ATHENA COMMUNICATIONS LLC is a full-service brand management firm headquartered in Milwaukee. We offer an array of public relations and communication services, but we’re not your typical PR firm. What sets us apart? We only work with transformative clients. That is, clients that inspire us by their expertise, leadership, and skill – and the work to make an impact in the world.

As brand experts, we are uniquely positioned to develop a whole new approach to your brand identity and messaging. Whether an organization is a start-up or a Fortune 500 brand, we can help them achieve authenticity and success as a truly "transformative" brand.


We dedicate 100% of ourselves to each client, so we have to believe in the amazing work you’re doing in your field and the positive impact you’re having locally and globally. Second, we do not work on an a-la-carte basis. We work as true partners with our clients and provide specialized services and counsel to help our clients meet their objectives and priorities. Third, we focus on corporate and personal branding. Everyone has heard of branding, but very few know how to design and implement a successful branding strategy. Fourth, we meld tried-and-true communication tactics with our unique model of community engagement to achieve the best results for our clients. Finally, we have a stellar reputation for knowing how to get the job done right and for providing strategic and valuable counsel to our clients. 

We are the team you have been looking for to help achieve your brand goals.






& Grace.



Rachael Bush

Chief Accountability Manager

Tammy Belton-Davis

Founder & Principal

Catherine Knipstein

Chief Strategist

Brook Smith

Chief Strategist

Julia Papillon

Project Manager





Dave Ratfelders

Creative Director

"We champion grace and strength when engaging with our client partners. Our work is to ensure strategic goals are met and compelling messaging is developed for brand elevation."
- Tammy Belton Davis


Our work is about facilitating transformational
impact locally and nationally

Athena Communications LLC was established in 2009 by Tammy Belton-Davis. A brand management business headquartered in Milwaukee, Athena Communications serves an impressive and diverse roster
of clients, providing a wide range of services.

In their 10+ years in business, the team at Athena Communications has established a stellar reputation
for getting things done on time, on budget, and in a professional manner.

We are proud of the work we perform on behalf of our incredible clients, but we care just as much about how we perform the work. Professionalism. Respect. Grace. Dignity. Honesty. These words lead us each day, both in the work we do for our clients and how we represent them and ourselves.


To provide fully integrated communications and branding services to innovative client partners who want to tell their stories effectively.


A world of masterful storytellers who are changing the world.








Our team of professionals brings diverse backgrounds and experiences when serving our clients. We are fully dedicated to each client and look forward to the opportunity to be your partner in achieving your goals and objectives.


We Specialize In...

To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.


Tammy Belton-Davis


With a background in government, education and public relations, Tammy Belton-Davis launched Athena Communications over a decade ago. Athena delivers strategic branding, communications and inclusion practices to its corporate and government affairs partners engaged in transformational and systems change work.  Tammy is an award-winning public relations and diversity professional having been inducted in Alverno College’s Vanguard Society, the highest honor bestowed upon an alumnus for their professional achievement and community service in 2017.  In 2021
she was a part of the inaugural class of most Notable Alumni, a recognition for distinguished alumni recognized by the Biz Times. She has past recognitions as 2017 Center of Change for commitment to work as a change agent in Milwaukee and her firm was recognized with a Diversity in Business Award by the Milwaukee Business Journal.

Most recently, Tammy joined Milwaukee Rep as a loaned executive as its first chief diversity officer, where she works directly with executive leadership, board of trustees to develop, implement and measure ED&I goals for the theater and serve as an internal coach on inclusiveness and diversity issues. She is an accelerant in this important work and at the conclusion of her engagement will assist the theater in a transition into a more permanent staffing structure to lead ED&I work in the future. Prior to launching Athena, Tammy held senior-level positions in city government and community-based organizations, and served as a staff assistant with the Milwaukee County Board and Milwaukee Common Council. The consummate professional, she brings a fresh perspective and excellence to every project.

Tammy’s charismatic style in facilitating branding sessions or delivering an equity training makes her a sought after presenter and leader. She specializes in brand management, strategic communications and
government affairs. Tammy is an active member of the greater Milwaukee community with past service as vice president, programming, for the National Black Public Relations Society – Milwaukee Chapter, program coordinator of Cardinal Stritch University’s African American Leadership Program, and past board member of the Center for Self-Sufficiency, Groundwork Milwaukee, and Black Arts Ensemble. She is a member of
Professional Dimensions, Tempo Milwaukee and Public Relations Society of America – Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter, and MRA CDO Roundtable. A proud graduate of Alverno College, Tammy enjoys reading, national politics, and being a wife and mother and proudly serves as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Rachael Bush


Rachael has been a resident of the Greater Milwaukee area for over ten years. She is a graduate of Marquette University with a B.A. in Criminology & Law Studies and History.
Over the past three years as the owner/operator of Mova Business Solutions, she has
provided contracted virtual assistance for small businesses.  Her expertise in time management and ability to see how to implement processes from start to finish has made her an asset to the Athena Communications team as of July 2019 as their Accountability Chief Manager.

Before her role at Athena Communications, Rachael had over six years of management experience in retail food services and more than one decade of experience and administrative/business support.  It was and still is her passion for making sure businesses are running effectively and within budget. 
Rachael gives back to our Greater Milwaukee community by becoming appointed as a board member of the Aging and Disability Resource Center Governing Board (ARDC). She is also a member of the Greendale Park and Rec Committee as of April 2019.  Rachael and her sons, Philip and Owen, have resided in Greendale for over four years. 



Catherine Knipstein


Catherine has more than 10 years of experience in public relations, working first for the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), a nonprofit professional association headquartered in Washington, DC. Catherine also worked as a Senior Account Executive for a PR firm located in Milwaukee for more than two years. In July 2019, Catherine joined the team at Athena Communications, LLC as the firm’s Chief Strategist.


Catherine has extensive experience in internal and external communications and has served an array of organizations across all types of industries, including nonprofits, municipalities, international banks, national retailers, and schools.


Before becoming a public relations executive, Catherine was a financial policy analyst for CSBS, worked in the Office of Legislative Affairs for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and started her career working for U.S. Senator Don Nickles (R-OK). Through these positions, Catherine gained knowledge of the federal policy creation process.


Catherine has a Master of Arts degree in Communication from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in U.S. History from Sewanee: University of the South. She and her husband, Jeff, have a young daughter named Nan.


Julia Papillon


Julia Papillon is Project Manager at Athena Communications. In 2019, Ms. Papillon received her Bachelor of Arts from Marquette University with a major in Advertising and a minor in French. Born and raised in Gurnee, IL., her background is in advertising, social media management, and multi-media content creation. Ms. Papillon worked as a Social Media Intern for Digipops.TV, and as a Marketing Intern for Athena Communications.


In her free time, she works with The Rock Agency as a signed model, and for the Milwaukee Bucks as an entertainer, content creator, and stage manager. She has two furbabies, a cat named Allie and a dog named Gigi.


Brook Smith


Brook G. Smith has more than 20 years of experience in issues management, media relations, and marketing communications. During this time, she has led projects and teams at some of the world’s largest global corporations in the manufacturing, consumer goods, and life sciences industries. Brook’s career has centered on embracing opportunities that utilize her professional knowledge and refine her skills. By staying focused on these priorities, she has consistently excelled at developing and implementing thought-provoking communications strategies and content that successfully engages key internal and external audiences. 

In 2019, Brook started the next chapter of her career journey, starting her own consulting firm, B.G. Smith Consulting. Now she is using her expertise to help clients from non-profits to large corporations meet and exceed their communications and media relations goals. Through her proven comprehensive approach, she quickly connects with clients to clearly understand their needs and then develops strategies to effectively tell the client’s story and drive desired business results.

Brook holds a Master of Business Administration from Concordia University Wisconsin, and she earned a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management and Communications from the University of Michigan. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family, and being a year-round “sports mom” supporting her sons as they compete in football, basketball and baseball.


Dave Ratfelders


As a Creative Director, Brand Strategist and Copywriter, Dave has helped build brands and generate successful, creative campaigns for a wide variety of clients, including Fortune 500 companies like Harley-Davidson, Pepsico, Gallo, and SC Johnson. He has developed Brand Stories, Brand Pillars, Brand Guidelines, and Brand Name/Ideation workshops. He has created social media strategy and content, in-store and off-premise promotions; and event themes and marketing. He has written video scripts, print and digital ads and advertorials, website copy, brochures, product packaging copy, billboards and much more. He is now driven by creatively supporting transformative brands, those that aspire more to than just a healthy ROI, but strive to make a positive impact in the world.


Dave holds a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a Bachelor's degree in Russian from UW - Milwaukee. After working over 20 years in a conventional agency setting, Dave broke free, started his own freelance business and joined the talented, visionary team at Athena.


In his spare time, Dave enjoys travel, films, nature and soup.