Former director of state’s film-and-digital media office brings expansive public affairs background
LANSING, MI – Jenell Leonard will join Marketing Resource Group (MRG) as Vice President of Public Affairs. The Lansing-based public relations firm specializes in public affairs, communications, political campaign management, and public opinion survey research.
Leonard assumes her new position after serving as commissioner and director of the Michigan Film & Digital Media office, a post appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder. Her tenure was distinguished by program initiatives to support the development of Michigan’s creative industries and computer science education for K-12 students along with the formation of the Detroit Film Initiative, which promotes film production projects and jobs in Detroit.
“We are excited about Jenell joining our team,” said MRG President & Founder Tom Shields. “She brings a combination of communications and management experience that will be a real asset to MRG’s continued growth and success.”
“I’m honored to join MRG and look forward to working with current and future clients to expand and grow MRG’s footprint in the marketing and public relations world,” said Leonard. “Navigating today’s issue and communications challenges requires research, a deep understanding of clients’ needs and a timely and strategic approach”
Prior to leading the state’s film-and-digital media office, Leonard worked in the Michigan House of Representatives and four years in the Executive Office as External and Strategic Affairs for Lt. Governor Brian Calley.
In the lieutenant governor’s office, she worked on policies that became a focal point for the first term of the Snyder Administration, including the initiative of building a new bridge to Canada, mental health reform and passage of Autism insurance reform in Michigan.
In 2013, Leonard coordinated the Council of Great Lakes Governors Summit on Mackinac Island, where ten states and provinces of Canada were represented. She also served on the 2015 Inaugural Committee on behalf of the Governor’s office.
Leonard has managed a range of House campaigns, served as the volunteer coordinator for a presidential campaign, co-ran a House leadership election and manages various campaign finance accounts. She was the first female recipient of the Frank M. Fitzgerald Public Service award in 2008 and is a 2010 alumna of the Michigan Political Leadership Program.
Leonard earned a Bachelor’s degree in 2006 Communications and a Master’s in Public Administration in 2009. She is married to Tom Leonard, a third term State Representative who serves as the Speaker of the House. They have a daughter, Hannah, and live in DeWitt.