Curley Company Announces Strategic Hires to Fuel Continued Agency Growth and Expansion

Curley Company by Curley Company | October 17, 2023

Additions include vice presidents Chelsea Echavarria, Pheniece Jones and Kate Urbach, and creative director Gloria Funes

Curley Company has announced the hiring of four new leaders to expand its corporate, public affairs and media relations centers of excellence as the award-winning, independent, full-service communications firm continues to distinguish itself as a go-to for companies and organizations looking to grow as thought leaders, influence policy and drive innovation in their industries. The hires include vice presidents Chelsea Echavarria, Pheniece Jones and Kate Urbach and creative director Gloria Funes. The hires come in a year when Curley Company has been repeatedly recognized as a top public relations agency in Washington D.C. and North America including winning PR Week’s Outstanding Small Agency of the Year in 2023 and Best Places to Work in 2022.

“Curley is in the business of driving meaningful results for our clients and we do that through our award-winning team and a relentless focus on client service,” said president KayAnn Schoeneman. “Ensuring we have stellar talent is how we continue to provide the smart strategy, flawless implementation and impactful creativity that our clients count on. Adding Chelsea, Pheniece, Kate and Gloria to the team is a game changer for Curley as we continue to expand and grow our capabilities.”

Highlights about Curley Company’s new hires:

  • Chelsea Echavarria, vice president:  Chelsea joins Curley from Edelman where she served as a vice president. Her expertise is in health communications, with previous roles at ICF Next, American Diabetes Association, The Obesity Society and Ketchum. Chelsea is also a leader in the communications industry serving, most notably, as the incoming president of Washington Women in Public Relations.
  • Pheniece Jones, vice president: Pheniece brings 15 years of earned media, consumer marketing and multicultural communications expertise to Curley. Most recently she served as Director of Media Relations at the Professional Services Council (PSG) and previously spent 5 years at Edelman leading food and beverage accounts including Starbucks.
  • Kate Urbach, vice president: Kate is a global thought leadership expert with previous experience at Edelman, Ketchum and Havas managing clients such as Fund for Peace, United Nations Foundation and Truth Initiative. She has been recognized by the PR industry including PR News Rising Star (2014) and more recently as a finalist for WWPR’s Emerging Leaders Mid/Large Agency Category (2021). 
  • Gloria Funes, creative director: Gloria is an innovative visual storyteller with over 15 years of experience in leading designs across diverse media platforms. She leads Curley’s Creative Studio, leveraging her extensive background in graphic design, brand management and video production to bring creative concepts to life. Prior to joining Curley, Gloria spent nearly a decade advancing brands and their priorities in the public sector through impactful creative.

Chelsea, Pheniece and Kate report to Julie Crimmins, vice president, director of client services. Gloria reports to Tina Anthony, senior vice president, head of digital. Both Crimmins and Anthony report to Schoeneman.

Last year, Curley experienced its third year of triple-digit organic year-over-year growth, doubling client and team rosters and tripling operating profit. Expertise spans diverse industries and sectors, with approximately 60% of the firm’s business focused on healthcare, technology and financial sector clients. More than one-third of the firm’s clients are public affairs clients focused on federal, state and/or local issue advocacy.

About Curley Company

Curley Company is an award-winning, woman-owned-and-led strategic communications firm, founded in 2002 by Jennifer Curley. The agency is based in Washington, D.C., serving clients around the country and the world, and is known for delivering full-service, smart communications strategy. Curley was recognized in 2023 by winning PRWeek’s Outstanding Small Agency of the Year and being named as a 2022 PRWeek Best Place to Work. The company was also honored by Provoke Media as a finalist for Boutique Agency of the Year in North America and ranked by the Washington Business Journal as a top PR firm in Washington for the past six years. Clients range from Fortune 100 companies and large trade associations to start-ups and nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.