Founder and Principal
He / Him
Brandon Hayes founded Bold Bison in 2019 after twenty years in the nonprofit sector. In his role as Principal, Brandon leverages his pragmatic approach to communications and audience engagement with expertise in facilitation, network stewardship, and stakeholder collaboration to support organizations in the conservation, local food, and fine arts sectors.
For seven years, he was Director of Communications at Openlands. He was Manager of Communications and Development at Marwen and was a publicist at Goodman Theatre. He has also directed operas and plays in Chicago and metropolitan Detroit, where he grew up.
Brandon regularly presents talks and workshops at national and regional venues like Land Trust Alliance Rally: The National Land Conservation Conference, Prairie State Conservation Coalition, and River Rally. He presented a series of virtual seminars on North American Conservation for Amis de la Bibliothèque Américaine/Friends of the American Library, Nancy, France.
Brandon is an essayist and photographer who has written extensively about the National Parks on AsTheyAre.org, where he chronicles his and his husband’s journey to visit all the US National Parks. His photographs of the National Parks are available on OutInTheParks.com, with a portion of proceeds benefiting each park’s associated nonprofit organization.
Brandon is Chair of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Conservation Leadership and is President of the Board of Directors of Chicago Artists for Action.
Brandon has a BA in Humanities with concentrations in Art History, English, and History from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He has a certificate in Training, Facilitation, and Consulting from the Center for New Leadership.
Brandon is based in Chicago.
Director of Creative Services
He / Him
Patrick Williams is an innovative and versatile marketing communications professional who specializes in helping organizations elevate their storytelling through creative digital tools and robust media presence. As Director of Creative Services, Patrick brings to our team deep expertise in content production and digital strategy, an insightful perspective on media relations, and an adept skill for strategic message and brand development.
Prior to joining Bold Bison, Patrick served as Marketing Manager at Chicago’s Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, where he designed and implemented a robust video content strategy which sustained the museum through a 15-month pandemic closure and consistently generated the most digital engagement among all Chicago’s museums. Previous to his tenure with the Nature Museum, Patrick served as Manager of Communications at Openlands, where he reshaped the organization’s brand narrative around climate change — positioning the organization as a sector leader in private land conservation — and implemented a dynamic digital advocacy initiative. His experience in communications, advocacy, and organizing further includes time with Chicago Wilderness and the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club.
In his role as Director of Creative Services, Patrick provides Bold Bison clients with counsel on marketing and digital strategies, assessment of communications efficacy, and insight on audience building campaigns. Additionally, he oversees many of our direct client services including content development, website and social media management, media and press relations, and photography, videography and media editing.
Patrick regularly facilitates skills-building workshops at national and regional conferences including at the American Alliance of Museums: Annual Meeting and Museum Expo, the Land Trust Alliance Rally: The National Land Conservation Conference, the Vital Lands Illinois Summit, and the Prairie State Conservation Coalition Annual Meeting.
Patrick holds a BA, International Honours in History having graduated from a joint degree program between the College of William & Mary and the University of St Andrews, and is also proficient in German.
Patrick is a passionate nature photographer and an avid hiker, and enjoys climbing Colorado 14ers and exploring trails throughout the National Parks, National Forests, and especially the parks and forest preserves of the Chicago region.
Patrick is based in Chicago.
She / They
Frida Ramirez is a Creative Specialist passionate about connecting communities to nature. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Frida has always had a deep appreciation for nature and its ability to unite people from different backgrounds.
In early 2023, Frida joined the Bold Bison team, bringing experience supporting land trusts in Texas. In her current role, Frida provides comprehensive support for the communications, marketing, and brand strategy needs of Bold Bison’s clientele.
Prior to joining Bold Bison, Frida served as Development Coordinator at Bayou Land Conservancy, where she helped develop and maintain the membership and donor programs, as well as creating all printed media, digital media, and website content. She also served as a Public Relations and Media Intern at Coastal Prairie Conservancy, where she maintained day-to-day social media postings, supported the marketing team, and set up a fundraising race website.
Frida holds an Associate of Arts from the Honors College at Lonestar University Park, a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations, and a minor in Business from the University of Texas at Austin. She is also proficient in Spanish, which allows her to communicate with Spanish-speaking communities and help promote Bold Bison’s clientele’s missions to a wider audience.
Frida is based in Houston.
She / Her
Natalie Citro joined Bold Bison in 2023 as Project Manager, overseeing Bold Bison’s client services and collaborative projects. She uses her passion for environmental sustainability and management skills to organize, problem solve, and ensure successful project completion.
Prior to Bold Bison, Natalie’s career focused on program and project management at family foundations, non-profits, and start-up businesses—specifically in environmental conservation, biomedical research, biodiversity research, and local food systems—at organizations including Kinship Foundation, the Chicago Region Food System Fund, Elawa Farm, Walder Foundation, Loyola University Chicago, and lil’gourmets.
Particularly in the food system, her experience includes farming, farmer’s market management, GIS mapping, conducting academic research and focus groups, marketing and partnership opportunities for small businesses, and managing local food-focused grant funding. Natalie is passionate about community-based food systems and works to support those who are reshaping our food system for the better.
Natalie received her Master’s in Environmental Science and Sustainability from Loyola University Chicago and her Bachelor’s in Marketing and Sustainability from the University of Iowa.
Natalie loves exploring the outdoors and enjoys hiking, swimming, scuba diving, and yoga. You can often find Natalie in the kitchen experimenting with a recipe or trying new restaurants.
Natalie is based in Chicago.
Bold Bison leverages the talents our team with a network of affiliated consultants and strategic advisors, who bring expertise in areas including strategic planning and facilitation, research and program evaluation, graphic design and branding, climate change resiliency and mitigation, conservation finance and market development, local food movements, and farmland preservation. Our nimble team is responsive to your needs, so we can ensure you receive the best support, recommendations, and solutions in every project.
Bold Bison is a professional affiliate of the Land Trust Alliance and is a Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® through the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.