Ben Hammer is a strategic communications and business advisor to Fortune 500 companies, mature and startup businesses, trade groups, and non-profits.
Ben draws on a decade of experience as an award-winning business reporter to execute research-driven campaigns that move public opinion and policymakers to act.
Since 2007, Ben has worked on campaigns to help clients secure billion-dollar settlements, antitrust enforcement actions against the largest companies in technology and media, support plaintiffs in a landmark Supreme Court case, exonerate business owners under criminal investigation, and build stronger relationships in Washington, D.C. and in more than 15 states.
In his business advising, Ben has helped PR firms grow business with their largest clients and win new ones, well-funded startups build new lines of business with federal, state and local law enforcement, and documentary film projects to plan and execute development and promotional campaigns.
As a pro bono and paid advisor to non-profits, Ben has helped develop corporate partnerships, improve operations, with succession planning, and building social and digital media profiles, and online paid advertising campaigns.
Ben lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife.
Ben Hammer, Principal & Founder
Ben Hammer is a veteran of front-page public affairs battles over policy debates on Capitol Hill, merger reviews by U.S. and EU agencies, and litigation in federal courts. He specializes in high stakes communications related to telecommunications, media and technology policy, and the intersection of national security and technology. Hammer has supported clients in some of the most high profile merger, antitrust and policy reviews at the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Justice Department, and Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., as well as in multiple states, and at the European Commission. He founded Hammer Strategies in 2014 after seven years at the Glover Park Group, where he was vice president.
He has also supported counsel in litigation at the U.S. Supreme Court, federal civil and criminal trial and appeals courts, and administrative hearings at the FCC. Hammer has represented clients pursuing complaints at the European Commission, and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). He has worked with more than 100 organizations worldwide pursuing government actions concerning Google or Comcast.
Hammer's clients have included Airbnb, AMD, Amerilink, BBC America, Bloomberg TV, the Communications Workers of America, DIRECTV, Discovery, Expedia, FlipKey, HomeAway, Illumina, Microsoft, Sabre, TripAdvisor, Verizon, Yahoo!, and the four largest U.S. broadcast networks. He serves on the boards of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV.org), the Daily Pennsylvanian Alumni Association, and DayEight.org, and is a pro bono advisor to Avodah – the Jewish Service Corps and the Washington DC Police Foundation.
He was an award winning reporter for the Washington Business Journal, where he received the Eagle Award for Editorial Excellence from the Chairman of American City Business Journals. He has reported from New York or D.C. for the Industry Standard magazine, Reuters, Agence France Presse, Washington Techway, Black Issues in Higher Education and Community College Weekly. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania.
C.J. Cross, Principal, Cross Media Group
C.J. Cross has blended his passion for business, fitness, marketing, and technology into a business that helps fitness professionals and entrepreneurs use technology to foster their brands and engage with their customers. He applies his expertise to clients in multiple industries, and is passionate about supporting personal trainers, gym owners and other fitness professionals in growing their businesses. He is also an active volunteer and advisor to non-profits.
A D.C.-area native, C.J. has created relationships with members of almost every private industry that keeps DC running, and prides himself on being a resource that can solve almost any problem, or tap into his network to find someone who can. C.J. is proficient in web development, and has recently been working with Drupal and Wordpress. His team at Cross Media Group includes former Capitol Hill communications directors, a former House committee web and graphic designer, and graduates of area business schools.
Cross Media Group provides digital platforms for customer relationship management, engagement and social programs that build brands, produce content and a way for professionals to collaborate with each other online.
MELISSA WILSON, University of Montana foundation
Melissa Wilson is the assistant vice president of marketing and communications at the University of Montana Foundation, and a former client of Ben Hammer. Wilson was a senior communications manager at Microsoft, where she worked for former Entertainment & Devices President Robbie Bach, one of seven presidents at the company at the time. Melissa and Ben worked on Bach's signature citizenship campaign, GetGameSmart, which provided parents with the tools and materials to teach their kids a healthy balance between screen time and an active lifestyle. Hammer executed a series of events with Microsoft's partners in GetGameSmart, including the Boys & Girls Club, national PTA and groups on the right and left of the political spectrum.
Together, Hammer and Wilson planned and executed an event at the public elementary school closest to the U.S. Capital, featuring former 49ers legend and NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, who spoke to the students about the importance of getting an education and staying active throughout their lives. They also produced the Capitol Hill Family Game Night, drawing hundreds of congressional staff to a House office building, four members of Congress and their kids, press, and other advocates. At the event, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) played video games with her two daughters, and Rock Band Karaoke; Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) toured the room, reviewed materials with GetGameSmart partners, and spoke briefly. And then-Rep. Tim Wu (D-WA) also came with his kids and a staffer.
While at Microsoft, Wilson specialized in consumer technology, experiential events, strategic communications, executive profiles and thought leadership, integrated marketing and media relations. Melissa has driven business for brands including Xbox and Kinect, Skype, Surface, Windows, Windows Phone and Bing. She has also consulted Microsoft on Health, Government and Public Safety matters, most notably during the launch phase of its CityNext solutions. She has developed relationships with the leadership of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, National PTA, Operation Smile and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, and partnered with A-list celebrities such as Mark Walberg, Susan Sarandon and Jerry Rice, C-level elite executives including Bill Gates, and Steve Ballmer.
Joseph Persichini Jr., Washington DC POlice Foundation
Ben Hammer has supported Persichini and the Washington DC Police Foundation as a pro bono advisor since 2008. Together, they have advised the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department on its communications program to the public, outreach to youth and community, the press and business community. For several years, they worked closely with former Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority police Chief Polly Hanson, the current Amtrak Police Chief. Hammerled an effort while at the Glover Park Group to redesign the Foundation's logos and graphic designs, produce and place paid media, and execute an annual awards luncheon to honor D.C. police and professional staff.
Persichini has served as Executive Director of the Washington DC Police Foundation since 2010. He was named the Assistant Director in Charge of the Washington Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2006. While in that position, Persichini revitalized the outreach activities of the division to all communities, including creation of multi-cultural organizations such as the Arab, Muslim, Sikh Advisory Council (AMSAC). Based upon Joe's leadership with AMSAC and other organizations, he was awarded the 2009 Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) Public Service Award. Under his leadership, the Washington Field Office was awarded the D.C. Chamber of Commerce Community Service award, and selected by Washingtonian Magazine as the Best Place to Work in 2007. In 2009, Joe retired from the FBI after 33 years of dedicated service.
In 2009, Joe received the Medal of Merit award from D.C. Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier, for his commitment and dedication to the citizens of the District of Columbia. Joe is a member of the Advisory Board of the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind and the National Law Enforcement Museum. Additionally, Joe is a founding board member of the newly created National Police Foundation’s Network. Joe is originally from Buffalo, New York. He attended Canisius College in Buffalo, New York and received a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Accounting.