Colonel (Ret) Paul Bricker is the founder and Chief Executive of our firm and leads our Defense Practice Team.
Paul retired from the Army in 2012 at the rank of colonel after over 28 years of distinguished service culminating in his assignment as the Chief of the US Army’s Senate Liaison Division with their Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs. Prior to his service on Capitol Hill, he served as the 2010-2011 Army Senior Fellow at Harvard.
An aviation professional with a record of leading high-performing organizations on multiple combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, Paul brings a wealth of experience to clients seeking insight and strategy in defense systems, public diplomacy, aviation, Veteran issues, leadership, strategic planning, and outreach. His skills, intellect, and credibility resulting from his nearly three decades of service to our nation provide a valuable perspective to assist clients in defining and developing reasoned and valid solutions to complex challenges facing Washington decision makers. Paul’s unique credibility, combat experience and three tours in the Pentagon offer our domestic and international clients perspective and wisdom useful in developing creative and nuanced strategies to communicate effectively with the federal government and the Congress.
He was also the former lead of the Defense Practice at The Livingston Group.
Katie Bricker provides leadership, management, and oversight to the Education and Customer Support staff at Effective Communication Strategies. She also provides expertise in strategy and communication for the Government Relations staff. Katie is a graduate of Northwestern University with her BA in history and international studies with a Russian minor and George Mason University’s School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs with her Master’s in Public Policy. Katie worked as a government negotiator for close to a decade for nonproliferation issues and now brings her education and experience to assist the customers of ECS to meet their goals and needs.
Captain Mike Coffield is a veteran of the airline industry, representing the interests of pilots and business in government affairs.
Mr. Coffield previously served as the chairman of government affairs for United Continental Holdings, and was a commercial pilot for more than 30 years, including 23,000 hours as pilot-in-command. During his extensive career, he has been an advisor to cabinet secretaries in the Clinton, Bush, and Obama Administrations. Mr. Coffield has worked extensively with the departments of Defense and Transportation, the White House's Council of Economic Advisers, and multiple intelligence communities. He has also provided congressional testimony on multiple occasions and topics, provided policy advice to congressional committees, and helped craft legislation.
Within the context of aviation, his work has touched on many issues including security, environment, foreign relations, federal aviation and airport regulation and FAA reauthorization, labor, commerce, and energy. His two year legislative effort on the creation and passage of the Pension Protection Act produced a savings of more than $2 billion in pension fund contribution savings for his employer, Continental Airline.
Mr. Coffield was selected by the House of Representatives to independently lead the congressional investigation into the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800, and as served as a congressional delegation tour advisor on multiple tips to countries such as Cuba, Sierra Leon, China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Vatican City.
Mr. Coffield is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with bachelor of arts in Sociology. He is active in his community through a range of charitable endeavors, including the WINGS Foundation.
Captain (Ret.) Sean Liedman provides maritime strategy, maritime surveillance, and defense acquisition expertise.
Sean retired from the Navy in 2016 at the rank of captain after 25 years of distinguished service. He led the planning and programming for the transformation of the Navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance force while serving as the Maritime Branch Head in the Air Warfare Division on the Navy staff in the Pentagon and then went on to command the wing that led the transition to the Navy’s newest maritime surveillance platforms - the P-8A “Poseidon” and MQ-4C “Triton”.
In addition to his operational and acquisition experience, Sean served as a Navy Fellow at the Weatherhead Center at Harvard in 2010-2011 and at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York in 2015-2016.
Sean brings a wealth of experience to clients seeking insight into maritime strategy, maritime surveillance, and the defense acquisition system. He has a unique mix of operational, acquisition, and strategic planning experience garnered through extensive combat experience, two tours in the Pentagon, and two tours as a Fellow at prestigious think tanks.
He is the Founder and President of Eagle Strategy, Inc. based in Topsham, Maine.
We recently added Youngbee Dale to our team to help address the US governments increasing focus on human trafficking and its nexus with organized criminal networks. Her specialty is in the trafficking of Korean women. She has over 10 years of experience in combating trafficking in persons in the U.S. and abroad. Prior to joining Effective Communications Strategies team, she was a program manager at Global Centurion, the subject matter expert from 2013-2016 to the Department of Defense Combatting Trafficking in Persons Office (CTIP). As a Subject Matter expert on Asian trafficking in the U.S., Youngbee has utilized her Korean language skill and bicultural background to assist federal and state law enforcement (LE) agencies and numerous nonprofits. Clients with whom she has worked include the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Norfolk Office, the Virginia Beach Justice Initiative, the U.S. Department of State, and the World Bank. Her subject matter expertise is trafficking and related criminal activities.
Jennifer Travis provides customer service and support for science supplies, physical fitness equipment, and furniture for the broad array of Effective Communication Strategies (ECS) clients. Working for the company since its inception, Jennifer is an expert in providing world class customer service in a variety of disciplines. She works with clients in the federal and state government as well as International Schools. Jennifer works with our vendors and customers to ship everything from chemicals to frogs to furniture in the most cost effective manner possible around the world. With more than 18 years of education experience, Jennifer provides our customers a wealth of knowledge and her accounting background ensures attention to detail to provide our customers with the best possible value to meet their needs.
Wendy Mills provides customer support for our international clients. Wendy is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Technical Management. With 17 years IT experience and over 20 years in the education field, Wendy provides a diverse range of knowledge and expertise to our clients.
Brigadier General (Ret) Victor Petrenko is a first generation Ukrainian-American, who served his country with distinction throughout his 30 years of service leading large scale multi-disciplined global organizations. His military experiences range from commanding tactical units through the Brigade Combat Team level in the 82nd Airborne Division, the operational level as the Chief of Staff of Combined Joint Task Force-82 in Afghanistan, and most recently strategically leading the premier security assistance organization in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Vic retired in 2015 with 30 years of experience leading large scale multi-disciplined global organizations. Not only does he possess a proven record of mastering complexity and cross-sector collaboration, but he is also a leader of character and action, an experienced strategic and critical thinker, and an effective communicator with exceptional innovation, transformation, and team-building skills.
Uniquely qualified to face the nuanced and sensitive challenges of the international environment, Vic expertly cultivated relationships, developed trust, and discreetly negotiated strategic programs involving procurement, services, and construction for defense, security, education, housing, aviation, and healthcare.
His leadership, skills, insights and perspective are invaluable.
Amy Petrenko, a military spouse for over 26 years, has successfully advocated for educational, healthcare, and family issues as a proud camp follower around the world.
Earning a Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University of Ohio, she experienced the challenges of elementary education first hand in Ohio, Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina. Afterwards, she homeschooled her children for 9 years, resulting in both children attending prestigious universities. Determined to help military families with the educational challenges they faced with every subsequent move around the world, Amy became active in the local school boards, school systems, and legislatures.
In addition, Amy has been a diabetic for 21 years and an insulin pump patient for 17 years. Again, serving as a representative of the families or as a sitting member of advisory boards, she provided observations and well reasoned solutions to the hospitals and clinics in North Carolina, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Saudi Arabia.
Extremely experienced, thoughtful, and compassionate, Amy has always made a positive impact where ever her travels have taken her.
Kylene Arnold is responsible for the team's visual media communications, specializing in video production and website design. After graduating cumma sum laude with a degree in Cinema and Video Production in 2009, she participated in 5 feature films and before branching out into corporate and documentary filmmaking. Her work has helped clients around the world reach their audiences at both the mind and heart level to effect powerful change.
She has also designed dozens of websites for professional firms across the country, combining artistry with strong written communication skills to improve business' professional presence and persuasion where a growing number of their clients are going first for information.
Her personal motto, which she strives to practice for every client is Nil satis nisi optimum – “Nothing but the best is good enough.” Kylene believes in giving her personal best to every client every time and then striving to raise the bar for the next project through zealous learning and constant growth.