PASSION. 

EXPERIENCE. 

DEDICATION.

 

Born with passion for perfection, hard work, and creativity we have spent years acquiring the experience needed to be a fully dedicated, hands-on member and champion of your brand. We are your collective innovators, branders, media pitchers, writers and all-around heavy LiFters.

Laura Menard Fitzgerald, Founder and CEO

With close to two decades of media and event planning experience in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, Laura Fitzgerald founded LiFt® Consulting. In 2012 LiFt and was officially endorsed as an exclusive PR Business Resource partner with L'Oreal.

Laura's passion for public relations surfaced during her years at Villanova University where she earned her BA in Communication and Business. Soon after, her public relations career began in New York City at Marina Maher Communications, a top tier PR Agency.  Laura’s time in NYC proved a pivotal jumping-off point for her career, where she managed media relations for accounts such as Johnson & Johnson's Roc Skincare, Schering Plough's Coppertone, and Crème d’Olives. Being particularly interested in beauty product-focused PR, Laura also enjoyed being a member of the Lifestyles & Trends team the Agency, which tracked ever-changing beauty, fashion and media trends.

Laura soon joined L’Oreal USA as Public Relations Director and led all PR initiatives for Biotherm United States, executing the PR launch of the brand’s first e-commerce Website. She also coordinated the soft and grand openings of freestanding stores, directed all national and regional press relations, and executed large-scale media and consumer events at such prestigious venues as the American Museum of National History, The Sundance Film Festival, The Tents at NY Fashion Week and The NY Library.

Recently name a member of The Female Founder Collective, her mission is to provide innovative business solutions to a host of PR and Marketing challenges by offering one-on-one counsel to small businesses. She now resides in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband and three daughters.

Melissa Sonder, Art Director

Melissa Menard is a design director with a focus on branding and system design. She shapes creative processes, builds multifaceted campaigns, and manages large-scale, integrated projects. Her expertise spans conceptual development, logotype design, print production, digital applications, exhibitions, social media and events, with clients in real estate, financial services, energy, luxury fashion, and education. 

Ryan Beshel, Photographer + Creative Director

Ryan Beshel is the founder, creative director and photographer at SIX4 Creative. A former runway model agent and on-air personality--Ryan's precision for detail, refined eye and infectious personality are reflected in all his efforts. From brand storytelling to capturing visuals that evoke the truth of your brand, Ryan's talent and is a dynamic addition to any creative project. Ryan's work has been credited in Forbes, Sophisticated Living Magazine, CS Modern Luxury, Food & Wine, Men's Health, Chicago Tribune, Eater, USA Today, Michigan Avenue Magazine—and he's just getting started. Ryan stands six foot four, exists almost exclusively on coffee and can often be found dancing with his dog on Instagram.

Jennifer Wisniewski, Creative Director + Project Manager

Jennifer Wisniewski is Partner and Director of Operations for SIX4 Creative. A former model turned restaurateur, Jennifer owned and operated a restaurant in Chicago's cutthroat culinary landscape for six years, before joining the team at SIX4 Creative. She now guides all client work with the vision of a creative director and the mind of an operations executive, ensuring all aspects of the project are in line with the client’s goals. Leading with her innate organizational skills, she ensures proper and timely deliverables, while never taking her eye off the bottom line. 

Jennifer resides in Chicago with her daughter Stella and is probably meditating at this very moment and trying to make her yoga class on time.

Drew Thomas, Designer/Developer

Drew started his career by co-founding a digital agency while getting his degree in graphic design from Drexel University in Philadelphia. After college, he grew the boutique agency to around twenty employees working for clients like McDonalds, Nationwide Insurance, and Berkshire Hathaway Home Services.


Over that time, Drew learned many skills, including full stack development, digital and traditional marketing, community building, and people management.

Today, living in Austin, Texas, he uses those skills to help small businesses and fellow entrepreneurs get the most out of their marketing and technology.

Brandyn Bissinger, Media Relations Specialist

Three-time Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist, Brandyn Bissinger, comes from the fast-paced fourth market television newsrooms in Philadelphia, where she was quick on her feet and calm under pressure. She began her career in 1998 at CBS 3 News, where she produced education, consumer and investigative segments. Brandyn moved on to Banyan Productions where she worked on the Discovery Channel gourmet food show, Epicurious. Her segments still air weekly. Her next stop was NBC 10 and soon after projects with FOX 29 News.

Brandyn is most admired by her colleagues for her work in New York City on September 11th, where after the terrorist acts, she helped create and produce the Emmy nominated feature series American Spirit, a segment honoring victims of the 9/11 attacks. 

In addition to her production experience, Brandyn has a very extensive background in the media business.  Her first hand experience in a newsroom, media contacts and ability to come up with great stories gives her partners a strong advantage when it comes to client media relations and landing media placements. LiFt is honored to have her as an asset to our team of freelance resources.

A Philadelphia native, Brandyn graduated with honors from Temple University, and resides in the Philadephia area.

Amy Aust, Media Relations Specialist

Amy is a public relations veteran with expertise in the beauty industry. 

Amy began her career in Global Communications for cosmetics institution The Estée Lauder Companies. Amy's expertise was pivitol during the launch of the Tom Ford Beauty brand in 25 countries. She later joined the national PR team for Clinique assistanting with the planning of product launch events, pitching top national beauty media, and spearheading the search for and selection of the brand’s first ever Global Colour Artist. 

In 2010, Amy relocated to Phoenix and became part of Coty Inc.'s philosophy cosmetics Public Relations team.  At philosophy, Amy focused on strategically planning product launches in the skin care, bath & body and fragrance categories. She also managed all of the brand’s charitable giving initiatives.

Amy brings multi-faceted experience and a love of the fast-paced PR world to the team of LiFt freelancers.

She currently resides in sunny Scottsdale, AZ.

Sarah Gale, Marketing Research Specialist

Sarah's marketing research background is rooted in her education at Indiana University, where she studied Marketing and Mathematics.  After graduation, she became a Research Analyst and later an Associate Manager at Nielsen BASES, a leading global research firm.  At Nielsen BASES, she consulted with many of the top US consumer packaged goods companies, helping clients to grow through successful innovation.

Sarah's analytic mind, thirst for data and follow-through makes her an asset to the LiFt team of freelancers.

Sarah currently resides in Chicagoland.

Rachel Crawford, Content Strategy & Copywriting

Rachel has been a storyteller her whole life, and professionally she has focused on creating smart editorial solutions to help brands communicate better. Whether honing internal positioning to rally a company around a shared vision, strategizing content for a new website or communications system, or writing compelling copy, her passion is in finding the most authentic, unique way to express a brand's character.

Rachel has worked with brands in many industries, but her focus is on hospitality, food, and lifestyle. She currently resides in New York City, where she has lived for the past 11 years.