You need the right team to win. And ZCOMM’s blend of talent is key to the agency’s success. Meet the team that makes the magic happen:
Founder & CEO
The daughter of a modern architect, Risë brings a fresh perspective to everything she touches.
She started out as a reporter for an all-news radio station in Miami and was quickly tapped as drive-time anchor, winning awards for her health reporting.
With three years of Miami reporting and anchoring under her belt, Risë became the first woman Correspondent for ABC’s American Contemporary Radio Network, broadcasting to 1,700 rock & roll affiliates. Risë moved from ABC to ESPN’s Radio Network, where she knew every sports stat known to man and covered Wimbledon live.
After marriage and a move to Washington, DC, Risë opened a broadcast PR agency in 1989. Working for consumer giants such as Burger King Corporation, Clorox and P&G, ZCOMM’s work was a far cry from DC issues and politics. Risë’s consumer work enabled her to bring sizzle to clients of every stripe. In her spare time, she wrote two feature film screenplays and was a finalist in the Monterey Screenwriting Competition.
ZCOMM is celebrating its 27th year in business and, through Risë’s leadership, has evolved into a full-service integrated marketing agency. In addition to broadcast PR, ZCOMM produces 2D and 3D animated videos, develops websites, designs video .gifs for UNISYS globally, and much more. Risë’s creativity, business sense and never-say-die attitude have helped propel ZCOMM to a multi-million-dollar agency.
In her spare time, Risë supports the University of Rochester and has been on the boards of the Roundhouse Theatre and the Greater Washington JCC. She travels, plays tennis and still hopes her screenplays will be sold.
You could say that fruit has played an important role in Maddie’s life. She grew up on a strawberry farm in Northern California and lived in the Big Apple (a.k.a. New York City) for more than 5 years before moving to DC to serve as Risë’s second-in-command.
ZCOMM is the latest (and greatest) of Maddie’s cool jobs. She was the first marketer hired at wellandgood.com—the premier media company devoted to health, fitness and natural beauty—where she was in charge of 40+ events annually. She managed sports marketing at Fox Sports, and served as a media manager on the Coca-Cola account at Starcom Mediavest Group, winning an award from peers and clients for demonstrating a “can-do” attitude and daring nature.
Maddie bakes a mean pie (pecan is her favorite) and is a diehard San Francisco Giants (and Hunter Pence) fan. She’ll definitely be the captain if we ever start a ZCOMM softball team, since she did that in college. And she’s always up to discuss any show in the Bachelor franchise.
Ryan “Rory” Harty
Rory has been voted “most popular” in the ZCOMM office, especially when someone has a tech question or needs a quick, eye-catching infographic for a client. He wears a lot of hats (and colorful socks), including website design and editing, audio and video production, and producing multimedia content for websites, social media, mobile apps, interactive media and other digital products.
Rory honed his love of all things digital as a production assistant for PCI Communications, working with the National Biodiesel Board, the Marine Corps Marathon, the Department of Transportation and the Washington Nationals Dream Gala, among others. He coordinated all event and video production and was the point of contact for vendors and freelancers.
Although he doesn’t currently own a car, Rory has been on road trips through 48 states. He says his one true love is the New York Knicks, and plays basketball as often as possible in case they have an open tryout here in DC. If you hear about one, please let him know!
Maura is ZCOMM’s pitching master. We love listening to her work her magic on the phone. She came to us from Sage Communications, where she worked with nonprofit and technology clients like The Halycon Incubator, Dell and The Rosslyn Business Improvement District. Her responsibilities included building relationships with press, overseeing social media, thought leadership and working on speaking and awards programs.
Before that, Maura lived in London for a year. When she wasn’t traveling to Scotland, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Switzerland and the Netherlands—or searching for yummy, gluten-free food and beverages—she worked at Stature Public Relations Agency, where she pitched media, drafted blogs and articles, developed lists and created client reports.
Maura is originally from Pittsburgh, but only supports one of the city’s sports teams: her beloved Penguins. She fosters dogs that have been rescued from puppy mills and kill shelters, and once had 3 fosters, plus 1 of her own, in a 600-square-foot apartment (#Addicted).
ZCOMM’S chief copywriter and editor extraordinaire, Ellen truly is a full-service communications professional, with private sector and nonprofit experience in public relations, marketing and management as well. You name it, she’s probably done it.
Here are just a few of the things on her resume: directing communications efforts for nonprofits; serving as managing editor for a group of daily, weekly and biweekly telecommunications newsletters; leading conference marketing efforts that included print, online and social media components; creating and implementing PR campaigns; and starting award-winning newsletters and magazines. She even sold beds for a year and a half—and was pretty good at it!
Ellen is a proud Maryland Terrapin (she’s married to a fellow Terp alum) and is the even prouder mom/mother-in-law of three Virginia Tech Hokies. She knows more about sports than most women (and many men, but maybe not Risë). She loves rooting for her favorite sports teams, reading mysteries on her Kindle, watching Netflix and Amazon Prime on her phone while she’s working out and spending time with her family and friends.