As Founder and President, Grace Zarnas-Hoyer provides her clientele with the freedom to tell their story. Take advantage of 25-plus years of story-telling through Grace’s strategic communications and creative media and public relations experience!
A passion to communicate stories that promote your products and services through creative editorial, public and media relations opportunities…
Learn more about Grace…
A 25-year veteran in public relations and communications, my story began after graduating from Moravian College with a dual major in journalism and business management. A week after graduating from college, I was the community relations assistant for First Valley Bank, a member of UJB Financial. For the first three months, I reported to the manager of community relations, until she left unexpectedly– leaving me to fill her shoes and hit the ground running with little experience.
I supported 150 bank branches throughout Eastern PA, as well as managed the executive level corporate contributions process that determined $1 million in donations to community reinvestment and non-profit organizations. The experience proved to be invaluable as it forced a young 24-year old to grow up quickly learning how to be a key community representative. It was exciting to manage and execute marketing-related activities for the bank’s sponsored events including PBS programming, Musikfest and major USGA tournaments. I also enjoyed working with our teams and built a robust employee volunteer program that was highly visible in the community. One of my favorite roles was supporting new branch openings with exciting marketing and promotional activities.
Working along sports figures who I hired such as former heavy weight boxing champion of the world Larry Holmes, as well as several Philadelphia Phillies players including Larry Bowa and Mickey Morandini, provided me with the experience to partner with celebrities. The role also presented the opportunity to develop impactful communications pieces and pitching stories to the media. Ready for my next challenge, I answered a blind ad for a communications manager.
Wood Food Service Management (now Sodexo), a Mid-Atlantic contract food service provider for multiple lines of business, hired me as their communications manager. It was an industry I knew little about (other than being a waitress in college.) I learned how to write for the hospitality industry, while promoting onsite restaurants and retail operations. I researched content, interviewed operators, clients and their customers for articles, press releases and crisis communications including contracts, labor relations and foodborne illness media statements. During that time, I cultivated relationships with key editors across the country who covered food service, higher education, corporate dining, senior living and healthcare. My efforts resulted in record publicity. I also served on the marketing teams that developed our first retail brands and new corporate newsletter.
One of my favorite projects was serving on the executive committee of FoodShare, a major fundraiser for Pennsylvania and New Jersey food banks. Attendees enjoyed a chefs’ showcase featuring 150 award-winning presentations, a vendor show and the culinary talents of celebrity chefs. My experience in communications was also sought out by the Marketing 101 team that developed a two-day training course to assist managers and chefs in marketing their onsite dining operations to customers. I was proud to receive Wood’s company awards for both FoodShare and Marketing 101.
After spending five years at Wood, I was recruited by Unisys in Norristown, PA, as a senior communications manager for the global human resources division. The position focused on preparing internal communications for executive management. It was the best decision as it made me realize that external public relations and communication is my passion.
For the first time, I left a job to be at home with my newborn son Stephen. Soon after, I received a call from the editor at FoodService Director Magazine, the nation’s largest monthly publication covering food service management solutions. I was hired by the publication as a contributing editor – the same magazine I pitched when I served Wood. Generating story leads, learning how to be the reporter and asking pointed questions inspired my writing and gave me a new perspective. For the next two years I crafted 120 stories that covered contract food service operations across the country.
While writing stories for the magazine, I founded Hoyer & Associates. Through my new company, I began servicing a variety of clientele representing senior living, food, hospitality, technology, healthcare, automotive and the construction industries, including my family’s specialty coatings application business, G.C. Zarnas & Co., Inc. I continue to serve Zarnas in a multi-faceted capacity supporting their sales process with project tracking, the production of sales and marketing collateral, digital marketing and web site development. I also manage trade show participation including international events like PowerGen.
I left my position with the magazine when Cura, a senior living and food service provider owned by Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, outsourced public relations and communications to Hoyer & Associates. For the next 13 years, I developed strategic public relations, editorial opportunities and communications services to Eat’n Park’s onsite brands, Cura and Parkhurst Dining (higher education food service.) Services enhanced student, resident and guest engagement.
On their behalf, I also served as a contributing editor and photographer for several magazines including Modern Healthcare, Provider, Advance for Long-Term Care, McKnights, Food Management, Edible Allegheny, Western Pennsylvania Guide to Good Health and Healthcare News, Long-Term Living, University Business, Business Officer and Montgomery Media.
Through my relationships with culinary, college, sports and entertainment reporters in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, I promoted stories featuring culinary, healthy eating, locally sourced food, sustainability, wellness and even professional athletic sports nutrition. These stories were featured in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, The Tribune, Comcast, and major Philadelphia media outlets. I also developed the brands’ first digital newsletters, served on the corporate newsletter’s editorial board and managed web site and social media content.
When Cura was sold to Elior North America, Hoyer & Associates was invited to support the communications and public relations needs of Cura and its sister company, Aladdin Food. I crafted several articles and communications pieces to support product launches like BOX’d Chef, new business in new territories, special events, renovations and new construction including the first WELL certified nursing facility in the world!
Since COVID-19, promoting our teams has become even more important as I continue to pitch our positive and heart-warming stories from the field to national editors, as well as develop and execute thoughtful social media campaigns.
Hoyer & Associates continues to grow with clients who value their stories to be told and promoted by an experienced story teller and gifted public and media relations professional.
Through Hoyer & Associates, Grace continues to be an active member of the International FoodService Editorial Council (IFEC), an organization that brings editors and PR/marketing communications professionals together to exchange ideas, share resources and confer on editorial content for foodservice-engaged readers. Over the years, Grace has served on IFEC’s media committees and operator panels.
Grace also serves on the Phoebe Institute on Aging; the ABE Suburban Swim League Representative and pool chair for her swim club; and is a YMCA Swim Official. In the community, Hoyer & Associates supports and volunteers for Betty Lou’s Food Pantry, Southern Lehigh Athletics and Phoebe Ministries.
Food Service • Hospitality • Senior Living • Healthcare • Real Estate & Construction • Automotive • Finance