Steven Lewis is a Communication Strategist with an extensive background in keeping creative corporate leaders on-message during internal and external presentations, as well as encounters with the press. He is an elite personal presentation trainer and communication specialist who has worked with senior executives at NBCUniversal, Warner Bros., Verve Mobile, Hulu, Paramount, Forever 21, Stitch Fix, Fox, and Sony Pictures Animation. He has also worked with scores of actors like Tom Cruise, Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Wiig, Amy Adams, Jason Statham, and Zac Ephron, as well as directors and producers, for their promotional tours. Lewis is also an Emmy Award winning television executive producer, with a keen understanding of how to bring out the best in talent, whether that talent is in front of a camera or behind a desk.
Lewis’ philosophy of presentation crafting and communication training is based in the principle that every time we take center stage, we create and reflect our personal brand. Every leader, influencer, or personality has a tangible brand perceived by peers, staff, shareholders, and consumers. The key to his or her communication instruction is the proactive, deliberate means to create a desired image. And it’s far more than just getting the words right. Physical presence, tone, and style of delivery demonstrate connectivity, believability, and, ultimately, aspiration. Lewis brings together an analysis and understanding of consumer-based loyalty components of great product branding and combines them with elements of an individual’s authentic personality. The result is a credible individual who is memorable and influential, and embodies the clarity of his or her message.
Lewis started his career at renowned public relations firm Rogers & Cowan as a personal publicist, and later took on the external management of public relations for ABC’s Los Angeles station KABC-TV. Shortly thereafter, he co-founded Greystone Communication, a reality/documentary TV production company which was spun-off from that station to produce for various outlets, including A&E Cable Networks, NBC, CBS, and Lifetime. During Lewis’ twelve years as a partner in Greystone, the company grew to more than 140 employees and produced over 800 hours of programming for cable and broadcast networks. In 1998 he began a two-year stint as Executive Producer for Mandalay Television (later Lionsgate TV), where he produced documentary features and specials for Showtime and IMAX.
In 2000, Lewis was hired as EVP of Programming for AntEye.com, a user-generated content site. There he spearheaded the production of online programming and established a groundbreaking talent/production deal with HBO for online content. In 2003, he began a four-year run at MTV, during which he produced some of the network’s final music-based programming, and launched a second wave of reality games and docu-soaps. In 2007, Lewis transitioned to the field of media coaching, becoming a partner in Media Savvy, a firm that had served the entertainment community since 1998. After seven years, he started a new firm to broaden his practice and include more corporate clients who were seeking to cultivate their personal brands as leaders through multiple media platforms. Drawing on his experience, which combines an extensive background in production with a deep understanding of on-message communication, Lewis helps everyone be their best in every presentation.
Rebecca Weintraub is an expert in strategic communication, leadership, and organizational communication. She is currently a Clinical Professor of Communication at the USC Annenberg School of Communication where she directs the professional Masters of Communication Management program. Over the course of her career she has worked as a communication consultant and a corporate communication executive. Her clients have included senior executives from a wide array of industries including AECOM in construction and infrastructure, Los Angeles Times in publishing, Northrop Grumman and Hughes Electronics in aerospace and Mazda, GM and Delco Electronics in automotive, and the US Navy, Marine Corps, European Command, and African Command in the US DoD. She has also consulted for Yellowstone National Park and Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the Department of the Interior, Fox and MGM in entertainment, and the Cancer Support Community, the American Cancer Society and the Oral Health Foundation non-profits.
Dr. Weintraub believes that applying academic research and theory to corporate and business communication challenges makes for better results. Her approach to communication is stakeholder-centric. Understanding the receiver of communication, their perceptions, their perspectives, and their agendas is core to effective persuasion. Delaying messaging until a complete understanding of stakeholders has been developed increases the chances that strategic business and communication goals will be achieved. Her renowned model for strategic communication has been utilized by a wide variety of communication professionals.
Dr. Weintraub began her career as Director of Forensics and Debate at California State University, Pomona where she taught classes in argumentation and public speaking. She then transitioned to the corporate world in 1983 and joined the Space and Communications Group at what was then Hughes Aircraft, and later became Hughes Electronics. For the next fifteen years she served in a variety of positions in communication, internal audits, total quality, and presentation training and video scriptwriting. In 1993 she joined the corporate offices as Director of Corporate Communication for executive and employee communication. In this position, she served as speechwriter and editor for the Chairman and CEO in addition to her other duties. This was a turbulent time in Aerospace as companies were consolidating and the defense budget declined with the perceived end of the Cold War. She was the chief communication strategist for the annual strategic business planning process. Additionally, she was the communication coach for the executives at Hughes Electronics Corporate Offices. In 1998 Weintraub left Hughes to join the consulting firm of Towers Perrin, specializing in strategic communication and change management. She worked on benefits strategy, as well as mergers and acquisitions, and corporate change efforts.
Following Towers Perrin, Dr. Weintraub returned to her academic roots, joining the faculty at Annenberg in 2000. In 2001, she became the director of the Masters of Communication Management Program, a position she still holds. Over the past twenty years, she has taught classes in Strategic Corporate Communication, the Business of the Entertainment Business, Strategic Consulting Skills, and Organizational Communication. In 2010 she led the creation of the first distance learning Master’s Program with an online offering of the Communication Management Program. She is the recipient of the US Distance Learning Association’s Award for the best online course in higher education, as well as a Webby Honorable Mention for the same class.
In addition to her academic responsibilities, Dr. Weintraub is a communication consultant and strategist. She continues to bring her understanding of strategic communication to a wide variety of organizations, enabling them to move from a message-centric perspective to a more effective stakeholder-centric framework.