Managing Directors


With a passion for writing and philanthropy, Lauren Dugger leads the nonprofit division of Sunwest with a heavy focus on corporate, community and private family foundations. Lauren and her team plan and execute targeted public relations tactics based on the overall goals of each client – whether they need to increase their donor base, streamline a grant-making process, or strategically align giving with business objectives. Since joining the firm in 1999, Lauren has managed strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) planning, strategic grant management, media relations, social media, special events, community relations, writing projects and other public relations initiatives for business and nonprofit clients.


Melodie Elliott leads the consumer division of the agency, representing nationally-recognized brands in the home improvement, home décor and lifestyle industries. Melodie champions the development and execution of customized editorial campaigns that strategically secure meaningful coverage for client brands. From social media content creation and facilitation to tradeshow engagements and consumer events, the Sunwest consumer team helps clients achieve brand building goals that move the awareness needle to trial and purchase. With nearly 20 years of agency experience and media success, this consumer niche has come to rely on Melodie’s team for trusted product knowledge and photography that complements their needs.


Maggie Holley is a senior public relations strategist specializing in real estate industry communications. A strong believer in a tailored approach, Maggie works with commercial developers, architects, and investment firms to develop client-specific public relations strategies focused on identifying, engaging and impacting key stakeholders. Since joining Sunwest in 2009, she has helped clients achieve their visibility goals through B2B and B2C communications programs, media strategy planning and outreach, and thought leadership campaigns. In addition to her real estate work, she also has worked on crisis communications and nonprofit projects.


Katie Olivier is a trusted strategic counselor to her clients with a successful background in a variety of B2B and B2C communication programs, including start-ups, Fortune 500 technology companies in semiconductors, intellectual property, software, telecommunications, optical communications, Cloud computing and wireline/wireless. Katie is responsible for the evaluation, planning and implementation of PR and marketing campaigns for clients in technology, real estate and financial services. With more than 20 years of experience and an extensive knowledge of market trends, she works with clients to determine the most effective business opportunity and direction, maximizing efficiency and performance to surpass their goals.


With three decades of experience, Kim Quirk provides a depth of expertise and strategic counsel on all aspects of PR and public affairs for Sunwest partners, including extensive guidance for crisis-related communications. Kim manages one of Sunwest’s largest accounts where she oversees public relations and community affairs for education-related and headquarters activities for the Fortune 100 company. Additionally, she helps guide several non-profit clients with strategy and implementation of broad based public relations campaigns to raise awareness and recognition. Kim also serves as one of the leads on Sunwest’s Corporate Social Responsibility practice.


Sydney Townsend and the Sunwest real estate team are the go-to PR and marketing experts for some of the biggest transactions in the country. With more than twenty years of experience, she is a true partner with her clients and believes media relations goes far beyond simply generating a press release. Over the years, she has developed a reputation of consummate trust and professionalism among journalists who call on her regularly for sources and ideas. Her big-picture mindset drives the strategic counsel and execution on every account. The real estate team’s impressive list of clients encompasses commercial real estate, mixed-use and residential developers, along with investment and architectural firms. Sydney also lends her expertise on crisis communications and healthcare projects.


With more than 20 years of PR and marketing experience, Susan Yost leads the healthcare division and business development for the agency. Passionate about healthcare, she works alongside the Sunwest team to provide clients with strategic counsel, plans and execution of messages and stories across every touchpoint and target audience. With a foundation in journalism, she knows how the media works and what efforts will help businesses and consumers navigate this highly complex market. Working with hospitals, physician groups, clinics and health-related non-profits, Susan is a collaborator, listener and writer that helps clients explore new ways to reach their audiences with messages that educate, inform and inspire. On any given day, you’ll find her out in the community advocating on behalf of Sunwest and connecting with business leaders who are making a difference.