Leveraging its Significant Growth, The Castle Group Formally Launches Public Affairs Practice, Names Sharon Torgerson Chief Communications Officer

by | Feb 28, 2022

The Castle Group, a Boston-based public relations, event management and marketing firm celebrating its 25th year in business, announced Sharon Torgerson has joined its leadership team as Chief Communications Officer, and Taylor Connolly as Senior Director of Public Affairs. They will lead the firm’s expanded public affairs practice that offers current and future clients expertise in integrated, strategic communications campaigns, reputation management, stakeholder and community engagement, and issues advocacy. This investment in expanded client services comes at a time of robust growth for the women-owned business, which saw a nearly 50 percent increase in public relations business over the last two years.

“Castle’s strengths are increasingly in high demand, and our public affairs work, which has grown organically, is a constant resource for clients, and aligns well with our strategic PR, crisis and events offerings,” said Sandy Lish, Castle co-founder and principal. “Sharon and Taylor, who bring both public and private experience from some of Boston and Massachusetts’ largest industries and organizations, are a welcome asset to our clients. We are excited to share expanded expertise, knowledge, and insight, and make this investment in talent and strategic partnerships a formalized service for clients.

Castle’s expanded public affairs, crisis, and DE&I practices are further bolstered by several strategic partners, including:

  • Lizzy Guyton, South, and Hill Strategies
  • Al Minahan, Minahan Strategic Solutions
  • Greg Almieda, Global View Communications

The Castle Group has grown significantly since 2019, with increased demand for DE&I consultation, and crisis management and planning. Castle’s crisis practice, led by Philip Hauserman, is nationally recognized, and in 2021 alone consulted on 115 issues for over 50 clients in 20 states across higher education, non-profits, and for-profit organizations. Its event practice, led by company co-founder and principal Wendy Spivak, produces events throughout New England and around the world.

About Sharon Torgerson

In addition to bringing more than 25 years of experience leading strategic and internal communications efforts for some of Massachusetts’ largest health care organizations, Torgerson will also serve as an additional resource to the firm’s nationally recognized crisis communications practice. Prior to joining The Castle Group, Torgerson was director of Corporate Communications for Mass General Brigham, Massachusetts’ largest health care system and private employer, and was deployed by the Baker Administration in 2020 to develop and lead communications for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Covid Command Center. Previously, Torgerson was Assistant Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, leading communications efforts for the MassHealth (Medicaid) program, Department of Public Health, and several other human service agencies serving children and seniors and has held senior communications roles at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.

“I’ve known Sandy for decades, both personally and professionally, and could not pass up the opportunity to finally work and build something together for this next chapter in my career. I’m thrilled to bring my background in corporate, government, and non-profit communications to build a strong public affairs team, expand Castle’s crisis and healthcare expertise, and work alongside such a talented, dynamic group of communications professionals,” said Torgerson.

About Taylor Connolly

For more than a decade, Connolly has successfully worked at the intersection of the public and private sectors, and brings deep experience in public policy development, stakeholder and community engagement, and strategic communications. Prior to joining Castle, she was the first to lead communications efforts for the City of Boston’s newly established Economic Development cabinet and served as Director of Communications and Community Engagement for the City’s Environment Department, where she led community engagement and communications campaigns around municipal aggregation and climate action, economic development and business attraction, and workforce development and equity policy initiatives. Connolly began her career at a local public affairs agency and has served full-time and as a volunteer on local and national political campaigns.

“I’m excited to bring my government, communications, and policy experience to join Sandy and Sharon as we establish a strong public affairs team, expand into emerging and evolving sectors, and build upon Castle’s reputation for client service and results. An organization’s people, culture, and values are important to me, and Castle stands out. I’m grateful to Sandy for this opportunity and investment in my talent and am thrilled to be part of such a strong team,” said Connolly.

Recently, Castle’s growth, performance, and values have been recognized locally and nationally. Last year the firm was named a 2021 Forbes Best 200 public relations agency in America, out of more than 5,000 companies; the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce 2021 Small Business Champion; a PR News Agency Elite 100 agency, and co-founders Sandy Lish and Wendy Spivak were recognized as visionary business leaders on Women’s Enterprise USA Top WBE CEOs of 2021.

About The Castle Group 

Headquartered in Boston, The Castle Group leverages its local connections and global reach to create communications strategies that deliver business results through PR, events management, crisis communications and social media. With a client roster that covers Fortune 500, high-growth start-ups, social justice and equity-focused nonprofits, privately held, education and health care, Castle is supremely skilled at navigating complex organizations and surfacing unique ways to powerfully deliver clients’ messages. A certified women-owned business founded in 1996, the firm is a member of the Public Relations Global Network, 50 exclusively selected affiliates representing the world’s major media markets.

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