Happy Thanksgiving from the Culloton Strategies team!

Dennis Culloton, President & CEO

While jumping from crisis to crisis, it is easy to forget I have a lot to be thankful for.

I have a great family at home and here at Culloton Strategies.  It is a great team.  I am even more thankful for our clients.  We love them all and in addition to providing them with communications strategy and media relations, we will be happy to go to their homes Thursday and help prepare the turkey, mix the mash potatoes or, perhaps more fitting, clean up after the dinner guests make a mess.

I am thankful for the news stories that make me smile, like the one about Jack Taylor of Grinnell College. The D-3 guard scored an NCAA record 138 points in his team’s 179-104 win over Faith Baptist Bible.  He shot once every 20 seconds.  The lesson: If you are hot keep shooting, if you’re not, keep shooting until you get hot.  Hey Jack, pass me the ball, I’m open!


Jodie Kaplan, Vice President of Media Relations and Branding

This year I am thankful for friends, family and my health!  I was blessed this year to have married the love of my life and be surrounded by hundreds of our closest family and friends.  Someone once told me that they hope I have a life full of wealth.  At the time I thought they were crazy and rude.  But then they defined wealth in a way I never thought it could be defined, “Wealth is not defined by the amount of money you have, but by the number of people who surround you that you can call friends and family.”  And to that I say, I’m thankful, truly lucky and extremely wealthy.  😉


Tracey Mendrek, Senior Consultant

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for the strong women in my family. Grandma Jeanie turns 101 in July, only slightly sidelined by a broken hip this past Monday. She will be up and moving by Thanksgiving Day and with any luck back home by Christmas! No history lesson could teach me all the things I have learned from her.


Patrick Skarr, Account Supervisor

Maeve Frances SkarrA highlight of the year was the healthy arrival of my amazingly talented niece, Maeve Frances Skarr. She is well on her way to becoming a master chess champion, Rhodes scholar and an influential senator, though at the moment the mechanics of digesting solid foods is a challenge.

This year I’ve been blessed to celebrate good fortunes and meaningful occasions in the lives of so many friends and family. Having the opportunities to share in these moments is reason enough to never have a bad day; for all of the wonderful memories created this year, I am truly thankful.


Ashleigh Johnston, Consultant

Well, my niece may not be a scholar but she can eat all by herself. My oldest friend gave me the great honor of having her daughter call me Auntie – a pretty big deal for this only child. After being diagnosed with an immune deficiency disorder, she has to undergo weekly transfusions. When she said what she was thankful for this year, she said her doctors for making her better, mommy and daddy, her cousins and her Auntie Ashleigh. Needless to say I was incredibly touched so I am thankful that she is doing better, that she is such a happy little girl that runs into the arms of everyone she meets and despite being tiny, has a great big heart!

I’m thankful I get to spend the holiday with my boyfriend and family. Both live out of town so the chance to spend time with them is precious!


Manuel Ozaeta, Consultant

One of my favorite holidays is just around the corner, it is a time for thanks, turkey and tamales. Although, traditionally known as just a Christmas delicacy, tamales are primarily prepared when extended family gathers. Making the Mexican corn- based goodness can be a labor intensive process and often takes a village to make a delicious batch.

So this year I am thankful for that notion of togetherness and family. The family we are born into and the family we create.  Our imperfect lives gradually become complete as we connect with those around us for they shape our lives and we unknowingly influence theirs.

Happy Thanksgiving.


CeCe Marizu, Account Executive

I’ve been given so many opportunities throughout my life, from school to swimming and now in my career. It’s easy to forget about all the people who have been a part of those experiences.

I’m extremely thankful for my mentors.  They’ve taught me the most important lessons from listening to people to giving back, and I am forever in their debt.  I’m thankful for my amazing friends near and far away.  Thanks to phone calls, texting, Facebook, Instagram, gchat, and Twitter we literally are always connected. And without a doubt, I’m so thankful for my parents who would give up their world for me so I could have it all. Thanks for teaching me that patience, respect, and love are truly priceless.


Julia Schatz, Consultant

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for many things but I am especially grateful for my family, friends and their good health. I am also thankful to have a job during a time when so many people are struggling! Lastly, in my post-election daze, I am thankful I live in a country where everyone is entitled to their own opinion and citizens can actually help create change.