Jo Ann S. LeSage Nelson, APR
Vice President, Client Services
Albany, New York
Jo Ann LeSage Nelson, APR, vice president of client services for Pierce Communications, an Albany-based public relations/public affairs/crisis management firm, is responsible for strategic public relations and communications counseling for Pierce Communications clients. She is one of only a few accredited members of the Public Relations Society of America in the Capital Region, having demonstrated broad knowledge, experience, competence and professional judgment in the field. Before joining Pierce Communications, LeSage Nelson worked as a vice president at Sawchuk, Brown Associates in Albany where she counseled a wide variety of corporate, nonprofit, education and association clients. Prior to that, she served as vice president of communications and government relations at the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce, where she played an instrumental role in the creation, development and implementation of the initiative to brand the region as Tech Valley. Earlier in her career, LeSage Nelson was communications manager for Seton Health, a regional health care delivery system, and director of communications for St. Mary’s Hospital of Troy. LeSage Nelson is a past Northeast District chair of PRSA serving as the liaison to seven Chapters in New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine. In 2010, she served as the co-chair of the Northeast District’s annual conference. LeSage Nelson is also a past president, Assembly delegate and accreditation chair of PRSA’s Capital Region Chapter. In November 2008, that Chapter presented LeSage Nelson with its first Outstanding Public Relations Practitioner Award, given to a Capital Region public relations professional who has achieved exceptional success, displayed the highest ethics, and is dedicated to serving the community and the profession. She has also received two presidential citations from PRSA for her outstanding contributions to the national organization. LeSage Nelson is a past board chair of the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce and a former board president of Literacy New York Greater Capital Region. She is an active community volunteer and frequently speaks on the topics of media relations, crisis communications and business writing. A resident of Clifton Park, she graduated from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts with a B.A. in English with concentrations in communications and journalism.