with an ability to see the “big picture” with good “political antennae.”