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Public Engagement Associates is led by three principals who have vast experience working with the public in the Washington, DC region and around the country. Experts at facilitating input on a wide range of issues, we have designed and implemented large public engagement projects involving thousands of people and have also worked with small groups of stakeholders. Each of us believes passionately in the importance of communities, and the role residents play in influencing the decisions that impact their daily lives.


Kim Sescoe

Kim is an expert in public engagement and project management. She has broad experiences in the Washington, DC region organizing programs with government agencies, non-profit organizations, institutions and businesses. Her areas of expertise include project management, budget development, work plan supervision, event management, client relations, community outreach and engagement, and program design support.

Contact information: | 202-423-9622

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Steve Brigham

Steve is a leader in the public engagement field, who for the past twenty-two years has known great success as a facilitator, consultant, and designer of innovative public meetings and community-building processes.  Steve has led dozens of engagement projects for PEA across the Washington, DC region. Steve's work has increasingly tackled racial equity and equitable development issues.

Contact information: | 202-329-2968

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Hala Harik Hayes

Hala has over twenty year of experience specializing in civic and community engagement strategy.  She is an expert in project management, public meeting design, and facilitation. Hala provides guidance and leadership to a range of organizations seeking to develop expertise in community engagement. She worked in DC's Executive Office of the Mayor, for Anthony Williams, as a Senior Associate with AmericaSpeaks, and as an independent consultant.

Contact information: | 202-236-4794

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Gabriel A. Arteaga is the co-founder of Create&, focused on teaching organizations and social entrepreneurs design thinking, lean business principles, and storytelling to launch their big ideas.  He has facilitated design sprints to develop products, services, and strategic plans to effectively implement the clients’ vision within scope, budget, and timeline.  This process incorporates devising strategies for sustainable, long-term value and growth for our clients by building, leveraging, and managing vital innovation ecosystems.  

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Theo Brown (Principal Emeritus) has more than 40 years of experience as an organizer, facilitator, and trainer.  He is an expert at recruiting demographically representative people for community meetings, especially low-income people who have historically been left out of the political process. Theo coordinates the McClendon Scholar Program at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church and the Returning Citizens Assistance Network and is active in efforts to combat the polarization in our politics through work as an organizer with Braver Angels.


Maria Carrasquillo has over 20 years of progressive experience in the design of large and small facilitated events such as stakeholder engagements, public engagements, and community conversations. Maria’s facilitation skills include leading stakeholder workshops delivered in-person and virtually.  Being bi-cultural and bilingual, Maria strives to explore opportunities and resources that collectively enables groups to make progress; she draws on her intercultural skills to bridge gaps and successfully bring people together.

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Melvin Moore has over 15 years of experience as a project and event planner. He has coordinated and implemented small and large-scale meetings, conferences, and summits. He is the cornerstone of online and virtual meeting implementation, balancing technological expertise with people skills. Melvin is a dedicated and technically skilled business professional with a versatile administrative support skill set developed through experience as an office manager, meeting & event planning, secretary, administrative assistant, and office clerk.

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Crystal Prater is a creative communications professional whose talents several household names have relied upon to uniquely position their brands. Her career in public relations spans a spectrum of sectors, including sports and entertainment, media, government, nonprofit, and Fortune 500 companies. Crystal is skilled in media relations, communications planning, message and materials development, partnership management, training of affiliates, and product rollouts. 

Will Timmons is the founder of Infinitude DC, LLC, a video production company that has multiple capabilities including on-site live streaming, audio recording and mixing, 3D modeling and animation, website construction, and eLearning course creation.  Will has a background in writing code and has programmed multiple apps for iOS and Android.  He serves as lead Technical Director for our online meetings and handles video editing for public-facing videos. He is a classically trained trombonist and performs regularly throughout the region.


Vickey Wilcher is a community relations specialist with more than 20 years of experience in community engagement. She has a proven ability to build coalitions and collaborative partnerships that cross neighborhoods, political parties, and sociocultural and socioeconomic boundaries. She is skilled in developing community relations strategies and often emphasizes the needs of children and young adults in her work. She launched a second career in executive and life coaching in 2005 and provides individual and group training on life and essential skills. 

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