History. Forward Motion. Persistence. Opportunity. Empathy. Courage.
Our heritage and values tell our story, but if we had to describe Franco in one word, it would be TEAM. Our people are what make us great. As our team grows and evolves, our story keeps getting better.
Vice Chairman and Treasurer of the Detroit Regional Chamber Board of Directors, member of its Executive Committee, Chairman of its joint Audit / Finance Committee, and member of the Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation Board;
Past Chairman of the Board of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce (2010)and Inaugural Chairman of its Energy, Telecommunications & Technology Committee; Michigan Chamber PAC Board and Nominating Committee member
Salvation Army Metro Advisory Board member including Chairman of its Development Committee, participation on the Salvation Army’s Strategic Planning and Nominating Committees; Advisory Council member of the Southeast Michigan Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers
Past Chairman (2004 – 2008) of Crime Stoppers of Michigan – current Executive and Nominating Committee member
U.S. Army Southeast Michigan Advisory Council member (TACOM LCMC)
Past Vice Chairman (2013 – 2015) of the St. John Providence Health System Board of Trustees including Audit Committee Chair
Detroit Athletic Club Audit Committee
Dan has been honored for his business and community leadership with many awards and recognitions, including the Community Leadership Award presented by Crime Stoppers of Michigan (2014); Corporate Hero Award presented by Michigan Youth Appreciation Foundation and Metro Youth Day (2015); and Michigan State University Executive MBA Alumni of the Decade Award (2015).
Prior to joining Franco, Dan was a member of Deloitte’s Private Company Advisory Service. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in accounting from Michigan State University and an Executive MBA from MSU’s Broad College of Business. He is a graduate of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Leadership Detroit X and a recent graduate of the U.S. Army War College 2015 National Security Seminar.
DANIEL F. PONDER
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Tina oversees client service and counsels a range of clients in areas including corporate positioning, community relations and reputation management. She also consults on brand development, crisis communications and strategic planning and leads the firm’s business development efforts.
Tina holds a Bachelor of Arts with a dual major in public relations and Spanish from Wayne State University. She is also a graduate of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Leadership Detroit XXXIII.
She is an active member of the Detroit Economic Club and the Automotive Press Association. Tina serves on the board of directors for the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and the March of Dimes Metro Detroit. She chairs the Belle Isle Conservancy’s marketing committee and is on the PR Advisory Council at the Detroit Regional Chamber.
Tina applies her vast experience in branding, communications and project management to serve Franco’s automotive, technology and B2B clients. As a shareholder, she serves as a member of the agency’s Leadership Team and supports business development.
Before joining Franco, Tina was news desk and corporate communications manager at Chrysler Group LLC. Prior to that, she was communications director for a local non-profit organization dedicated to preparing high school students for a career in automotive technology. In that role, Tina led community programming and developed marketing campaigns to generate consumer awareness.
As a strong supporter of her community, Tina is heavily involved in her children’s school and enjoys volunteering at local fundraising events.
Tina holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Michigan. She is also a graduate of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Leadership Detroit XXXVI.
TINA BENVENUTI SULLIVAN
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
An accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, Pat brings 20+ years of experience to her work with Franco’s nonprofit and automotive clients. She also manages a variety of marketing and communications projects for clients across various industries.
After hours, Pat is a big music fan. Be it blues, folk, Rat Pack standards, Motown, Broadway tunes . . . she’ll tap her toe to most genres. Classic rock is her favorite, though country is a close second. And listening to live music is always time well-spent in her book.
Pat holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Michigan. She and her husband reside in Sterling Heights, Mich., where they are the proud parents of two young adult sons.
Always one to admire a masterful turn of phrase, Pat “collects” inspirational quotes. A personal favorite that helps her keep things in perspective . . . What if the hokey pokey really is what it’s all about?
PAT ADANTI-JOY, APR
In the office, Nate brings nearly five years’ experience in video production, graphic design, and digital media. In addition to his organized and detail-oriented personality, Nate has a creative mind. He is a story-teller with a passion for people. He believes that his skills and talents can make a difference in people’s lives.
Before joining Franco, Nate led the digital media department for Crime Stoppers of Michigan, where he produced routine press conference footage, promotional videos, and PSA’s, as well as graphic design materials and social media management. Nate graduated from Specs Howard, where he studied Digital Media Arts.
VIDEO PRODUCTION SPECIALIST
Megan is a PR volunteer with The Lake House, a metro Detroit nonprofit. She is also a national PRSA member and Detroit chapter member.
She earned a Bachelor of Science in public relations from Grand Valley State University.
SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
Prior to joining Franco, Rachel honed her skills and expertise with an internship at Yazaki North and Central America where she created and ran a comprehensive social media campaign, wrote technical and business articles for the internal audiences and refined her research proficiency. In addition, she held internships at Potter Park Zoo and Capital Area Humane Society. During her time at MSU, she served as the strategy account executive for Hubbell Connections, MSU's student-run PR firm and sat on the executive board for the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).
Rachel has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a minor in public relations from Michigan State University.
Rene’s diverse expertise lies in advertising, content development, social media and public relations where more than a decade’s worth of experience, and love of trying new things, make her a valuable asset when developing strategies for memorable campaigns.
Rene’s background in news, PR, and digital media in both corporate and agency settings with B2B and consumer clients make her a triple threat when you need a great idea and a plan to execute it.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from University of Michigan-Dearborn. She is also a graduate of the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber of Commerce Leadership 21 program, which educates and develops a diverse, select group of emerging leaders in southern Wayne County.
DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL
Lauren fell in love with the marketing and PR world after an internship with the Office of Student Activities and Involvement at Central Michigan University. She helped lead marketing, content development and communications for major university events like CMU Homecoming and CMU Up All Night that attracted thousands of people.
At Franco, Lauren serves as a senior account executive helping develop, manage and execute strategies and programming for a variety of consumer accounts and events. She has a knack for media relations, marketing and a keen eye for detail.
Lauren holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree in integrative public relations with a minor in marketing from Central Michigan University.
Lori has a strong administrative and bookkeeping background. Prior to joining the Franco team, she owned and operated a bookkeeping business for retail, service and nonprofit clients.
While she spends her days here at Franco taking care of her “kids,” she and her husband Alan also have three of their own. Her daughter is a Physical Therapist with Team Rehabilitation, her oldest son is a buyer with Mann Hummel and her younger son is in college working towards a business degree.
She enjoys spending time with her family at their cottage at Higgins Lake – snowmobiling in the winter and relaxing at the beach with the pontoon and jet skis in the summer.
Ashley serves a variety of Franco’s clients as the in-house graphic designer, from developing social media ads to creating new materials that strengthen the aesthetic of each client, and everything in between.
Prior to joining Franco, Ashley gained experience as the design coordinator at Porter One Design, creating successful branding and print materials, and interned at AutoWeek Magazine and Hour Magazine where she learned the importance of deadlines and strong design. She has also freelanced with firms both in and outside of Michigan.
Ashley holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the College for Creative Studies with a concentration in photography and a minor in graphic design and advertising.
In the office, Joe’s organizational skills and attention to detail makes him one of Franco’s go-to event planners and project managers. He also dabbles in photography and video and provides pragmatic balance when the other creatives start getting out of hand.
Joe is a member of the Detroit Economic Club’s Young Leaders program and holds a Bachelor of Science in advertising and public relations from Grand Valley State University.
ACCOUNT DIRECTOR AND
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Before joining Franco, she led marketing and communications for an international engineering company where she directed media relations, developed and maintained several websites and coordinated internal and external events.
Ann Marie holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts in integrative public relations from Central Michigan University and Master of Arts in organizational communication/public relations from Wayne State University.
ANN MARIE FORTUNATE
Prior to joining Franco, Ed lead DaimlerChrysler’s corporate communication blog and social media endeavors, where he pioneered the concept of “corporate journalism” – the idea that companies could bypass media and tell their own stories via video, social media and webcasts – and created the award-winning weekly news recap “FCA Replay” that is still produced today.
Ed also has served broadcast and print roles including serving as the Detroit Bureau Chief/Correspondent for CNN, serving as the National Auto Writer for the Associated Press, and General Motors beat writer for The Detroit Free Press.
INTEGRATED MEDIA CONSULTANT
Geoffrey comes to Franco from General Motors, where he was a specialist on the social media team, focusing on luxury clients. He is a member of the AdCraft club of Detroit and has held positions at a variety of other Metro Detroit companies including Quicken Loans, Team Detroit/GTB and Treat Dreams.
DIGITAL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
Prior to joining Franco, Dan served as promotions director of Grand Valley State University’s student radio station, where he managed contests, media relations and the station’s online presence through website and social media support. He also worked with the student-run PR firm on campus handling media and community relations, event planning and social media for nonprofit and consumer clients.
Dan holds a Bachelor of Science in advertising and public relations from Grand Valley State University.
In her free time, Andrea loves to travel to tropical destinations. Her favorite sun and sand vacation spots include Jamaica and Hawaii. One day, she hopes to visit the Seychelle Islands and make the 7,000 mile trek to Fiji.
A self-proclaimed social media junkie, Andrea is currently obsessed with Pinterest. After all, she needs to discover more ways to tie a scarf.
Andrea is an active member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and currently sits of the Board of Directors as the student relations director. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and a Bachelor of Science in public relations, both from Eastern Michigan University.
Today, Joelle utilizes her storytelling skillset at Franco by strategically creating social media content for consumer accounts, promoting clients through media relations and assisting in event production.
Before joining Franco, Joelle worked at a public relations agency where she generated key media placements for clients, created content for multiple social media accounts and conducted email marketing campaigns.
At the end of her senior year in college, she led a six-month, public relations campaign for a grass-roots non-profit in metro Detroit. Throughout the duration of the campaign, she worked to substantiate the company in the public eye by creating key messages and professional branding materials. The team's work expanded the scope of donors and allowed the company to effectively communicate between various language barriers, which was key for the organization's consumers.
Joelle graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations. During her time at Wayne State, she sat on the Public Relations Student Society of America Executive Board as a Professional Programming Director.
ASSISTANT ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
Nikki loves to read, work out and play tennis – and she may occasionally choose cleaning and organizing as a method of relaxation. But nothing fills her cup more than spending time with her husband and boys.
As Franco’s Director of Strategy, Nikki oversees strategic initiatives for clients and the agency, with a specific focus on integrating and aligning communications services for maximum results. Nikki’s career has come full circle – her first job out of college in January 2007 was at Franco, where she spent three years working her way up from an Assistant Account Executive to a Senior Account Executive.
Prior to re-joining Franco in September 2019, Nikki served as the Director of Communications at White Glove, where she managed all internal and external communications efforts for the company. Nikki also spent 7.5 years at Identity, starting as a Social Media Specialist and eventually moving into the Director of Social Media role.
Outside of her role at Franco, Nikki publishes The MichComms Report – the only bi-weekly e-newsletter that caters to communications professionals in Michigan. She also serves on the executive communications committee for Impact100 Oakland County.
DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY
As an assistant account executive, Samantha assists Franco’s consumer accounts in helping develop account strategy and programing, media relations, events and marketing.
Samantha holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts in integrative public relations with a minor in journalism from Central Michigan University.
ASSISTANT ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
Prior to joining Franco, Jeff worked at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids as an executive news producer. Before that, he was a news producer at WXYZ-TV Channel 7 in Detroit, as well as 9&10 News in Cadillac. Working in television news helped Jeff fuel his love for writing, something he’s been passionate about since a young age.
Jeff works mainly with Franco’s non-profit clients and is responsible for several tasks including media relations, content creation, and developing communications strategies.
Jeff holds of Bachelor of Applied Arts degree from Central Michigan University, majoring in Broadcast & Cinematic Arts. He also has minor degrees in both journalism and sports studies.
SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
SENIOR DIGITAL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
Graduating top of her class, Erica holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication and public relations from Michigan State University.
ERICA SWOISH HARMON
When not behind her laptop, the Detroiter can be found eating her way through the city (Instagramming along the way, of course). The Wayne State University alumna is admittedly obsessed with Detroit, always willingly offering up her favorite places to eat, drink and play.
Lexi holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Wayne State University.
SENIOR DIGITAL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE
As an assistant account executive on Franco’s nonprofit and consumer teams, Tracy helps clients tell their stories through her writing, media relations, program management and a trained eye for detail.
Prior to joining Franco, Tracy held an internship at SS Digital Media, where she learned the ropes of agency life and honed her digital marketing, social media and content development skills. As a Warrior, she was the director of fundraising for the Wayne State University Marching Band as well as a writer/editor for school newspaper, The South End.
Tracy earned her Bachelor of Arts in public relations with a minor in new media from Wayne State University.
ASSISTANT ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE