Our Team

We share good judgment, intelligence and the pride and determination to get the work done right. As to our specific resumes, you might be surprised.

Jon Bell

Copywriter, Wordsmith, Alpine Enthusiast, Bread Maker

Jon Bell




Jon joined Gard in 2019 after five years as the Portland Business Journal’s commercial real estate reporter. A longtime writer, he is also the author of the book On Mount Hood.

When he’s not at the keyboard, Jon is likely heading to or from the mountains — or some other natural wonder of the great Northwest — with his wife and two kids.

Read Jon's stories for Gard. 

Natalie Bennon

Senior Account Manager, Doer, Nature Lover, Kombucha Maker

Natalie Bennon

Senior Account Manager



Natalie joined the firm in 2018 after running her own public relations firm, doing communications and grant writing for environmental nonprofits, and working as an environmental journalist in D.C.

Natalie is passionate about rivers, nutrition, karaoke and her family. She is also known for being exceptionally honest, so if you want the truth, ask Natalie.

See Natalie's employee spotlight.

Read Natalie's stories for Gard.

Meaghan Burns

Account Manager, Community Builder, Adventurer, Nacho Connoisseur

Meaghan Burns

Account Manager



Meaghan brings a long list of public relations and communications experiences with her to Gard, including her own PR firm Burns PR, as well as roles with Salt & Straw, Broussard Communications and Lola Red PR. She earned a bachelor’s in human services from Virginia Tech and a master’s in communications from the University of Denver. At Gard, Meaghan works with our PR and advertising clients, setting strategy, developing communications plans, writing, pitching and anything else involved with account management. An outdoor enthusiast, Meaghan attempts to keep up with her family, be it skiing on Mount Hood, camping, hiking, horseback riding, biking in the great outdoors or paddle boarding around our magnificent waterways.

Liz Fuller

President and CEO, Ex-ballerina, Foodie, Peloton-addict

Liz Fuller

President and CEO



Liz joined Gard in 2010, after previously working as a political and nonprofit consultant. She leads and manages the firm, and personally specializes in strategy, crisis management and public affairs.

A former professional ballet dancer, Liz danced in Seattle and Portland before trading pointe shoes for pumps. Currently she serves on the board of the Portland Business Alliance. She has served on the board of the Portland State University Foundation and is a past board chair of p:ear, a non-profit that works with homeless youth.

Read Liz's stories for Gard.

Scott Gallagher

Director of Public Relations, Storyteller, Professor, Cider Maker

Scott Gallagher

Director of Public Relations



Scott joined Gard in 2016. Before that, he was a college professor, marketing director for Rogue Ales and the director of communications for Portland State University.

Scott has a Ph.D. in English literature and creative writing from Ohio University. An entrepreneur in his spare time, he founded a cider business, Ulee’s Light Cider.

See Scott's employee spotlight.

Read Scott's stories for Gard.

Brian Gard

Senior Partner, Founder, Copywriter, Beachcomber

Brian Gard

Senior Partner



A copywriter by trade, Brian started the firm in late 1979 to specialize in corporate, public policy and crisis communications.

Brian and Rhonda have five children and, to date, four grandchildren. Brian likes to read, Rhonda likes to be with her grandchildren, and they both like to spend time in Manzanita.

Read Brian's stories for Gard.

Naureen Khan

Associate, Eco-Warrior, Bollywood Dancer, Bigfoot Seeker

Naureen Khan




To say that Naureen was busy in college is a bit of an understatement. Not only did she earn a degree in marketing and international business from Portland State University in 2019 – a path inspired by her background as a first-generation American with parents from India and Pakistan – but she also held a total of seven student jobs during her time there. Those ranged from office assistant to student ambassador to communications and data analytics manager. Before coming to Gard, Naureen worked as a homeowner consultant at Vacasa, and she also currently works as contract Government Relations Associate for Friends of Frog Ferry, an initiative to bring a ferry service to Portland. At Gard, Naureen will be supporting the Public Relations team. She is a strong advocate for sustainable living and has been utilizing her extra time at home to convert her place into a zero-waste home.

Anne Mangan

Bookkeeper, Runner, Reader, Wishful Traveler

Anne Mangan




Anne joined Gard in 1987. She previously worked at Transamerica Financial as a loan manager and at Waldenbooks in customer service.

She spends her spare time trying to keep up with three active daughters through road races, hiking, biking, and hitting the gym.

Arthur Parker

PHP Developer, Musician, Reader, Pedestrian

Arthur Parker

PHP Developer


Arthur started working with the web team in 2018.  He is a full-stack developer, equally comfortable tweaking fonts or databases.

A native of the Southeast, Arthur has lived in Portland for 15 years, where he is a performing and recording musician.

Tanya Partem

Director of Operations, Diver, Food Science Nerd, Traveler

Tanya Partem

Director of Operations



Tanya’s first stint with Gard started in 1997 and found her managing several of the firm’s defining clients. She left in 2015 to explore the digital world and gain valuable experience in custom software and websites for Fortune 100 companies — experience she brought back to Gard with her in 2019.

When she’s not in the office, Tanya, a native of Ukraine, is likely hiking to a waterfall, swimming, paddling a kayak or cooking up something in her kitchen.

John Plymale

Creative Director, Sheep Farmer, Barn Builder, Dog Aficionado

John Plymale

Creative Director



John was the senior art director for the firm from 1993 to 2000, and then rejoined in 2005 to head the creative department. He designs, writes copy, and directs TV, radio, print and digital advertising.

John and his wife opened Portland’s first dog (but don’t call it “doggy”) daycare in 1999, which his wife still manages.

See John's employee spotlight.

Read John's stories for Gard.

Jenna Rose

Digital Producer, Photographer, Animal Lover, Time Traveler

Jenna Rose

Digital Producer



Jenna joined Gard in 2011. An accomplished photographer, videographer, social media expert and web developer, she helps implement successful digital strategies. She previously managed a veterinary hospital, where she wrangled pets and paperwork.

Jenna has explored every coastal town in Oregon, and she knows more about Star Trek than anyone else in the office (with the possible exception of Brian.) Picard is her captain.

See Jenna's employee spotlight.

Read Jenna's stories for Gard. 

Katie Sakurai

Graphic Designer, Seamstress, Bargain Hunter, Maker of Things

Katie Sakurai

Graphic Designer



Katie has worked as a graphic designer for Gard since 2008. She previously worked in Japan helping teach English to Japanese students.

Outside of designing for work (and for fun), Katie enjoys reading a good book, cooking a new recipe, and sewing a one-of-a-kind garment. And she loves finding exactly what she didn’t need at thrift stores and estate sales.

See Katie's employee spotlight.

Read Katie's stories for Gard.

Scott Sparling

Director of Strategy, Author, Reader, Music Fan

Scott Sparling

Director of Strategy



Scott joined Gard in 1989. He specializes in messaging and strategy, and has extensive experience in the fields of healthcare, energy and traffic safety. His creative work has won awards in all media.

Scott is the author of an award-winning novel, Wire to Wire, and a music website that has provided content for the BBC and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Read Scott's stories for Gard.

Julia Stoops

Director of Web & Digital, Artist, Author, Critical Thinker

Julia Stoops

Director of Web & Digital



Julia joined Gard in 2015. She previously ran her own web design company, and is an expert web strategist, information architect and user experience (UX) designer.

Julia's degrees are in visual art and philosophy. Originally from New Zealand, Julia has lived in Portland for over 25 years. A former college professor, she's also a published novelist and exhibiting visual artist.

See Julia's employee spotlight.

Read Julia's stories for Gard.

Angela Tait

Media Buyer, Amateur Chef, Aspiring Traveler, Dog Lover

Angela Tait

Media Buyer


A 21-year veteran of the media buying industry, Angela brings her skills as a media buyer and planner to Gard. She handles everything from traditional TV and radio to out of home, digital search and social. Largely self-employed throughout her career, Angela said she was a work-from-homer before it was cool. A graduate of the University of Oregon, she also has her own small agency, Tait Media. When she’s not buying or planning media, Angela likes to hike in the summer, snowshoe in the winter and cook. She says she also has a “normal-not-at-all-over-the-top level of obsession/love” for her rescue pup, Milo.

Andrew Thompson

Senior Account Manager, Reader, Globetrotter, Political Enthusiast

Andrew Thompson

Senior Account Manager



Andrew joined Gard in 2016 after working as a senior account executive for corporate and government clients at a public relations firm in Atlanta.

Andrew grew up in Tokyo and Atlanta, which explains the toss up between shoyu ramen and barbecue chicken for his favorite food.

See Andrew's employee spotlight.

Read Andrew's stories for Gard.

Aubree Tolley

Project Manager, Cookie Eater, Night Owl, Perfectionist

Aubree Tolley

Project Manager



Aubree joined Gard in 2019. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism and public relations, and previously worked as a social media manager for a local nonprofit.

Aubree grew up in Colorado and Portland, which explains her love for the outdoors and snow. She loves all types of dessert, attending concerts, and exploring Portland’s food and brewery scene.

Alexis Wong

Senior Account Manager, Theatre Maker, Singer, Drafter of Lists

Alexis Wong

Senior Account Manager



Alexis joined Gard in 2018 from San Francisco where she had most recently worked in digital advertising at Twitch and Rotten Tomatoes/Flixster.

A U.C. Berkeley graduate with a degree in architecture, she’s produced, worked and performed in theater for over 15 years. Alexis also privately coaches public speaking and serves on staff at PDX Women in Tech as a copywriter.

Teri Yamauchi

Administrative Assistant, Dancer, Student, Sci-Fi Lover

Teri Yamauchi

Administrative Assistant



Teri started at Gard in 2019 executing miscellaneous office duties as well as assisting the bookkeeper. Previously she’d supported her Polynesian dance group in assistant managerial duties by day and sewing costumes by night.

As a transplant from Hawaii, she took love of dance with her to the Pacific Northwest and in 2017 placed first with her dance group at the 3 days of Aloha Festival. Currently she’s focused on completing her bachelor’s degree in accounting at Portland State University and consuming every type of instant ramen she can.

Valarie Grudier

Of Counsel, Runner, Dancer, Champion Pie Baker

Valarie Grudier

Of Counsel



Valarie joined the firm in 1982 after working for a local CPA firm, and another focused on research and consulting.

A University of Oregon graduate with a degree in dance, she’s been a singer, a dancer and a choreographer for local and regional dance and theater companies.