Our Team

Jane Hulbert, partner at The Jane Group, has been the NAIS (National Association of Independent Schools) crisis communications consultant since 2001. She counsels independent, international, for profit, and charter schools on crisis and reputation management issues, crisis preparation and planning, messaging, media management, and provides training for the media spokesperson. She works with schools that are not in crisis, to prepare them for the possibility. She has handled hundreds of issues that have impacted schools, including arrests of teachers, sex abuse, past and present, high-profile lawsuits, safety matters and many other difficult and sensitive situations. Jane conducts trainings across the US and internationally.

Prior to consulting, Jane was a communications executive at McDonald’s Corporation responsible for the Crisis and Media Relations Department. She was the key spokesperson on high profile global crises including the "hot coffee” incident. Jane is a graduate of the Park Tudor School (IN) and a cum laude graduate of Boston University.

 

 

Jim Hulbert, J.D. is partner at The Jane Group and a labor and employment lawyer by training. Jim manages the firm’s ongoing caseload, he is the lead consultant on governance and board matters and complex legal matters in the U.S. and throughout the world. In his role with boards, Jim works closely with board chairs and their executive committees, both remotely and on-site. He advises boards on complex issues involving leadership challenges and best practices in governance. Jim also oversees the firm’s international business. He has presented at numerous international education conferences for independent schools, including NESA, EARCOS and at The International Task Force on Child Protection in Dubai. Internationally, the firm also works with CIS, ISS, AAIE, ECIS, NESA and others. Jim assists international school leaders and boards in implementing crisis plans, including communications and protocols, child protection plans, risk management, employment and HR policies. He trains school leadership in crisis management including sexual misconduct issues, and other highly sensitive matters.

Jim graduated from Culver Academies (IN). He was a Morehead-Cain Scholar at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and graduated magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with a degree in American Studies. In 1982, he earned his law degree at Boston College, cum laude. In addition, Jim has participated in the Northwestern University, Kellogg School For Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program, including Critical Issues of Board Governance and Nonprofit Finance, and Effective School Leadership. Jim has also received a certificate in Crisis Communications from the Northwestern University, MSC Executive Education School of Communications.

 

 

Maureen Irwin Maguire, senior consultant at The Jane Group, managed her own marketing and communications firm, where she provided a full range of communication services and results-driven marketing strategies. She handled numerous crises, including a train crash and an exposé – complete with hidden cameras – on a cardiac surgery program of a major teaching hospital, which aired on network television. She has also served as chief operating officer for three organizations: two in the field of healthcare and one in financial services.

A long-standing and ardent supporter of education, Maureen has been a member of the boards of trustees of various independent schools for 25 years, serving students from pre-k to grade 12. Her many roles have included chair of the board, chair of the marketing and communications committee, and member of the strategic planning and institutional advancement committees. Recently, as a board member, she oversaw the planning and management for a school in crisis, and served as their spokesperson. Maureen provides crisis management, strategy, and communications services to clients of The Jane Group. She holds a B.A. in Spanish. 

 

Siobhan Federici, consultant at The Jane Group, has nearly 20 years of experience working for colleges, universities, and independent schools. Most recently, she served as the chief external affairs officer of Miss Porter's School in Farmington, Connecticut. While there, Siobhan managed multiple public relations crises and handled media response to Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Newsweek, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and more. Additionally, she led the school's overall communications efforts including publications, website, and social media. Siobhan earned over a dozen awards for her work on the school's magazine and admission materials, including a Circle of Excellence Bronze Award from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.

Siobhan's previous experience as director of alumnae and parent relations at The Ethel Walker School, assistant dean of new student support services at Hofstra University, and program officer at Providence College afford her a unique perspective on the varied needs of constituents when communicating to a school's community. She holds Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in English Literature from Hofstra University.

 

 

Melanie Hightower joins The Jane Group as a consultant.  Melanie served as director of communications and a member of the administrative team at River Oaks Baptist School for nine years, with responsibility for strategic and executive communications, crisis communications, marketing, branding, publications, website, social media, and media relations.  She handled significant and sensitive communications about issues ranging from leadership transitions and strategic planning, to the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and its effect on the school community, to the sudden death of a key employee.  In addition, Melanie’s experience as an attorney was useful in situations with legal angles such as employment issues and matters of student safety.  Melanie continues to serve as the school’s Director of Community Initiatives, with responsibility for diversity and service learning programs.

Melanie graduated from Duke University magna cum laude with a B.A. in Religion and Russian, followed by a J.D. with honors from the University of Texas at Austin.  She practiced law for ten years with JP Morgan Chase and Locke Lord.  Subsequently, she served as Senior Vice President and Director of Corporate Diversity for JP Morgan Chase in Texas, where she spearheaded efforts to create a more inclusive corporate culture and to strengthen professional development opportunities for women and people of color.

 

 

Phyllis Kanekuni joins The Jane Group after 17 years as director of marketing and communications at Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA), an independent coeducational K-12 boarding/day school on the island of Hawaii. As a member of HPA’s senior administrative team, Phyllis provided strategic communications counsel and support to all division heads and worked with school attorneys on legal issues. She directed all school communications and marketing initiatives, including electronic and print publications, media relations, community outreach, branding, website, and social media. She launched and managed the school’s emergency notification system and directed communications and media relations for a range of issues and crises, including a 6.7 magnitude earthquake that caused extensive damage on campus, an alumna’s high-profile arrest on the East Coast, sexual misconduct, sudden death of a student, leadership transitions, and numerous hurricanes and tropical storms.

Prior to joining HPA, Phyllis was a public relations consultant for nine years, serving corporate and non-profit clients in Hawaii and Oregon. She previously was vice president and director of special services at Hill and Knowlton/Communications-Pacific, Inc.

Phyllis is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America and earned an Advanced Social Media Strategy Certificate from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and Hootsuite in 2017. She is a graduate of the University of Oregon, where she majored in journalism and telecommunications.

 

Lisa Davis, senior consultant/COO at the The Jane Group, was most recently director of corporate development for a global finance firm where she managed communications, marketing, training and retention programs, and long-range organizational and strategic planning and development. In addition, Lisa is a board member of the DuPage Children’s Museum and serves on the Leadership Council of Boston College. She has served on the Development Committee of the Board of Directors for the Avery Coonley School.

Lisa’s previous experience includes teaching middle school science at a Chicago independent school and serving as a consultant on an international cultural festival. She received a BS in Education, minoring in Special Education from Indiana University and has pursued post-graduate continuing studies at the University of Chicago. She also currently speaks on leadership and education topics.

 

Angela Rivers, the executive assistant to Jane and Jim/ IT Coordinator, joined The Jane Group in 2015. Angela attended the University of Missouri-Columbia majoring in Psychology. Her past experience in working for a private educational institution and experience in writing government grants has provided her with the skills needed to handle her position as executive assistant. Angela's excellent interpersonal and organizational skills are highly valued at The Jane Group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lily Field is our bookkeeper.  In addition to The Jane Group, Lily manages all the financial matters for the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale and for a couple of sole-proprietor law firms. Lily always loved math but discovered accounting relatively recently in life. Prior to her bookkeeping jobs, Lily was an ESL teacher at a business college in Puerto Rico, a teaching assistant at a local junior high school, and a facility coordinator at a corporate business training facility.

Lily has a BA in English Literature from University of Illinois, Chicago.

 

 

 

 

Alison Bennie has been of counsel for The Jane Group for many years, providing writing and consulting services on an as-needed basis. Alison and Jane have known each other since first working together in 1986. As associate vice president for communications at Bowdoin College, Alison is responsible for the leadership and supervision of the conceptual and creative processes. She maintains the College’s brand, works to ensure excellence and consistency across all platforms, and serves as executive editor of the alumni magazine and as college editor for official publications. Her work has earned awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, including a Circle of Excellence Gold Award. 

Alison is also co-principal of Whitney MacDonald Communications Consultants, a consulting group specializing in marketing, crisis communications, writing of all types, and development of photographic resources.

Before joining Bowdoin in April 1993, Alison worked for nine years in book and magazine publishing, marketing, advertising, and public relations. She earned her A.B. in English and American literature and languages at Harvard and is a graduate of the Radcliffe Publishing Course.

 

Chris serves of counsel  to the Jane Group. He is the CEO of Joffe Emergency Services. With years of experience in the safety world, Chris has worked with schools from attendance levels of 50–40,000. Beginning with his expertise in emergency medicine in blossoming Orange County, he shifted his focus to a major metropolis—Los Angeles. His experience and solid understanding, coupled together with his unique ability to communicate with teachers and school bodies alike, make him a valuable asset to clients and partners. Chris’ passion for safety and preparedness is apparent in the way he attacks each project, looking for opportunities to make each school even safer and more prepared than the last.

 

 

 

Scott Juba serves of counsel to The Jane Group. He is the president of Radar Public Relations & Consulting, through which he works with organizations and individuals on issues involving online reputation management, social media monitoring and more. Juba has presented and co-presented training sessions and seminars for a diverse range of organizations that includes the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Business Volunteers Unlimited (BVU), Neighborhood Leadership Development Program (NLDP), Hiram College, Malone University and more. Juba has guest lectured at the Case Weatherhead School of Management.

Juba also co-owns Fast Is Good® - a company offering workplace communication training in a program of short, micro-burst lessons.

In 2017, he co-authored, Avoid Workplace Communication Screw-ups: They'll Cost Money and Get You Fired, published by Smart Business Books. It is a practical guide to becoming a better communicator in the workplace and avoiding the mistakes that stifle people’s careers.

During his career, Juba has earned numerous major awards, including recognition for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and Sales and Marketing Executives International (SMEI). Among his other professional recognitions, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and the Ohio House of Representatives have formally honored his work.

Juba’s educational background includes a master’s degree in public relations from Kent State University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Baldwin-Wallace College, where he was a Collegiate All-American Scholar.