When you’re in the military, you learn that everyone has a story to tell — a story of where they are from, why they joined and what they hope to do once they become a civilian again.
Although they served in different branches of the Armed Forces at different points in our nation’s history, Robert and Al had a common thread running through their time in uniform—both learned to listen intently to the stories of their fellow Soldiers and Marines. Understanding those stories gave them a new perspective on the human experience, and it has made them better leaders.
They are still fascinated by stories and have developed a passion for helping others amplify their voices. Through words and images, Robert and Al use their unique skills to bring stories to life and share them with large audiences.
Meet Our Leadership
Launched in November 2010, Veteran Strategies, Inc. is an Indianapolis-based public relations firm, certified as a Veteran Business Enterprise by the federal government and registered with the state of Indiana and the city of Indianapolis.
Robert, who has been hailed as “the great communicator” by influential and award-winning Indianapolis Star columnist Matt Tully, is the principal of Veteran Strategies. He served his country in the United States Army as a public affairs specialist and broadcast journalist and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.
As deputy chief of staff and communications director for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard (2008 to 2010), Robert coordinated messaging, briefed the media and led community outreach for numerous high-profile projects, issues, and events. Among these was the successful $2 billion initiative by the mayor’s office to transfer the water and wastewater utilities to Citizens Energy Group. The plan and its execution earned endorsements from The Indianapolis Star, The Indianapolis Business Journal and Engineering News Record.
In 2014, Robert planned and executed a successful media strategy for the $160 million partnership between the city of Indianapolis, the Capital Improvement Board, and Pacers Sports & Entertainment. In 2018, Veteran Strategies directed the $272 million referenda effort on behalf of Indianapolis Public Schools. Voters passed each referendum with more than 70 percent of the vote.
Current and past clients of Veteran Strategies include: Greg Ballard, LLC, Anthem, Ricker’s, The Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Indy Eleven NASL soccer, Develop Indy, Mike Pence for Indiana, Marian University, the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office, Charter Schools USA, Denison Parking, the Capital Improvement Board, Flaherty and Collins, Shiel Sexton Co., Stand for Children, and Indianapolis Public Schools.
Robert’s columns and opinion pieces have appeared in both The Indianapolis Star and The Indianapolis Business Journal. Additionally, Robert has provided on-air commentary for radio stations such as WIBC and the local ABC, CBS, PBS, and FOX television affiliates.
Al is a proud graduate of the Pulliam School of Journalism at Franklin College; an even prouder “graduate” of the United States Marine Corps during which he was deployed in both Iraq and Afghanistan and earned the Presidential Unit Citation. He now works as an Indiana-based photographer who specializes in architecture, interiors, and commercial spaces throughout the Midwest. He uses natural and artificial light to capture the character of indoor and outdoor spaces with the utmost attention to detail. For Al, it’s about visual storytelling. Every space has a story that goes far beyond function.
The developer who sees an empty tract of land and imagines something new; the architect who refines the idea and contributes creative vision; the tradespeople and craftspeople who bring the vision to life with artistry and precision; and the designers who pull the features into a comfortable, livable space are all part of the story. A strong architectural photograph captures all of these layers of elements in one compelling image, and in a subtle way, it pays tribute to everyone who contributed to the space.
In an era of truly incredible smart phone cameras and filter apps to boot, people are demanding increasingly higher image quality. And that’s a good thing. Al’s original Nikon N6006 that he used as a photojournalist nearly 20 years ago doesn’t come out of its case anymore. The equipment that replaced it allows for better images and more control over the camera from pre-production to post-production. But the composition discipline that developed while using an old film camera to capture fast-moving, unpredictable subjects, means the difference between good and great architectural photographs today.