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Nicolazzo & Associates

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New Senior Consultants Join N&A

BARRY D. WANGER, LEADING HIGHER EDUCATION PUBLIC RELATIONS COUNSELOR, JOINS NICOLAZZO & ASSOCIATES AS SENIOR CONSULTANT 

BOSTON, November 20, 2013 – Barry D. Wanger, one of the nation’s leading higher education public relations counselors, has joined the Education Group Practice at Nicolazzo & Associates (N&A) as a senior consultant.

Wanger is a former Director of Public Affairs for the National Endowment for the Humanities, Brandeis University, University of California at Santa Barbara, and Wheelock College.  He has also worked in colleges and universities as a member of the Board of Trustees, an adjunct faculty member, and as a special assistant to the president. 

Wanger, who founded his own public relations agency in 1985, has won more than 30 regional and national public relations awards, including lifetime achievement awards from the Public Relations Society of America (Boston Chapter) and the Publicity Club of New England.

 Among the high profile projects Wanger has managed include the robbery at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the launching of the American Business Collaboration for Quality Dependent Care, and the 50th anniversary of the Framingham Heart Study.

Richard E. Nicolazzo, N&A managing partner, said, “Barry brings clients unparalleled, hands-on experience in understanding and managing the many complex issues that educational institutions must grapple with. We are pleased to have him on our team.”

Wanger said, “The communications needs for elementary schools to colleges and universities have become increasingly complex and critical, as a crisis – real or perceived – if not handled correctly, can seriously damage an institution’s reputation and put development and enrollment management programs at risk.” 

The announcement that Wanger has become a senior consultant further strengthens the firm’s expanding education practice. In September, Nicolazzo & Associates announced that Michael J. Maher, former head of Berkshire School, had also joined the team as a senior consultant.

The primary mission of the Education Group Crisis Planning Practice is to work with boards and senior school managers to help ensure that institutions meet (and whenever possible exceed) all legal and insurance requirements for risk and crisis communications planning. The Group’s purpose is to also form long-standing relationships that allow outside professionals to assist in real-time crises as well as review and upgrade crisis planning on a yearly basis.

Additionally, the Education Group Practice provides general strategic communications counsel and public relations programs that promote programs, services and new initiatives for educational institutions. All plans and services provided by Nicolazzo & Associates are customized to fit the specific needs of individual schools and colleges. 

MICHAEL J. MAHER, FORMER HEAD OF BERKSHIRE SCHOOL, JOINS NICOLAZZO & ASSOCIATES AS SENIOR CONSULTANT 

Senior Executive Will Lead Business Development Efforts As Firm Expands Its Education Group Practice 

Michael J. Maher, former Head of Berkshire School, Sheffield, Mass., and veteran senior administrator in the education sector, has joined Nicolazzo & Associates as a senior consultant.

Mr. Maher, who has more than 25 years of experience, will lead business development efforts as the firm expands its Education Group Crisis Communications Planning Practice.

Richard E. Nicolazzo, managing partner, said, “Having held leadership roles at major prestigious preparatory schools, Michael brings clients unparalleled, hands-on experience in understanding and managing the many complex crises that educational institutions face every day.”

While at Berkshire, Maher ushered the institution through a nine-year period of unprecedented growth. During his tenure, the school developed leading edge facilities for every area of school life, set new highs in both annual and capita fundraising, more than doubled admissions, and nearly tripled the school’s endowment.

Mr. Maher said, “Becoming associated with a distinguished firm like Nicolazzo & Associates is a logical extension of my experience in education and desire to provide counsel at the highest level. Having been part of many crises at schools where I was in senior administrative roles, I know full well the value of crisis communications expertise and support.

“Now, more than ever, prep schools and colleges and universities need to not only manage existing crises, but establish contingency plans that meet accreditation and insurance standards. When a crisis hits, a school’s reputation may depend on how the issue is managed,” added Maher.

Prior to serving as Head of School at Berkshire, Maher was a history teacher, varsity hockey coach, admission officer, and Dean of Students at the Taft School, Watertown, Conn. He received his BA from the University of Vermont and Master’s degree in Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University. He is a frequent presenter and speaker at national conferences for independent schools, pre-prep independent schools, as well as various community organizations. 

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