Our Team

Merrie Spaeth

Founder and President

Merrie has a unique background in media, government, politics, business and entertainment. She is a thought-leader in communication theory, a master of executive coaching and acknowledged as one of the most influential communication counselors in the world. Before founding Spaeth in 1987, Merrie was a producer for ABC’s 20/20, a speechwriter for the legendary founder and chairman of CBS, William S. Paley, and was assigned to FBI Director Judge William Webster while serving as a White House Fellow. All of this culminated into her roles as director of public affairs for the Federal Trade Commission, and ultimately her appointment as director of media relations at the White House in the Reagan Administration. Merrie is a sought-after public speaker who provides strategic communication counseling for companies and executives across the globe. She is also a dedicated mother, dog-lover and needlepoint enthusiast.

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Emily Turner

Executive Vice President

Emily has over 15 years of experience in public relations, marketing and communications consulting. Her true passion lies in teaching others the importance of strategic communication, which she does through Spaeth’s signature training courses. Additionally, she is on a personal mission to help her clients improve their presentations through speech packaging in the form of props and legible PowerPoint slides. Over the years, she has coached senior and mid-level managers, who appreciate her positive, yet constructive feedback style. Emily has acquired specialized experience in the construction and health care industries. She has worked in both public and private sectors, first as the state coordinator for a Florida public information program and later as a marketing coordinator for Deloitte in New York City. Emily has a degree in media studies from Florida State University’s College of Communication. She and her husband, David, an actor and professor, live in Columbus, GA. She is also a mother to two small children, one large dog and is an 80’s pop culture enthusiast.

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Sally Ann Rivera

Senior Vice President

Sally Ann is the resident expert on all things digital. She offers strategic social media counsel and management to both Spaeth and its clients. Her experience with Spaeth spans the breadth of Spaeth’s diverse clients from political campaigns and grassroots coalitions to training and rehearsing executives for national media. Sally Ann manages the firm’s extensive audio-visual library of real internal and external examples, a key feature of Spaeth training. She produces customized footage for both the firm and its clients. She also puts her creative skills to use in designing and editing collateral materials. Sally Ann joined Spaeth Communications after graduating with honors from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a second major in French. Her language skills and strong writing background are major assets to Spaeth’s clients. Sally Ann is an active volunteer with the Junior League of Dallas and proud marathoner.

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Meaghan Klitch

Vice President

Always in tune with current events, Meaghan brings insight to clients regarding the current local, national and international public climate. She contributes to the Spaeth team creatively by editing and creating collateral material and through her extensive research experience and social media knowledge. Meaghan’s background as a traditionally-trained public relations professional combined with an advanced knowledge of communication theories give her a unique and valuable perspective. She prides herself on her positive outlook and ability to make others feel comfortable. Meaghan joined the Spaeth team after graduating with honors from Southern Methodist University. There, she earned dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communication Studies and Public Relations with a minor in Art History. A Texan through and through, Meaghan is originally from Austin, where she often visits her family on weekend road trips. Her hobbies include running on the trail near her home, trying new recipes and searching for elusive deals on art.

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Maddy Madrazo

Vice President

Maddy brings an international perspective and a comprehensive understanding of the power of words, rhetorical strategies and storytelling to Spaeth and its clients. She has acquired specialized experience working on behalf of clients in the architecture, construction and engineering (AEC) industry and also has experience coaching politicians and executives both in Spanish and English, domestically and in Mexico. Maddy joined Spaeth after graduating with honors from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and minors in Business and Spanish. At SMU, Maddy studied Spanish in Costa Rica and Spain and interned with an international news agency in Madrid. She is thrilled by the opportunity to apply her passion for all-things communications to the needs of Spaeth’s innovative and inspirational clients. Maddy is a proud member of the Junior League of Dallas, and in her free time, she volunteers for Dallas CASA and teaches yoga.

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Lisette Mondello

Senior Consultant

Lisette Mondello's background is a unique combination of federal policy, public affairs and experience with high-level, strategic business engagements. Lisette most recently served as Senior Advisor to U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, providing counsel to the Senator on a wide variety of issues including matters in front of the Senate Appropriations and Commerce Committees. In 2005, she was nominated and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Before joining the VA, Lisette was Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Education and oversaw the roll-out of the Department's discretionary grant programs and major policy initiatives. In her initial time with Spaeth in the 1990s, Lisette helped lead companies through bankruptcy, restructuring and change management. She also handled numerous executive coaching and training assignments and is a sought after speaker. She is also a Principal with The Mondello Group, a Washington government affairs firm founded by her husband, Joe. They reside in Virginia with their son.

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Karen Carrera, APR


Karen Carrera, APR, is a storyteller. With more than 25 years in marketing and communications, she's helped organizations tell their stories through branding, PR, marketing collateral and advertising, digital communications, presentations and on the trade hall floor. Her acumen for developing and successfully executing integrated strategies has helped launch many brand initiatives. And her counsel in crisis communications has helped organizations manage or avoid large-scale crisis events. In addition to her years spent counseling clients with Spaeth Communications, Karen has managed the communication and marketing efforts for Turner Construction and MedicalCity, an HCA flagship hospital. Her NBC affiliate reporting background gives her a unique edge while working with the media because she innately understands what they are looking for. A past "40 Under 40" award recipient, her expertise spans across healthcare, construction and design, education, nonprofit, energy, tech startups, finance and insurance. Karen holds a prestigious Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri. She and her husband Pep live in Raleigh, NC, and have two children.

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Sarah Gorman

Special Consultant, APAC

Sarah is a communication and media specialist with over 20 years’ experience delivering coaching, counsel, strategy and tools to high-profile multinationals, business leaders and public figures across Asia Pacific. She operates across multiple markets including Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. She has extensive experience in leadership and executive communication and is known for bringing clarity to complex ideas – enabling others to scale strategies, ideas and issues that matter. Messaging tools she creates helps her clients better tell their stories. Speeches she’s packaged have been delivered at some of the world’s best-known forums. She has also coached and counselled hundreds of executives, including high-profile business, political and philanthropic leaders, on how to deliver a memorable message. Australian by nationality, Sarah is driven by a desire to create influence and impact, and is an active contributor to arts, humanitarian and social causes – sitting on a range of working groups and boards including Australia’s Human Rights Arts & Film Festival. She and her husband have two girls, a much-loved dog and a passion for nature, creativity and well-being.

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