Homeland to Southland Podcast consist both national and regional interest. Our show will include guests from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives, including from high levels. Both Craven and Kellems bring deep and broad experience at the local, regional, state, national and international levels, as well as a wealth of contacts.
The backgrounds of Leslie Craven and Kevin Kellems include journalism, business, government, politics and national security at the highest levels. But Craven and Kellems also are real people with robust senses of humor, as well as a lively interplay wherein they confidently tease and cajole their guests and each other.
If there is a major event in the past or future to which they cannot lend first- or second-hand commentary and analysis, the program will feature those who can, either in-person, via sound or in writing.
The fact that the two hosts each own national presidential battleground geographies will not be lost on listeners, sponsors nor special guests. Likewise for the very deep experience at the national level on a variety of fronts.
The format we envision is flexible, but reasonably well-defined within our preparation talks and research. Kellems’ primary hosting locations will be Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Washington, DC, where he worked and lived for two decades. Craven will operate largely out of Greenville, SC and DC. Leslie maintains a striking presence throughout the Southland - with thousands of friends, followers, contacts and colleagues , particularly in the key states.
Our approach will be one of genuine inquiry and timely discussion– but quite lively and without fear. Lots of laughter and cultural commentary intertwined with incisvie and instinctive analysis, brief commentary and challenges to the listeners.
Kevin is a leader in public affairs, communications strategy, executive counsel, media training, crisis management and media relations.
Kellems has held senior posts at the White House, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Senate, state government and The World Bank. He also has helped direct successful campaigns for dozens of candidates for national, statewide, regional and local offices. Other assignments included driving growth initiatives for clients – from sales into government and industry, to advising senior civilian and uniformed military leadership.
Public and government clients have included Vice President Dick Cheney, Speaker Newt Gingrich, Secretary of the Army Pete M. Geren, U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson, U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, and several members of congress.
Kellems served as White House Communications Director and Press Secretary to Vice President Richard B. Cheney; Special Advisor, Director of Strategic Communications and Director of Public Liaison in the Office of the Secretary of Defense; Director of Strategy, Senior Advisor and Acting Vice President of The World Bank; and regional reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Kevin has traveled to 71 countries and 49 states, where he met, worked with and advised several heads of state, defense, finance and foreign ministers; Mr. and Mrs. Bill Gates and other top corporate philanthropists, Pope John Paul II, President Nelson Mandela, Queen Rania and Bono, among many others.
The CEO / Editor of The Dispatch and Fox News contributor Stephen F. Hayes has described Kellems as someone with “an unparalleled ability to see how an event, issue or controversy will play five or six news cycles after it breaks. The analogy I think of is (hockey legend) Wayne Gretzky’s ability to see a play develop four passes before his team scored a goal.”
Kellems earned a graduate degree in national security studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and an undergraduate degree in journalism from The Ohio State University. Kellems is a recipient of the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service – the highest civilian award presented by the Secretary of Defense.
Leslie is a high impact strategist with in-depth knowledge of government, public relations, philanthropy, communications and marketing.
Known for her energy, expansive network and dedication to client success, Craven has effectively served in roles such as National Campaign Director, Political Director, Chief of Staff, Director of Public and Government Relations, Lead Fundraiser, and Coalition and Volunteer Coordinator.
A strategic thinker and a dynamic communicator, she has worked with the campaigns of Speaker Newt Gingrich, President George W. Bush, U.S. Senator Tim Scott, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney, as well as several members of congress and state officeholders. She has been recognized as a top strategist by Campaigns and Elections magazine.
Craven also has managed government and public relations for automotive and finance companies in 20 states - by developing key relationships, creating partnerships, assembling coalitions and building community awareness.
As President of a full-service strategic communications, marketing and public relations firm based in Greenville, South Carolina, Craven combines public affairs, public relations and grassroots coalition building to maximize impact and drive results.
Leslie serves on several philanthropic boards including: Cancer Society, Myers Center for Special Needs Children, Lindley’s Alliance, The Rose Ball Committee and St Francis Foundation.
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