Founder & President
With a background in government, education and public relations, Tammy Belton-Davis is an award-winning public relations and diversity professional. She launched Athena Communications in 2009.
From July 2020-February 2022, Tammy served as the inaugural Chief Diversity Officer for the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, with which she has worked in multiple capacities for the past eight years. During her time with the Rep, she worked directly with executive leadership and the board of trustees to develop, implement and measure equity, diversity and inclusion goals and served as an internal coach on inclusiveness and diversity issues. An accelerant in this important work, Tammy is currently assisting the theater as it transitions to a more permanent staffing structure to lead ED&I work into the future.Read More
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.
Tammy brings a fresh perspective, excellence and passion to every project she undertakes. Because of her charismatic style, she is a sought-after facilitation leader for branding sessions and equity training.In 2017, Tammy was inducted into Alverno College’s Vanguard Society, the highest honor bestowed upon an alumna for their professional achievement and community service. In 2021, she was a part of the inaugural class of the Milwaukee Biz Times’ Notable Alumni, a recognition for distinguished local alumni. She was recognized as a 2017 Center of Change for her commitment to work as a change agent in Milwaukee, and Athena Communications was recognized with a Diversity in Business Award by the Milwaukee Business Journal.
Tammy is an active member of the greater Milwaukee community with past service as vice president of programming for the National Black Public Relations Society – Milwaukee Chapter, program coordinator for Cardinal Stritch University’s African American Leadership Program, and past board member of the Center for Self-Sufficiency, Groundwork Milwaukee and the Black Arts Ensemble. She is a member of Professional Dimensions, TEMPO Milwaukee, the Public Relations Society of America – Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter and the MRA CDO Roundtable.
A proud graduate of Alverno College, Tammy enjoys reading, national politics, and being a wife and mother. She proudly serves as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Faithe Colas has a 33-year career in media and community engagement. Her sweet spot is connecting people and growing the community through public and community relations. She’s passionate about empowering women, supporting Black businesses and changing the narrative about Milwaukee.
Colas is the host and producer of “I’m Every Woman” and “There’s Always Something Good to Talk About,” which air on 860Today.com. She’s a member of the National Council of Negro Women-Milwaukee Section, NAACP Milwaukee Chapter, Wisconsin Black Media Association, Milwaukee Press Club, Public Relations Society of America-Milwaukee Chapter and WUWM Advisory Board. She’s also a lead fundraiser for the WUWM Eric Von Broadcast Fellowship, which honors her late husband’s legacy by fostering the next generation of broadcast journalists.
Colas was born and raised in Milwaukee. She is a John Marshall High School graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Midwest Bible College.
In another life, Colas would have been a professor of African-American studies and the history of the Black press. If she ever gets free time, she’d fill it with reading books, going to lectures, attending author readings and watching documentaries.
Digital/Social Media Manager
Chronda Higgins has over a decade of public relations experience, beginning in entertainment PR and eventually launching her own agency, Forever Changed Consulting Agency, specializing in fashion and beauty, wine and spirits, food and beverage, and entrepreneurship. She is also a social media expert, developing content and assets for clients to help elevate their brand and platforms. She is passionate about helping brands and entrepreneurs tell their story.
Higgins joined Athena Communications in 2017 as a project manager, eventually becoming an engagement consultant. Prior to joining Athena and launching Forever Changed, she worked in the nonprofit sector with significant experience in fund development, fundraising and grant writing for several companies, including the American Cancer Society and Malaika Early Learning Center.
In Higgins’ multifaceted career, she has developed strong skills in business development, communication, writing and customer service. She has participated in a variety of training courses and workshops to broaden her background and build her strong network of colleagues, media outlets and journalists.
Vice President for Strategy
Catherine Knipstein has more than 12 years of experience in public relations, working first for the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), a nonprofit professional association headquartered in Washington, D.C.
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 Athena Communications 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. Sen. 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.
BECKY DUBIN JENKINS
Vice President of Client Success
Becky Dubin Jenkins has more than 20 years of journalism, communications and marketing experience, beginning her career as a sports journalist after graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia.She spent eight years as a writer and editor for The Sporting News, the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer; MLB.com (Major League Baseball’s digital platform); and USA Today.
Becky also has 14 years of higher education experience, working as a writer and editor for Marquette University and serving as Executive Director of marketing and communications for Alverno College. She thrives in mission-driven organizations and is committed, personally and professionally, to doing well and doing good.
Becky and her husband Chris are the proud parents of Audrey. They live in Shorewood, which they love for its access to the lake, its schools and its sense of community. Becky enjoys spending time with friends and family, sports, reading, traveling, and trying new restaurants.
Public Relations Strategist
Patrick McSweeney uses the skills he learned as a newspaper, radio and TV journalist to help clients effectively connect with employees, customers, community leaders, investors and more. He serves as public relations strategist and counselor for C-suite executives, providing crisis communications planning, message development, and media training and media relations. He has served as the spokesperson for a Florida government agency, as well as for Fortune 500 companies, and worked with well-known automotive, high-tech, retail brands, vacation destinations and others.
McSweeney earned the designation Accredited in Public Relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America in 2011. He was elected to the prestigious College of Fellows in 2015, an honor bestowed on fewer than 400 public relations professionals since 1989 for contributions to the industry. He has won many awards for his work, including a Bronze Anvil Award of Commendation from the Public Relations Society of America, and was a finalist for the nation’s top Corporate Social Responsibility programs from PR News.
He is the chair for PRSA’s Midwest District and co-chair for PRSA’s national Diversity, Equity & Inclusion committee and has served as an adjunct professor at Marquette University and the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.
A graduate of The Ohio State University, McSweeney earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. He and his wife Jane have two grown sons.
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, as well as created social media strategy and content, in-store and off-premise promotions, and event themes and marketing. Additionally, Dave has written video scripts, print and digital ads and advertorials, website copy, brochures, product packaging copy, billboards and much more.
Dave 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 has a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a Bachelor’s degree in Russian from UW–Milwaukee. After working for more than 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.
Naomi Chang, who is majoring in marketing at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, is Athena’s communications associate, working to supplement client relations work with her communications and marketing skills.
Chang is an active member of the UWM campus and has served in leadership roles in her curricular and co-curricular activities.