Meet Our Team

Buttonwood offers all of the benefits you would expect from a boutique: terrific client service from top to bottom and the entire team remains fully engaged with you throughout the relationship. And given the team’s deep experience described below, you can be assured you will receive big agency expertise without the big agency overhead and bureaucracy.

Buttonwood’s core team is enhanced by close relationships with a team of consultants and subject matter experts with whom we partner and frequently collaborate. Working together, we have launched brands, named companies and products, conceived and developed websites, created thought leadership and of course collaborated to develop integrated communications programs.

Justin Meise

President & Founder

A seasoned and versatile public relations consultant, Justin has provided strategic communications counsel to a diverse range of financial organizations from niche players to household names like Citibank, Merrill Lynch, Prudential Securities, iShares, BNY Mellon’s Pershing division and most recently FTSE Russell.

Over his 20 year career, Justin has established an impressive track record for designing and managing successful programs to promote products, services and transform brands for many B2C and B2B companies.

Justin holds a Bachelor of Arts, English Literature from Marist College and taught English while earning his Master of Arts, Liberal Studies at Fordham University. He regularly lectures at Marist College, working with the advanced communications classes on the evaluation of best practices in public relations. An avid, instrument rated pilot, Justin also lectures on marketing and communications at Dutchess Community College, working with the Aviation Science program.

Maximilian Leitenberger

Vice President

As Vice President at Buttonwood, Max draws on his deep experience with a wide range of financial services companies to design and implement integrated communications programs that have a tangible impact on our clients’ brands. Working with asset managers, index providers, global exchanges and financial technology firms, Max engages with clients in every aspect of communications from developing thought leadership content to securing media placements and coaching executives on interview technique to assisting clients with the management and execution of marketing and digital campaigns. Max also plays an integral role in the management of the firm especially business development and mentoring staff.

Prior to joining Buttonwood Communications Group, Max worked at two financial PR agencies where he specialized in media relation strategy and outreach for clients such as Russell Indexes, SSgA, Tiedemann Wealth Management and Charles Schwab. Max also worked in Shanghai, China as a marketing and client relations associate for an international real estate asset management and design firm.

He graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Strategic and Organizational Communications, with a public relations concentration.

Mandy Georgi

Account Manager

Mandy specializes in media relations strategy and outreach focusing on financial trade publications and top-tier media. Responsible for maintaining reporter relationships and strengthening client media presence, she tracks industry coverage and creates content to be used through traditional media and social channels for accounts such as FTSE Russell, Parametric Portfolio Associates, Westchester Capital Management and Vestmark.

Prior to joining Buttonwood Communications Group, Mandy worked as an account associate for another financial PR agency and had previously interned as a reporter throughout college.

She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, a concentration in Visual Communications and a minor in Psychology.

Carly Gray

Account Executive

Carly is a media relations specialist supporting clients such as FTSE Russell, Indus Valley Partners and Open Primaries. Additionally, she also supports Buttonwood’s social media work for clients and media tracking and reporting.

Prior to joining Buttonwood Communications Group full-time, Carly interned at the firm during the summer of 2016. She gained additional experience in corporate communications, in her previous internship in the Aerospace and Defense industry.

Carly graduated Summa Cum Laude from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Business Administration. Here, she served on the executive board for the Marist College Chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America. Carly was also the recipient of the prestigious 2017 Outstanding Achievement Award in Public Relations.

James McKinsey 

Account Executive

James is a media relations and monitoring specialist supporting clients such as FTSE Russell, Open Primaries and Vestmark.

Prior to joining Buttonwood in October 2017, James has had experience in a variety of industries including government, healthcare, nonprofit and infrastructure communications. Previous projects include communication campaigns for the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, CT DVM Teen Safe Driving Video Contest and consulting for nonprofits in Dobbs Ferry, NY and Boston, MA.

James holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications from the University of Hartford with minor degrees in Marketing, Management and Drama. He also holds a Master’s of Science in Public Relations from Boston University. During the summer of 2016, James completed his education while studying in London and developed his thesis based on observations of the pivotal Brexit decision.

Lisa Napoli

Office Manager

As Buttonwood’s office manager, Lisa uses her extensive accounting knowledge and administrative experience to keep things running smoothly behind the scenes. In this role, she handles everything from human resources and employee benefits to client inquiries and invoices.

Prior to joining Buttonwood, Lisa worked in the financial industry as a tax accountant for Freedom Financial Solutions and held key positions with Ameriprise Financial and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. She combined coursework at St. Bonaventure University and Pace University to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and Accounting.

When she isn’t working, Lisa loves hiking Hudson Valley rail trails, rooting for the hometown Yankees and Rangers, cooking, baking, and practicing ballet.



Christine Hudacko 

Managing Director West Coast 

Christine has deep experience in launching and building new brands and helping firms refine and hone their existing brands. She was one of the earliest employees at iShares designing the PR program in 2000 and was there for 15 years working closely with marketing/sales teams to create the world’s largest ETF provider. Christine was Head of PR for 55 Capital, an investment manager start-up, that quickly gained prominence in the industry.

Since then she has counseled asset managers of all sizes on how to develop integrated communications programs with PR as a component. She believes the dramatic shift in media and how people consume news today requires firms to take a holistic approach in their communications. Messaging to clients, media, regulators, etc. must be aligned with thought leadership content which then must be delivered in multiple ways (email campaigns, social media, etc.) to tell an effective, compelling story.

Christine holds a Masters in Business Administration, Finance, from George Mason University and a Bachelor of Arts, Marketing from Siena College.




Joe Stallings

Joe Stallings has been bringing disruptive innovation to the financial sector since the mid-1990s, working with financial companies to help them harness the power of technology in their digital marketing and client service efforts.

Before starting his own company in 2014, Joe held leadership positions and was a founding partner at Balentine, recognized by Barron's and Financial Times as a top advisory firm.  Joe also spent part of his career with Electronic Arts, one of the world's largest software entertainment company, where he worked as a producer. Working in both Orlando, Florida and Vancouver, British Columbia, Joe helped develop the ecommerce, social media, digital distribution and direct-to-consumer technologies used in some of Electronic Arts' best-selling products, including The Sims and Madden NFL.

He is a 1992 graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Angie Stallings

Angie is a passionate and dedicated writer, developer and designer who has helped build a sustainable digital presence for organizations ranging from sole entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 companies. She brings to the team an extensive background in the financial services industry, having previously held Series 7, 65 and 63 brokerage licenses. She also holds a BA from Western Governors University.

Angie’s experience in both the technical (trading, back-office and accounting) and creative (marketing, graphic and web design) aspects of the wealth management business enable her to speak the same language and understand the unique needs of our clients. Her ability to easily explain technical concepts and offer highly effective training make her a great resource for clients who want to maintain their sites or apps themselves after launch.

As the mom of three sons, two of whom are on the autism spectrum, Angie is a founding board member of The New Normal Society, a non-profit dedicated to creating and delivering programs for teens and young adults on the autism spectrum and their families. In her free time, she is an avid gamer, and loves reading and writing.




Joe Gugliuzza

Creative Director

Joe is a veteran Creative Director whose passion for branding inspires creative teams to reach beyond the expected. He has built his career developing sophisticated branding solutions for clients in a multitude of industries. His award-winning aesthetic sensibilities ensure that our creative executions do justice to the strategies they serve.

Joe knows that producing high-impact communications requires a deep understanding of the client, the market and the strategy. Joe is involved in all aspects of the creative process. He views every project through a marketing lens and works hard to get inside the head of the target audience from the outset.

When Joe brainstorms, it’s more like a brain-hurricane. His energy, determination and extensive knowledge of both traditional and new media are invaluable assets to clients in strategic planning of campaigns.

Joe attended Montclair State University and studied Graphic Design in the BFA program. He is a member of the NJ Ad Club, art-lover, amateur astronomy buff, and dedicated family man with six daughters.

The most common question about Joe is, “how do you pronounce his last name?” The answer is “gull-you-tsa”.


Ted Jablonski

Founder of Marketing Consortium & Longtime Collaborator

Ted Jablonski, founder and principal of Marketing Consortium LLC, is an innovative marketing and communications consultant to a range of global financial services and financial technology firms. He has over 25 years of consumer and institutional marketing experience with venture-funded start-ups to Fortune 100 organizations.

His areas of expertise include marketing strategy, branding, advertising, public relations, thought leadership, practice management, marketing communications and social media.

Prior to establishing Marketing Consortium, Ted was Senior Vice President of Marketing for LPL Financial, the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer, where he launched LPL’s breakthrough hybrid RIA platform.

He has held senior roles with four Fidelity Investments divisions: Vice President of Marketing for Fidelity Institutional Brokerage Group (clearing and custody), Vice President of Marketing for Fidelity Employer Services Company (workplace retirement savings), Vice President of Marketing for Fidelity Human Resources Services Company (HR outsourcing technology) and Vice President of Advisor Marketing for Fidelity Institutional Services (fund marketing). His background also includes senior marketing roles at Standard & Poor’s, where he managed the development the industry’s first SEC-registered portfolio management app, Merrill Lynch, MasterCard and American Express.

Over the past eight years, Ted has worked directly with over seventy financial organizations, including RIAs, broker dealers, clearing firms, custodians, hedge funds and asset managers on a wide range of growth, technology, marketing, communications, positioning, regulatory and compliance, distribution, public relations, branding and coaching initiatives.

He received his BBA from the Fox School of Business at Temple University; his MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University in New York City and, as a true believer in the value of lifelong learning, is currently pursuing an MA degree in U.S. Government and Politics at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. In his spare time, he supports a range of arts, cultural and public affairs organizations.