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Public Affairs.
Strategic Communications.
Crisis Management.

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The Mach 1 Group is a nationally-recognized, award-winning Austin-based firm serving organizations and individuals whose interests are in the public realm. We are a certified Historically Underutilized Business (HUB), being 100 percent female-founded and -owned.

Our goal is swift and excellent service to clients who require expert communications counsel to achieve their business goals.

Whether defense or offense, the Mach 1 team has decades of experience successfully navigating media attention, crisis response, reputation management, branding, legislative and regulatory initiatives, and campaigns.

In the age of the 24-hour news cycle, communications experts at your leadership table are a must. Contact our team today to see how we can serve you.

Public Affairs & Media

Whether playing offense or defense on a legislative or regulatory issue, we draw on decades of experience in campaigns and government to build the winning game plan for smart organizations.

Crisis & Reputation Management

On good days, we help inoculate against a potential reputation crisis. On bad days, we parachute in to handle some of the toughest crises organizations can face, managing and mitigating reputational assaults, stabilizing and rebuilding.

Executive Positioning & Thought Leadership

Executive positioning, thought leadership, speech preparation and media relations are in high demand for C-level corporate leaders. Those skills have never been more of an asset than they are today as organizations communicate across multiple platforms and need effective brand& mission ambassadors.

Public Opinion Research

How does your key audience feel about your mission and your goals? Step 1 to successful campaigns and communications efforts is doing the homework.


Building a newsworthy and effective event – whether live or virtual – is both an art and a science. From large-scale campaign events to capitol press conferences, wise organizations invest in projecting the message that matches their goals.

Media Training

Practice, practice, practice. That’s what makes effective communicators, candidates and mission ambassadors.

Katherine McLane

Founder & CEO

Katherine McLane, named 2013 PR Professional of the Year by the Public Relations Society of America, is a leading communications, crisis, and public affairs expert. She leads media training sessions for a host of clients and individuals and has been quoted extensively in national, niche, and regional media and is known for her above-and-beyond, results-focused service to clients.

McLane founded and leads The Mach 1 Group in Austin to offer strategic communications, media and public affairs counsel to industry, for-profit and nonprofit groups, influencing public opinion in support of the strategic objectives of global brands and organizations.

Under McLane’s direction, Mach 1 has successfully advanced some of today’s most closely followed legislative causes, managed major media crises for some of America’s best-known brands, and rebranded leading nonprofits. Tesla, the LIVESTRONG Foundation, the American Beverage Association and Pelotonia are among the clients Mach 1 has been proud to serve.

Before founding Mach 1, as Vice President for Communications & External Affairs for the LIVESTRONG Foundation, McLane served as the organization’s chief communications and crisis management architect during years of global media attention surrounding its founder, and successfully steered a course that kept the Foundation’s vital mission front and center.

McLane served as press secretary for the U.S. Department of Education under Secretary Margaret Spellings in 2006 and 2007, promoting President Bush’s signature bipartisan education law, No Child Left Behind. She led crisis communications and rapid response for the Department and created successful strategies to promote the Education Department’s policies and practices.

From 2003 to 2006, she served as a key member of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign team and communications staff. As Deputy Communications Director and Deputy Press Secretary, she shaped the Governor’s public outreach efforts and led media relations in the areas of education, military affairs, homeland security, federal relations, emergency response, and the environment.

McLane’s career began in Austin, Texas, at Public Strategies, Inc., a public affairs and crisis communications firm, where she produced and consulted on comprehensive campaign plans for leading technology, transportation, and entertainment industry clients.

McLane is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University and she and her family live in Austin, Texas.

Mary Bell Love

Executive Vice President

Mary Love is a public affairs expert with extensive experience in media relations, political strategy, crisis management, and strategic communication. In addition, as a Certified Digital Marketing Professional, she oversees all social media and online activities for the firm.

Love, a member of the Austin Business Journal Leadership Trust, manages a wide breadth of clients for Mach 1 – from higher education institutions and non-profits to trade associations – and also possesses an impressive background in natural resources. In 2018, she was appointed by former City Council Member Ellen Troxclair to serve as a Commissioner for the City of Austin’s Water and Waste Water Commission, and prior to joining the Mach 1 Group in 2017, Love served as Director of Public Affairs and Special Projects for the Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission (RRC).

Love, who was nominated for Outstanding Women in Texas Government in 2015, has represented executive state leadership at meetings and conferences both nationally and internationally. She was selected as an official delegate for Texas' 2016 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Trade Mission to the Philippines, Singapore, and Burma (Myanmar).

In 2015, Love founded the Texas Natural Gas Foundation (TXNG) along with former State Rep. Jason Isaac (Dripping Springs), and Dr. Ken Morgan, Director of the Texas Christian University Energy Institute, and continues to serve as vice president of the Foundation.

At the height of oil prices in 2013, she served as the primary author of the Eagle Ford Shale Task Force Report to the Texas Legislature—a comprehensive, first-ever analysis of an oil and gas shale formation. These shale plays and the extraction techniques applied to them went on to change fossil fuel production throughout the world.

Prior to her service at the RRC, she served as the Marketing & Media Coordinator for the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Texas, and before that, earned her master's degree with honors in Strategic Communication at Texas State University, where she also created, produced, and hosted the university's first-ever student-produced television series.

Brett Fey

Chief Operating Officer

Brett Fey is an operations expert with 30 years of experience managing teams big and small. His strengths in organizational planning, strategy and resourcing keep Mach 1 thriving.

Talan Tyminski

Vice President

Tyminski is a knowledgeable crisis communication and public affairs professional with experience in the public and private sectors. She has over half a decade of experience in and around the Texas government. Most recently, she led the Texas Workforce Commission's Crisis Communications response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to her experience crafting and implementing communication strategies. Tyminski is a member of the University of Texas at Austin's Lyndon B. Johnson Women's Campaign School and serves on the City of Austin's Minority-Owned Business, Women-Owned Business, Small Business Enterprise Procurement Program Advisory Committee.

Mollie Young

Vice President

Mollie Young is a distinguished communications professional with experience in national cable broadcast news, federal and state government, and campaign strategy.

Mollie began her career at The Fox News Channel in New York City, where she helped produce hit cable news shows such as ‘Glenn Beck’, ‘The Five’, and ‘Hannity’. Working with political and entertainment leaders, her work was viewed by millions of Americans every night — including coverage through major events such as the Boston Marathon Bombings, Sandy Hook, Benghazi and the 2012 presidential election.

After moving to Washington, D.C., Mollie worked as a Communications Director on Capitol Hill and as the Director of TV and Radio for the National Republican Congressional Committee through the 2014 midterm elections. She continued her career in North Carolina first as the Communications Director to the North Carolina Speaker of the House, and later as the Director of Government Affairs for Governor Pat McCrory’s Department of Environmental Quality.

Prior to joining The Mach 1 Group, she was the Communications Director and Interim Campaign Manager for a Gubernatorial race in South Carolina.

Mollie is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Alice Claiborne

Vice President

Alice Claiborne is a seasoned professional with a decade of experience in the media communications industry. She has worked in the public and private sector, building expertise in pitching, message development, brand awareness and targeted marketing. She began her career as a television news producer in East Texas and then transitioned to state and local political communications.

Before joining Mach 1, Alice served as Communications Director for Texas State Senator Donna Campbell, and prior to that role, as Communications Director for former Austin City Council Member Ellen Troxclair.

During her time in the newsroom Alice was responsible for coordinating two newscasts each day. Using compelling content and strong storytelling skills, she raised viewership and secured both newscasts as the top in their time slot.

A native Texan, Alice graduated from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

Cristie Strake

Senior Strategist

Cristie Strake is a dedicated public relations professional with a strong background in public affairs and strategic communications, with an emphasis on social media management. As a Senior Strategist at Mach 1 Group with years of experience in the public sector, Cristie understands the importance of crisis management and positive brand education and loves discovering creative ways for clients to communicate their stories effectively. Prior to joining the Mach 1 team, Cristie was the Communications Director for Texas State Senator Paul Bettencourt.

Andrea Fernández

Account Executive

Andrea is an innovative bilingual strategic communicator with experience in content creation, public relations and digital communications. In addition, she has an exceptional knack for relationship building at the state and local levels. Before joining Mach 1, she expanded her understanding of public relations, government involvement and communication strategies during her work with the National Organization for Women of Austin, where she also transformed the local chapter and reconstructed their digital communication platforms. Andrea most recently led the volunteer recruitment efforts for Ground Game Texas, organizing a successful concert with local artists to further Ground Game’s mission.

As a native of the Rio Grande Valley, Andrea uses her experience of living by the border to create inclusive and intersectional communication strategies. Andrea graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Austin from the Moody College of Communication with a Bachelor of Science in Communication and Leadership.

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