Nolan Sundrud


Nolan likes to play Go, an ancient Chinese game of strategy that now boasts 40 million players worldwide. And whether he’s on the game board or in the boardroom, he always thinks outside the box.

Three values inform Nolan Sundrud’s approach to communication: a belief in transparency, a respect for people’s intelligence, and – when appropriate – the confidence to make people laugh. “You can’t be afraid to communicate challenging news or address hard topics,” Nolan said. “Good news or bad, if you’re honest and explain the ‘why’ behind what you do, people respect you for being direct.”

And with 20 years of experience in agencies, startups, corporations and consultancies, Nolan has developed the judgment to guide clients through virtually any challenge involving change, communication and culture. “Power comes from sharing knowledge, and the more you share, the more you empower people to achieve common goals,” he said.

Nolan, who lives in San Diego, joined ROI Communication in 2014. He began his career in communication at Ketchum Public Relations, and later worked at a boutique Silicon Valley PR firm before advancing through a range of roles in marketing, communication and analyst relations at Hewlett-Packard. Then, after serving for four years as COO at healthcare startup Cole Diagnostics, Nolan assumed senior communication roles at MWH Global and Willis North America. For several years, he also taught communications and public relations as an adjunct professor at Denver University.

“I help people frame their goals within a bigger picture,” Nolan said. “And then I help them develop a strategy to communicate and achieve those goals effectively.” Nolan, who earned a BA in Communications and Public Relations from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Colorado State University, remains an avid student of history. In this capacity, he reads voraciously – often about archeology and ancient civilizations – and loves travel and exploration.

“History fascinates me because it offers a long-term perspective,” Nolan said. “It reminds me that I’m part of something that has extended thousands of years before me, and will continue thousands of years after. I want to make a difference while I can, by setting up structures and processes that can help others for years to come.”