As CEO and co-founder at V2 Communications, Jean Serra has over 20 years of experience helping disruptive companies become ascending brands. Clients know Jean for her strategic communications counsel and expertise building brand awareness across enterprise, healthcare and clean tech sectors. Jean’s teams know her to develop high-impact programs that drive results for hundreds of organizations worldwide, including UiPath and Breakthrough Energy Ventures.
Since co-founding V2 in 2006, 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 to develop award-winning programs that fuel rapid growth, shift market perception and drive measurable business impact within both consumer and B2B sectors.
Under Jean’s leadership, V2 has grown into a firm where senior-level management remains involved at every level. She plays an active role 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).
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 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 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 Intranets.com (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 is a senior 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 is the vice president of human resources at V2 Communications where she oversees V2’s recruiting and talent management initiatives. Before moving to the operations side, Jenna spent seven years at V2 working hand-in-hand with clients to develop effective communications programs and with senior agency leadership to develop V2’s staff and workplace culture.
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.
Nicole is a passionate, creative communications professional dedicated to developing PR programs that directly map back to her clients’ business goals. As a Vice President, Nicole partners with her clients to dive deep into their messaging, competitive landscape and desired business outcomes to lead her teams to execute robust communications strategies spanning media, content, social and beyond. She’s worked with a variety of organizations across the enterprise technology, cleantech, and healthtech industries, from early-stage startups to large, public companies. Her experience in these industries has made her an expert on distilling deeply technical topics into easy-to-understand messages and stories that capture audience attention and boost brand awareness.
Nicole uniquely understands what’s required to generate highly coveted media placements—including developing the right messaging, identifying the right story elements and engaging the right reporter, editor or producer. As a result, she’s cultivated strong media relationships and secured client features in top-tier outlets including CNBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, WIRED and Fast Company, as well as a client cover story for Forbes Magazine. Nicole has also helped land clients on stage at high-profile events—such as Fortune Brainstorm Tech, Forbes Cloud 100 Summit and VentureBeat Transform—and has been responsible for helping drive coverage and media engagement at her clients’ annual conferences. In addition to leading award-winning client programs, Nicole has also channeled her passion for and expertise in media relations to support V2—conducting regular analyses of the media landscape to help every account team successfully navigate reporters’ shifting focus areas and shrinking newsrooms to drive client results.
Nicole joined V2 as an apprentice in September 2015 after graduating Cum Laude a semester early from Bentley University, earning her B.S. in Marketing and Liberal Studies with a concentration in Media Arts & Society.
Megan Nealon is a vice president at V2 Communications, where she develops and oversees dynamic communications programs that build clients’ brands and support their business goals, effectively delivering core messages to key audiences and positioning clients as leaders in their industries. Megan is a collaborative counselor to clients big and small across myriad industries and categories, including proptech, HR tech, AI, marketing tech, enterprise SaaS, among others. She supports clients in evolving and adapting their programs to ensure business needs are met, from standing up social programs to developing content strategies and assets, to sourcing unique corporate storylines and thought leadership angles to build media programs.
Prior to V2, Megan worked as an account director at Marino, a full-service strategic communications firm. There, she planned and executed media campaigns for clients in various industries, including real estate, proptech, education and non-profit. Additionally, she led the advertising unit, planning and executing paid campaigns for clients.
Megan graduated from Loyola University Maryland, where she earned her bachelor’s in Advertising and Public Relations, with a minor in Marketing. She currently lives in Hingham, MA with her husband, daughter and French bulldog, Philip.
Jillian Saftel Young is a vice president at V2, where she develops strategic communications programs that successfully drive awareness for and support the overarching organizational goals of her clients.
A storyteller at heart, Jillian expertly connects the dots between industry trends, media conversations and clients’ value propositions and unique points of view. Her work for clients—spanning industries including enterprise IT, clean tech and education—has resulted in coverage in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Technology, Business Insider and Forbes.
She is also passionate about working with mission-driven organizations making a positive impact in the world and is proud to have represented organizations including Horizons for Homeless Children and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Massachusetts, and to have helped spearhead V2’s PR workshops for mission-driven organizations.
Jillian first joined V2 as a Northeastern co-op in 2011. She graduated from Northeastern University with her B.A. in journalism.
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.