MEET THE TEAM
Caryl Bixon-Gordon, President, founded Caryl Communications Inc., which has grown since the early 1980s from a single-person operation to one of New Jersey’s leading public relations agencies. Prior to forming Caryl Communications Inc., Caryl held a variety of corporate positions including Public Relations Director of Midlantic Bank and Associate Editor of the employee publication for Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.
Under her direction, Caryl Communications has earned a respected reputation for the responsiveness and quality of its services, the talents of its team and the depth of expertise provided to clients in all facets of public relations and marketing.
A graduate of William Paterson University (WPU) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Caryl is also a certified teacher and has taught public relations at the WPU School of Continuing Education. In addition, she has completed courses at The New School in Manhattan. In her free time, Caryl loves to garden, explore the Jersey shore with her dog Lucy, and spend time with her family.
Chief Operating Officer
Sandy Crisafulli has nearly three decades of both agency and client-side public relations experience. Following her career launch as journalist, she served as Vice President at Caryl Communications in the mid-1990s. Sandy subsequently focused on account management, writing and media relations as a freelance contractor prior to her appointment as Chief Operating Officer in 2020. Sandy is proficient in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer public relations. She has a long track record of helping clients pinpoint and communicate goals successfully, and has been involved in several award-winning marketing and public relations campaigns. Her deep experience working with print and digital media includes strategy, pitching, copywriting and editing – with specific expertise servicing the commercial and residential real estate, healthcare, retail, higher education and technology industries.
Chief Financial Officer
Bob Gordon, Chief Financial Officer, joined Caryl Communications Inc. in 1986. A New Jersey-licensed real estate broker, he worked for five years in the residential and commercial real estate industries. He also spent two decades as a professional guitarist and private teacher. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from William Paterson University, attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and has successfully completed advanced courses in Microsoft® Office programs at New Horizons Computer Learning Center of New Jersey. Bob oversees all the company’s finance and operations as well as expansion strategies, human resources, benefits programs, purchasing and information technologies.
Emma joined Caryl Communications in May 2018 as an Account Coordinator, and in June 2019 was named an Account Manager. In this role, she focuses on clients in the commercial and residential real estate arenas, drawing on significant experience in digital communications, social media and traditional PR efforts. Prior to joining Caryl, Emma served as a Leasing Administrator for a residential property, a Marketing Coordinator for a non-profit start-up and a Social Media Intern for a wellness center. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Ithaca College in 2016, with a concentration in International Business and a minor in Integrated Marketing Communications.
In October of 2018, Maxine Aviles joined the Caryl Communications team as an Account Coordinator. Maxine serves as an integral part of our client service teams, supporting a range of efforts, including social media content creation and coordination, client communication, and press release planning and distribution. She provides support to clients in a number of industries, such as commercial real estate, architectural services and healthcare, among others.
Graduating at the top of her class, Maxine obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, with a concentration in PR, from William Paterson University, where she was a member of the Tau Sigma National Honor Society. Before joining Caryl, Maxine got her start in the PR field, interning at PR Revolution in Livingston, N.J. and serving as a Social Media Intern for the Paterson Great Falls.
A veteran journalist and media professional, Lori Crowell has more than 20 years of experience in print/online media, marketing and public relations. For 18 years, she was an Editor and Writer in the Marketing Department of The Star-Ledger where she produced the weekly real estate sections along with other advertising-generated editorial content. She also has led a successful freelance career writing human interest, real estate and business stories for clients that include NJ Advance Media, real estate firms, non-profit organizations and local news websites. Lori attended William Paterson University and joined the Caryl Communications writing team in 2011, working primarily with the company’s real estate, accounting, senior housing and nonprofit clients.
Social Media Strategist
Allison Friedman is a digital communications specialist who has been actively immersed in social media since 2004. In 2017, Allison joined Caryl Communications as a Social Media Manager. Drawing on her broad expertise in multi-media marketing, public relations and communications, Allison develops and implements digital marketing strategies for a range of clients, staying current on new technologies, trends and applications to drive visibility. Allison holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts Degree from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School for the Arts.
Donna Gould joined the Caryl Communications team in 2013, bringing with her more than 25 years of experience in developing and implementing integrated communications strategies for clients in industries including real estate, financial services, health and wellness, legal services and lifestyle. An exceptional writer with a disciplined marketing focus, Donna creates content for a full range of communication platforms including press releases, newsletters, email marketing campaigns, social media and websites.
Ken Hunter, APR, has held senior communication positions and consulting roles in healthcare, real estate, consumer products, and more. One of his specialties is crisis communication. He has also led PR and marketing communication teams for 25 years, and previously worked as an editor on several trade and consumer magazines. Ken is an adjunct professor in Rutgers University’s undergraduate and professional PR programs. He is a past president of both the N.J. and Pikes Peak chapters of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), holds the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) designation from PRSA, and is a Syracuse University graduate.
As a professional writer for more than 30 years, Dora Johnson possesses vast experience in magazine, newspaper and business writing. She joined the Caryl Communications writing team in 2005. Dora is the author of countless articles in local, national and trade publications with a focus on the real estate industry. She has served as the Founding Editor of Northeast-New England Real Estate News, Associate Editor of Business Facilities magazine and Contributing Editor to Real Estate New Jersey magazine. In addition, Dora served as Community Relations Coordinator for the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District in Matawan, N.J. She received her Master of Arts degree in corporate and public communication from Monmouth University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Maryland.
In January of 2017, Jamie Platt joined Caryl Communications as an Executive Assistant, handling a wide array of responsibilities. Those often include managing the media database, coordinating press releases, advisories and eblasts for clients and the company as well as numerous other special projects. Prior to joining Caryl, Jamie served as the Fund Development Assistant and the Executive Assistant to the CEO at the YWCA Bergen County. Jamie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in environmental policy, institutions, behavior and environmental health from Rutgers University.
Ellen, who joined our team in 2004, possesses extensive PR experience in a range of industries, from commercial real estate to healthcare to nonprofits. She brings a strong background in journalism to her work, having served as a reporter for Bergen County Newspapers, which formerly published a collection of local weekly papers. Previously, Ellen worked in the recruiting and training departments of McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm. She graduated from Gettysburg College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
Caryn Starr-Gates, who began writing for Caryl Communications in 2007, has decades of experience in advertising copywriting and PR. Her experience spans numerous industries in print, broadcast and digital channels for local, regional and national brands. In recent years, Caryn has written extensively for a broad range of accounts, including senior housing, education, food service, financial, retail, IT and professional services accounts as well as nonprofits. She holds a BS in psychology from Emory University.
Senior Account Coordinator
Christine Ziomek has been with Caryl Communications since 2001. She has served in a number of leadership roles at the firm, including Account Supervisor, and has expertise in managing clients across a variety of industries. Those range from senior housing and real estate to technology and law. In addition, she has deep experience managing clients in the nonprofit sector.
Christine earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of Scranton, where she was a member of the National Communications Honors Society, the Public Relations Student Society and was selected to participate in the Public Relations Student Society of America’s prestigious Bateman Case Study Competition. Prior to joining Caryl Communications, Christine served as the Assistant to the Director of Public Relations at Boscov’s Department Store in Scranton, Pa.