As strategists and writers, we know what we’re writing about. Knowledgeable, creative and insightful, our team includes people who have worked in corporate responsibility at leading companies and NGOs. We understand your organization, your industry and the challenges and opportunities you encounter. Our team provides thoughtful, authentic communications that speak to your unique set of stakeholders and issues.

Our Team

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Leah V. Haygood

Leah Haygood, founder of BuzzWord, has more than 25 years of experience in the environmental, sustainability and corporate responsibility fields. She has led corporate responsibility strategy, disclosure and reporting projects for major U.S. and international companies including Ford, PwC, Nike, and Kellogg Company. Leah began work in the corporate sector when she served as director of environmental planning and programs for Waste Management, Inc. and was responsible for stakeholder engagement, environmental grant making and internal greening. She also led the development of the company’s pioneering public environmental reports, and has remained involved in cutting-edge developments in communications and transparency ever since.
After leaving Waste Management, Leah began a successful solo consultancy that evolved into BuzzWord, Inc. Leah has also worked with Business for Social Responsibility’s environmental program and its member companies on strategic environmental issues and was an associate and project director with the RESOLVE Program on Environmental Dispute Resolution at the World Wildlife Fund and Conservation Foundation. Leah is a graduate of Barnard College and holds a master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.


Alison Dimond

Alison has more than 15 years of experience helping organizations develop and implement sustainability and communications strategies. Her work focuses on sustainability reporting, corporate sustainability and green product strategy, and sustainability-related market research and communications.

At BuzzWord, Alison’s specialties include developing reporting strategy; helping companies undertake materiality analyses; competitor benchmarking; and reporting standards and frameworks. She also has years of experience developing and writing report content. Her sustainability reporting experience includes work for Apache Corporation, Eli Lilly, Ford Motor Company, Hess Corporation, Hyatt, JPMorgan Chase, Keurig Green Mountain, Lockheed Martin, Smithfield Foods, Southwestern Energy and Waste Management.

Alison has a solid understanding of the key sustainability issues and public debates in many industries, including automotive, banking, food and beverage, hospitality, and oil and gas. She is BuzzWord’s go-to person for reporting strategy, materiality analysis, competitor analyses and reporting frameworks, including GRI, Integrated Reporting, and industry-specific standards such as IPIECA and Disclosing the Facts.

In addition to her sustainability reporting work for BuzzWord, Alison has provided sustainability strategy, market research and communications services to the Propane Education and Research Council, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Biodiesel Board. She has a PhD in Conservation and Consumer Behavior from the University of Montana, an MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross Business School, and a MS in Resource Management from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment. Alison is based in Missoula, Montana, and recently returned from two years living in Uppsala, Sweden.


Valerie Lee

Valerie Lee has 20 years of experience advising and assisting companies on corporate responsibility strategy and policy development, reporting and communications, and stakeholder engagement. She has helped develop and author dozens of corporate responsibility reports and related publications for clients including JPMorgan Chase, Darden Restaurants, Novelis, Blue Shield of California, Ford Motor Company and others.

Since 2006, Valerie has worked as a BuzzWord associate. Previously, she served as Chevron’s Corporate Responsibility Coordinator, where she led the company’s corporate responsibility reporting process and helped develop strategy and policy on a broad range of social and environmental issues. Prior to that, Valerie spent five years at Business for Social Responsibility and also did work in the social investment arena.

Valerie has a master’s degree in International Public Policy from University College London and a BA in economics and sociology from Boston College. She lives in Berkeley, California.


Lorraine Smith

Lorraine has been focused on advancing corporate sustainability through stakeholder engagement, strategy development, and reporting with a range of large companies and collaborators since 2004. Most recently she headed the New York office of SustainAbility, a UK-based advisory firm working to catalyze business leadership on sustainability. Her first in-depth reporting project was with Walmart Canada in 2005 and since then she has contributed to diverse reporting engagements for companies across a range of sectors including food and beverage, agriculture, financial services, natural resources and healthcare.

She has also advised on many external stakeholder facilitations and strategy development projects in the US, Canada, Brazil, the UK and Europe, with the objective of accelerating the transition towards a regenerative economy. Along with being a collaborator with BuzzWord, she continues as an Associate at SustainAbility, a Researcher with Volans, a member of the Release Council of the Future-Fit Business Benchmark, and a Board member of Canadian Business for Social Responsibility (CBSR).


Amelia Brandt

Amelia Brandt is a sustainability communications professional focused on bringing global environmental and social issues to the forefront. As a freelance consultant at BuzzWord, she specializes in sustainability strategy and reporting to help companies share their citizenship journey with a wide variety of stakeholders. In particular, she’s worked on sustainability communications and reporting for companies like Panera Bread, Hyatt and Keurig Green Mountain.
She most recently served as a volunteer communications manager in Ghana for nonprofit Global Mamas, a fair trade apparel brand that provides economic empowerment for women. Prior to Global Mamas, Amelia was part of Cone Communications’ sustainability communications team, conducting corporate communications, social media, employee engagement and media relations on behalf of clients like Timberland, IKEA, L’Oréal and Nestlé Waters North America.
Amelia graduated cum laude from Cornell College with a dual B.A. in French and anthropology as well as a minor in English literature. She also earned an M.A. in global marketing communications from Emerson College.


Robin Estrin

Robin Estrin has 20 years of professional writing and editing experience in corporate communications and journalism and has been a member of the BuzzWord team since the mid-2000s. With her roots in journalism, Robin has been a primary contributor to the sustainability reports for a number of major multinational companies, including Ford Motor Co., Kellogg Company, Darden Restaurants and Eli Lilly. For several years, she has led the reporting team for Smithfield Foods, helping the company advance its reporting strategy and content.

In addition to her work with BuzzWord, Robin is an experienced public relations professional and has worked with a broad spectrum of clients on internal and external messaging and communications strategies. Her reporting career included six years with the Boston bureau of The Associated Press, where she covered everything from major breaking news stories and business features to educational analyses and human interest pieces. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Amherst College, magna cum laude and a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.


Carson Maxted

Carson is a trained scientist with seven years of professional experience in sustainable business and environmental risk assessment. Since 2007, his work has focused on advancing extended producer responsibility programs in the Pacific Northwest. He has also consulted with EPEAT, an environmental rating system and global registry for greener electronics.

Expanding into the reporting field in 2008, Carson helped Autodesk produce their first carbon footprint, and has contributed to the sustainability reports for Smithfield Foods.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Pomona College, and a master’s degree from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.


Jennifer Thomas-Larmer

Jennifer has more than 20 years’ experience providing writing and editing services to corporations, nonprofit organizations, and government bodies. She focuses primarily on the drafting and editing of corporate responsibility and sustainability reports for Fortune 500 companies. In recent years she has developed and/or copyedited corporate responsibility reports for Southwestern Energy, Hess, Nike, Ford, Kellogg, Waste Management, Novelis and Darden. Jennifer also develops content for an annual report for Kellogg that focuses on workplace diversity and inclusion.

Previously, Jennifer worked as a facilitator for the nonprofit Keystone Center in Washington, DC, where she mediated policy dialogues on food, nutrition, environmental, and energy policy issues. She holds an M.S. in environmental policy from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment and a B.A. in environmental science from Principia College.

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Caroline Clements

Caroline serves as BuzzWord’s business manager. With more than 20 years of experience in the financial sector, her skill set ranges from investing to budgeting to managing accounts payable and receivable for companies large and small. Caroline began her career on Wall Street and then spent a year in Prague setting up financial processes for the new trading market after the fall of communism. She then moved to working for small businesses as a financial analyst. Caroline joined the BuzzWord team in 2010 to develop and implement policies and procedures for managing contracts, invoicing and other business processes for the growing company. Caroline also works for a few other small businesses and is the Director of Finance for a nonprofit focused on girls and sport. She is based in Silver Spring, Maryland.


Nora Isaacs

Nora Isaacs is a professional copywriter, journalist, editor, ghostwriter, and author. Over the past 20 years, she has written about hundreds of fascinating topics across many industries and has honed her skills as an expert researcher, interviewer, and writer.

Whether she is writing a case study, brochure, or report, Nora believes in the transformative power of stories. She is an experienced business writer who has contributed to corporate sustainability and responsibility reports for companies such as Blue Shield of California and JPMorgan Chase. Her journalistic work has appeared in The New York Times,, Health, the San Francisco Chronicle, Women’s Health, and many other national publications. As a book editor, Nora has worked on the manuscripts of New York Times-bestselling authors as well as first-time writers, and is the author of several books. In addition to her work with BuzzWord, she is a communications consultant and strategist for the University of California, Berkeley.

Nora graduated from Lafayette College with a degree in English and received her master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.

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Jessica Nussbaum

For nearly a decade, Jessica has honed an expertise in sustainability communications, which she uses to support clients looking for compelling stories about their corporate responsibility activities. She works with BuzzWord to provide writing, editing and project management for clients such as Keurig Green Mountain, Nike, Eli Lilly and Southwestern Energy as they share their sustainability progress in a transparent and engaging manner. Jessica played a role on the BuzzWord teams that worked with Southwestern Energy on its inaugural corporate responsibility report and with Eli Lilly on its first integrated report.

All told, Jessica has more than 15 years of professional communications experience in both large and small organizations. She has been as a strategic partner to clients during her tenure at AHA, a communications agency, and as an independent professional, working on a wide variety of internal and external projects, including employee communications, marketing collateral, messaging, presentations and sustainability reports.

Jessica holds a B.A. and an M.A. in English studies from Western Washington University and taught freshman composition while studying for her Master’s degree.

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Lauren Zanolli

Lauren has nearly a decade of experience in the fields of sustainable business and communications. While working with BuzzWord, she has helped large organizations like PwC and Kellogg bring their corporate responsibility reports to fruition. Prior to working with BuzzWord, she was a Program Manager at Chevron Energy Solutions (now Opterra Energy), the renewable energy division of Chevron, helping to expand the company's sustainability offerings to public sector clients. After graduating from college, she covered industry and economic news for a business intelligence publishing house and consultancy based in Istanbul, Turkey, and wrote for a social enterprise-focused magazine based in Mumbai, India.

Lauren holds a B.A. in history from Brown University and currently lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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