Prior to establishing The Wolcott Company, Denis served as media services section manager at the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the nation’s largest water utility.
Denis managed a communications team that created and implemented a broad range of activities and programs, including strategic communications and public affairs planning, advertising, marketing, media relations, internal communications, community and business outreach, coalition building, publications, Web sites and a television show. The award-winning “California Friendly®”
advertising and outreach program broke new ground in increasing public awareness of and participation in water conservation efforts in Southern California. The award-winning “Straight from the Tap” television show, produced by Metropolitan, was a public affairs show broadcast statewide on public access channels. One “Tap” episode focusing on the status of the Bay/Delta was picked up by Public Broadcasting System (PBS) stations. Denis also developed and implemented a broad marketing and branding program for the opening of Metropolitan’s Diamond Valley Lake, an effort that contributed to the recreation complex being named one of the nation’s top five bass fishing destinations.
With a focus on serving client needs in media relations, public affairs, coalition building and media training, Denis also served as a vice president at Stoorza, Ziegaus & Metzger (later known as Stoorza Communications), one of California’s largest independent public relations and public affairs firms. Denis developed and implemented a range of public relations strategies for a broad range of clients including the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Edison International, GTE, City National Bank, Sempra Energy, the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles, Pardee Construction Co., the Los Angeles Business Journal, Tejon Ranch, AT&T, and the New Zealand Tourism Board. Denis also led media relations and public affairs activities for state-wide and local initiative measures, insurance and land development firms, and leading attorney firms. Crisis communication clients include the national firms of MedTrans Ambulance and BJ Services Inc.
Prior to entering public relations, Denis was an award-winning newspaper reporter and editor for several daily newspapers, including the Los Angeles Daily News and Gannett-owned publications in the Midwest.
Denis is a past chair of the Public Relations Society of America’s Western District, past president of PRSA’s Los Angeles chapter, and former president and member of the California Water Awareness Campaign, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness about the state’s most precious resource. Denis is a frequent guest lecturer at public relations classes at universities, including his alma mater, the University of Southern California.