Jan Gusich serves as a senior strategist for akhia communications, a firm she founded in 1996, recently transferring majority ownership to long-time employee, Ben Brugler (now President and CEO). As founder and senior strategist, Jan maintains an ownership position and remains actively involved with the business.
Jan started the firm with one employee and grew it to a 55-person firm serving global clients. Today, akhia communications is an integrated business marketing firm with expertise in strategic planning, corporate positioning, brand development, marketing communications, business communications and reputation management. The agency provides these services to regional, national and global companies in numerous industries across multiple markets.
The firm’s clients include many of Northeast Ohio’s largest organizations, including Timken, Diebold, GE Appliances, GE Lighting, Swagelok, Lubrizol and Quanex Building Products among others. The agency works with multiple departments on behalf of these clients, including Marketing, Human Resources, Sales, Internal Communications and Distributorships.
Gusich is an Accredited Public Relations (APR) professional and served 11 years as chair of the Accreditation Committee for the Cleveland and Akron chapters of the Public Relations Society of America. In this role, she mentored hundreds of NEO’s brightest PR practitioners, helping them become accredited professionals and developing lasting, long-term relationships that she cherishes and nurtures still today.
A strong believer in giving back, Gusich has served on multiple non-profit boards over the past 20 years. She currently sits on the board of directors for The YWCA of Cleveland, an organization dedicated to empowering women, ending homelessness and eliminating racism, and for North Coast Community Homes, an organization that provides homes for persons with developmental disabilities. Jan is also actively involved with Building Hope in the City, a non-profit serving refugees and inner-city disengaged. In all cases, she is a hands-on volunteer dedicating time, talent and treasure to advancing the important missions of these organizations. Professionally, Jan also serves on the board for the International Public Relations Network (IPRN), the largest network of independent PR firms, representing nearly 50 countries around the world.
Jan has two sons and two grandchildren who are the center of her world.
She holds a B.A. degree in English from Baldwin-Wallace College. She often speaks to groups on the topics of Crisis Communications, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Internal Communications and Women in Business.