Stephanie Kneisler, Therese Van Ryne and Jeff Schmitz sit down for a recent Your Edge podcast episode
By Jeff Schmitz | March 24, 2020

These are Two of the Top Women in PR – and They’re Both Zebras!

Zebra Chief Marketing Officer sits down with Therese Van Ryne and Stephanie Kneisler in our latest Women’s Month episode to find out what it takes to be an effective communicator in the digital age.

They say to be an effective communicator, you must first listen. That’s precisely why you’ll want to listen to what these two women have to say in the latest episode of our Women’s Month podcast series:


Therese Van Ryne and Stephanie Kneisler have spent years in PR and communications, and both came to Zebra with very different backgrounds, as you will learn in this short video:

Yet, they have both risen to the top of their fields. Therese, who is currently the Global Director of PR, Thought Leadership and Advocacy for Zebra, and Stephanie, who is Zebra’s Global Director of Business Communications, were recently named two of PRNews’ Top Women in PR!

Given that they both entered PR at a time when traditional newsrooms still existed and digital was in its infancy, I was curious as to how they’ve had to adapt their storytelling strategies over the years from both a PR and business communications perspective. After all, we know it is no easy feat to remain relevant in a world where everyone is a reporter and stories are told in just a few hundred characters. Watch what they had to say:

Therese and Stephanie have had the opportunity to work on some incredible projects over the years, and you will hear about some of them when you listen to the full podcast episode. However, they’ve recently done some amazing things here at Zebra to elevate the company’s voice and build credibility for our thought leaders among internal and external audiences, so I asked them to share some of their most memorable initiatives in this short video clip:

Clearly, their overall communications philosophy, strategy and tactics work exceptionally well. Their creative brilliance, detail-oriented execution and overall agility can also be credited for their personal success – and Zebra’s! (You can listen to my recent conversation with Zebra CFO Olivier Leonetti about Zebra’s explosive growth here.)

But I was curious to hear what they feel is most critical to having such an accomplished career, especially as a woman in PR/communications. (It is Women’s Month, after all.) You might be surprised at what they had to say:

I highly encourage you to listen to our full conversation when you have 10 minutes, whether you’re just starting out in communications or consider yourself a veteran. Engineers, lawyers, HR professionals, marketers and beyond can learn something from Therese and Stephanie. Everyone has to communicate to someone, and the insights they share may be just what you need to ensure that your message reaches and resonates with your audience every time.


Inside Zebra Nation,
Jeff Schmitz
Jeff Schmitz

Jeff Schmitz is the Chief Human Resources and Marketing Officer at Zebra Technologies. He is responsible for driving preference and demand for Zebra’s brand as a partner of choice among customers, and as an employer of choice among existing and prospective talent.  Jeff oversees both the traditional marketing and HR functions, as well as the company’s partner program, business market intelligence, philanthropy and volunteerism, and Inclusion & Diversity.

An engineer turned marketer, Jeff’s unique background in technology has helped him better optimize Zebra’s marketing strategy and sharpen the company’s corporate narrative, while his innate ability to build teams is advancing  Zebra’s talent strategy to recruit and retain employees. His passion for brand storytelling has allowed Zebra to better amplify the voice of its customers, partners and employees. 

As a leader, Jeff fosters team building and collaboration, and encourages fun in the workplace to ultimately help Zebras capture their performance edge.  He is committed to creating an environment where every employee can bring their authentic self to the workplace.

Jeff has served in executive leadership positions for more than 25 years, including at Spirent Communications, Visual Networks and Tellabs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering / computer science from Marquette University and a master’s degree in computer science from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Named to Crain’s Chicago Business Notable Executives in Marketing, Jeff serves on the Forbes Communications Council and the Internet of Things Community, and is a regular contributor to trade publications, including DC Velocity. He regularly speaks about the importance of companies embracing digital technology to meet customer demands, and elevating employee experiences to remain competitive. 

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