Maura FitzGerald

Co-Founder and Partner

Maura is one of Boston’s most seasoned public relations veterans. With decades of experience and not one, but two, high-growth PR agencies under her belt, Maura was the 2019 recipient of Boston PR Club’s John J. Molloy Crystal Bell Lifetime Achievement Award.

Over her career, Maura successfully founded and grew one of the premier U.S. brands in strategic technology communications, FitzGerald Communications. Under Maura’s direction, the agency immediately became one of the fastest-growing technology public relations firms, rapidly transitioning from regional boutique to respected national brand in less than three years. After successfully building FitzGerald Communications to five offices and nearly 200 PR professionals, Maura sold FitzGerald Communications to Omnicom Corp. in 2002.

A serial entrepreneur, Maura could not sit back when she witnessed a market opportunity evolving. With new technology innovations flooding the market as a result of digitization, Maura was poised to address the sophisticated communications challenges of these emerging companies. Together with Jean Serra, an experienced technology communications strategist and senior executive from FitzGerald Communications, she launched Version 2.0 Communications, now V2 Communications, in late 2006.

After her experience running FitzGerald, Maura wanted to establish a firm that is boutique by design. Since its inception, Maura has grown V2’s client roster to include several unicorns, disruptors and pioneers in the mobility, green technology, enterprise software and even nonprofit spaces. Today, V2 is recognized as a “Best Place to Work” in Boston and beyond. 

Maura brings her unique blend of communications strategy and business management to counsel CEOs and senior marketing leaders from some of technology’s most innovative market pioneers, including Sony, Motorola, Digital Equipment Corp., Compaq, Sapient, Peregrine and Manugistics. Working with these industry giants from their early days, Maura has designed programs to establish industry awareness, bolster credibility and position these organizations for future successful liquidity events.

She continues to bring this expertise and experience to V2’s clients through her direct management and mentoring of the agency’s leading account teams. Read Maura’s Forbes column here.

Jean Serra

Co-Founder and Partner

As Co-Founder and Partner at V2 Communications, Jean Serra has over 20 years of experience helping disruptive companies become ascending brands. Clients know Jean for her unmatched depth of industry expertise in the enterprise, consumer and professional services sectors. Jean’s teams know her to develop high-impact programs that drive results and build brand for hundreds of organizations worldwide, including UiPath, HPE and Breakthrough Energy Ventures.

Since co-founding V2, Jean has pioneered innovative strategies in communications, PR/AR, social media, content marketing, influencer relations, measurement, and strategic messaging and positioning. She leads a team of experienced executives in Boston, New York and San Francisco to develop award-winning programs that fuel rapid growth, shift market perception and drive measurable business impact within both consumer and B2B sectors.

Thanks to Jean, V2 has grown into a firm where senior-level management remains involved at every level. She and Maura play active roles not only in spearheading client programs, but also in cultivating homegrown talent within the agency. To realize this vision, Jean designed a culture that organizes and nurtures its employees around a standard for excellence and a commitment to delivering high-quality, impactful work and service to clients. As a result, V2 has been dubbed a “Best Place to Work” several times over the years. 

Prior to V2, Jean served as a senior vice president at leading tech PR agency FitzGerald Communications, where she oversaw strategic communications campaigns and managed teams in flawless execution for both emerging growth brands and established market leaders. Her extensive career has also included senior account management positions at Fleishman-Hillard and Red Whistle Communications (a Weber Shandwick company).

Jen Plimpton

Chief Operating Officer

As head of operations for V2, Jen is responsible for day-to-day agency management, from finance, to office management and everything in between. Her extensive background and experience working with services companies makes her uniquely equipped for keeping the parts and pieces of agency life moving forward. 

Prior to V2, Jen spent more than a decade at a North Shore ad agency, acting as director of finance and operations. Before that, she worked in finance for a West Coast retailer.

Katelyn Holbrook

Senior Vice President, Managing Director

Katelyn sets the strategic direction for communications programs and never settles for the status quo. During her 15-year career in PR, Katelyn has helped her clients create categories, dethrone established market leaders, attract top talent and poise themselves for acquisition by applying an integrated mix of PR, content and social strategies. As a direct result of her work, they have taken the stage at SXSW, been interviewed by Jim Cramer on CNBC’s Mad Money, appeared among Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies and graced the pages of The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Financial Times. She is proud to have represented global brands such as Nielsen, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and the University of Michigan, as well as disruptive technology companies including Blue Prism, Betterment, Rave Mobile Safety and Panjiva (now part of S&P Global).

In addition to her account work, Katelyn leads V2’s content practice, which launched in 2017. In this role, she helps account teams bring content marketing best practices to campaigns and oversees a team of writers dedicated to executive ghostwriting, long-form content development and owned social media channels. She also works closely with V2’s research, design and technology partners to ensure seamless, end-to-end execution of content campaigns. 

Katelyn has served as co-executive director of Boston Content, a nonprofit dedicated to education and networking to advance the careers of local content professionals, and began her career with in-house marketing roles in the commercial real estate and hospitality sectors. She graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English from Assumption College and holds an M.A. in marketing communications from Emerson College.

Melissa Mahoney

Senior Vice President

Melissa Mahoney has spent more than 20 years building and protecting B2B and high-tech brands through integrated marketing and communications programs. She brings both top-tier agency experience advising high-growth, emerging tech companies, along with strategic communication leadership within established enterprises to her role at V2. In addition to overseeing client engagements, Melissa heads up the firm’s crisis communications practice. 

Prior to joining V2, Melissa was the vice president of corporate communications for start-up SimpliVity, where she oversaw global media and analyst relations, brand management and social media programs. Previously, she was the vice president of corporate communications for Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM), a $3B information management company based in Boston, MA. Over the course of a decade, Melissa built and lead external and employee communications, global brand management, crisis communications and customer marketing functions for the S&P 500 business. 

Prior to Iron Mountain, Melissa was the director of corporate communications for Corporate Software, where she drove internal and external communications for the $1B+ international software reseller and its parent company, REBAR, a corporate incubator. She was recruited from the Weber Group, where she was an account director in the agency’s Emerging Business Practice, with focuses on IT security and e-commerce. Representative clients included: Security Dynamics/RSA (acquired by EMC), NextPoint Networks (acquired by Netscout), Netegrity (acquired by CA) and (acquired by WebEx). 

Melissa launched her PR career with Golin/Harris, a top consumer PR agency in New York. She earned a B.S. in broadcast journalism and a minor in English literature from Boston University.

Kristen Leathers

Vice President

Kristen Leathers is a vice president at V2, where she develops strategic communications programs that build brand visibility and credibility while underscoring solution and thought leadership. 

A media relations expert, Kristen quickly discerns the “so what” of clients’ innovations and capabilities to develop messaging and programs that support critical business objectives. Her work for clients – spanning industries including AI, health care, enterprise IT and energy – has landed coveted broadcast segments on CNBC and Bloomberg, as well print features in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review and Forbes. 

Kristen joined the V2 team in December 2012 and has worked in the company’s Boston and New York offices. She graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2011, earning her B.A. in English. 

Jenna Gilligan

Vice President

Jenna Gilligan is a vice president at V2, where she develops strategic communications programs that build clients’ brands and position them as leaders in their industries. 

A former publishing professional, Jenna has a keen eye for what makes a good story and works hand-in-hand with clients to develop programs that showcase their unique points of view and value propositions. With experience spanning industries such as enterprise and consumer technology, manufacturing, health care, human resources and higher education, Jenna has secured coverage in publications such as the New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, Bloomberg, Forbes and Consumer Reports. 

Jenna joined the V2 team in 2014 and works in the company’s Boston office. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Scranton and an M.A. in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College.

Emily Lospennato

Vice President

Emily Lospennato is a vice president at V2, where she develops strategic communications programs that build her clients’ brand credibility and position them as leaders in their respective industries. 

With a background in creative writing and musical theater, Emily is a born storyteller and media relations expert. She has worked with clients spanning a variety of industries, including enterprise IT, higher education, and financial services, and has earned coveted media placements in publications including Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, the Wall Street Journal, and the Boston Globe. 

Emily rejoined V2 in 2021 after serving as in-house public relations counsel at New England Law | Boston and Metro Credit Union where she developed and executed marketing programs with an emphasis on PR and social media. She originally joined V2 in 2013. 

Emily holds a B.F.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, and an M.S. in Public Relations from Boston University’s College of Communication.

Elise Simard

Media/Public Speaking Specialist

Elise is a seasoned employee development and corporate trainer with an extensive background in broadcast production and business development. Over the past decade, Elise has worked with companies to advance their organizational growth by fostering employee professional development. Elise’s experience in the broadcast field includes working with stations such as WCVB-TV Channel 5, Sports Channel New England, ESPN and SVS, Inc.

As a producer, she developed content and stories for the U.S. Department of Education, CNN, SAT 1 German TV, Reuters, and E! Entertainment Television.

She became a highly sought-after communications specialist recognized for effectively preparing speakers for live shot interviews and media tours. Elise is dedicated to the process of continuous research in business communication methodologies and on-going refinement to the programs based on the most current training philosophies. Her training and corporate coaching style reflect her belief in immediate implementation to maximize tangible results.