Rocky Fork Enterprise

Niel Jurist

City hires new public-information manager


The city of Gahanna has hired Niel Jurist as its new public-information manager about six months after Brian Hoyt left to become public/media relations manager at Central Ohio Transit Authority.

Hoyt since has become communications director for the Ohio Department of Commerce.

Assistant city administrator Brandi Braun has been filling public-information requests with assistance from public-information intern Meggan Fallon.

Jurist began work July 22. She will be paid a salary of $60,680. The city will pay another $19,376 in benefits for a total value of $80,056 annually for the position, city officials said.

"I am very excited and honored about the opportunity to work for such a great community," Jurist said. "I look forward to working cooperatively with the great citizens and businesses of Gahanna to enhance our communications efforts."

Jurist has more than 10 years of combined experience in such areas as strategic marketing communications, social media, media relations/buying, event planning, internal/external communications, speech writing, mediation, branding and presentations.

She most recently worked as public-relations specialist for the YMCA of Central Ohio since October 2011. In that position, Jurist was responsible for story boarding concepts for television commercials and viral campaigns, developing radio spots and providing direction for marketing collaterals. She also was responsible for creating a strategic communications plan for the association to increase awareness of programs and services.

Jurist also managed and monitored the association's social-media presence through Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and Flickr.

She worked as media-relations manager for the state treasurer's office from 2009 to 2010, serving as company spokesperson and responding to media inquiries, as well as public requests.

Jurist also has worked as an independent contractor for the past eight years in Columbus. In that role, she has provided media and crisis-management training to such clients as the New York Jets.

She has a Master of Business Administration in executive management from Ashland University and a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the Ohio State University.

"We are excited to have Niel as a part of our team," Mayor Becky Stinchcomb said. "Sharing information about city services, projects and issues with our residents and businesses is a critical part of our job as a city. In fact, establishing effective two-way communication with our residents is a core service of the city. Especially in today,s world of advanced technology and immediate news sharing, along with all the traditional news outlets, it is critical that we have a staff member committed to managing communications to our community."