Darby Communications Expands Team to Match Client Growth

July 10, 2018

Agency makes new hires in response to account growth and expanded digital marketing services offered.

Asheville, NC – July 10, 2018Darby Communications, a boutique Public Relations and Digital Marketing firm specializing in the outdoor and fitness industries has strengthened their stellar roster with three new employees, Cory Van Auken, Ashleigh Sherman and Rachel Hess. The team’s growth is in response to an expansion in accounts and digital marketing services offered to current and prospective clients. 

Cory Van Auken joins Darby Communications as an Account Lead, following two years as the Marketing Manager at the Asheville Museum of Science, which included museum communications, community partnerships and social media management. Cory comes to the agency with a diverse background, including geoscience research in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and a year in Chuuk, Micronesia as an elementary school teacher on the small Pacific island. While not chasing down new stories for Darby accounts, Cory can be found fly fishing the streams of Pisgah National Forest or eating tacos at one of the many Asheville taquerias. 

After completing the Appalachian Trail this past year, Ashleigh Sherman joins Darby Communications as an Account Coordinator. An accomplished writer, Ashleigh’s global experience includes covering financial news for the Dow Jones Newswire in London and as a communications intern for the Indiana University Office of Sustainability. When not in the office, Ashleigh spends her free time exploring new trails in WNC or mastering her backcountry meal masterpiece, the “Ramen Bomb.”

Rounding out the new wave of Darby employees is Rachel Hess, an avid rock climber and paddler that will leverage her outdoor background as an Account Coordinator. Rachel will reinforce the firm’s digital offerings by pulling from her experience as a social chairperson for the American Alpine Club and through a communications internship with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. When not securing PR coverage, Rachel spends her time exploring the finest sport climbing the Southeast has to offer or paddling the local whitewater. 

Through the addition of Van Auken, Sherman and Hess, Darby Communications will continue to augment their digital marketing services while meeting and exceeding the PR expectations of their robust client base. Darby clients now benefit from targeted digital campaigns through valuable ad placements, newsletter management and social media strategy and implementation. 

Learn more about Cory, Ashleigh and Rachel at 

About Darby Communications
A public relations firm dedicated to meeting and surpassing the needs of their clientele with customized PR and promotional programs, Darby Communications works with many of the outdoor industry’s most respected companies. The firm’s clients include AquaTech, Astral, Aventura, Ecōths, Diamond Brand Gear, Feetures, Headsweats, Hyland’s, Industrial Revolution, Johnson Outdoors, Lifesaver, Sierra Designs and Tailwind Nutrition. For more information, visit and check us out on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.