Like a lot of you, we hate to self-promote, but love to help people and praise others. So we got creative and wrote each other’s bios.
John Doyle is the guy you want sitting next to you at one of those long, boring dinner functions. He’ll keep the table entertained with stories from his past as a bartender, journalist, dock-worker, and 20 years in DC working for nonprofits large and small. Along with his anecdotes, he’ll extract the humor, charm, and wit from everyone around him—ensuring that everyone gets to shine. It’s these traits, along with his skill as a listener, which makes everyone want to be his literal or figurative lunch buddy. Seriously, it’s kind of ridiculous. Everyone from CEOs to servers want to hang out with him.
Of course, it takes more than a winning personality to develop and manage communications strategies for the nation’s largest trade associations, top-tier universities, leading charities, and Fortune 500 companies for more than 20 years. In the course of representing national organizations during critical (and sometimes historic) challenges, Doyle’s been on and in pretty much every major media outlet—from ABC’s World News Tonight to FOX’s O’Reilly Factor, from CNN’s Crossfire to Comedy Central’s Daily Show, from Diane Rehm to Rush Limbaugh, and all of the major daily newspapers.
There’s a reason why these organizations kept asking him to serve as their spokesman—he’s able to think well on his feet (credit to his ADHD) and able to weave arguments, stories, and memorable phrases together in compelling narratives. His talent for organizational storytelling and quick thinking has led a number of communications experts to come to him when they’re stuck in a dilemma. Several of his off-the-cuff ideas have shaped the course of national policy debates, but he’s too kind to either turn people away or take credit. He’s an active member of the Association Foundation Group, serving on several of its committees.
Megan McDonald is the smartest person in the room. Any room. And it’s not because she graduated from Yale University with honors, earned her Master’s degree from The London School of Economics, and is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, the National Political Science Honor Society. Those were simply byproducts of her smarts. Megan’s brilliance is the result of good genes and a lifelong love of learning.
Megan also has a lifelong love of teaching. She spent half of her college career helping inner-city children improve their reading, and the other half serving as a research assistant to everyone from Yale faculty to the Associate Secretary.
Soon after arriving in Washington DC, Megan was selected to participate in the highly competitive Air Force Intelligence PALACE Acquire Program. But she declined the honor in order to pursue a career in the private sector where she could continue to learn, advise, and teach.
Megan’s intelligence, poise, and viper-quick ability to synthesize complex data into understandable concepts allowed her to punch way above her weight class at a very young age. She served as the director of research for a nationally recognized labor policy think tank where she worked with world-renowned economists from Cornell, Dartmouth, and Carnegie Mellon, as well as the Senate HELP Committee, and the Council of Economic Advisors to inform policy debates over healthcare and wage-setting legislation—before she was 26.
As managing director of a national trade association, McDonald advised executives from Brinker International, Darden, Anheuser–Busch InBev, Kendall-Jackson, Brown- Forman, SKYY, and Diageo. She routinely briefed Fortune 500 CEOs and executives, helping them to reposition their domestic policy issues within an international context—before she was 27. She was the US manager of the International Democracy and Security conference, a joint pro-democracy and human-rights initiative of former Soviet dissident and Israeli political leader Natan Sharansky, former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel, and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar—before she was 28.
She has developed new messaging and branding for the Prague Security Studies Institute as it expanded into the US; aided a for-profit company as it sought to expand into Europe with its National Security Internship; and worked with Doyle to create The Retirement Security Coalition, a partnership between leading financial services companies and nonprofits to increase the nation’s retirement readiness.
She is also an amazing writer. Her bylines and op-eds have run in the major national newspapers, including USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, Miami Herald, and Fort Worth Star-Telegram.