NBPRS Board of Directors

Neil Foote
Neil Foote

A long time media executive, Neil is an expert in public relations, digital media, social media, marketing and media strategy. Neil is a principal lecturer at the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas where he specializes in the future of media, social media and journalism, media management, and multimedia storytelling. Foote also runs Foote Communications, a public relations and media strategy firm based in Dallas, TX.

He launched Tom Joyner’s BlackAmericaWeb.com and developed and directed public relations for the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show, BlackAmericaWeb.com and the Tom Joyner Foundation. Before working with Joyner, Neil worked at several major media outlets, including the Miami Herald, the Washington Post, the Dallas Morning News and the Belo Corporation. He is also the editor/co-founder of PoliticsInColor.com and former North Texas Publisher for Girlfriends Health Guide for Women of Color.
In the community, Neil is chair of the National Kidney Foundation serving North Texas, a member of the Dallas South News board and a Life Trustee of The Lamplighter School.

Neil has a B.A. in Government from Wesleyan University, holds a M.S. in Journalism from Northwestern University and a M.B.A. from Southern Methodist University.

Craig Muckle
Craig Muckle

Craig is manager, public affairs and government relations for the Eastern Division of Safeway, one of North America’s largest grocery retailers, and has served in that role since August 1997. He is responsible for media, government, community and consumer relations activities for all 130 Safeway stores located in the mid-Atlantic region.

Craig began his career in 1981 with ESPN in Bristol, Conn. where he held several positions in the communications department during his nine years with the company. He joined BET in Washington, D.C. in 1990 as director, public relations and communications, where he lead all publicity efforts for the network and its related subsidiaries. In 1995, Craig moved on to Rite Aid in Harrisburg, Pa. where he spent two years as public relations manager with his primary duties being media and community relations, along with overseeing the activities of several government relations firms.

A 2001 graduate of Leadership Prince George’s, Craig is active representing Safeway as a board member for several organizations with his involvement in the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce being the most extensive, which included a one-year term as its Chairman that ended June 2009. He is currently the longest-tenured board member (first appointed in 1999) and has spent much of his time in leadership roles that include serving as vice chair, then later as chair of the Public Safety Committee from 2001-2006. He was later selected to serve as Secretary, the first officer role on the path to Board Chairmanship. He also led a President/CEO Search Committee in 2006 and, in 2010, chaired the Political Impact Candidate Forum committee. He currently leads its Sports, Hospitality and Entertainment (SHE) Committee, which he created while Chamber Chair, and also a member of the Legislative Comm.

Craig graduated from the University of Dayton with a B.A. in communications.

Sherry Jones
Sherri Jones

Sherri is a journalist-turned publicist who has garnered financial and reputable gains for the likes of local celebrities like Hot 97‘s DJ Wallah and media firms like All Jersey Radio, as well as working on films like the upcoming documentary “Suck My Fat” and many more. Sherri’s results command the attention of those interested in the field.

When Sherri focused her career on writing, she got the opportunity to share her voice with others by controlling the tone and getting a brand’s clear message conveyed to readers. Now, in her role as a publicist she is granted the opportunity to give others that same voice. Whether it be a song, an album, a clothing line, or any other endeavor, she makes sure that brands messages are heard by the masses.
Through her firm, Sherri Jones Media Group, Sherri currently maintains a full client roster that consists of music artists, design companies, nonprofit organizations, public figures, and private companies. Combining the people skills from her psychology background with her tried and true PR skills, she has successfully landed placements with NBC, CBS, The Star Ledger, MTV, and many other media outlets. With a keen ability to assess her resources, build relationships and get extraordinary results, she has proven to have what it takes to not only survive in the public relations and media space, but to thrive.

Sherri has her a B.A. in Psychology from Oral Roberts University and a M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix.

Richelle Payne
Richelle D. Payne

Richelle, managing partner at Hurst & Leigh Communications Group LLC, brings more than two decades of experience as a communication strategist to help Fortune 500 companies, academic institutions, mega-churches and nonprofit organizations understand their brand strengths and reputation, and then translate that knowledge into campaigns that engage audiences at all levels of brand awareness, encourage public trust, promote optimism and fuel changes in actions and attitudes. She has worked with Philadelphia Eagles starting Safety and filmmaker Walter Thurmond and his Foundation, former San Diego Charger Terrell Fletcher, best-selling author Van Moody, and the Champion Foundation. She also serves as partner at Ascendant Group, a CEO branding firm, providing PR and book marketing support, talent management, and business strategy.

She led crisis management training at Bishop Jakes’ International Pastors & Leaders Conference and prepared issues briefings for The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s multi-city crusades. Richelle orchestrated coverage of Houston’s Lakewood Church and its acquisition of the Compaq Center. She was recruited by Affiliated Media Group to establish a PR department and deliver services to mega-church leaders such as Bishop TD Jakes, Dr. David Jeremiah and Rev. Ronnie Floyd, author of Life on Fire. Hampton University President William R. Harvey recruited her to return to her alma mater to helm the news bureau, and was later promoted to head of public relations.

Richelle serves on PRSA’s Commission on PR Education and earned the CCP designation from the Matrix Foundation. Richelle holds a B.A. in English from Hampton University and a M.A. in Corporate Communication with a concentration in communications research from Duquesne University.

Tamekia Ashford
tamekia ashford

Tamekia is a public relations executive with more than 16 years across the private, agency, and government sectors. She has a successful track record in strategic planning, community affairs, media relations and executive positioning.

In her current role, she serves as the communications manager for the Detroit Health Department. In this capacity she develops and implements key messaging -- traditional and social media relations, internal and external materials to ensure the department’s programming and activities are in alignment with the City of Detroit communications policies. In addition, she works directly with the Mayor’s Communications Team to craft and develop media statements, interviews and community engagement.

Tamekia is the Immediate Past President for the National Black Public Relations Society, Detroit Chapter, and currently serves as a Board Member at-Large for the National Chapter.

She is a contributing writer and 2013 recipient of the Michigan Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 Award.

Tamekia has a Bachelors of Arts in Mass Media Communications from Wilberforce University in Ohio and is a graduate of Cass Technical High School.

Deisha Barnett
Deisha Barnett

When Deisha was a senior in high school, she dreamt of leading public relations efforts for a major corporation. Today, she has more than fifteen years of experience guiding communications strategy for top consumer brands.

As Senior Director of Corporate Communications for Walmart, Deisha heads up the company’s U.S. merchandise and brand public relations efforts. Whether defining the PR strategy tied to a new product that is hitting Walmart stores or planning the retailer’s holiday season PR efforts, Deisha’s team plays a critical role in promoting and protecting one of the world’s best-known brands.

During her time at Walmart, Deisha has also led communications for community giving and diversity initiatives. Her team was instrumental in raising awareness for Walmart’s impact on social issues like food insecurity and women’s empowerment, and helped launch the retailer’s first crowd-sourced philanthropy effort in partnership with Facebook.
Prior to joining Walmart, Deisha managed media relations efforts at EarthLink and worked in Ketchum’s consumer brand practice where she partnered with The Home Depot, Kodak, COVERGIRL, Tampax and other brands.

Deisha has a B.A. in Mass Communications with a concentration in public relations and a minor in marketing from Clark Atlanta University.

Deborah Hyman
Deborah K. Hyman
President Emeritus

Deborah is a communications strategist and award-winning writer with deep roots in global corporate communications. She is the director of communications services for the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) recognized nationally as the premier workers compensation data and statistics repository. She leads internal and external communications, as well as marketing communications and research.

Deborah previously worked as the director of global communications for Verizon where she was responsible for communication strategies engaging employees in 75 countries across six continents. She has also led strategic communications for Empire BlueCross BlueShield, Freddie Mac, Association Innovation & Management and Jefferson Lab. She began her career as a reporter at the Daily Press.

She has won numerous industry awards from the International Association of Business Communicators, PR News, Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals, APEX and E2E Communications. Deborah is a thought leader and keynote speaker on global communications, employee engagement and brand management.

She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, International Association of Business Communicators, and the National Association of Black Journalists.

Deborah holds a B.A. in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University and a M.A. in Public Communication from the American University.

Wynona Redmond
Wynona Redmond
President Emeritus

Wynona is a visionary communications and community engagement strategist. She has committed more than 20 years to advocating for good causes and building bridges between companies and communities for mutual success.

She is president and founder of Wyn-Win Communications, a Chicago-based consultancy dedicated to helping organizations effectively engage their community, customers and other key audiences. Through Wyn-Win, Wynona applies her passion, creativity and commitment to help clients achieve sales growth, community goodwill and public recognition.

Wynona offers strategic counsel on issue-based communications, community outreach priorities and consumer relations, project management and executional support for the most complicated public affairs and community engagement assignments.

Before founding Wyn-Win Communications, Wynona led public affairs and community engagement responsibility in both the public and private sector, including Northstar Lottery Group, Dominick’s Finer Foods, Illinois Department of Children & Family Services, the Chicago Housing Authority and Cook County Hospital. Wynona is an accomplished public speaker and has served on numerous panels in addition to facilitating training seminars on Crisis Management for the Community Media Workshop.

Wynona is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago with a B.A. in Communications.