Ackermann Marketing & PR today announced the promotions of several team members. Pat Staats has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer. Erin Freeman and Tommy Smith have been promoted to the role of Senior Vice Presidents, and Ryan Oglesby has been promoted to Account Executive for the agency. Together, Freeman, Oglesby, Smith, and Staats bring 40 years of experience in providing Ackermann’s portfolio of clients with strategic communications counsel, including crisis and issues communications, media relations, brand positioning, strategic planning, community affairs and more.
“Our firm is fortunate to have Erin and Tommy as senior members of our team,” said Cathy Ackermann, CEO of Ackermann Marketing & PR. “Their years of experience, strategic thinking and ability to really move the needle for our clients makes them sought-after counselors in this community and beyond.”
Freeman joined Ackermann in 2012 specializing in media and community relations, strategic crisis communications planning and implementation, and perception management. Specific to Freeman’s media messaging expertise, she has served as the official spokesperson for many clients and has secured major earned editorial placement features with national media outlets such as CNN, NBC, ABC, The New York Times, and more. Since 2016, she has served as the “Millennial Expert” for WBIR-TV (NBC-Knoxville) and as a Millennial subject matter expert for Guidepoint Global Advisors. Recognized as one of Knoxville’s leaders, she was a member of the Leadership Knoxville Class of 2017 and was honored by the Greater Knoxville Business Journal as a “Top 40 Under 40” in 2014. In addition, she was named “Public Relations Manager of the Year” by the Knoxville Chapter of the American Advertising Federation in 2017 and has served on the board of directors for the East Tennessee Historical Society, Nucleus Knoxville, and the Ronald McDonald House, among others. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
Tommy Smith joined Ackermann in 2015 as Vice President of Marketing Strategy. He specializes in client strategy, product marketing, digital advertising, brand awareness, and business development. Smith holds an MBA in marketing from the University of Tennessee, and an undergraduate degree in business administration from Emory and Henry College in Emory, Va. He is an active leader in the Knoxville community as a member of the Knoxville City Council, board member for Ijams Nature center, as well as a member of the Knoxville Chamber’s Economic Development Council.
After spending several years at Ackermann as Controller, Pat Staats is moving into her new role as Chief Financial Officer. In this new role, Staats will oversee all financial and business operations for the firm.
“Pat has been a critical part of the company for more than twenty years,” said Ackermann. “This promotion acknowledges and formalizes a role she has really held for some time.”
Staats is a Certified Public Accountant and has a wealth of experience in the public accounting and healthcare industries. Prior to joining the Ackermann team, she served as a Consultant for Parker Sports Arena, and for Southeastern Orthopaedics in Knoxville, and later as Director of Finance with Conexus Management Group. Staats received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Belmont University.
Finally, Ryan Oglesby has been promoted to Account Executive for the agency. Oglesby has been at Ackermann for just over three years and has worked with a wide range of clients as an Assistant Account Executive and Account Coordinator. He serves as the lead on the agency’s creative and graphic design projects as well.
“We are excited for Ryan’s continued growth with our company,” said Ackermann. “He is already so instrumental in the creative work we do, and now as Account Executive, he will be working on all aspects of various projects for our clients.”
Oglesby earned a Bachelor of Communications from The University of Tennessee and later received an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Arts from Pellissippi State Community College.