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Home   •   Archives   •   Spokane Edition   —   June 1, 2010


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Michelle Hege takes the helm at Desautel Hege Communications

Desautel Hege Communications (DHC) has named Michelle Hege as the company's President and CEO. Hege takes the reins from Cher Desautel who will remain actively involved with the company as both a shareholder and in an Of Counsel capacity. Desautel had served as CEO since 2003. Hege joined the firm in 1998 as the company's first employee and became a partner in the business in 2000.

"You hear business owners say you should only hire employees you could envision being CEO one day," said Cher Desautel. "This was certainly true when Jim Desautel hired Michelle as our first employee. We knew one day she'd be running the place."

The CEO transition is a natural evolution of the company's succession plan. Desautel Hege Communication founders, Jim and Cher Desautel, will both remain shareholders and counselors in the firm. The other firm partners will remain active managers of the company and of its diverse client portfolio. The owner group also includes Sara Johnston, Andrei Mylroie and Christine Varela.

"Throughout the history of the firm, we've managed the business as a team and that will continue," said Michelle Hege. "We are extremely fortunate Jim and Cher assembled a group of business partners who share values, philosophy and have great chemistry. I'm looking forward to the next chapter. It's an exciting time in our company and in our industry."

Desautel Hege Communications got its start in the Desautels' basement in 1996. Company founder Jim Desautel saw a need in the market for a "team of zealots" who would provide high quality strategic communications consulting. Seventeen years later, the firm has become a leading northwest public relations and marketing company, employing 16 professionals and serving leading companies in the energy, health care, higher education, manufacturing, finance and non-profit sectors. The company has also developed a strong public sector client base in local, state and tribal governments. Long recognized for its ability to develop results-oriented research-based integrated communications programs, the firm has grown steadily throughout its history, adding in-house graphic design and strengthening its public affairs practice with the addition of Christine Varela as a partner in 2012. The agency also expanded its national and international reach by joining IPREX, an international network of independently-owned public relations and marketing firms.

"As we look ahead, we see great opportunity to expand our work in the northwest and beyond," continued Hege. "We have a team of extremely dedicated people who wake up every day excited to solve problems and seize opportunities for our clients. I'm very proud of our team, what we've been able to achieve together, and the potential that lies ahead."

Desautel Hege Communications is one of the largest integrated communications firms in the region, specializing in helping clients use strategic communications and marketing to achieve their goals. DHC has worked in industries like energy, healthcare, tribal, education, manufacturing and finance, among others. The firm's client list includes Avista Corporation, Washington State Department of Health, Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations, Eastern Washington University, Kalispel Tribe of Indians, and Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital. Founded in 1996, DHC provides a full spectrum of public relations, public affairs and marketing services to regional, national and international clients from its Spokane-based office. Learn more about DHC at www.desautelhege.com.


7/29/2013 4:01:49 PM | John Carlson said:

Congratulations Michelle. I've watched you grow from an infant to this role as CEO. Your parents were a major part in my career and I am forever appreciative of that. Just like you. My congratulation to Jim and Cher for the wonderful job they have done with you.

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