The UP Team

Partners Mary Jo Romeo, leader in the sales and media industry for over 25 years, and Ellie Heyman, highly regarded acting coach, combine their diverse skill sets to increase clients’ bottom line by elevating communication practices through all UP programs. 

UP is based in New York City and has satellite teams in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.


Mary Jo Romeo is the President of UP Business Communications. She is a dynamic executive with over 25 years of unparalleled sales and sales management experience. Mary Jo has driven success at a variety of leading media companies by synthesizing her extensive sales, marketing and digital media experience with her management goals to increase profitability. Mary Jo’s innate strength to holistically create, develop and manage revenue generating sales teams has led her to UP Business Communications.

Most recently, Mary Jo was a Division President at Mom365 where she managed the P&L for 10 profit centers and increased year over year revenue by 22% before being a part of the management team that sold the company.   With deep expertise in the family, parenting and mom markets, Mary Jo has held senior management positions at Baby Center, a division on J&J, Mochila, The Weather Channel, Working Mother, Parents and American Baby.

Mary Jo is passionate about solving client’s business challenges and training her teams to do the same. She is known for her energy, enthusiasm and clear communication style as well as her willingness to mentor young professionals.

As a graduate of Penn State University and distinguished alum, Mary Jo has been very involved in the ad community through AWNY (Advertising Women of NY) and Penn State women’s network. She is on the Board of MICHA, while previously she served on other non-profit boards and taught advertising sales and marketing at NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies. 


Ellie Heyman is the Chief Creative Officer of UP Business Communications. She is an innovative communications coach, acting teacher, and theatre director who specializes in bringing out the authentic voice of actors and business professionals.

Ellie has taught acting at Franklin & Marshall College, Boston University, Whole Physical Theatre Laboratory, and Pegasus Players, among other notable institutions. Ellie is the founder and Artistic Director of the New York-based Ellie Heyman Acting Studio whose clients range from Broadway and film actors to executives from Fortune 500 companies. 

Additionally, Ellie is the Creative Director of Neutral Milk Hotel members’ rock band, The Music Tapes.  Her current production of The Traveling Imaginary was included in the Top 10 Shows of 2013 by NPR. Ellie also serves as Artistic Director of Helikon Repertory Theatre which is currently developing a new piece about the life and work of Pulitzer Prize winning poet Anne Sexton and a re-imagining of Eugene O’Neil’s Desire Under the Elms.

Ellie works with “actors,” in the most literal sense of the word, meaning someone who takes action; someone who fully commits to speaking his truth within a given circumstance. Since all effective communication is rooted in authenticity, Ellie finds joy in helping corporate executives, professional actors, and public figures express themselves with clarity, freedom, and precision. Ellie earned her M.F.A. in Directing at Boston University and her B.S. in Theatre from Northwestern University.


Nick Pappas is the Vice President of Business Development for UP Business Communications. With an extensive background in B2B sales, mostly in media and manufacturing, Nick is well suited to introduce companies to the breadth of UP's services.

In media, Nick has sold advertising and custom solutions for premium companies including VNU Business Publications, CMP Media, and Lebhar-Friedman. At VNU, he spent many years at a leading restaurant magazine, Restaurant Business, where he was instrumental in developing their Menus franchise. He also represented media companies in technology, long term care, home building and retail. On the manufacturing front, Nick has represented companies in the area of high-end construction, electrical distribution, and foodservice.

With a low key, solutions based style, Nick is comfortable in just about any setting. His undergraduate degree is in Psychology from Fairfield University. When he’s not meeting new people or solving clients challenges, you’ll most likely find Nick perfecting his golf game.