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Our Leadership Team
“You cannot choose your battlefield, God does that for you; But you can plant a standard Where a standard never flew." - Natalie Crane
James B. Wood
James Wood is chairman of Wood Communications Group, a nationally recognized and respected strategic communications firm specializing in market research, strategic planning, community and media relations and crisis management, and serves as strategic counsel to Competitive Wisconsin, Inc., a nonpolitical consortium of agriculture, business, education and labor leaders in Wisconsin who work together to focus attention on the state’s competitiveness.
Mr. Wood’s career spans more than 40 years in both public- and private-sector management. After leaving a successful career in academia, he served as executive assistant to Gov. Patrick J. Lucey; managed the Governor’s re-election campaign in 1974; served as deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration; founded and ran a cutting-edge private think tank; and was a candidate for Governor in 1982.
Mr. Wood holds a Bachelor’s degree and Masters’ degrees from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and a PhD from Duke University, where he wrote his dissertation on early Sino-American relations. He has taught at Purdue University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Carroll College, where he also served as Chairman of the History Department.
Kennan R. Wood
Kennan Wood joined WCG in 1996 after serving as Public Liaison at the Pentagon and as Account Executive at two Washington, D.C. public affairs and strategic planning firms. He is currently President of Wood Communications Group.
Kennan has over 25 years of experience as an executive strategist in public affairs, public relations, crisis management, community relations, issue management, media relations and community impact. Issue experience has included working with senior management at medium to large size organizations and corporations around the country on issues related to economic development, education, energy, health care, land use, tourism, regulatory permitting, natural resources, workforce development, early childhood development, leadership growth and policy implementation. Crisis communications experience has included senior strategic management responsibilities related to major incidents including hurricane Katrina, terrorist threats, work-place related deaths, work-place embezzlement and major environmental incidents. Additional professional experience includes overall brand protection for companies, organizations and educational institutions; strategic counsel related to policy and political related issues; and strategy development and implementation on socially charged issues relating to the environment, race, and economic inequality. Leadership experience includes overall strategic plan development and implementation for multi-state corporate communications initiatives, corporate communications team integration, large team management, budget development and management, rapid response team identification and training, entrepreneurial practice inspiration, and broad exposure to multiple issues affecting both the corporate and social communities.
In addition to his experience working with clients across the country, Kennan has been active on a number of volunteer boards and committees including Glaciers Edge Boy Scout Council, Entrepreneurs Organization of Wisconsin (Board President), Phantom Lake YMCA Camp (Board Chair), One City Early Childhood Development Center (Board Co-Chair) and the Madison Regional Economic Partnership subcommittee on Regional Cooperation, Leadership and Diversity.