Meet the Team
Our veteran staff has more than nine decades of combined experience in government, public relations and strategic communications. We’ve been at the heart of shaping public perception and policy in Ohio and the nation for years.
In addition, our broad experience gives us a network of business leaders and a keen understanding of what drives important business decisions. We know corporate leaders. We know how to sell your business proposition and we get profitable results for you.
Brian Hicks is the founder, president and chief executive officer of Hicks Partners, LLC. His experience in and deep understanding of government affairs, economic development and public relations bring a wealth of experience and strategic service to Hicks Partners’ clients. And as an entrepreneurial businessman himself, he understands and relates to the many issues facing business leaders throughout Ohio and the country.
Tony Brigano offers considerable government relations experience and acumen, with particular expertise in legislative issues regarding budget, education, utility and energy matters. This experience, coupled with his excellent relationships with members of the Ohio House and Senate, makes Brigano an effective liaison in representing clients’ needs and issues before the Ohio General Assembly.
Keith Conroy adds a wealth of economic development experience to the Hicks Partners team. He was responsible for many of the state’s economic development projects and successfully drew funds and companies to the state. With 20 years’ experience in both the public and private sectors, locally and internationally, Conroy expertly assists clients through the economic development process securing tax credits, loans and grants.
Kristen Henson brings high levels of organization, event management, and communications experience as well as campaign and grassroots activism to her role as Public Affairs Manager. At Hicks Partners, she helps create, implement and manage client communications and media strategies that expand the client’s brand and sustain their reputation.
Erik Mikkelson focuses his legal knowledge and extensive experience in the executive and legislative branches of government as a Director for State Government Relations for Hicks Partners. He effectively addresses clients’ needs, develops strategies, and represents these matters before the Office of the Governor, cabinet agencies, members of Congress, Ohio General Assembly, and local government entities.
Ian Nickey has a deep background and expertise with the intersection of government, business and media. With his experience working on a wide variety of public policy initiatives within agencies and before the General Assembly, enhanced by his understanding of economic development issues and media strategies, Nickey successfully offers a unique blend of services to Hicks Partners’ clients.
Stacy Schad brings experience in the governmental sector as well as a history of work in private and nonprofit arenas to Hicks Partners. Her experience in coordinating office functions, projects, communication and marketing efforts provides clients with support and information they need. She maintains these administrative duties while supervising special events planning as well.
Eric Vinyard comes to Hicks partners with experience in nonprofit advocacy, public outreach, and organizational consulting. With work experience in Washington, D.C. for the National Academy of Public Affairs and in Columbus, Ohio for AARP, he is able to bring a valuable set of diverse experiences to the team. In addition, his formal training in Philosophy and Public Management, Leadership, and Policy from The Ohio State University forms a solid foundation of skills that can be leveraged to meet client needs.