The Art of Becoming a Great Listener

A Message from Larry Ceisler

This month’s Ceisler Media newsletter starts out with an audio blog you should listen to because it’s all about… well, the skill of listening.
Kate Wilhelm, our Chief Operating Officer, put together a quick chat focused on how sharp listening habits can enhance a positive work culture, as well as lead to creative input and ideas from surprising sources. Check it out—it might be the most productive four minutes you spend today.
After you listen, you may want to subscribe to Kate’s audio blog on Spotify.
We’ve got some insightful political pieces—from Senior Vice President Kurt Knaus on how Harrisburg is dealing with the rare dilemma of trying to spend a surplus, and from Director Keegan Gibson, examining how progressives are winning elections in and around Pittsburgh.
Juneteenth—the holiday honoring the emancipation of the slaves—will be marked this Saturday. Please make sure to read the compelling conversation on Juneteenth’s meaning between Special Projects Manager Larry Miller (who grew up in West Philadelphia in the 1960s) and Digital Associate Sharky Thomas (who emigrated from South Africa to the United States just three years ago).
There are important news items on our clients, and internal updates, including the return to our firm of old friend Dennille Schuler. And please be sure to check out the video at the bottom, where we asked a half dozen Ceisler Media team members what they’re most looking forward to this summer as the world continues to open up. Stay for the last response, where Senior Vice President Kirk Dorn—who’s been through a lot over the last year—offers his simple but inspiring plan for the future.
Give it a read and let me know your thoughts.

Lead Time with Kate Wilhelm | Episode 2 | The Power of Listening

In this four-minute audio blog, COO and Sr. VP Kate Wilhelm speaks to the power and beauty of the art of listening. Kate offers tips on how to hear beyond the words someone says and also speaks to how careful listening can create a more inclusive environment.


Larry Ceisler in the News

Larry Ceisler was quoted in this Philadelphia Inquirer article which focused on the slow pace of Philadelphia City Council’s budget negotiations with Mayor Kenney. Larry cited one reason for the stalled talks: Many Council members may have their own political ambitions toward the 2023 mayoral race. “That is a problem because a lot of good ideas are viewed through a mayoral election prism,” Larry said. “So Councilperson A could have a great idea, but Councilperson B could say, ‘It is a great idea, but that’s Councilperson A’s idea.’“

Client News


Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) moved closer to finally securing formal title recognition in Pennsylvania after a PA House committee unanimously approved legislation (H.B. 931) to establish professional designation, sending the bill to the full House. Companion legislation is expected to pass through the state Senate, which has approved it before. CRNAs are the hands-on providers of anesthesia care, operating safely in every setting where anesthesia is administered. Because there is no definition for nurse anesthetists under the state’s Professional Nursing Law, CRNAs are currently recognized only as registered nurses, despite their advanced education and specialized training.


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As part of the 10th anniversary of its Internet Essentials program, Comcast is investing $1 billion over the next 10 years to reach 50 million low-income Americans with the tools and resources to succeed in a digital world. The company is also celebrating local organizations that have been Internet Essentials partners during the program’s first decade.


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Western Governors University

Western Governors University invites the Philadelphia community, students, alumni and staff to join in a free interactive virtual scavenger hunt from July 1-5. This family-friendly event gives participants a chance to win Philly-centric prizes valued at more than $1,000, while exploring the city’s art district and Fairmount neighborhood. Visit for details, to download the app and register and to see the full list of prizes.


Register Here


Liberty Coca-Cola

One of the 2021 Coca-Cola Scholars in Liberty Coca-Cola Beverages’ region, Amy Liu, was featured in her local newspaper for being among 150 awardees out of 99,000-plus applicants to receive a $20,000 scholarship. Liberty also surprised Liu and her classmates at Central Bucks High School South with a celebratory visit during the school’s Senior Day.


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Belmont Charter

Belmont Charter High School celebrated its first graduating class. Eighty-three percent of the students who began their journey as freshman in 2017 have been accepted into post-secondary opportunities including college, the military and trade schools.


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Client Highlights


City Councilman Allan Domb

Philadelphia Councilmember Allan Domb co-sponsored successful legislation to enhance enforcement against illegal ATV riding throughout all neighborhoods. The legislation closes a loophole in the city’s code and groups all the illegal vehicles into one category if they need to be confiscated.


Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land released its Park Score 2021 report, taking a deeper look at equity and parks around the country. In Philadelphia, community members in three neighborhoods are working to achieve this type of climate justice through #HeatResponsePHL.


Philadelphia Housing Authority

A new Philadelphia Housing Authority program provides dorm-style housing for homeless students at Community College of Philadelphia. Too often, a lack of housing prevents students from attending college. This program begins with 16 students. If results come as expected, and more homeless students are able to enroll and stay in college, the program could be expanded. Separately, PHA joined with partner Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia to celebrate the completion of 20 newly built homes as part of the multi-year Sharswood neighborhood rebuild.



Hear from PRWT Services Inc. CEO Malik Majeed on why he’s encouraged by a new program from the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia aimed at increasing supplier diversity in the local business community, which will have far-reaching effects across our region.


Housing Authority of Baltimore City

To better protect its residents, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City unveiled a new technology to detect COVID-19 levels in the sewer water at its developments. When a high level is detected, the housing authority offers a COVID-19 testing clinic for all residents at that site. This early detection system could lead to wider use by other entities if another outbreak occurs.


Nationwide Healthcare Services

Nationwide Healthcare Services ownership took the unprecedented step of making 20 percent of its planned West Philadelphia apartment building affordable to households earning no more than 40 percent of Area Median Income. The company’s CEO, Meir Gelley, included this provision without a government subsidy. This “affordable” component helped convince the zoning hearing board to approve the project despite opposition from the district council member. Advocates for working-class families hope the building at 48th and Chester Avenue establishes a model for other developers to follow.

Ceisler Media Favorites

With the world opening up, we asked a half-dozen members of our Ceisler team to tell us something they’re looking forward to this summer. See their answers in this fun animation.

Ceisler News

Chris Cashman’s New Grandson

Congratulations to Ceisler Media consultant Chris “Popi” Cashman and wife Marianne “Mimi,” on the birth of their fifth grandchild, Charles Ryan “Charlie” Cashman. The new guy was born on May 17, and arrived at 10 pounds, 11 ounces. Charlie, as well as his parents, Anne and Chris, are all doing well.

Welcoming Dennille Schuler Back to Ceisler Media

We are delighted to welcome back Dennille Schuler, who previously worked with the firm from 2008 to 2015. Dennille rejoins us as a consultant, supporting our client work in Philadelphia and the Lehigh Valley. “We’ve never lost touch with Dennille and always hoped she’d return,” said Larry Ceisler. “She’s proof that nobody ever leaves us forever.” Dennille originally joined Ceisler Media after graduating from Syracuse University. She left to take a job handling public relations and serving as the main media contact at Penn State Lehigh Valley. At the same time, she earned a master’s degree in higher education from Penn State’s online World Campus. She and her husband, Austin, live in Allentown with their three young children and one rescue dog.

More Posts

Roll of "I voted" circular stickers on a gray background for the November elections in the United States.

Larry Ceisler: 4 Key Takeaways From Election Day 2023 

Our 2023 election results might be most important for what they tell us about 2024. While we didn’t see any major surprises in Pennsylvania, we can learn a lot about where the commonwealth is headed as we head into an election year in which no less than the future of our democracy will be on the ballot.

So what have we learned?

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