LEADERSHIP

TARRAH COOPER WRIGHT

CEO & Partner

Tarrah Cooper Wright is a communications and media relations strategist. She works with clients to harness the potential of social and digital media for business development, reputation management and crisis communications. Formerly, Tarrah was the Managing Director at Mercury, a leading global, bipartisan public strategy firm, where she was responsible for the business development and strategic communications at the firm’s new Chicago office. 

Prior to joining Mercury, Tarrah was the press secretary for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Tarrah, a Chicago native, began working with Emanuel in 2010 as the deputy press secretary of his mayoral campaign, where she served as a primary spokesperson and assisted with crafting, managing and communicating his strategic vision and priorities for Chicago. As press secretary, Tarrah served as the mayor’s day-to-day spokesperson. She was also responsible for the message development of major Chicago events such as the 2012 NATO Summit, the  2015 National Football League (NFL) Draft, Chicago Gourmet Food and Wine Festival and the 2015 James Beard Awards.

Prior to her time as press secretary, Tarrah worked in the Obama Administration at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., where she helped to manage the Department's messaging, priorities and actions for numerous national incidents including the H1N1 epidemic, the December 25th and Times Square attempted bombings, the Haitian earthquake and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

    

In 2008, Tarrah worked on the Obama-Biden Presidential Campaign in the pivotal state of Florida. She recruited, trained and managed community leaders and volunteers who actively worked to mobilize the community and increase voter contact. 

   

Tarrah began her career as a general assignment reporter at KOMU-NBC 8 in Columbia, Missouri. She is committed to a number of community organizations including Breakthrough Urban Ministries and the Primo Center for Women and Children where she serves on the board. Tarrah graduated cum laude from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in journalism.

   

Tara Swords is a communications specialist with 20 years of experience helping organizations tell the stories that matter most to them, their stakeholders and their customers. She has helped some of the world’s best-known organizations—such as Adobe, HP, Oracle and the United Nations—evolve their messages to stay ahead of societal, political and technological changes, and she has helped influential startups grow into positions of market leadership.

Tara is an expert at employing narrative and persuasive storytelling techniques that use content as a bridge for human connections between organizations and their audiences. She has extensive experience working with both the private and public sectors, as well as crafting messages that straddle both worlds.

As a graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Tara has experience in video, audio and print journalism. Her work has appeared in publications such as Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, USA Today, Inc.com, CIO Strategy Center, Travel Channel and more.

TARA SWORDS

Chief Content Officer & Partner

Previously, Tara was managing writer at TDA Group, where she worked with some of the world’s best-known tech brands—including IBM, Microsoft and Intel—and served as managing editor of a print magazine that targeted a global C-level audience. She also worked as a reporter and anchor at WDWS in Champaign, Illinois, where she honed her reporting and community engagement skills. 

Tara is an entrepreneur with a successful exit, a frequent world traveler and a former expat. She actively volunteers time to mentor young startup founders through Chicago’s 1871, serves as a crisis counselor and volunteers with her family through local community organizations.

SABINA BOKHARI

Account Director

Sabina Bokhari is a communications specialist with diverse experience crafting strategic narratives and forming relationships in the fields of international relations, politics and sports in both Chicago and New York City. 

 

Sabina has interned for Assemblyman Michael Blake’s office, researching education policy and reform for the Bronx community and greater New York City area. Additionally, Sabina has interned for Mercury Public Affairs, a  leading global, bipartisan public strategy firm. 

Sabina graduated Magna Cum Laude from New York University with a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and a Master’s degree in International  Relations. While at New York

University, Sabina had the opportunity to study in Madrid, Morocco, Buenos Aires and Washington, D.C., honing her Spanish language skills and forging worldwide connections.

 

Sabina is dedicated to improving her community and creating equitable opportunity for others. She has interned for and continues to support organizations including Off the Sidelines, Rodham Consulting and Surge for Water.

DANIELLE M. JONES, CMP

Vice President of Events

Danielle Jones, CMP, is an event design and production pro who is known for creating modern and magical one-of-a-kind experiences. The depth of her event expertise spans galas, conferences, golf tournaments, red carpet premiers, intimate client dinners, launch parties, corporate meetings, societal weddings and philanthropic fundraisers. Danielle has mastered the management of logistics through laser-focused attention to detail. Danielle has successfully planned and managed events for companies such as Nike/Brand Jordan, Black Entertainment Television (BET), Sidley Austin LLP, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Los Angeles Mission, Johnson & Johnson’s Neutrogena Corporation, The National Back MBA Association and several others in which she provided leadership in a creative marketing and events production capacity. Danielle's career spans creative marketing, PR and event production. She is best known for bringing creative ideas to life via unique style and decor.

TERRENCE CHAPPELL

Social Media Consultant

Terrence Chappell is a social media and content strategist with eight years of industry experience. He partners with clients to tap into the power of social media and content marketing for brand awareness, online community engagement, ROI driver, and overall business development. Formerly, Terrence worked at Burrell Communications, a leading transcultural agency based in Chicago, where he spearheaded social media for Toyota and was responsible for connecting the brand with African American audiences. 

 Prior to his tenure at Burrell Communications, Terrence managed social media in house on the client side at Walgreens. During his time at Walgreens, Terrence developed the company’s premiere social media strategy, coordinated with key stakeholders for the successful completion of major holiday and seasonal campaigns and worked with

executive leadership on scaling positive sentiment on behalf of Walgreens among targeted audiences. 

 

Terrence began his career at Starcom, the third largest communications group globally, as a community manager working on the agency’s EFFEN Vodka account. When Terrence is not on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter for a client, he is lending his voice and writing in support of social justice and LGBT issues. 

 

He has bylines in Teen Vogue, The Advocate, Chicago Reader, BlackYouthProject.com and more.

LAUREN CHUNG

Fellow

As a Rise fellow, Lauren Chung contributes to the design and visual aesthetics of Rise's work. Lauren is a current senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is wrapping up a college career of leadership and outstanding contributions to the school's editorial programs. Throughout her academic career,  Lauren has crafted narrative and strategic storytelling and gained experience in advertising, media planning, public relations and reporting, both from home and abroad.

 

Lauren is currently the editor-in-chief of Moda Magazine, UW-Madison's premier life and style publication. She leads a team of 200+ and oversees all editorial and operational aspects of the magazine, from collaborating with advertisers to maintaining brand consistency. Previously, she served as the art director of Moda, designing both online and print issues of the magazine and sharing the unique voices that can help shape a better society.

VICE PRESIDENT

WORKING AT RISE STRATEGY GROUP

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