Stephanie York serves as vice president at Hennes Communications. She brings 30 years of legal, governmental, hospital, political, digital media and public relations experience to the agency. York heads up the firm’s satellite office in Akron, Ohio.
York specializes in crisis communications, crisis management, litigation communications, issues management, media relations and digital media. She can quickly evaluate developing issues and produce effective strategic messages to aid clients coping with reputation management concerns, escalating events and breaking crises.
Prior to joining Hennes Communications, York served as both assistant director of law and director of communications for the City of Akron, its mayor and cabinet. As the media’s front-line contact for all city departments and employees, York skillfully controlled communications for civil and criminal legal matters, state and federal investigations, a vast city taxpayer website breach and attempted breaches, city council disputes, community perceptions, mayoral reputation challenges and sudden changes in leadership and administrations.
As an attorney, York handled hundreds of complex cases, advised all city departments on sensitive and confidential legal and policy matters and litigated cases in state and federal courts. She is admitted to practice in all Ohio courts, including the Northern District of Ohio, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Ohio Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court.
York has extensive political experience, having served as a campaign adviser, manager and social media expert in numerous high profile local campaigns, including serving as a key aide in the successful defense against the attempted recall of one of the country’s longest-serving and best-known mayors.
York also served as the director of communications and public relations for Cleveland Clinic Akron General, during Cleveland Clinic’s acquisition of the Akron General Health System. During this pivotal time of transition and change, York played a critical role as the communication and information resource for the community, Akron General’s employees and the media. Numerous specific, targeted communications helped lead to widespread acceptance of the merger, overcoming initial concerns expressed by local residents, as well as government and business leaders.
In her spare time, York volunteers in many capacities. She is the past-president of the Downtown Akron Kiwanis Club and the Akron Kiwanis Foundation, and chair of the Jewish Women’s Endowment Board and United Way of Summit County’s Strategic Planning Committee. York serves as vice president of the Jewish Community Board of Akron, and is a board member of the Leadership Akron Alumni Association and United Way of Summit County. She is also a member of the Akron Bar Association.
York graduated summa cum laude from Ohio University in 1991 with a bachelor’s in communications. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Akron, School of Law in 1994.