Marlena has nearly 15 years of communications experience, spanning the realms of government, community relations, civic tech and media. 


A writer at heart, Marlena specializes in transforming ‘government speak’ into carefully crafted messages that clearly articulate clients’ stories in memorable ways. She also brings her signature bright ideas to community outreach strategies and marketing campaigns, while her organizational skills are put to excellent use in managing day-to-day client activity.


Prior to joining JPW Communications, Marlena served as Director of Government Outreach and Communications for Peak Democracy, an online civic engagement platform for local governments. In this role, she helped cities like Baltimore, Salt Lake City and Palo Alto build and sustain online community engagement strategies. 


Before that, she served as the City of Encinitas Communications Officer, a role in which she earned several awards for her public engagement efforts from the American Planning Association (APA) and California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO). 


Marlena is also an accomplished journalist who has won many awards for her news reporting and feature writing. She worked several years as a newspaper editor, a magazine editor, and managed sites for a national online news network. 


Marlena holds a bachelor of arts in journalism and mass communication from the University of Oklahoma. She is also active in several government networks, including Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL), the Alliance for Innovation (AFI), the League of Women in Government and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). 


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JPW COMMUNICATIONS is a woman-owned, certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Small Business Enterprise (SBE). 

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