Our Leadership Team

Michael Layne
Michael LaynePartner
Michael Layne has been serving established and growing companies in the Detroit metropolitan area since the early 1980s. Over the past 25 years, he has provided strategic communications counsel to numerous industry leaders as an extension of their corporate brand.

As a founding partner of Marx Layne & Company in 1987, he has been instrumental in building Michigan’s largest independently owned public relations agency. Layne attributes the rise of Marx Layne & Company to the development and retention of a diverse client base and the careful building of a dedicated and capable team of public relations professionals.

Layne regularly plans and implements unique, results-orientated public relations programs for clients in a broad range of industry sectors, including real estate, hospitality/food service, technology, entertainment, professional services, sports, manufacturing, retail, financial services, consumer products and communications.

As both the demand for information about companies grows and the media becomes more complex and fragmented, Layne’s experience provides a basis for creating ongoing, original and highly successful programs. Layne serves clients with their communications needs in major metropolitan areas across the nation.

He strongly believes in personalized service, availability and accountability. Layne respects the correlation between dollars spent by a client and results.

Michael Szudarek
Michael SzudarekPartner
As a Partner, Szudarek counsels clients in the automotive, high-tech and consumer product sectors. He is directly responsible for directing a broad range of public relations, marketing, communications and media relations programs. He previously served with a Fortune 500 Company and has been on both the corporate and agency side of the communications business, understanding first-hand the many issues and challenges businesses face today in this fast paced, competitive world.

Prior to joining Marx Layne, Szudarek worked for another metropolitan Detroit area public relations agency, where his efforts were focused primarily in the heavy-duty trucking and automotive original equipment and aftermarket industries. There, he serviced a number of multi-billion dollar corporations and assisted in implementing marketing communication programs for use throughout North America.

Szudarek’s academic credentials include a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Wayne State University. He currently holds membership with the Automotive Press Association and the Public Relations Society of America.

Leslie Pardo
Leslie PardoSenior Vice President
A Senior Vice President, Leslie Pardo is a member of the agency management, supervising employees, providing insight into hiring and training initiatives, and developing tactics to sustain and grow the organization.

She has expertise in several industry sectors, including retail, restaurants, education, hotels, professional services, and health care.

Pardo utilizes a strong strategic and analytical approach in meeting client objectives. She is highly respected for her professionalism, results-oriented philosophy, strategic skills, and attention to detail. She has a team-focused management style and is recommended mentor to account staff, inspiring them to perform at a high level and become invested in their work.

Alan Upchurch
Alan UpchurchSenior Vice President
Alan Upchurch counsels clients in the tech, financial services, retail, legal, health care sectors, as well as non-profit corporations. He provides clients with effective strategies to meet their marketing and public relations goals with expertise in media relations, focused communications planning, writing, and adversity management.

A former news director for WXYZ,  the local ABC television station, Upchurch specializes in media training and crisis communications to help executives and business owners utilize the media with appropriate messages to customers, employees, investors and other key stakeholders.

Glenn Oswald
Glenn OswaldVice President
Glenn Oswald has more than 10 years experience serving clients in the retail, health care, education and nonprofit sectors. Oswald’s work includes coordination, execution and securing significant media coverage of high-profile events, such as groundbreakings, grand openings, charitable donations and milestones.

He led public affairs campaigns and community relations initiatives for a Fortune 50 retailer, leading to zoning approvals and subsequent store construction. He also has successfully coordinated rezoning efforts for a major metropolitan Detroit real estate developer, resulting in the development of a new mixed-use community.

Prior to joining Marx Layne & Company, Oswald served as the Director of Operations for Metro Networks/Shadow Broadcast Services in Detroit. He brings 20 years of broadcast journalism experience to Marx Layne.

Michael Odom
Michael OdomVice President
Michael Odom has more than 15 years experience providing marketing, public relations and event planning services for clients in the nonprofit, health care, hospitality and retail sectors. Odom has worked with a variety of metro Detroit charitable organizations and has coordinated numerous community programs and events.

Odom has strong ties to the Hispanic community and currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the Southwest Detroit Business Association, a nonprofit organization serving a predominantly Hispanic region of Detroit.

Prior to joining Marx Layne & Company, Odom served as a project manager for a local nonprofit organization where his community outreach and educational campaigns targeting Hispanic communities and at-risk lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered populations received local, regional and national recognition.