Akoya Helps U.S. Department of Energy Tame the “Wild West” of Connected Lighting

CLSpicSince 2015, Akoya has helped position the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as the trusted, impartial “sheriff” of the nascent connected lighting field— which has been a “Wild West” of competing technical standards, divergent business models, exaggerated or over-simplified claims by some manufacturers, and a lack of systems compatibility.

One way we’ve done this is by publicizing and managing popular connected lighting systems (CLS) workshopsthe latest of which took place last month in Santa Clara, California—that bring together leaders from IT, lighting, and other fields.

We also keep a drumbeat of CLS messaging with email blasts, populate the DOE website with useful CLS information and tools—such as an animated video and infographics we created— and earn coverage of CLS in key trade publications. This is helping to overcome market barriers so that connected lighting and advanced controls can achieve their potential of nearly doubling the energy savings from LED lighting alone.

To learn more, read our CLS Project Profile.

Akoya Welcomes New Team Members to Military Health, HRSA Teams

We’ve had the pleasure to welcome several talented individuals to our team over the past few months. Get to know our newest Akoyans.

StassiSenior writer Laura Stassi joined us this spring as the newest member of our writing team supporting the Defense Health Agency in Falls Church, Virginia. Drawing on her past experience at ARMY magazine, C-SPAN, and NPR, Laura develops engaging stories for the DHA audience of active duty service members, retirees, and their families. Her recent series for National Nurses Week included profiles of combat medic Army Sgt. Elizabeth Marks (a self-described “ornery patient”) and Air Force Col. Erwin Gines, the only emergency care nurse in the initial 2003 Iraq invasion. Laura is the author of almost two dozen nonfiction children’s books and an active volunteer for the Yellow Ribbon Project.

LopzNow serving the Air Force Medical Service as a communications planner, Angelica Lopez joined our Falls Church office by way of the Lone Star State, where she executed multi-faceted public information campaigns as the League City, Texas, Director of Communications and Media Relations. As a civilian, she previously served as Public Affairs Chief for the 87th Air Base Wing in Lakehurst, New Jersey, as well as in public affairs and community relations positions for the Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee, the McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey, and the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

walkerWhen it comes to keeping millions of beneficiaries up to speed with their health plan options, Katie Walker is a go-to resource for the Defense Health Agency. Before joining our team in April, Katie was the Public Relations Manager for King Arthur Flour in Vermont, rejuvenating the media and digital strategies of the nation’s oldest flour company. Her prior experience included positions with the Office of the Secretary of Defense Public Affairs division, Newseum Productions, the National Academy of Sciences, Discovery Communications, and National Geographic Society Television and Film.

brownThanks to Annie Brown, our outreach efforts to increase life-saving organ donations just got a boost. She recently wrapped up a month at our Pittsburgh headquarters, getting oriented to our Workplace Partnership for Life campaign for the Health Resources and Services Administration (and checking out the best purveyors of espresso.) Now Annie is supporting the campaign from our office in Falls Church, where she will put her writing and editing capabilities to work for a variety of clients and head up our social media outreach.

SensAkoya is excited to welcome Robert Sens, J.D., to our strategic communications team supporting the Defense Health Agency, where he will serve as Senior Communications Planner and Operations Lead. He previously held senior positions at Bulletin Intelligence in Reston, Virginia, and at the Defense Intelligence Agency, including while deployed to Afghanistan. Robert’s earlier experience includes prosecutorial duties with the Broward County State Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as well as sports reporting for the Associated Press.

Akoya Provides Conference Management for DesignLights Consortium Annual Stakeholder Meeting in Denver

DLCConferencePicOur event logistics team recently returned from a week in Denver, where they provided onsite event management for the DesignLights Consortium’s annual stakeholder meeting. Held at the historic Brown Palace Hotel, the meeting boasted over 250 attendees, 17 sponsor exhibits, and two networking receptions, including one at the Denver Aquarium. Work on the meeting began over six months ago and involved near-daily communications with the client and hotel on tasks as diverse as site visits and negotiation, vendor selection and coordination, materials development and printing, menu selection, and budget monitoring. Congratulations to the team and to the client on a successful event!

Akoya Awarded 2016 Telly Award for Food Bank Video

telly_site_bugs_bronzeWe are pleased to announce that our “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” video produced for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank was selected as a winner at the 37th annual Telly Awards! With over 13,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, this is truly an honor.

“Neighbors Helping Neighbors” was shot at the Food Bank warehouse and other locations around Pittsburgh and includes on-camera interviews with CEO Lisa Scales and members of her staff as well as people in the community who rely on the Food Bank when times are tough. The video has been used for fundraising purposes since its completion in the summer of 2015.

Check out the video here.

Akoya supports DOE’s Connected Lighting Systems Workshop in Santa Clara, CA

cls_webLast week, a team of Akoyans traveled to Santa Clara, California, to provide event support for the U.S. Department of Energy Solid-State Lighting program’s second annual Connected Lighting Systems Workshop, held June 8–9. The workshop is the culmination of six months of preparation on Akoya’s part—from agenda planning to speaker coordination, and from materials development to marketing e-blasts. A leading-edge phenomenon that cuts across multiple technologies, connected lighting is already starting to transform the very definition of what lighting is and could be, and Akoya has created an exciting new section of the DOE solid-state lighting website that’s devoted to the topic. Featuring an Akoya-created animation, it can be found at http://www.energy.gov/eere/ssl/connected-lighting-systems.

New Akoyans join Military Health Team in D.C.

CarrieAkoya is pleased to welcome three new staff members to our Military Health System (MHS) team. Carrie Petershagen joins the MHS team as the Communications Director of Puget Sound Military Health System in Washington State. Carrie brings 14 years of communications, marketing, and project management experience. In her new position she’ll provide support for the Department of Defense’s Enhanced Multi-Service Market and develop communications campaigns about health care services.

karenlKaren Lewis recently joined our MHS team as an account manager in health care operations. Karen has a diverse background in business development and sales. As an account manager in health care operations, she’s part of a multidisciplinary team supporting MHS strategic communications.


JenniferAnother recent addition to Akoya’s MHS team is Jennifer Benitz.  As a staff writer for health.mil, Jennifer researches, writes and edits a wide range of content related to the Military Health System for internal and external audiences. Before joining Akoya, she worked as a staff writer for Army Magazine.

Akoya Earns AIVA Communicator Awards

DHTI_awardThe Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA) has recognized Akoya’s design and writing prowess with two Communicator Awards of Distinction for the first-ever annual report of the Disruptive Health Technology Institute (DHTI), of Carnegie Mellon University. DHTI funds multi-disciplinary research that seeks to improve the affordability, simplicity, and accessibility of health care.

Akoya Supports DOE’s Solid-State Lighting R&D Workshop in Raleigh, NC

workshopIn February, a team of Akoyans traveled to Raleigh, North Carolina, to provide event support for the U.S. Department of Energy Solid-State Lighting program’s 13th annual R&D Workshop, which was held over a three-day period. Six months of planning and preparation culminated in the event, which drew more than 250 lighting leaders from across the country and even points beyond—including China, India, Europe, and Mexico. From agenda and tour planning to speaker coordination, from materials development to marketing e-blasts, and from video recording to live tweeting, Akoya played a critical part in ensuring the success of this important industry conference. A summary of the event can be found here: http://energy.gov/eere/ssl/thirteenth-annual-solid-state-lighting-rd-workshop.

Next up for Akoya: DOE’s Connected Lighting Systems Workshop in Santa Clara, CA, June 8-9: http://energy.gov/eere/ssl/connected-lighting-systems-workshop

Akoya Welcomes New Team Members

fisherswiftAkoya is pleased to welcome Matthew Swift. Matthew is a writer for Akoya’s Military Health System (MHS) contract, developing story ideas and content about the MHS for the health.mil website. He brings 10 years of journalism and editing experience.

Neal Fisher, a retired Marine, recently joined our MHS team and provides communications planning to the Air Force Medical Service public affairs office of the Surgeon General.  Neal brings more than 25 years of career expertise in strategic planning, crisis communications, and reputation management.

We are thrilled to officially welcome Matthew and Neal to the team!

Akoya Awarded Contract to Support the DesignLights Consortium Annual Stakeholder Meeting

Contract AnnouncementAkoya was recently awarded a contract to support Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) DesignLights Consortium (DLC) Annual Stakeholder Meeting to be held this August in Denver, CO. DLC provides the energy efficiency and solid state lighting markets with critical resources to advance the market transformation of high-efficiency commercial lighting products. Akoya will design key graphics, support stakeholder outreach to engage market players across the lighting industry, and  provide comprehensive logistics support for the event that runs three days and draws 250 attendees.

Akoya Supports DOE SSL Connected Lighting Systems Meeting and Technology Development Workshop

workshopIn late November, a team of Akoyans traveled to Portland, Oregon, to provide event support for the U.S. Department of Energy Solid-State Lighting program’s 10th annual Technology Development Workshop and inaugural Connected Lighting Systems Meeting, which were held over a three-day period. Six months of planning and preparation culminated in the consecutive events, which drew more than 320 attendees from the lighting, semiconductor, and IT industries as well as many others. From agenda and tour planning to speaker coordination, from materials development to marketing e-blasts, and from video recording to live tweeting, Akoya played a critical part in ensuring the success of these two conferences—all while planning the upcoming February R&D Workshop.

Akoya’s MHS Team Continues to Grow

ShawnPaulAkoya’s Military Health System (MHS) team welcomes Paul Bello. Paul has a diverse background in public affairs and journalism. As part of the MHS team, Paul will provide strategic outreach support and tactical communications planning and assist in management of special events.

Shawn Woodbridge recently joined our MHS team as Communications Planner for Operation Live Well (OLW), the Department of Defense’s initiative to improve the health and wellness of the entire defense community by promoting a healthy lifestyle.Shawn brings more than 27 years’ experience in communications planning and implementation for the Federal Government and U.S. Army. As account manager for OLW, Shawn strategizes communications to all the audiences served by OLW.