Who We Are

Allerton Hill Consulting offers niche expertise in communications, marketing campaigns and community outreach. Our clients are school districts, public entities, non-profits, and associations.

Founded in 1981 by Steve Avakian, Allerton Hill Consulting specializes in personal attention to every detail of communications and community outreach. We believe that every client need is different and that one size does not fit all.

When you hire Allerton Hill Consulting you’re hiring a proven professional team that tailors a specific solution to your problem — no “cookie cutter” approaches are practiced here. Every client of Allerton Hill gets personal attention, and many of our clients have been with us for a decade or longer.

The Allerton Hill Team:

Joel Gagne, Owner
Joel GagneJoel is the owner of Allerton Hill Consulting, a leader in communications & marketing for schools and public entities. Allerton Hill Consulting has a reputation on helping public entities secure positive outcomes from an ever weary public. It is also becoming a leader in social media’s impact on public education.

Joel offers a range of experience in politics and has been involved in political campaigns at every level and even abroad for more than 25 years. This includes work on multiple presidential campaigns, the Irish Parliament, mayoral campaigns, and campaigns for the US Senate and governorship. It also includes serving in public office as an elected official.

Joel graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, MA, while he was there he worked as co-op in Capitol Hill and the White House. He also attended Harvard University for graduate studies. He also completed program work from Harvard in conflict resolution and from the University of Chicago in creative writing. Joel has worked throughout the country as part of his political work. Currently he is also a Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan and has conducted a round table at the University of Dayton.

I’ve known Joel Gagne for over a decade and have worked closely with him on numerous projects and engagements. He is a person of character, integrity, and keen strategic acumen. I have the highest respect for him and recommend him without reservation. Any team is better with him on it.
–Dorie Clark
Clark Strategic Communications

Author of the newly-released Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future (Harvard Business Review Press)

Carole Dorn-Bell, Outreach Strategist
Carole Dorn-BellCarole has more than 20 years of experience in politics with experience ranging from state and local government to campaigns for candidate and ballot issue initiatives. Prior to joining the Ohio local government, where she has worked in numerous capacities for more than 10 years, she worked in the Michigan Senate as a writer on the majority leader’s staff and for many caucus senators.

She is known for developing responsible and responsive outreach strategies so that organizations can effectively communicate with their constituencies and garner support and credibility. Carole is a periodic presenter on outreach strategies and programs.

Carole is a native Ohioan. She has a B.S. in English Literature from the University of Cincinnati and M.A. in Public Policy and Management from The Ohio State University.

Jennifer Economus, Outreach Strategist
Jennifer EconomusJennifer has spent over 15 years in government and non-profit service including as a legislative aide for Assistant Majority Leader of the Ohio House of Representatives and as a lobbyist and grassroots coordinator for the Ohio School Boards Association.

She has extensive experience in grassroots advocacy and creating strategy, as well as advocating in both the legislative and executive branches on behalf of client interests. She’s worked on both local and statewide ballot issues and candidate campaigns and has developed outreach strategies and communication plans for a variety of interests from the local, state and national levels withproven success.

Jennifer is a native Ohioan and grew up in Boardman. She has a B.A. in Communication from The Ohio State University and M.A. in Public Policy and Management from The Ohio State University.