Our Team

Since 2001, Inkandesent Public Relations’ award-winning team has helped dozens of entrepreneurs get more visibility.

In addition to developing beautiful and effective websites that are elegant, well organized, and packed with information, we also write and design high-end marketing materials, ads, articles, blogs, and white papers. And, of course, we get our clients featured regularly in some of the nation’s top newspapers, magazines, TV and radio shows, and social media sites. Click here to see where we’ve gotten our clients In the News.

Scroll down to meet our Inkandescent Team!

Hope Katz Gibbs, president & founder, The Inkandescent Group, LLC

Journalist, publicist, author, and entrepreneur Hope Katz Gibbs started her career as a newspaper and magazine reporter after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. Then, after studying for her master’s degree in educational leadership at The George Washington University, she launched her freelance writing business in 1993.

Gibbs has won several awards for feature and column writing for her articles, which have appeared in The Washington Post, USA Today, The Miami Herald, Costco Connection, and dozens of business, education, and general interest magazines, newspapers, newsletters, blogs, and websites.

Gibbs got into the PR business in 2001, when she founded Great Handmade Gifts, an online art and craft website that represented artists, artisans, and authors from around the world. In 2002, she began a decade-long stint working as the director of communications for the City of Fairfax Schools, and in 2006 added another client to her list, the international futurist think tank, Social Technologies.

In 2008, she incorporated as The Inkandescent Group, LLC, and since then has helped increase the visibility and credibility of more than 100 entrepreneurs, educators, authors, and small-business owners through the services she offers.

Gibbs’ mission: To promote, educate, and inspire entrepreneurs.

The Inkandescent Group’s services include:

  • Inkandescent Public Relations: A PR, media relations, marketing, website development, graphic design, and publishing company, www.InkandescentPR.com.
  • Be Inkandescent magazine: A monthly business publication for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs, gets more than 500,000 hits/month, www.BeInkandescent.com.
  • InkandescentNetworking.com: A go-to website that lists great networking events from NYC to Miami, and profiles the professionals, artists, and authors in each city, www.InkandescentNetworking.com.
  • Inkandescent Speakers Bureau: This agency is comprised of the most knowledgeable business experts, been-there-done-that entrepreneurs, corporate and government leaders, veteran educators, and visionary futurists. With wit and a sense of humor, they offer best practices and insights into the hottest trends in business, and organizational, professional, and personal development through corporate keynotes, workshops, seminars, webinars, lunch-and-learns, and networking events, www.InkandescentSpeakers.com.
  • The Inkandescent Radio Show: “What’s your story?” is the question host Hope Gibbs asks of the high-level entrepreneurs, business leaders, government execs, and business specialists that she interviews on this weekly podcast show on the Entrepreneur Podcast Network, www.inkandescentradio.com.
  • Truly Amazing Women, LLC: With nearly 200 women profiled since 2008, this organization honors, connects, and promotes the women who are making strides and changing lives. How are you amazing? www.trulyamazingwomen.com.
    For more information, send Gibbs an email at hope@inkandescentpr.com

Michael Gibbs, art director, illustrator & designer

Michael Gibbs has been a freelance illustrator and designer since attending Pratt Institute as a photography and illustration major in the mid-70s. His award-winning artwork has appeared in Newsweek, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Worth Magazine, Consumer Reports, Harvard Business Review, and publications for United Airlines, Verizon, IBM, Sears, American Airlines, CitiGroup and Oracle. He has also illustrated the covers and features of dozens of alumni magazines including Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Syracuse, Vanderbilt, the University of Chicago and American University.

His illustrations have been recognized by prestigious art publications such as Communication Arts, 3×3 Magazine, Print, and Spectrum. His work has also been exhibited at a variety of museums and galleries including the Society of Illustrator’s Museum of American Illustration in New York City, the Billy Shire Fine Arts Gallery in Los Angeles, and in Washington area at the Corcoran Museum of Art, the Sumner School Museum, Montgomery College Gallery and the University of Maryland Gallery.

View Michael’s portfolio at www.michaelgibbs.com.
Discover his award-winning alter ego M Glenwood at www.mglenwood.com.
Buy his stock illustration at www.stockillustration.com.

Max Kukoy, Website Developer

Max Kukoy has been a Washington DC based freelance web developer/designer since 2000. Max earned his master’s degree in environmental science from the University of Oklahoma in 1993, then started working in public health and environmental policy at Washington DC based non-profits. After a few years of policy work, he started working on his organizations web site, eventually deciding to start working as a freelancer under the name maxwebworks.

Sites range from simple database-driven sites, to ones with e-commerce capability. Max uses widely used and supported open source software applications to build web sites. He believes the site should be easy for the client to use and maintain and emphasizes building accessible web sites.

Kathleen McCarthy, managing editor + senior VP

Kathleen McCarthy is the managing editor and senior VP of The Inkandescent Group, LLC.

A freelance editor and writer in the mental health field for more than two decades, Kathleen enjoys riding the publication arc—the beginning of every issue is a fresh start, and the end of every issue brings a completed publication.

With Be Inkandescent magazine publisher Hope Katz Gibbs, she organizes and plans each issue of the online business publications, edits each issue, and is co-author of the company’s first Inkandescent Rulebook — “PR Rules: The Playbook.”

Kathleen also handles the editing, design, and layout for the monthly online newsletter of the American Mental Health Counselors Association. Before becoming a freelance editor, Kathleen worked for several nonprofit associations, including the American Psychological Association, the National Association of College and University Business Officers, and the American Association for Engineering Education.

A deadline fanatic, she is zealous about the virtues of the serial comma and admires writers who can translate dense topics into artful prose.

To pitch a story, become an Inkandescent client, or learn more about the company’s offerings, contact Kathleen via email at kathleen@inkandescentpr.com.

Michael Wilsker, Executive Producer, Inkandescent Radio

Michael Wilsker is the executive producer of the Inkandescent Radio Network.

A radio, TV, movie and Internet professional who resides at the intersection of technology and entertainment, the Philadelphia native has lived in Los Angeles for 20 years.

He has spent time behind the scenes building and supporting post production facilities, designing and managing satellite and terrestrial network infrastructures spanning over 140 countries on five continents, and, most recently, overseeing the technical operations in of an R&D company focusing on solutions for file-based workflows that allow movies to be mastered and distributed digitally to the theater.

Michael is sought after as a consultant for his ability to explain technology to laymen. The Inkandescent team thoroughly appreciates this skill.

Check out his wonderful work here: www.InkandescentRadio.com.

Francesca Raimond, digital marketing expert

Francesca Raimond has served as a producer and digital audio field engineer for Soundprint, a weekly documentary radio series broadcast nationwide on public radio. She has also been an on-line journalist and web producer at Discovery Channel and VH1.

In 1999 she began working at Comedy Central as the web producer for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. In 2006 she became the Senior Director of Production, Digital Media at Comedy Central and then in 2008 she turned her attention to Comedy Central’s Jokes.com.

She currently runs her own business, FIR Productions, focusing on digital marketing, PR, communications, artist representation and green event planning. In 2014, she began working with Inkandescent PR as the company’s digital marketing expert.

Sonya Gavankar, Supervising Producer, InkandescentTV.com

Sonya Gavankar is an award winning television personality who can be seen hosting programs on PBS, BGTV, and MHz Networks. Her career has spanned diverse programs from international food shows to hard news.

She serves as the face of the Newseum by hosting live interview programs, appearing in video installations, video blogs and game shows. She brings a cohesive voice to the Newseum’s 250,000 square feet of exhibit and interactive programming.

In her free time Ms Gavankar goes behind the camera. Her photography has been shown in several Washington area galleries and she is a casting director for independent films.

In 2013, she joined the Inkandescent team as the supervising producer for the growing TV series, www.InkandescentTV.com.

Learn more about Sonya at sonyagavankar.com.

Samantha Dannick, Assistant Editor

Samantha Dannick was appointed assistant editor at Inkandescent Public Relations in the fall of 2014.

A 2012 graduate of Alfred University, with a BA in philosophy and conflict studies, Samantha says she is interested in publishing and appreciates Inkandescent PR’s focus on entrepreneurs and other creative individuals.

Reach her at Samantha@InkandescentPR.com.

Angie Leon, Editorial Assistant

Angie Leon is a senior at Washington Lee high school. She started with Inkandescent Public Relations as an intern in January 2014, and was promoted to the position of Editorial Assistant the following fall.

“I have a passion for animals and I’m interested in becoming a veterinarian when I’m older,” she says. “I also love learning sign language and new ways to communicate.”

Contact her at Angie@InkandescentPR.com.

Brandi Merritt, producer, InkandescentRadio.com

InkandescentRadio.com producer Brandi Merritt is digital design professional with 20 years of marketing and graphic design experience.

She enjoys being at the epicenter of color, creativity, the written word, and helping radio shows spring to life.

An artist at heart, Brandi has written about art and paper crafting for the Philadelphia Examiner, and recently designed and implemented a popular art program for a summer camp of 300 children in Pennsylvania.

Tired of shoveling snow, this Philadelphia native now resides in Phoenix Arizona.

If you are looking to be featured on The Inkandescent Radio Network: Contact Brandi at Brandi@InkandescentRadio.com

Nelson Benavides Editor, Inkandescent TV

InkandescentTV videographer, Nelson Benavides was born and raised in Springfield, VA. He is an artist who works with an emphasis in video and performance art.

“I entice the viewer into a world of ongoing absurdity and the interval that articulates the stream of daily events,” he shares. “Actions are depicted as disconcerting as one’s appreciation of self-worth and abilities emerges.”

Nelson currently lives and works in Richmond.

Jess Soumphontphakdy, Video InkandescentTV

Jess is a videographer specializing in cinematography and project management. She completed a BFA in Kinetic Imaging at the VCU School of the Arts in 2015. She previously directed a documentary on Mitochondrial Disease, which was on display at the Science Museum of Virginia.

Jessica Howe, Director, Media Outreach

In May 2015, Jessica Howe became the director of media outreach for the Inkandescent Group, LLC. Here’s her philosophy of business, and life …

People helping people is one of my personal mantras. Three simple words that I try to live by, day in and day out.

While my professional path hasn’t necessarily been a straight one, it has never gone off course from this philosophy. With people as my focus and building relationships as my mission, each and every day I have been able to help someone.

From running point on targeted public relations campaigns to pounding the pavement with a four-legged student in tow to building and effectively managing a variety of relationships with equally varied folks, the one constant throughout is helping.

Natalie Gerdovich, Editorial Assistant

Natalie is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Business.

She became an intern at Inkandescent Public Relations in the summer of 2015.

With a strong interest in animals and child development, Natalie has spent more than eight years working as a childcare provider.

She hopes to one day work closely with animals in the public relations field.