Our Team

Sarah Sherwood, Founder and Principal

Along with a successful tenure at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, Edelman Worldwide and Ruder Finn, Sarah Sherwood has been promoting organizations in the political, well-being, science, and medical industries, and working with top public officials, scientists and innovators for almost 30 years. Her success and creativity in the field has won the confidence of colleagues in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Sarah’s experience includes putting together the first news department at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, where she worked with both traditional and social media in order to spread news. She was responsible for building a new department that would serve the news media internationally, nationally, and locally to promote the adult hospital and all 16 clinics. Sarah managed a nearly one-million-dollar budget and developed new campaigns in both traditional and digital media that gave Stanford Hospital a record amount of media coverage.

Sarah was responsible for supervising accounts in the healthcare practice for two international public relations agencies, soliciting new business, and counseling clients in media relations and third-party development. Her efforts included working with Motorola Healthcare Solutions Group, Roche Diagnostics, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, and the American Liver Foundation. Through her relationships with The New York Times, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun Times, the American Hospital Association, and others, Sarah was able to place her clients’ messages in high-circulation publications. In addition, she developed strategies in third-party development for her clients to assist them in forming key relationships with essential audiences.

Before settling in Chicago to work for Edelman Worldwide, Sarah was a development coordinator for the Kamber Group, the eighth largest public affairs firm in Washington, D.C. She was responsible for raising funds for the AFL/CIO and the National Lesbian and Gay Health Association. Sarah produced direct mail that raised a record amount of funds for both the AFL/CIO and NLGHA, and raised a record amount for a growing health association.

Before working at the Kamber Group, Sarah began her career in politics for Clinton/Gore in 1992. She managed an office for Kathleen Brown in 1994.

Sarah has a master’s degree in public communication from American University in Washington, D.C., and a bachelor’s degree in the social sciences from San Jose State University.

Gerri Kelly, Partner

Gerri Kelly is a senior communications professional with international agency, as well as corporate technology and academic medical center experience. She is well versed in driving strategy from the center where content, media relations, and social media converge to protect and enhance brand reputation.

Gerri has nearly 30 years of communications experience, including years of senior experience in high tech and education, and on the PR agency side in media relations, consumer goods, health care, and corporate communications. She is proud to consistently produce news consumers can use to improve their lives.

Her skills include account management; client education; writing and editing; storytelling; research & analysis; media relations; media and digital strategy; internal & external communications; managing internal & external partners; and website content management.

Elisabeth H. Handler, APR, Partner

Elisabeth has had experience at international and boutique public relations agencies, has managed in-house corporate public relations for national and regional companies and organizations, and most recently spent six years as the public information manager for the Office of Economic Development & Cultural Affairs for the City of San Jose, California. 

Her skills include writing, presenting, strategic planning, media relations and creative project development and implementation, using all the available tools from op-ed to video to TikTok. 

She has worked with technology, healthcare, consumer product and institutional clients such as Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Santa Clara County Toshiba America, Hewlett-Packard, United Press International, Novell, Microsoft, Levi-Strauss, Anheuser-Busch, Ralston-Purina, Blue Cross of California, PacifiCare Health Systems, AMI Hospitals, and California Milk Advisory Board.  

After moving to San Jose in 2004, she served as Public Information Officer for Santa Clara Family Health Plan, and managed a regional integrated communications agency in Silicon Valley with clients in the healthcare, retail, construction, technology, wine, and not-for-profit sectors.  

With a degree in cultural anthropology from Harvard University, she is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America, and for 12 years she taught public relations at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication, at the undergraduate and graduate levels.  

Heidi F. Diedrich, Partner

Heidi Diedrich brings to Sherwood Communications nearly 30 years of integrated communications experience at the international, national, and grassroots levels. She is recognized by for her ability to apply strong analytical and critical thinking to strategic communications programs that align with and advance an organization’s business objectives and marketing goals.

This experience complements her work with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where as director of media relations she established the school’s first in-house international media relations program. Under her direction, the program generated impressive media results within its first year, including coverage in The Economist, Financial Times, Businessweek, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, as well as National Public Radio.

While with National Dairy Council (NDC), Diedrich was responsible for establishing the first national strategic integrated communications plan for a $250-million campaign to reduce childhood obesity in the United States. The initiative, developed in partnership with the NFL, reached 60,000 U.S. schools and 36 million youth in its first year. Efforts led to the program being accepted under First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign in 2010.

Previously, Diedrich led NDC’s national and regional media relations programs. In this role, she established an integrated media relations plan to promote and protect U.S. dairy products through leveraging scientific research and educating public policy leaders and third-party experts. Efforts included traditional and digital communication, as well as a national news bureau and panel of independent nutrition experts who endorsed dairy in the human diet, based on published nutrition research.

Jean Lombard, Digital Director

Jean Lombard’s success is built on her track record of more than 15 years of experience driving integrated marketing campaigns for Silicon Valley startups, med-tech and for mature companies seeking to launch new, critically important divisions.

Jean is adept at identifying and assessing how to introduce and differentiate clients’ products and platforms — and how to identify and optimize target audiences — to cost-effectively gain brand awareness and coverage for competitive advantage and Influencer status.

Jean’s hands-on strength is creating core marketing messages based on trending phrases and important terms, then infusing these elements into compelling and resonant marketing channels including website copy, social media posts, email digital marketing campaigns, press releases and pitch letters.

As a certified Project Manager and Digital Marketing professional, Jean is accustomed to aligning teams in disparate time zones to identify immediate priorities and then teaming up to tackle and efficiently resolve the most important and time-sensitive deliverables.

After starting her career in the publishing industry at Little, Brown & Company, Jean moved into PR to promote myriad high-growth tech sectors including enterprise and SaaS solutions, Next Gen payment solutions, Smart Home IoT devices, blockchain products, and Med-Tech devices.

Greg Philips, Senior Editor

Greg Phillips has a significant portfolio in public communications, including editing, media relations and health care issues management. In addition to having managed media relations in health care advocacy and policy for AARP, Greg was the Director of Media Relations & Communications at The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in Washington, DC, where he led national media relations outreach for the ob-gyn specialty. Greg was also the Deputy Editor in Chief of pause, an award-winning magazine for peri-menopausal and menopausal women.

Greg is also well-versed in a wide range of health-related issues important to adults age 50-plus, including the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, prescription drug prices, nursing homes, and family caregiving, to name a few.

Marion Karl Bonar, Content Creator

Marion is a medical illustrator, writer, and content designer for the biomedical and health industries. Marion and her husband own a boutique medical animation studio, Lure Animations, which specializes in the production of medical content, such as device animations, MOAs, and patient education material.

Marion is responsible for art direction and concept development; her deliverables include animation storyboards, illustration, and well-designed infographics. Essentially, her job is to take a complex idea and translate it into a visual story that foremost serves to inform and clarify, but also excites and engages.

Marion applies the same approach to creating content for Sherwood Communications; she enjoys collaborating with clients in order to tell their story in a way that is both dynamic and forward-thinking, and that reflects and elevates their brand.

Marion earned an MS in Biomedical Visualization at University of Illinois at Chicago, one of four accredited medical illustration programs in the country, and has worked in the industry for 8 years. Prior to this, she pursued textile design in New York City after receiving an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Fiber and Material Studies program. Marion first studied Intaglio printmaking and English at Cornell University, earning dual BFA and BA degrees.

Our Philosophy

In the information age,
an organization must
communicate effectively
with its audience. 

All too often, messages are sent hastily to large audiences. Because we are a global information society, misinformation carries significant repercussions: vague messages can create misunderstanding, lack of comprehension, and even antagonism. 

Time and again, a crisis or lack of resonance with key audiences is caused by a failure to communicate effectively. Good educational campaigns, however, speak clearly and persuasively to each audience.

More than ever, there is a need for sensitive and informed communicators who can explain the objectives and methods of organizations, individuals, and public officials to others in a responsible and effective manner.

Sherwood Communications provides groups or individuals with the knowledge of public opinion and ways to communicate so that key audiences will listen.

Good Public Relations Involves:

Anticipating, analyzing, and interpreting public opinion, attitudes, and issues that may impact the operations and plans of the organization 

Counseling management at all levels in the organization concerning courses of action and communication, taking into account the public ramifications

Ongoing research and evaluation of programs to enhance communication with key audiences

Contact with the media or groups that will enhance the organization’s communication

Developing media material that effectively delivers your message

Managing the resources needed to perform these functions

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