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September 17, 2013

Dix & Eaton Promotes Three Executives

CLEVELAND – September 17, 2013 – Dix & Eaton announced today the promotions of three executives – Matt Barkett to senior managing director, Lisa Zone to managing director and James A. Brown to chief financial officer.

“Matt, Lisa and Jim are highly respected professionals who play key leadership roles in important practices and functions within our firm,” said Scott Chaikin, chairman and chief executive officer.  “Their promotions reflect their outstanding efforts in ensuring Dix & Eaton’s continued success.”

Barkett, who has established a national reputation as a crisis communications strategist, heads the firm’s crisis communications practice, where he applies his broad-based experience in media relations, crisis communications, litigation PR and reputation management to help clients confront major crises head-on.

“Crises put tremendous strain on an organization and demand on its internal resources, precisely at a time when its reputation is most vulnerable,” said Chaikin.  “Matt consistently earns clients’ trust by drawing upon his background in diverse senior roles to provide cool-headed strategic counsel during some of the most defining moments in their history.”

Zone, head of the firm’s marketing communications practice, has spent the past 15 years honing her skills in developing and executing integrated marketing communications programs for a wide range of business-to-business and consumer companies. She offers specialty expertise in branding and image campaigns, social media marketing, product launches, consumer and trade media relations programs, trade show management and special event planning.

“Over the past several years, Lisa has led the steady growth of our marketing communications practice and the expansion of our capabilities to meet the ever-evolving needs of our clients,” said Chaikin.  “At the same time, she continues to play important leadership roles in the profession and the community.”

Brown has oversight responsibility for all financial and several administrative functions, including accounting, billing, financial management, information systems and facilities management, as well as coordination of legal, audit, tax and insurance services.  He also is in charge of shareholder, board and management reporting. He was named senior vice president – finance earlier this year.

“Jim is a savvy financial executive who has taken on new responsibilities and challenges throughout his career,” said Chaikin.  “Operating largely behind the scenes, his efforts make us a more effective organization and allow us to focus our energies on delivering outstanding client service.”

About Matt Barkett

Since joining Dix & Eaton in 2005, Barkett has played key roles in numerous high-impact engagements, leading communications efforts during the Sago mine and Upper Big Branch mine accidents in West Virginia, plus the Colgan Air crash outside Buffalo. Barkett also counseled Northwest Airlines during a strike by the airline’s mechanics and advised Southwest Airlines during its acquisition of AirTran Airways, now continuing to support labor relations initiatives through the integration of those two airlines. He also advised London-based Imperial Chemical Industries on its $16 billion merger with Dutch coatings giant AkzoNobel, including development and direction of all transaction and crisis communications activities for the company’s North American paints division. Barkett’s team also advised AkzoNobel in the subsequent divestiture of the North American Paints division to Pittsburgh-based PPG.

Barkett previously was communications director for the North American operations of ICI Paints, where he served as the company’s top communications and public relations officer.  Earlier, he served as group director, national media relations for Qwest Communications International in Denver during the firm’s highly publicized $50 billion merger with US West. Barkett also served as director of corporate communications for a subsidiary of Liberty Media Group, the programming arm of AT&T Broadband and Internet Services. He began his career in 1991 as a newspaper reporter in Arkansas, during the early days of Gov. Bill Clinton’s run for president. Barkett holds an MBA in marketing and a Bachelor of Arts undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado.

About Lisa Zone

Before joining D&E in 1999, Zone worked at advertising agency Bozell Kamstra, where she garnered experience in
building brand awareness for business-to-business and consumer programs. She was responsible for daily account activities for several of the agency’s largest clients, including trade and consumer media relations and various marketing communications assignments.

Zone is past president and a member of the Board of Directors of the American Advertising Federation – Cleveland
(AAF-Cleveland), an inaugural member of the John Carroll University Cleveland alumni board and a member of a special committee of the Cleveland Bridge Builders.  In 2012, she was designated as a YWCA of Greater Cleveland Woman of Professional Excellence. She also was a finalist for The David L. Stashower Visionary Award sponsored by AAF-Cleveland.

Zone holds a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University, where she has started a women’s mentoring and networking program for Northeast Ohio alumnae. She previously acted as professional advisor to the Case Marketing Association at Case Western Reserve University, a student chapter of the American Advertising Federation, and served on the board of Dress for Success Cleveland.

About Jim Brown

Before joining Dix & Eaton as controller in 2001, Brown worked at Ernst & Young LLP, where he reached the position of audit senior and worked on the Dix & Eaton audit team.  A 1997 graduate of Youngstown State University, he graduated from the Williamson College of Business Administration with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting.  He is also a certified public accountant.

About Dix & Eaton

Dix & Eaton is an integrated communications consultancy specializing in public relations, investor relations, crisis communications and marketing communications.  Working as partners, we bring deep experience, foresight and creativity to every relationship and help clients realize the full power of communication to drive results.  Founded in 1952, Dix & Eaton has twice been named the nation’s best midsized firm.  For more information, visit

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