Blue Water team members are seasoned professionals who have spent decades helping arts and creative-minded organizations succeed. We are also adventurers, volunteers, runners, musicians and photographers, and we’re proof that dog and cat people really can get along.
Blue Water president Stephanie Elton brings nearly 20 years of arts and culture storytelling experience to the team, with a particular focus on content development and data marketing communications for art museums. She served in several roles during her eight years at the Toledo Museum of Art, finding strategic ways to amplify TMA’s stories and to connect the Museum with audiences in impactful and meaningful ways.
She sits on the boards for both Courageous Community Services, the only organization in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan to provide comprehensive outdoor recreation experiences for people with disabilities, and the Press Club of Toledo. Stephanie previously served on the American Advertising Federation – Toledo board of governors.
Stephanie has a bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in theater. In her free time, she enjoys running, indie rock shows, road trips and exploring the outdoors.
Blue Water is anchored by founder Lynnette Werning, APR, SPP, who has more than two decades of public relations experience.
Lynnette has been selected to host media relations workshops for over 500 professionals in the museum, architecture and destination fields. She also has a rare dual professional certification; she's received accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America, an achievement earned by only 5% of public relations practitioners, and she earned a Strategic Planning Professional designation from the International Association for Strategy Professionals.
Lynnette is the past president of PR Boutiques International and served on the board of trustees for the University of Toledo Alumni Association. She has served as president of the Northwest Ohio chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and is a member of PRSA’s Counselor’s Academy. She was named Outstanding Alumna by the University of Toledo Department of Communications.
An avid traveler and seeker of adventure, Lynnette also plays clarinet and enjoys hiking, biking, camping and exploring with her husband, Dave.
Blue Water President Emma Caro brings more than 25 years of public relations experience to the Blue Water crew. In her role at Blue Water, Emma oversees and works with the team to conceive and implement national media strategy for all our clients. She spearheads the media tour and enjoys telling the compelling stories about our clients exhibitions, projects, community partnerships and more.
Before joining Blue Water, she worked for six years as the marketing and communications director at the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati, Ohio. During this time, she collaborated with Blue Water on a number of high-profile special exhibitions. Prior to the Taft Museum of Art, Emma served as the public relations director at the two-time Tony Award-winning Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.
A native of England, Emma has a bachelor’s degree in history of art and a post graduate diploma in magazine journalism. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling and making memories with her family
Brad Tuggle came to Blue Water after serving as the director of audience development at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art where he won the HRCAP Community Builders Award for efforts to increase minority attendance in the arts. In his time with the Museum the company successfully rebranded, held Sunshine Artists 12th ranked fine arts show of the decade, launched a virtual museum and grew attendance amidst the global pandemic.
Before Virginia MOCA, he was the director of marketing for Virginia Stage Company, led a sales department for four venues and was the program director for the I-Park Foundation, an international artist-in-residence program in East Haddam, Connecticut. He also consults for the tech industry with a focus on fostering empathy.
He attended the Yale School of Drama after Longwood University where he has been named a distinguished alumnus. Brad is a director for the stage, award-winning poet and published case study author who currently resides in Richmond, Virginia where he spends his time playing guitar for his wife and newborn baby daughter.
DeAnne Williams comes to Blue Water Communications from the Chrysler Museum of Art, a museum in Norfolk, Virginia that is home to more than 30,000 objects, including a glass collection of national acclaim. During her four years as the Chrysler’s communications content manager, she enjoyed sharing compelling stories about the Museum’s collection, exhibitions, community partnerships and more. She also had the pleasure of working with the Blue Water team on several traveling exhibitions that were co-organized by the Chrysler Museum of Art, including Americans in Spain, Painting and Travel: 1820–1920 and Alma W. Thomas: Everything Is Beautiful.
DeAnne is also an associate faculty member of the University of Arizona Global Campus, where she teaches aspiring communications professionals, and the founder of The Precise Pen, a company that provides writing and editing services. She started her career as a reporter for The Virginian-Pilot, where she covered fashion, sports, concerts and more. Before joining the Chrysler team, she was a public relations copywriter for Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Virginia.
She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communications from Norfolk State University. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, concerts and spending time with family and friends.
Betsy Meacham joins the Blue Water crew with more than 15 years of experience working in cultural institutions. Most recently, she served as the director of strategic engagement and communications at Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio. During her tenure, she was proud to foster public sentiment and a sense of community pride as the institution's spokesperson and led planning efforts that resulted in record breaking attendance for special exhibitions and major philanthropic events.
Prior to the Columbus Museum of Art, Betsy held roles in development, marketing and event planning at Seattle Art Museum and Pacific Science Center. Betsy has a bachelor's degree in marketing from the University of Northern Iowa. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling to new places, training for marathons, discovering unique art and exploring the great outdoors with her family.
Stephanie Miller was part of the team at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) that hired Blue Water to shepherd the national and international media outreach leading up to the Museum’s historic expansion and restoration in 2009. Stephanie spent 10 years at UMMA in a succession of roles that covered the waterfront of communications strategies—media relations, publications, leadership and advancement writing and messaging, gallery didactics editing and writing, and more. Prior to joining UMMA, Stephanie served as the director of media relations at UCLA’s Hammer Museum.
Her industry experience includes several years as a national reviews contributor to ARTnews and the dance writer at the Ann Arbor Observer, as well as a stint at CNN in Washington, D.C. Stephanie holds BA and MA degrees in art history, and a professional certificate in editing.
Sara Stacy brings more than 15 years of public relations experience to the Blue Water team. In her five years at Toledo Museum of Art, Sara was a part of the public relations team, working with Lynnette, that opened the world-renowned Glass Pavilion.
In her time at Blue Water, Sara has utilized the valuable skills honed from nonprofit and museum experiences, including being an integral member of the Blue Water team that opened Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Sara holds a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Michigan. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her family, reading and pretends to be a dedicated
Amber Hendrickson has been part of the Blue Water crew since 2012. She was on the museum relations team that opened Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in 2011, working in both development and public relations. Previously, Amber served as donor relations correspondent for Heifer International. She also worked for two years as an English teacher in Siberia.
Amber has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Speech Communication, and she earned a graduate diploma from a theological school in Vancouver, British Columbia. She enjoys reading, CrossFit, taking naps with her dog Clarabel, and making memories with her family. In her next life, Amber likes to think she’ll be a stand-up comedian.