What makes TorchLight one of the Washington, D.C. region’s leading marketing and communications recruiting firms? Our people.
President and CEO
Heidi Parsont started her own firm in order to focus on that which she loves most: matching top talent with the right employer to create a rewarding, long-term relationship. In fact, she built her reputation on it.
Prior to founding TorchLight, Heidi worked at Melcrum, an internal communications consulting firm. There, she built a client base that included more than 300 of the Fortune 1000 companies, significantly increasing the company’s market penetration for a newly-developed research platform. As director/vice president with McKinley Marketing Partners, Heidi worked with senior marketing, communications and PR professionals to fill more than 150 positions.
Heidi holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Colgate University and a Master of Business Administration from Georgetown University. She lives in Alexandria, Va., with her husband and two children.
Chief Culture Officer
Julie Lowe has a knack for building strong partnerships with both internal and external clients and strategically recruiting for difficult-to-fill positions. Not only can she design and deliver an impeccable customer service program–she’s made it a daily practice. Julie began her 20-year career working in the hospitality industry. It was there that Julie found her passion for working with people to build their careers and grow the organization.
Julie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations/Journalism, with a minor in Psychology, from California State University, Long Beach. In her personal time, you will find Julie in her kitchen baking up a yummy new concoction (her baking skills are legendary in her Alexandria neighborhood), spending time with her family or performing at local establishments with her band, Cognitive Behavior.
Senior Director of Recruiting Operations and Engagement
Heather Pederson joins TorchLight with over 15 years of experience in global human resources leadership, as well as general program and project management. She is passionate about people—especially collaborative team leadership and engagement.
Heather has worn many professional hats in her career including recruiter, director of marketing and communications, project manager, and even English language instructor. Most recently, she served as the Senior HR Project Manager for the Red Cross, where she led high-level initiatives in HR change management, personnel training and development, recruiting, and many others.
Heather holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Western Michigan University, with a marketing major and communications minor. She also has a Master of Management International MBA from the University of Phoenix and is a certified facilitator/trainer in employer diversity and inclusion.
Vice President of Business Development and Account Management
A trained actress, Stephanie Ranno knows that goosebump-inducing moment when the curtain goes up, the applause begins, and you’re standing on stage in the role you were meant for. And, as a veteran of the recruiting industry, she is equally passionate about helping Washington-area professionals experience that same electric energy when the curtain goes up on their new marketing careers working for TorchLight’s clients.
As Vice President of Business Development and Account Management, Stephanie brings TorchLight’s expertise to the enterprise market, developing strategies and relationships to help Fortune 5000 companies operating in the D.C. metro area with their full-time permanent and contract staffing needs. She thrives on helping companies create great teams with great people to meet the dynamic, rapidly changing needs of today’s marketing world.
Prior to joining TorchLight, Stephanie spent more than a dozen years in the recruiting and staffing industry, most recently as Managing Director of SHIFT Recruiting and Strategic Account Manager of Profiles, both in Baltimore. She began her career in development and fundraising for two Baltimore nonprofits: Port Discovery – The Children’s Museum and Center Stage.
Stephanie holds a bachelor of arts degree in history and a minor in theatre production and performance from Lynchburg College.
Clients will find Beth Ranzer to be both knowledgeable and passionate about building and fostering client relationships. In her more than 15 years of experience, Beth has held seats on both sides of the table. As a former marketing consultant, Beth uniquely understands the proactive, prompt solutions that companies require. And, as an experienced marketing leader, she also recognizes the special skills and talent businesses need to stay on the cutting edge and grow the business.
Beth’s marketing career started in Washington, D.C., where she served as a marketing coordinator for various nonprofit organizations. She proceeded to hold several positions within Sprint Nextel Corporation’s marketing communications team, including serving as senior manager of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series (NNCS) Marketing and senior manager of sponsorship advertising. In these roles, Beth led many branding, advertising and marketing efforts for the company’s national and local sports sponsorships.
Beth holds a Bachelor of Science in finance from Indiana University and a Master of Business Administration from Case Western Reserve University.
Amy Tsuchitani is able to connect with clients and candidates through their shared professional experiences. An accomplished marketer with 15 years of experience, Amy’s “insider’s” perspective of the marketing industry lends a unique, supporting element to the recruiting process.
Amy’s career started as marketing coordinator for two of the biggest names in the sports marketing business: IMG (International Management Group) and Octagon Athlete Representation. Four years later, Amy became a regional marketing manager with Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), where she managed the regional events and partnerships program and coordinated marketing efforts for 63 dealerships in the northeast region.
Following MBUSA, Amy joined The Atlantic Media Company as a senior marketing manager. There she had the opportunity to work on custom event and marketing programs for premier clients like Pfizer, Booz Allen Hamilton and more.
Amy holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from James Madison University.
One of our newest team members, Katie Hart, brings a keen understanding of client business needs and challenges from her experience as a media sales account executive. She is skilled at bringing creative solutions to the table and effectively managing a diverse set of clients.
Katie started her career at Georgia IMG Sports Marketing where she worked on collegiate athletic sponsorships. While at IMG, she managed a wide variety of client initiatives like contests, field promotions, and hospitality events. Katie then joined WJBF News Channel 6 in Augusta, Georgia and initially served as a marketing coordinator managing client-sponsored events. She later transitioned to station media sales, creating broadcast and digital solutions for clients.
Katie is a graduate of the University of Georgia.
To say Autumn Conrad Schiff is passionate about the marketing industry would be an understatement. Every day, Autumn channels her enthusiasm and rich professional experience into creating successful, long-term matches for our clients.
Over the course of her 13 years in the communications industry, Autumn has worked for a variety of clients in the high-tech, nonprofit and professional services sectors, including Waggener Edstrom; global architecture and design firm Callison, Inc.; and RTKL Associates. Prior to joining the TorchLight team, Autumn was public relations manager of the American Society of Interior Designers, where she developed a national spokesperson program and helped launch and implement a national rebranding campaign.
Autumn completed her Bachelor of Science in communications at San Jose State University and graduate studies at George Mason University.
Armed with a master’s degree in counseling, Kathryn Bailey has always loved listening to people—learning their challenges, their goals, what makes them tick. So it should come as no surprise that today, she uses these very skills as a counselor to job candidates, helping them live their best professional lives possible.
After obtaining her degree from Providence College and working in sales for Xerox, Kathryn turned her focus to human resources, holding positions in the digital media and publishing industry with recognized brands such as Bloomberg BNA and Atlantic Media Group. Most recently she was Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist for the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Kathryn uniquely understands the many demands facing in-house recruiters today and aims to be a trusted partner to help them succeed in finding and hiring the region’s most experienced marketing professionals.
Client Services Senior Manager
Jennifer (“Jen”) Todd works closely with our clients and candidates to ensure all their needs are met. Her diverse background and attention to detail allow Jen to easily step in and provide both clients and candidates with outstanding customer service.
After four years in accounting and finance, Jen was recruited into the role of staffing manager for Robert Half International. As the wife of a naval officer, Jen has traveled extensively — an experience that taught her cultural sensitivity skills, which enable her to connect with clients and candidates from diverse backgrounds and heritages. While living in Germany, Jen developed and taught a business language course for German corporate executives and managers through inlingua, the international language school. Prior to joining TorchLight, Jen worked with Heidi at McKinley Marketing Partners as a marketing recruiter.
Jen holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration, with a concentration in Accounting and Finance, from Austin Peay State University.
Marketing, Client Services Project Manager
After a stint at a Washington, D.C. strategic communications agency, where she was responsible for client relations and for recruiting and managing the firm’s internship program, Samantha (“Sammy”) Nguyen knows hiring from both sides. Today she puts these skills to work as our Marketing, Client Services Project Manager to ensure that TorchLight clients and candidates have a positive, successful recruiting experience.
It’s a skill she honed as a journalism student at St. Bonaventure University, where she interviewed subjects and produced weekly news stories for the student-run TV news network. And it’s a skill she puts to work today at TorchLight, as she interviews job seekers to produce the right talent for our clients.
Sammy, a native of the Rochester, New York, area, joins TorchLight after three years at Subject Matter, a communications, advertising and government relations agency.
No matter how you calculate it, when it comes to serving TorchLight’s clients, Susan Mullin is key to the equation.
Susan started her career in the actuarial practice of Towers Watson – Boston, formerly Towers Perrin, designing and valuing retirement plan alternatives for large companies and non-profits. She then went on to serve as consultant in the Arlington office of Towers Watson, where she primarily focused on defined benefit pension plan administration. After leaving Towers Watson, Susan served as director of compensation and benefits at Atlantic Media Company. More recently, she worked alongside her husband, running the finance and human resource functions of their bathroom remodeling business.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from Colgate University.