Our Team

The HWC team includes senior level professionals and a host of virtual team members who are former corporate communication leaders and marketing managers with extensive experience in organizational change, public health campaigns, corporate social responsibility and diversity and inclusion communication.

LaNella Hooper-Williams – President

LaNella Hooper-Williams is an award-winning communication executive with extensive experience in public/media relations, marketing communication, positioning/brand development and change/organizational communication. With more than 30 years of communication experience, LaNella has a strong track record as a strategic thinker and collaborator. She is also known for her ability to identify issues quickly and develop innovative communication solutions that drive business results. Before starting her practice, LaNella held vice president and director level positions at Johnson & Johnson, Lincoln Financial Group and PNC Bank leading corporate communication and marketing communication programs. LaNella has also served as an adjunct professor at New York University’s Graduate School of Public Relations and Communication where she taught PR Management and Brand Development courses. She has won numerous awards from industry organizations such as the International Association of Business Communicators and the National Association of Investor Corp. (NAIC). LaNella received her B.S. degree in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh and her M.A. degree in Marketing Communication from Duquesne University. She also has participated in an executive leadership program at Harvard Business School and is a graduate of Leadership Philadelphia. She is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators, Public Relations Society of America and the National Association of Professional Women. View LinkedIn

Denise Hill, Ph.D. – Senior Communications Strategist

Denise Hill is an assistant professor at Elon University’s School of Communication. She is a member of the HWC virtual team and has over 30 years of corporate communication and public relations agency experience. Denise previously held vice president of communication roles at Delhaize America, Quest Diagnostics, Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Cigna. She also served as senior vice president of communication at Wyndham Exchange and Rentals. Prior to teaching at Elon University, she spent four years as an adjunct instructor of corporate communication and public relations at New York University. Denise has presented academic research at conferences for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and American Journalism Historians Association. She is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and AEJMC. Denise holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Temple University’s School of Media and Communication and a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism.

Mari Bernhagen – Senior Writer

Mari Bernhagen is known for her ability to develop communications strategies to drive business results. Her work encompasses both the planning and tactical execution of these strategies. She specializes in the design of communications efforts that successfully integrate programs and systems into the fabric of organizations. Her experience includes developing communications strategies, branding programs and creating materials such as speeches, leadership letters, web content, e-learning and training programs, brochures, videos, meetings-in-a-box, and ongoing communication plans to keep the programs/systems alive and vibrant. Before partnering with HWC and becoming a freelance writer for a number of major brands, Mari spent nearly 20 years with Sibson Consulting. She also held Human Resources positions with Honeywell, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, and Educational Testing Services. Recent recognition includes two Hermes Creative Awards from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals: a Platinum Award in the Communications Campaign category and a Gold Award in the Publications/Brochure category; and a Dalton Pen Communications Award of Excellence for Employee Communications. She holds a B.A. degree in Psychology from Temple University.

Hooper Williams Communications is a full service public relations and marketing communication firm serving clients in the healthcare, food service, technology and nonprofit industries.

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