Eric Seidel, CEO
More than 20 years ago, Eric Seidel took his 25-plus years in the newsroom to the corporate boardroom. He has worked with some of the nation’s and world’s largest corporations and on their biggest projects:
- Helped prepare the top executives of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. during their successful competition for the world’s largest defense contract in history, the Joint Strike Fighter (F-35).
- Worked with executives of Southern Nuclear Operating Co. as they made preparations to become the first U.S. utility in decades to be licensed for new nuclear generators by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
- Prepared Chevron executives for major media opportunities in the Far East and South America.
During his broadcast news and programming career, he hired and developed nationally syndicated radio/TV hosts, Sean Hannity and Clark Howard.
Additionally, several of his news protégés went on to network careers from their positions on his staff at WGST, Atlanta, which at the time was the Southeast’s largest and most highly honored radio new staff. He’s captured major awards, including the International Programming Award, a national Sigma Delta Chi/Society of Professional Journalists Award and several Radio-TV News Director Association Edward R. Murrow Awards.
Since founding The Media Trainers®, LLC in 1997, Eric has coached, trained and consulted hundreds of C-Suite executives at many of the Fortune 500 companies. His clients represent a wide spectrum of industries.
In 2018, Eric was inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.
He graduated the renowned University of Missouri School of Journalism. He’s worked in several major media markets, including New York City, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Baltimore and his native Washington, DC, where he was the U.S. Supreme Court Correspondent for CNN.
Sam Grizzle has more than 30 years of documented success in planning, organizing, implementing and managing Communications/Public Affairs programs at the national and global level.
As Director of Communications for Aviation Programs in Lockheed Martin Corporation’s Washington Operations Directorate, Sam was the principal point of contact with Washington, DC-based news organizations as well as with Pentagon and Capitol Hill public affairs’ staffs.
Before joining Lockheed Martin in 1998, Sam served in the Executive Office of the President of the United States as Director of Public Affairs for the White House Drug Policy Office. In that capacity, he developed communications strategies for use by the President and other senior government officials in publicizing federal drug policy positions. He was the primary spokesperson to national and international media, and advised the White House Drug Czar on all aspects of public affairs.
Other positions Sam has held throughout his career:
- Deputy Director of Defense Information in the Pentagon Press Office
- Public Affairs Program Manager at the Department of Energy
- 21 years in the U.S. Air Force in numerous leadership roles including Chief of Public Affairs at several Air Force bases and key spokesperson for numerous Air Force-wide programs in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force.
In addition, Sam’s career highlights include:
- Supervised media relations activity in the aftermath of workplace violence incident: shooting spree in which seven employees were killed and eight others were wounded.
- Directed crisis communications activities and was “on-scene” spokesperson at major aircraft accidents, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, and hazardous fuel spills.
- Prepared Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Energy, White House Drug Czar, CEOs, and other senior leaders for press conferences, media interviews, Congressional testimony, town-hall meetings, and other public appearances.
- Organized worldwide press coverage of repatriation of American hostages from the Middle East
Eric and Sam often team up to take clients through customized crisis communication workshops that are comprehensive and intensive. The workshops are carefully crafted around critical issues and/or challenges a business might legitimately confront and for which they need to be prepared ahead of time.