Who We Are
What makes the staff at Utopia different is the fact that we hold ourselves, and our clients, to the highest standards. We believe an organization can do well by doing what’s right. We also believe that our client’s efforts are best served when we represent them credibly and with integrity.
Our team of professionals is routinely complimented by the media, our clients and our industry peers. You won’t see Utopia’s staff being “outed” by disgruntled media in their blogs, and you won’t find us getting bashed by competitive organizations. We’re highly respected because each member of Utopia’s team has a high regard for the public relations profession, the agency and the world at large. We take our reputation very seriously, and we believe it reflects on those of our clients as well.
Each member of our staff is required to join and take a leadership role in our industry’s professional organizations. Each is also required to do a certain amount of community service, and given the time and resources necessary to make an impact on Utopia’s behalf.
Our professional team is also required to take part in monthly professional development training sessions, so we are at the forefront of the resources and trends shaping our business and yours. In fact, several members of our team routinely train professionals at other agencies!
Our team is expected to hold our clients accountable in return. We expect them to treat us honorably, involve us in their business and use us to our full potential. We refuse to be a mere vendor; rather, we are a true partner in their success. We insist on becoming an extension of our clients – forming the kind of daily relationship usually found in an in-house communications department. That means our clients put as much effort into a winning relationship as we do.
Ann T. Willets – President & CEO
Ann has over two decades of experience conducting successful public relations campaigns in a variety of industries. She has worked in both large and small agency environments as well as in a corporate setting. In 1995, Ann founded Danlee Public Relations, which was quickly ranked as the fourth largest agency in the State of New Jersey by PR Week Magazine.
Ann sold the agency to STC Integrated Marketing in 2000 and managed the transition of staff and accounts for one year. She then joined KCSA, the nation’s 11th largest independent public and investor relations agency, where she assumed the role of managing director for the public relations division. During her tenure, KCSA was voted one of the nation’s top ten agencies to work for.
Ann left KCSA in September of 2005 to once again go out on her own. Prompted by the headline-grabbing corporate scandals of Enron and WorldCom, to the fall-out from Sarbannes-Oxley, Willets sought to offset the “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” method of many businesses and public relations firms. She set out to create a new type of communications firm: an ethically focused practice which represents organizations, ideas, people and companies that enhance the human condition and which operate within a strongly principled framework. She proudly named that firm Utopia Communications.
Taking the company’s mission one step further to help others in the communications industry, Willets became the first (and only) officially endorsed ethics trainer for Trust Inc. in North America. Trust, Inc., is A Practical Guide to the Alignment of Values, Organizational Goals and Results, written by Judith Rogala and Carol Orsborn, Ph.D. and outlines the LEAP methodology for ethics and values based leadership. Ann is also the ethics officer for the NJ Chapter of PRSA and a member of the Society for Business Ethics.
Ann holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Relations and is completing a Master of Science degree in Communications Management from Syracuse University, for which she received an academic merit scholarship from the Women Executives in Public Relations Foundation.
In the course of her career, Ann has managed public relations/marketing communication programs for a variety of clients, garnering over 26 prestigious national awards.
Ann is a member of the Public Relations Society of America’s prestigious Counselors Academy and is a member of its executive committee, as well as the Chair of its 2006 national conference • Sits on the board of the PRSA of NJ • Is a member of the Jersey Shore PR and Advertising Association • Is the former publicity committee member of the NY-International Association of Business Communicators • Member, Women Executives in PR • Former public relations chair for the New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners • Honored in 2000 by Business News New Jersey as one of State’s “Top 40 Under 40″ • Honored in 2007 by NJBIZ Magazine as one of the top 50 Women Executives in NJ • Nationally recognized, Ann has been profiled and quoted on national radio and television, as well as in publications such as Dividends, Self-Employed Professional, Entrepreneur, Executive Female, Working Woman Magazine, PR Week and Working Mother, among others, in relation to her expertise in marketing communications and professional accomplishments.
Deborah Radman – S.V.P., Consumer
Deb Radman leads Utopia’s consumer marketing practice. Before joining Utopia, she ran Cramer-Krasselt Public Relations. C-K PR’s 75 professionals spanned four offices as part of Cramer-Krasselt, one of the largest, independent 360 marketing communications firms in the U.S. with nearly $1 billion in revenue.
Prior to joining CKPR, she opened and built the New York office of Stanton Communications. Before that, Deb served as Managing Partner of Corporate and Marketing Communications at KCSA Public Relations Worldwide, where she worked with Ann Willets, founder of Utopia Communications. She has counseled clients primarily in the fields of corporate communications, crisis management, public affairs and both consumer and business-to-business marketing.
Deb became a public relations practitioner in Denver, CO where she grew up, attended college, and worked for several firms before founding Brown Radman Wolper in 1992. With her partners, she quickly grew the business, gaining many national accounts and opening local offices in New York City, Detroit and San Francisco.
She and her team opened the Culinary Institute of America’s St. Helena campus and became agency of record for the Napa Valley Wine Auction and the Cherry Creek Arts Festival. Over the years, she has worked for food and beverage, wine and spirits, and consumer products companies including, General Foods, Hot Stuff Foods LLC, Heinz, ITO EN, GNC, Southland Corporation, Denny’s, Sobieski Vodka, Corona, Yellow Tail and The Food Marketing Institute. She’s a recognized media and presentation trainer, author and PR industry thought leader.
Deborah is a past president of the Public Relations Society of America New York Chapter; a past chairman of the Counselors Academy of the PRSA. She also is past president of the Foundation of Women Executives in Public Relations, spearheading its mission to further careers in PR. Deborah is accredited by the PRSA and is a member of the PRSA College of Fellows. She also is the recipient of three Silver Anvil awards, the highest distinction awarded in the public relations profession.