Hank Spring draws on more than three decades of experience as a senior executive in government, industry and professional services to counsel clients across the full range of public relations and marketing disciplines. Before joining Gaffney Bennett Public Relations, Hank served as senior vice president and led the corporate practice at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide/New York. His team provided media and investor relations, brand management, and crisis communications programs for global leaders in the financial services, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, and legal markets. Previously, Hank was a partner at Brunswick Group, an international financial communications firm, where he provided media relations, crisis management and strategic counsel on a range of transactions. From 1983 to 1997, Hank held a variety of management positions at Pitney Bowes, Inc. in Stamford, CT., including Executive Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. Before joining Pitney Bowes, Hank served as chief of staff for U.S. Congressman Stewart B. McKinney. He earned his B.A. from Fairfield University, and completed post-graduate executive training at the Wharton School.
Patrick Kinney has over 20 years of experience designing integrated communications programs on behalf of some of the world’s most respected brands. He joined Gaffney Bennett Public Relations from Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide/New York, where he was a senior vice president in the Corporate Practice. His responsibilities at Ogilvy PR included designing, implementing, and directing stakeholder communications, crisis communications, corporate branding, and public relations programs for a variety of clients. Among them were: Deloitte & Touche LLP, BP, and Qwest Communications. Prior to joining Ogilvy PR, Patrick served as a manager/public affairs for UST, Inc., a Fortune 500 consumer products company. During his seven-year tenure at UST, Inc., he was responsible for directing public affairs and cause-related marketing programs for the company’s prime subsidiaries, which include the United States Smokeless Tobacco Company, the world’s leading marketer of moist smokeless tobacco, and Stimson Lane Wine and Spirits, Ltd., a premium winery. From 1987 to 1990, Patrick served as legislative liaison to Governor William A. O’Neill, D-CT, coordinating the legislative agendas of more than 60 state agencies. Patrick earned his B.A. at Villanova University.
Justin May has more than 6 years of experience designing and implementing full-service PR and communications campaigns for a diverse set of clients across various industries including healthcare, financial services, energy and utilities, technology, trade associations, construction and labor, and the non-profit sector. At Gaffney Bennett Public Relations, he utilizes his strong writing and communications background to help his clients achieve their communications goals. With a specialty in media relations, Justin has secured hundreds of media placements with outlets across the country on behalf of his clients.
Justin earned his B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Connecticut. Outside of work, he serves as Chair of the Development Committee on the Board of Directors for the Literacy Volunteers of Central CT, where he also volunteers as an English as a Second Language (ESL) tutor. Additionally, he volunteers as Assistant Coach of the Men’s Soccer Team at Elms College in Chicopee, MA.
Christina Griffin has been with Gaffney Bennett Public Relations for three years after spending four years in the local Connecticut news business. Christina utilizes her knowledge of reporting, local news procedures and newsroom contacts to provide clients with a unique industry perspective that has proven extremely valuable when managing media relations for clients.
She now executes full-service PR campaigns for clients in a variety of industries including energy and utilities, healthcare, financial services and broadcast/entertainment.
Prior to joining GBPR, Christina served as the morning show producer for the inaugural 4:30 a.m. broadcast at WFSB, which quickly became the highest-rated local news show in that time slot following its debut in September 2010.
Christina’s other responsibilities at WFSB included updating the station’s website and social media platforms and writing for the station’s news and lifestyle program, “Better Connecticut.” Prior to her position at WFSB, Christina worked with various news outlets across the state, including NBCConnecticut and Waterbury’s daily newspaper, the Republican-American.
A native of Connecticut, Christina earned a dual B.A. in Journalism and Communication Sciences from the University of Connecticut.
Chris Velardi brings more than 20 years of journalism and media experience to Gaffney Bennett Public Relations. He joined the team in March 2015 after nearly 15 years at WTNH/NEWS8, Connecticut’s ABC affiliate. Beginning in 2009, Chris anchored the station’s morning newscast, “Good Morning Connecticut.” He was also an Emmy-nominated reporter covering stories ranging from hard news to fun features. Prior to his tenure with WTNH, Chris worked at television and radio stations in Pennsylvania and New York. Chirs uses his experience and extensive knowledge of how the media works to help GBPR clients develop their communications strategy and share their stories. Chris is a Connecticut native who lives on the shoreline with his wife and two children. He is a graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications. He earned a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Political Science.
Sarah Whitney has more than eight years of experience designing and implementing marketing and communications plans for clients in a variety of industries. Sarah joined the Gaffney Bennett Public Relations team in March 2015, after working for five years as the marketing director at dzynr, a graphic design and branding agency serving clients throughout Connecticut. While at dzynr, Sarah was responsible for developing and directing strategic marketing campaigns that promoted her clients’ product messages and brand. Previously, Sarah was part of the Marketing Communications team at Sensor Switch, a manufacturing firm in Wallingford, where she served as the main copywriter and supported the company’s public relations and communications plans. A native of New Hampshire, Sarah lives in Greater Hartford with her husband and daughter. A graduate of Fordham University, Sarah earned her B.S. in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing.