strategy - communications - advocacy

THinc. assists our client enterprises with Communications Strategy, Planning & Implementation; Advocacy Strategies & Implementation; Community / Civic Engagement Strategies; News Release Writing & Editing; News Conferences / News Event Planning; Speech Writing & Editing, Speaking / Public Representation; and, other services as needed by our clients.

THinc. is a professional consulting enterprise based in Charlottesville, Virginia, founded and led by Timothy Hulbert.

THinc. draws upon Mr. Hulbert’s broad-based professional skills and experience in private enterprise and government (federal, state & local) service. He and his exceptional and accomplished professional associates provide clients ready access to world class talents in the areas of strategy, communications and advocacy. 

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Professional services

Communications Strategy, Planning & Implementation

THinc. can help you define and sharpen the principal goals of your enterprise’s or organization’s communications strategy and identify the groups and individuals necessary to achieve those goals. Crafting the right message(s) that will move those groups and individuals towards your goals is the foundation to communications success. Together we will identify the best media (vertical andor horizontal) to deliver your messages to those audiences. Determining the optimal timing and opportunities for your messaging follows. Implementing communication elements in a timely fashion is critical; as is always being agile to take advantage of new opportunities that meet the enterprise’s or organization’s goals as they arise. Communications planning is constant. 

Advocacy Strategies & Implementation

Advocacy Strategy planning is built around the enterprise’s goals – audiences – messaging – vehicles – timing. Implemented in a consistent manner, successful Advocacy Strategies serve to build community as well as governmental and political allies (local, state & federal). It is vital to identify important relationships to nurture at every opportunity and again, be agile to recognize and seize opportunities as they arise.

Community & Civic Engagement Strategies

Community and organizational engagement planning is similar to communication planning. It requires experience, skills and “touch” not readily available in many civic organizations or consulting firms. THinc. will help identify your enterprise’s or organization’s natural and possible new allies; those individuals engaged; those within your enterprise or organization best to be part of the engagement efforts; and, what action(s) can help achieve your goals.

News Release Writing & Editing


Crafting effective news releases that gain the attention of media decision-makers requires specific skills, styles and timing. A news release starts with news. It demands a very different skill than writing an effective explanatory memorandum. THinc. will help your enterprise identify the news and the preferred headline that can capture the media’s action.  We will shape your news to move a newspaper city editor and both television & radio news directors to assign a reporter to cover your news story. Even so-called “dry news” can be relevant, if shaped to current or even historical events.

News Conference / News Event Planning


A news release can often be tied to a news event and/or a news conference for broader impact. Timing is critical and requires astute awareness of other possible news events competing or surpassing your announcement. Others are also acting in the media market.  THinc. can help your enterprise or organization maximize the timing and impact of your news through skilled writing and by identifying potential competing news and conflicts.


Speech Writing & Editing

 Speech writing, as with writing news releases, is a very different and specific skill that is honed with quality experience.  It requires delivery of a clear leading message and highlighting that message at several strategic moments within the speech with varying tones. Speeches need to be dynamic through the lower and higher points and the speaker needs to be at ease and on topic. All this requires a tightly organized text and pre-speech rehearsals. 


Speaking & Public Representation

 The best representative of your enterprise or organization is you. However, due to the demands of leadership that is not always possible. A senior executive, spokesperson or professional advocate can deliver the message, at certain times and places, often in a more neutral and effective manner. Sometimes a measure of distance from the executive may offer a benefit. 

THinc. is adept, skilled and experienced in these and other areas of professional communications, advocacy and strategy. We will provide you and your enterprise or organization the professional service you require. Please contact us. Thank you.

THinc. Professionals

Professional biographic information is contained in the following appendix.

Contact THinc. / 434.760.3417 /


1610 Fowler Ridge Court

Charlottesville, Virginia 22901

Appendix -- THinc. Professsionals

Timothy Hulbert


Tim Hulbert has worked in his family’s equine enterprise; served as staff in the United States House of Representatives; served in communications and intergovernmental executive roles in two state agencies under two governors and two commissioners; worked as an account executive and creative consultant in a small, razor-sharp professional communications enterprise.

He later led a city mayoral transition changing from a council-manager to a strong mayor structure; shaped, led and secured funding for a comprehensive independent fiscal and economic analysis of a wrestling city government & economy.

For 29-years Mr. Hulbert led two regional chambers of commerce as President & CEO, in Virginia and New York.

As Chamber President for more than 16 years with Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce:

He developed the chamber further as the premier, leading regional business & civic membership organization with members and affiliate members throughout the region in six (6) localities. The chamber is also the region’s leading advocate for private enterprise and enhancement of the communities’ quality of life.

Tim led a restructuring of the chamber’s fiscal management and accounting; producing eleven operating surpluses and five (deficits); three of which were driven by the “Great Recession.”

He successfully led the chamber, business community, Charlottesville and Albemarle through the extensive, politically charged multi-governmental approval process for construction of the Meadow Creek Parkway – now John W. Warner Parkway –  a project 48 years in the making a beautiful gateway into Charlottesville’s vibrant downtown.

After years of no action and delay, the chamber, with Mr. Hulbert’s, active leadership, helped bring together a coalition of five (5) regional business, environmental and civic organizations in successful advocacy for a needed 50-year community water plan, including the construction of a new 80 billion-gallon reservoir.

He established eight (8) innovative chamber councils and committees; the Chamber Defense Enterprise Round Table, now the Chamber Defense Affairs Committee – bringing together national defense intelligence enterprises located in the area with other area businesses, institutions and organizations. 

In early 2001, the chamber became a fierce advocate for the area location of the US Defense Intelligence Agency. Today, with the addition of the DIA; the growth of the U.S. Army National Ground Intelligence Center; and, the increased national attention to, and investment in intelligence, more than 4,000 professional defense intelligence men & women (government & private) live & work in the Charlottesville region.

Tim has also been a strong and influential advocate for education, most particularly for:

***  > the University of Virginia; (20,000 students / 9,000 academic employees): The Chamber advocacy led a wide range of other chambers’ advocacy for leading-edge university governance restructuring; the university’s strategic investment fund; restoration of equitable higher-education state funding; and numerous public-policy initiatives;

*** > Piedmont Virginia Community College (5,000 students / 1,200 employees): The Chamber led other Virginia Chambers in support of the Virginia New Economy Credentialing Initiative; expansion of the PVCC curriculum and campus; and, equitable higher-education state funding; and, 

*** > Early Childhood Education: The Chamber was an early advocate for state, local, private & public awareness and support of expanded pre-K education. 

Tim is also a passionate advocate for the University of Virginia Health System (10,000 medical and staff employees) and its superlative care and research; its dedicated staff – from administration to medical to dietary and janitorial; and its critical care role within Virginia and nearby states.

Tim is most proud of his role in establishing the innovative Charlottesville Works Initiative through a chamber affiliate. Charlottesville Works has grown out of the compelling, comprehensive Orange Dot Project Report which identified more than 5,000 families that are not self-sufficient due to lack of education & training, in the otherwise affluent Charlottesville area. 

Charlottesville Works – successfully has provided needed skills to its candidates – has grown from ten (10) participants to more than 400 men & women. Charlottesville Works is now adopted by Piedmont Virginia Community College and is an integral component of PVCC’s workforce training programs. More than 85% of Charlottesville Works students have advanced to higher-paying jobs with career ladders. 

As Chamber President for 12 years with Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce:

Tim improved the chamber’s position as an effective regional public policy advocate; fortified the chamber membership and financial performance (11 operating surpluses in 12 years); and became a noted source for economic data in the region.

He founded the Rensselaer Gateway Development Corporation as an affiliate of the Chamber, funded with private funds to spur business, jobs and economic growth in the region. The RGDC consistently assisted between 30-40 current area businesses, start-ups and recruiting businesses to the area. Among successful businesses the RGDC recruited to the Rensselaer Gateway was a 200-worker northeast regional facility of Fuji Film.

During the government of Troy’s fiscal troubles, Mr. Hulbert, two banking CEOs and the daily newspaper’s publisher, intervened and brought the distinguished and independent George Eastman founded “Center for Governmental Research” to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the city government’s fiscal condition. These founding civic leaders embraced the Center’s bitter news; relayed that message to the three mayoral candidates; and, asked that they embrace the difficult path ahead. They all did. The daily newspaper reinforced that commitment throughout the campaign – and – after the election. The new Mayor proceeded in January to move along the lines of the study. By 1999, the Financial News, which in 1993 described Troy as “the worst managed city government in the nation,” called Troy’s fiscal reversal as a “… miracle of excellent city management.”

As the City of Troy’s noted fiscal collapse unfolded, Tim led a privately-funded effort to rescue the “Troy Victorian Stroll” a day-long December festival in Troy’s National Historic District Downtown center with numerous shops, restaurants, along with several churches & banks. Within three years of Chamber management and coordination, the “Stroll” was drawing 20,000+ strollers and shoppers into Downtown Troy on cold first December Sundays. 

Mr. Hulbert led the restructuring of the state association of chamber executives into the Chamber Alliance of New York State in alignment with the Business Council of New York State (the 

state chamber). As an active “alliance” of chambers, CANYS became a more effective advocate for economic, business and civic growth with more than 100 local and regional chamber members.

As Director of Communications & Intergovernmental Relations over five years on the executive staff with the New York State Department of Transportation:

Mr. Hulbert managed a direct professional staff, served as the official spokesman for the 12,000-employee, $3billion/year, front-line, state-wide agency. Reporting to the State Transportation Commissioner and coordinating official DOT staff communication interaction through the agency leadership across eleven (11) regions and eight (8) departmental divisions.  He also coordinated all agency communications with the Governor’s Press Secretary and other executive staff of Governor Mario M. Cuomo, including the Governor’s prime new program, the “Rebuilding New York Initiative,” at the time (1983-90), the largest state infrastructure program in American history.

Under the leadership of Commissioner James Larocca, Mr. Hulbert helped coordinate the revival of the New York State Canal System. The revival was launched state-wide at the first lock on the famous, almost forgotten, Erie Canal with a planned 

celebration, gaining extensive national media coverage, on a retooled, repainted, brass brilliantly shined Erie Canal tugboat with Mrs. Matilda Cuomo and legendary folk artist Pete Seeger. Today that Lock and the area has an annual Canal Fest drawing 10,000+ women, men and children visitors.

Later, an intergovernmental relations role was added to Tim’s on-going communications responsibilities. He managed and coordinated all New York DOT correspondence with the United States Congress and executive agencies; the State Legislature; and, more than 1,500 local public officials from counties; cities; towns; and, villages. Every correspondence addressed to the governor or commissioner from any public official was directed to, tasked by, edited or re-written by Tim and his staff for the governor’s or commissioner’s signature.

Mr. Hulbert holds a BA from Manhattan College, New York.  He also has achieved accreditation in the Institute of Organizational Management, the longest established professional organizational development program in the United States

John Graves

John Graves founded the agile, razor-sharp firm, Envision Communications in 1978. Since then, Mr. Graves has and continues to provide public- and private-sector clients a full spectrum of strategic planning and integrated communications services. 

Mr. Graves and his firm have worked closely with a relatively small number of enterprises, organizations and government rather than attempting to build a large roster of clients. He has helped many enterprises review, assess, define, and implement cost-effective marketing and/or branding programs. Among his clients in the past and currently are:


Albany College of Pharmacy and  Health Sciences

Albany (NY) Airport Authority 

Albany Medical College

Alyeska Pipeline Service Co.

Atlantic Richfield Co.

CHA Companies

Coalition of Northeastern Governors

Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities 

Conifer Park Alcoholism  Treatment Center 

Connecticut Light & Power 

Equitable Life Assurance Society 

Global Peace Project /  Gorbachev Foundation

Greene County (NY) Economic  Development

J. deBeer and Son 

National Association of Children  of Alcoholics 

Novara Geospatial 

NYS Department of  Transportation

NYS Energy Office & NYS  Energy Research and  Development Authority 

NYS Power Authority 

Oxirane Chemical

Pharmaceutical Research Institute

Predicate Software

Procter & Gamble Recycling Program

Research Institute for Health Outcomes

Siena College

State University of New York at  Albany – School of Public Health 

Stewart International Airport


Mr. Graves, worked in the corporate communications office of what would become the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) – and oversaw the corporate identification and marketing re-identification programs (the conversion of Atlantic, Richfield and Sinclair to ARCO brand). 

He was later assigned to the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. Mr. Graves helped lead Alyeska through a complex permitting process for the largest construction project ever undertaken and the first project permitted under the National Environmental Policy Act. Working from Seattle, he managed a multi-million-dollar public communications program which secured both the settlement of the Alaskan native land claims, sensitive wildlife migration and construction permits for the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline.

Mr. Graves later served three New York governors (Nelson A. Rockefeller, Malcomb Wilson and Hugh Carey). 

He served as Acting Director/Deputy Director of the New York State Office of Education Performance Review, established to complete cost-effectiveness studies and management analyses of public primary and secondary education for Republican Governors Rockefeller and Wilson. Under Governor Carey, a Democrat, Mr. Graves served as Director of Policy Information, overseeing project management and communications for the State Economic Affairs Cabinet and liaison with the National Governors’ Conference and the Coalition of Northeastern Governors.

Mr. Graves holds a BA from the Newhouse School of Communications, Syracuse University.

He is a published Free Lance Author including “Memo from Spring Valley,” Look magazine; “Spending Less on Energy,” Baronet Publishers; “Floating Tables,” Popular Science; “They Paved Paradise and Put Up a Parking Lot,” New York State Council on Architecture; “Antique Hunting,” Adventure magazine; “A Case of Inequality,” New York Times; “Weather, Weather,” New York Magazine; and, an unpublished novel, “The Vatican Conspiracy.”

The Ivy Group

The Ivy Group, based in Charlottesville, Virginia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a full-service professional marketing, advertising and communications firm. 

Pamela Fitzgerald, founder and Managing Partner of The Ivy Group, and THinc. managing director Tim Hulbert have built a professional relationship over the past two decades collaborating on mutual communications efforts built upon integrity and quality. 

The Ivy Group has numerous clients. Few firms can state that their first client – which the firm first served 28 years ago – is still served as as a client of The  Ivy Group. Customer relationships are built on The Ivy Group’s total focus on their clients’ success – across the full spectrum of businesses, governments, academia and non-profit organizations. The firm, as with THinc., provides its clients with strategic and creative thinking and precise implementation of client services on time and at the right time.

Professionals from The Ivy Group will be available for THinc. client projects as fitting and available.