meet our team.
Meet the primary members of our virtual agency. We’re a group of senior-level practitioners who love to roll up our sleeves and immerse ourselves in your business challenges.
Jeff Huggins, APR
Building upon a diverse public relations and marketing background spanning more than three decades, Jeff launched Huggins Consulting Group in 2009. Assembling the best talent from his vast network of communication professionals, the virtual agency offers cost-effective, senior-level thinking and exceptional program execution.
Before forming his own firm, Jeff helped integrate full-scope public relations capabilities into the service offerings for leading regional advertising agencies in Des Moines, Iowa and Cincinnati, Ohio. Jeff started his agency career more than two decades ago with an Iowa-based Young & Rubicam affiliate, CMF&Z. He also was a principal at Zimmerman, Laurent & Richardson in the late-1990s.
Throughout his career, Jeff has specialized in broad spectrum of communication solutions. He is professionally accredited by the Public Relations Society of America and has earned industry recognition for effective writing and successful campaign implementation, including media relations, internal communications, community relations, issues management and event marketing.
With a detailed and creative approach, Jeff has helped many organizations implement successful communication strategies that have met and exceeded campaign objectives. His track record includes marketing and reputation management successes with a diverse group of clients, including: the 1999 US Senior Open Golf Championship; Beam Industries; CII Technologies; Dice.com; First Financial Bank; Fisher Controls; FUELIowa; Global Women’s Empowerment Network (GWEN); Iowa Farm Bureau Federation; Iowa Health System; Jimmy Dean Foods; Meredith Corporation; National Pork Producers Council; Pabst Brewing Company; Pfizer Pharmaceutical; RSM McGladrey; and Wells Fargo.
Jeff earned a degree in Mass Communication and Public Relations from the University of Northern Iowa in 1986. He is a past president of the Central Iowa Chapter of PRSA, a member of the University of Northern Iowa President’s Club, and for many years served as a professional advisor to the public relations degree program for his alma mater. He currently serves as the Board Secretary for the Iowa Sustainable Business Forum.
Catherine Huggins, MBA and APR
After taking a two-year hiatus to serve as Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ Chief Advisor, Catherine returned to her previous role as Executive Vice President at Huggins Consulting Group in 2019. She spearheads the firm’s corporate practice, and has in-depth experience and expertise in strategic planning, executive leadership development, change / issue management, scenario planning, crisis communications, executive communications (speechwriting, presentation coaching and training), and marketing to women.
Catherine led corporate communication efforts for a Fortune 500 financial services group spanning 10+ companies; external communications for a multinational corporation; and marketing communications for a niche insurance company as well as one of the Midwest’s leading convenience store chains. Deeply valued for her strategic counsel and ability to forge diverse relationships, Catherine also served as Kim Reynolds’ first Chief Advisor during her time as Lieutenant Governor of Iowa and as Chief Speechwriter / Deputy Press Secretary to former Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad, who currently is U.S. Ambassador to China.
With a Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Drake University and accredited credentials from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Catherine possesses exceptional skills and an unyielding passion for effective communication.
She is actively involved on the EPIC Corporate Challenge Advisory Council. Catherine also served on the Executive Council of Million Women Mentors – Iowa. She was the first Iowa member to be elected to the national PRSA Board of Directors and is a former President of the Central Iowa Chapter of PRSA. Catherine also was a Board Trustee for the Josh Cares Foundation and a member of the United Way’s Tocqueville Society Women’s Leadership Council in Cincinnati.
Dawn Carlson, CAE
Dawn is authentic – she puts her heart into every element of her work, be it big picture visioning or perfection in the tiniest details. Dawn held the title of CEO for four different state and regional trade associations and has served non-profit association members for 32+ years. Her experience in government and public relations, policymaking, leadership development, event management, communications, and entrepreneurial business development makes her an ideal partner for our agency’s offerings. Dawn has proven experience in business administration, board relations, member relations and advocacy with expertise in strategic planning, financial turnarounds, member prospect campaigns, and entrepreneurial business development.
Perhaps most important in today’s times, Dawn is an advocate for planning and preparation. Business continuity and succession planning, all too often, become important too late. Organizations are served well by considering the future more often, initiated proactively through strategic planning. Viewing customers as investors is an approach to longevity and relevance. Through Strategic Relations, Dawn continues to share knowledge and experience by helping associations and businesses with business continuity planning, leadership development and strategic planning all which work to strengthen organizations and those they serve.
As a Certified Association Executive, CAE, Dawn’s credentials are among the elite few thousand in the U.S. tested as a proven and knowledgeable association leader. She holds a B.S. degree in business management from Iowa State University and various management and leadership credentials from the American Management Association. She is currently leading a number of community-based efforts through board leadership, management and mentorship.
Pat Fultz has worked in the Des Moines area for more than 25 years. During that time, he has honed his skills as an award-winning graphic designer with an extensive list of clients and projects throughout the Midwest.
In 1984, Pat began his entrepreneurial career by creating Fultz Communications, a full-service graphic design firm. Over a nine-year period, he grew the company to employ 12 people and establish an additional office in the Kansas City area.
Pat sold his firm to CMF&Z in 1993, a premier advertising agency and affiliate of Young & Rubicam in New York. For the next five years, Pat handled responsibilities as a Creative Director in CMF&Z’s Des Moines office. Working on ad campaigns, branding programs, displays and collateral materials for regional and national clients, he further developed his creative and marketing skills.
In 1998, Pat went back on his own and established Fultz Design, a full-service, multi-disciplinary marketing/design firm. Now only employing external resources when needed, Pat enjoys being involved with all steps of the marketing and creative process and working with a fast-growing list of clients.
Pat has developed a strong reputation for taking on design projects with complex objectives and aggressive time constraints and creating successful end results. His list of notable client partnerships includes: Jacobson Companies, First American Bank, Metro Waste Authority, Barton Solvents, Inc., CIPCO, Etrema Products, Des Moines International Airport, Wells Fargo Financial, Barker Lemar Engineers, Iowa Health Systems, Studio Art Center International, Computer Transportation Services, the City of Altoona and the City of Des Moines.
Travis is the product of three of the world’s most elite writing programs: the University of Iowa, Trinity College Dublin, and Texas State University. In addition to the hours he’s logged in the university setting, he also has many years of experience working for a full-service advertising agency and with a Fortune 500 financial institution.
In his professional endeavors, Travis plied his skills as both a copywriter and public relations consultant. He has worked for a diverse group of organizations, including: Iowa Motor Truck Association; Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores of Iowa; Airport Fast Park; Master Builders of Iowa; Association & Legislative Resources; Pfizer Pharmaceutical; Western & Southern Financial Group; Mercy Health Systems of Southwest Ohio; Frisch’s Big Boy; Golden Corral restaurants; and more. He specializes in creative copywriting, as well as media relations, social media, event marketing and internal communications.
At Huggins Consulting Group, Travis combines his writing talents with strategic marketing expertise to help our clients both formulate and execute their communication objectives. The Des Moines native earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree from Texas State University. When he is not developing copy, promotion campaigns and reputation management solutions for our clients, he is busy working on his first novel.
Ginger offers clients a rare combination of a sound strategic thinking and exceptional design talent. As a result, she has a proven track record for delivering creative communication that breaks through the clutter, delivers powerful impact and inspires desired consumer reactions.
Prior to launching IGDesign Group in 2006, Ginger progressed through the creative ranks with some of Des Moines’ largest advertising agencies. She was Associate Creative Director at Relationship Marketing, Senior Art Director for Zimmerman, Laurent & Richardson, and an Art Director with Meyocks & Priebe. She also has made the leap to the client side as the Director of Marketing for technology startup Palisade Systems and Vice President of Marketing at The 2112 Group in New York.
Over the years, Ginger has helped unify the corporate image, strengthen product positioning and communicate differentiating personality for many distinguished brands. Her client relationships include: Abbott Laboratories; Ameriprise Financial; Beam Industries; Drake University; Hy-Vee; the Iowa Department of Public Health; Iowa Department of Transportation; Iowans for Consumer Fuel Choice; Iowa State University; Novartis Pharmaceuticals; Pioneer Hi-bred International; Time Warner Cable; and UCB Bio-Pharmaceuticals.
Perhaps Ginger’s most notable grassroots effort to date has been the “Just Eliminate Lies” anti-smoking campaign targeting Iowa teens. It’s a comprehensive and effective hybrid campaign combining traditional marketing and street-level grassroots initiatives.
Ginger has received several honors for creative expertise, including: national TELLY and NAMA awards; national and regional Addy Awards, including the 2003 Best of Show honors in the local competition; and local recognition from the Art Directors Association of Iowa (ADAI), the Iowa Motion Picture Association (IMPA) and the Central Iowa Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The Des Moines native has a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from Grand View College.
With a perspective as both a client and agency professional, Tom gives you a wealth of marketing experience. He has worked on brands large and not-so-large, across an array of industries and product categories. He has held marketing positions with Chrysler Corporation, the Tappan Company and Litton Industries. He has held executive leadership positions in the Pittsburgh and Chicago offices of Ketchum Communications. Before founding TJS&A in 2001, he was President of Porter & Associates in Des Moines, Iowa.
Tom’s category experience includes Industrial Business to Business, Association Marketing, Sports and Leisure Activity, Health Care, Financial Services, Consumer Packaged Goods and Consumer Durables.
Tom holds a BA from the University of Dayton, Certification in Integrated Communications from Northwestern University and is a certified Continuous Quality Improvement Facilitator from the Center for Continuous Quality Improvement at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. He is a Past President of the American Marketing Association Cincinnati Chapter.