Shay Smith Danise

Brand Manager



Shay is a seasoned marketing and communications professional with a passion for people and a talent for storytelling through a variety of advertising concepts and strategies. Throughout her professional tenure, she developed a diverse marketing skillset which quickly made her a vital member of our team. As a Brand Manager at The Focus Group, she assists in the day-to-day workflow, strategy and key decision-making to ensure our clients’ visions, goals and objectives are exceeded at every turn. Those talents coupled with her ability to forge meaningful relationships with colleagues and clients, make her an invaluable asset and driving force behind our client success stories.

Before joining The Focus Group, Shay spent more than a decade in the gaming and hospitality industry with Caesars Entertainment, the nation’s largest gaming company, overseeing marketing, communications, and digital and social media at various properties across the country. Throughout her gaming career, Shay was honored and recognized for several internal awards, including Leadership,  Innovation and Diversity. She played a key role in the opening of two new gaming properties, in addition to the rebranding of the company’s flagship Gulf Coast property, Harrah’s Gulf Coast. She has results-driven experience developing and overseeing strategic communication plans, integrated marketing campaigns, social media and public relations.

Originally from Northeast Ohio, Shay is an alumna of Kent State University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Communications and a Master’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. Although always a Buckeye at heart, she has happily called the Mississippi Gulf Coast home for ten years and resides in Ocean Springs with her husband and daughter.

Shay is also a graduate of Leadership Gulf Coast. She proudly served on the Board of Directors for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce in 2019, served six consecutive years on the Board of Directors for Coast Young Professionals from 2014 – 2020 and was Board President of Coast Young Professionals in 2019. Her professional achievements coupled with her involvement and dedication to the Mississippi Gulf Coast earned her recognition and selection as Top 10 Under 40 by One Coast Awards, Top 50 Leading Businesswomen in Mississippi by the Mississippi Business Journal and 50 Faces of Travel by Coastal Mississippi.

Areas of Expertise

  • Account & Project Management
  • Creative Direction
  • Public Relations
  • Integrated Marketing Campaigns
  • Content Strategy
  • Copy Writing & Content Development
  • Client Relations
  • Crisis Communications
  • Social Media Strategy
  • Branding & Storytelling
  • Leadership




  • Bachelor’s Degree in Public Communications, Kent University
  • Master’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Kent University


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