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Jill Kermes, Corporate Vice President, Corporate Communications

Jill Kermes is Corporate Vice President, Corporate Communications at Tech Data, leading the company’s external and internal communications strategy and teams on a global basis.


Kermes is a strategic communications expert with more than twenty years of experience helping companies, elected officials and trade associations translate and simplify strategy into action. She most recently served as the senior vice president of communications for Tampa-based tech start up, Lumina, helping the company develop its corporate brand and positioning.


Before that, she was the global head of corporate affairs for the Qurate Retail Group. There she was charged with protecting and promoting the reputation of the company with oversight for corporate responsibility, executive thought leadership, earned media and the company’s corporate social presence.


Kermes served as chief communications officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, managing all communications related to the Blackfish controversy and the company’s historic decision to end its orca program. She also was the head of brand and corporate communications for the Volkswagen Group of America, leading all communications around the company’s decision to move its corporate headquarters and to build a manufacturing facility in the United States.


She also has a long history serving as a consultant, having worked for the public relations firms Ketchum and Public Strategies (now Hill and Knowlton Strategies), where she helped organizations manage public perception around complex issues across a variety of industries including technology, healthcare, finance and transportation.


In addition to her corporate work, Kermes also served as communications director for Governor Bush during his second administration and the 2004 hurricane season.


She is a graduate of American University, where she majored in communications and political science.