• marketing strategies
  • media relations new york

The Skyya TEAM

Derek Peterson, Managing Director & Co-Founder

Derek Peterson is an accomplished public relations, marketing and business development executive with more than 25 years’ experience in B2B and B2C technology and automotive sectors. Based in Jefferson City, Missouri, Derek is a co-founder of Skyya leading the agency’s strategic direction while providing tactical and strategic account leadership for Skyya clients. He frequently leads naming, branding, and messaging workshops for clients and is instrumental in helping clients navigate delicate crisis communication matters.


With a background that includes more than 15 years in C-level corporate roles across the technology landscape, Derek is highly experienced in developing and successfully launching new companies and new products. His history includes senior sales and marketing roles with Sprint, Allot Communications, and several technology startups. Derek has spent the last 20 years in public relations and marketing agency roles helping launch and grow dozens of pioneering automotive and technology companies.


Derek is the mobility enthusiast at Skyya, with 4 cars, a motorcycle, an e-bike, a Polaris ATV, and a Polaris Slingshot. He has been active on the Polaris account for more than 8 years and was instrumental in the re-launch of the Indian Motorcycle brand, the Polaris Slingshot, and numerous other mobility-related accounts in the EV, AV and connected vehicle sectors.


Susan Donahue, Managing Director & Co-Founder

Susan Donahue is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Skyya and the head of Skyya's New York City office. She is a trusted communications adviser to several Fortune 500/1000 CEOs and senior executives, and a sought-after strategist for some of the world’s most admired tech, science and transportation companies. Susan leads Skyya’s business and financial press bureau and the agency’s sustainability, automotive and transportation practice, in addition to leading business development for driving agency growth. She also co-leads the crisis communications task force for several of her clients. Susan is known for her relationships with top-tier business, tech and financial press and the investment community and works with senior executives and internal/external IR teams at many of Skyya’s clients.


Susan brings over 26 years of marketing and PR/IR experience to clients that range from MIT spin-out startups to Fortune 500 companies. She has played an integral role in some of Skyya’s most significant award-winning campaigns and oversees a broad portfolio of clients in the consumer goods, tech, and predominantly automotive, mobility and transportation sector including Polaris, Vista Outdoor, Lithia Motors, Arcimoto, Gatik and a number of venture-backed start-ups.


Susan is known for developing strategies that create maximum visibility, shareholder value and sales traction. She is also responsible for leading the strategic direction for many of Skyya’s clients, including brand-building, financial and investor PR, strategic messaging, events, government and media relations. Susan is often called upon by the press for insights and story development.


Prior to founding Skyya in 2008, Susan held leadership roles at several top innovative agencies and tech companies including For Immediate Release, Text 100 where she led the Xerox U.S. account, Architek Communications for Net Perceptions and Fair-Isaac, and Fleishman-Hillard company in Boston, MA. Prior to Fleishman-Hillard, Susan was part of the PR team at Powersoft before and after the company was acquired by Sybase, Inc. Susan attended Northeastern University D’Amore-McKim School of Business in Boston, MA where she was an honors student.


Beyond leading some of the most talked about communications campaigns, Susan finds time to mentor burgeoening PR talent and is responsible for kick-starting several PR careers. She has helped to guide, coach and motivate many in their professional endeavors.


Susan is married and lives in Manhattan with her husband and their 8-year son. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, is an avid skier and surfer and loves to cycle.


Megan Kathman, Account Manager

Megan Kathman holds more than a decade of experience in both B2B and B2C PR and communications and is a master of all things media relations, finding her footing in corporate communications supporting Skyya’s Fortune 500 companies. After cutting her teeth in the New York City office for 7+ years, she has returned to Skyya HQ in Minneapolis to bring her passion and tenacity as a co-lead on Skyya’s transportation business. Megan fundamentally understands her clients’ business and defines, plans, executes and evaluates PR campaigns that align with those business goals and strategies.


An out-of-the-box thinker, Megan has carved out a niche for herself as a media & campaign strategist and is an expert on building lasting crossover relationships, quickly navigating through business, financial, broadcast, lifestyle, and consumer press to secure top placements and press for clients. With perfect persistence, Megan knows what it takes to get top headlines and has maintained relationships that result in consistent coverage from publications and outlets including: Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CNBC Mad Money, Fox Business, Cheddar, Yahoo Finance, CNBC, Reuters, and more. Her favorite secured placement to date? Securing two cover stories in the same month.


Megan was instrumental in many of Skyya’s award winning campaigns, with accolades from: PR Platinum Award, NY PRSA and MN PRSA, Hermes, and more. She’s well-versed in product placement and working with A-List celebrities and has relationships with the major talent agencies including WME, CAA + more.


After hours, Megan is a mentor for iMentor in NYC and serves on the MN PRSA Classics committee.


Jeremy Ertl, Account Manager

Jeremy Ertl is a Minnesota-based communications professional with nine years of experience, serving a variety of PR + Social Media roles at both Skyya (7+ years) and Lola Red (2 years). He has extensive knowledge in both B2B and B2C marketing in the automotive, consumer electronics, technology + innovation, health + wellness and CPG industries, and has worked across national + local media, internal communications, investor relations and top business broadcast for both public and privately held companies.


Dedicated to client goals and securing the story, Jeremy holds an extensive rolodex that has led to top headlines with San Francisco Chronicle, CNET, Forbes, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company and FOX Business, among others.


Currently at Skyya, Jeremy helps lead the HyreCar (rental cars for gig workers; Nasdaq: HYRE), Vista Outdoor (Bell Helmets, CamelBak, Bushnell, Remington, QuietKat + 31 other outdoor brands; NYSE: VSTO), Daymak (light electric vehicles, world's first crypto mining EV) and Ideanomics (subsidiaries including Solectrac electric tractors, US Hybrid + WAVE; Nasdaq: IDEX) accounts, and has contributed to prior success on the Polaris (world leader in powersports; NYSE: PII) account, including the iconic relaunch of the Indian Motorcycle brand + the market introduction of Polaris Slingshot.


Courtney Simenson, Account Manager

Courtney Simenson is a Minnesota-based communications professional with more than a decade of experience in public relations, marketing, influencer relations, branding and event-planning. For eight years prior to joining Skyya, Courtney utilized her expertise in the industry as a freelance communications consultant where she drove national and local media campaigns, influencer marketing and events for a variety of consumer brands, with an emphasis on the entertainment, beauty, CPG and health & wellness industries. Currently at Skyya, Courtney leads the JuiceBar (world’s fastest, safest, and most reliable EV charging infrastructure) and Carbon-Ion Energy (new category of energy storage that radically improves the performance of supercapacitors) accounts. Outside of the office, Courtney stays busy as a mom of two, a high school gymnastics coach and a yoga & barre instructor.


Malory Van Guilder, Account Manager

As account manager, Malory brings extensive experience working in media relations, social media, event management and corporate communications to the Skyya team and the clients they serve. Through her experience working in multiple settings including at a global nonprofit organization, in a broadcast newsroom and for other PR agencies, Malory broadened her skill set while developing a love for media relations strategy, earning stellar press coverage for clients, and leading teams. With clients across many sectors including consumer technology, food and bev, professional athletes, and nonprofit organizations, Malory has secured coverage in major outlets including ESPN, GQ, ABC News, USA Today, Bustle, Mashable, TechCrunch and others.


Allison Matthews, Senior Account Executive

Allison Matthews is a Minnesota-based communications professional with nine years of experience in public relations, marketing, social media, branding and event-planning. Client-focused and results driven, Allison has worked with an array of brands in B2B and B2C automotive, consumer electronics, product design and health and wellness. Allison leads Skyya’s electric mobility and autonomous vehicle divisions on Gocycle (electric bikes) and Gatik (electric autonomous delivery vehicles for Walmart, Loblaws) accounts. In 2020, Allison worked closely with TIME Magazine’s editorial team for its Best Inventions 2020 awards securing a win for Gocycle’s GXi. Additionally, Allison helps with media relations and strategy on Vista Outdoor (Bell Helmets, CamelBak, Bushnell, Remington, QuietKat + 31 other outdoor brands; NYSE: VSTO) and previously on Kalray (semiconductor company for AVs and data centers). Allison has led dozens of national and international news campaigns resulting in coverage from business, technology, commerce, and trade press with headlines in Forbes, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, WIRED, Business Insider, and Inc. and more.


Allie Potter, Senior Account Executive

As a Senior Account Executive, Allie plays a key role in leading accounts by providing strategic counsel, overseeing campaign development, supporting media outreach, writing and client support. With over nine years of experience in public relations, marketing and communications, Allie has worked with a wide array of clients from B2C and B2B across multiple industries including transportation, technology, lifestyle, food and beverage, CPG and more. Allie has led dozens of national news campaigns, securing client placement and features in outlets like the Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, CNET, Electrek, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and many more. Currently, Allie helps lead the HyreCar (rental cars for gig workers; Nasdaq: HYRE), Quolum (SaaS spend management) and Sibros (automotive cloud solutions) accounts, and has helped secure big wins on the Arcimoto (three-wheel electric vehicle; Nasdaq: FUV) and GreenPower (medium and heavy-duty electric vehicles; Nasdaq: GP) accounts, including the launch of Arcimoto’s commercial electric vehicles, The Deliverator and Rapid Responder.


Nicole Robinson
Account Executive


Courtney Meints
Account Executive


Hannah Westberg
Account Executive


Morgan Skarda
Account Executive


Paige Pearson
Account Executive


Emma Neumeyer
Associate Account Executive


Eli Omae
Associate Account Executive