Adrienne is an assistant account executive at Blanc & Otus, where she is responsible for tracking client coverage, conducting research, managing editorial calendars and supporting media relations. She provides account support for numerous clients in both the consumer technology sector and the enterprise technology sector, including VMware, Kony Inc., Good&Co, Nureva and Huami.
Adrienne joined Blanc & Otus with six months of PR experience, which she primarily spent as a feature writer for USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism website.
Adrienne is a huge hockey fan and is still recovering from the San Jose Sharks’ loss to the Penguins in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Beca Truong Intern
Beca Truong is an account intern at Blanc & Otus where she works on social media content and curation, coverage tracking, industry research, and media opportunities for a variety of clients, including Thinfilm, the Open Connectivity Foundation, Teradici, and DoubleDutch. With past experience as an e-commerce marketing coordinator, she graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in Economics and a minor in Marketing, and ultimately decided to return to the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue a career in tech-centric Public Relations.
In her free time, Beca enjoys eating brunch, reading fiction novels, and drinking boba milk tea.
Charles Ayers Content Intern
Charles is an account and content intern working with the Space-Time Insights and VMware teams. He also provides general firm research and content support, and hopes to apply his skills as a former marketer and policy researcher to the realm of PR.
Charles is originally from Glendale, CA, and recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Political Science and Economics. He enjoys exploring the Bay Area, reading and writing in his spare time, and being a film and television aficionado.
Chelsea Murillo Asst. Account Executive
Chelsea is an assistant account executive at Blanc & Otus, based in San Francisco. In her role she is responsible for conducting research, identifying proactive media opportunities, developing and executing social media campaigns and continually tracking speaking and awards opportunities.
Chelsea came to Blanc & Otus with a year of tech PR experience under her belt. Her previous clients included Credit Karma, Robinhood, Bessemer Venture Partners, Tilt, ClearCare and TextPlus. She is currently working on Axway, Hytrust, GroupM, Linde and Good&Co.
Chelsea is a graduate of Gonzaga University and naturally a huge Zags basketball fan. She once camped out for three nights in the snow for front row seats to a game.
Danielle Tarp Vice President
Danielle is some sort of super-human PR superstar and Blanc & Otus’s most impressive multi-tasker. She has spent her career focused on enterprise technology and, as a vice president at Blanc & Otus, Danielle leads account teams to deliver high-quality results to clients by implementing strategic communications programs.
Currently she works with some of the biggest brands in enterprise and marketing technology including, VMware, GroupM, the Open Connectivity Foundation, Kony and DoubleDutch. Prior to joining Blanc & Otus, Danielle was an account manager at Mindshare PR, a high-tech PR agency focused on B2B. Throughout her career, she has worked with a number of high-tech startups from a wide range of industries including cloud computing, cyber security and semiconductors.
If Danielle weren’t in PR, she would be a Hollywood makeup artist.
Jay Andersen Market Analyst
Jay serves as the market and insights analyst for Blanc & Otus. It’s because of his team that Blanc & Otus is always in the know about the latest enterprise tech trends – sometimes before they even are trends! He provides external analysis of the global technology climate to help our teams stay on top of emerging trends. Jay also manages Blanc & Otus’s Analyst Relations practice and continues to oversee and leverage the company’s relationships with industry-leading analyst research firms.
Jay’s background in identifying market trends, uncovering relevant and actionable data, and creating situation analyses helps in developing programs and messaging that resonates with customers and influencers. He also has extensive experience supporting messaging and positioning projects.
Jay loves strategy board games and has over 140 games in his collection. Note that he hates Monopoly and Risk.
Jennifer Pierce Account Director
Jennifer is an account director at Blanc & Otus where she leads communications strategy for the agency’s consumer tech brands. That includes managing teams, developing strategic programs, messaging and positioning, content creation, media relations and social media. Basically she helps clients define their brand and get media coverage. And guess what? She’s awesome at it.
Her focus is on gadgets, US product launches, and Internet of Things which has included a range of tech brands like YI Technology, Huami, Cat Phones, Intelligent Energy, Thinfilm, Covisint, McAfee and Dropbox. She has worked with food/beverage, fashion, health/wellness, entertainment, and non-profit brands including Travelzoo, Sweet Leaf Tea, Farylrobin Footwear, American Heart Association, Moonbot Studios, and Brooklyn Public Library.
Jen loves any excuse to talk about cats, food, and Chinese medicine (separately).
Kris Reeves Senior Vice President
Kris is a senior vice president at Blanc & Otus, where she has been making PR magic for more than a decade. In her role, she is responsible for day-to-day account management, executing and developing communications strategies and working to create and identify new opportunities for her clients. Looking for a great creative campaign or catchy headline, Kris is your girl. On the side she runs the agency’s employee engagement initiatives – helping keep great people happy, engaged and delivering five-star service to not only our clients, but also each other.
Kris has worked with both emerging market challengers and industry leaders including HP/Compaq, Hyperion and Hitachi Data Systems. She currently manages Xactly, divisions of Oracle and Amazfit.
Something you might not know about Kris? She swam her first competitive swim meet when she was three years old. Talk about making a splash!
Natalie Pridham Account Supervisor
Natalie is an account supervisor at Blanc & Otus. She acts as client lead to orchestrate overall PR programs and client initiatives. Natalie is a quick thinker, sharp as a knife, and an incredibly kind and enthusiastic team leader. Her accounts are never without plenty of unique and proactive ideas.
She is very familiar with marketing technology and has worked with email marketing company Lyris and SEO platform gShift. Drawing on established relationships with various editors and key influencers, she has generated top-tier coverage for marketing technology clients in Fast Company, Direct Marketing News, MarketingLand, etc.
Natalie likes to think of herself as a risk-taker and will try anything once. The scariest thing she’s ever done is jump off the world’s second tallest bungee.
Neil Torres Media Strategist
Neil is Blanc & Otus’s in-house media strategist. He really should be called our media and friendship strategist, because he somehow knows everyone. Combine that with his media savvy, and he’s unstoppable. In his current role, Neil is responsible for day-to-day account activities, creating and implementing PR plans and programs, managing strategic media relations, developing thought leadership platforms and identifying new opportunities for clients to maximize their business objectives through strategic communications.
Neil has 15 years of technology public relations expertise. During this time he has exhibited proven media placement skills within top-tier business, industry trade publications and blogs. Most recently, Neil has worked with companies such as Qualcomm, Salesforce.com, Comverge, Dolby, Ventyx, Thinfilm and Xactly.
Just call Neil The Godfather…no literally…he has more than a dozen Godchildren.
Patty Oien Vice President
Patty is a Vice President at Blanc & Otus, where she helps lead strategic communications programs for Oracle and VMware.
Prior to Blanc & Otus, she was an independent consultant for emerging and established technology companies. Most recently, this included managing partner communications for Dell EMC and supporting executive thought leadership for mobile security company Lookout.
Previously, Patty was an SVP with Breakaway Communications where she managed the overall communications program for satellite company Iridium Communications and led a variety of projects and teams for clients, including Alcatel-Lucent and Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Aruba Networks, eBay, PayPal, iPass, Oodle, NDS and Vox Mobile.
Prior to Breakaway, Patty worked with TSI Communications and its parent agency Golin/Harris, where she worked with companies such as Hewlett Packard (HP Enterprise Solutions Group), Adaptec, Informatica, and WellPoint. Patty began her career in technology PR at InterActive Public Relations (a subsidiary of Porter Novelli) where she led teams for LeftHand Networks, Arcot, Tarantella and Red Herring Communications, among others.
In case you were wondering, if you have an extra ticket to live music or if you want someone to try that new restaurant with, her answer is always yes.
Rachel Livingston Asst. Account Executive
Rachel is an assistant account executive at Blanc & Otus where she supports various teams on research, social media development, events and awards. Rachel has previous experience working on the corporate communications team at Dolby Laboratories and a boutique start up agency Eleven Eleven PR.
In her free time she loved to do all things health related – for instance go on run outside and actually only run when she sees someone she knows. Also, she loves eating healthy, because wine is a fruit right?
A native to the San Francisco area, Rachel grew up in Marin County and is excited to be back working in San Francisco. Rachel is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, not to be confused with the “U” in Florida.
Ranae Maloney Asst. Account Executive
Ranae is a assistant account executive at Blanc & Otus where she conducts research, develops social media content, monitors media coverage, and tracks speaking and awards opportunities for several clients including Vmware, DoubleDutch, YOU Technology and Quantifind.
Ranae came to Blanc & Otus as a recent graduate from University of Oregon (Go Ducks!) where she majored in public relations. Originally from Santa Cruz, she knew she couldn’t stay away from the California coast, so a career in tech PR in San Francisco was a perfect fit.
Ruby Engle Chief Therapy Officer
Ruby serves as a stress reliever. She enjoys lots of belly rubs, treats and anything squeaky.
Shasta Smith Senior Account Executive
Shasta is a senior account executive at Blanc & Otus where she provides account support for ongoing public relations programs, including media strategy, content development, thought leadership programs, and account management.
Shasta brings more than four years of experience executing strategic public relations campaigns for a range of brands, including established technology companies such as Oracle (Oracle Marketing Cloud, Oracle Customer Experience and Oracle PartnerNetwork) and Dolby Laboratories, and emerging B2B and B2C companies such as Jobvite, Rocket Fuel, Bunchball, and YI Technology.
Shasta, not to be confused with Mt. Shasta or Lake Shasta, is actually named after Shasta Delaney, a character in John Wayne’s Rio Lobo (1970).
Shelby Meyers Senior Account Executive
Shelby is a senior account executive at Blanc & Otus where she specializes in industry analysis, media strategy and media relations for enterprise and consumer technologies. She provides support and oversees ongoing public relations campaigns that include thought leadership, social media, content development and analyst relations. She currently works with Oracle C&E, Oracle Education Cloud, Axway, Space-Time Insight, Envato and Amazfit.
Shelby’s three years of PR experience in the tech industry span B2C and B2B. You name it, she’s worked on it — digital security, social messaging apps, LED lighting, mobile advertising, healthcare, health tech, digital business transformation tech, crowdsourcing analytics, VR and digital textbooks. Some of her previous clients included Janssen Health, Nokia, TriNet, Mindjet and Wipro Digital.
She has a strong background in journalism and media through studying news print journalism at Humboldt State University and holding various editorial positions, and is naturally curious (a.k.a skeptical) of everything.
Simon Jones Senior Vice President
Simon is a senior vice president at Blanc & Otus, where he is responsible for providing strategic guidance on audience segmentation, messaging and story development, influencer relations, content strategy and social media. Part of the Blanc & Otus leadership team, Simon is a true advocate of company culture and our signature “five-star service.”
Simon has a strong knowledge of the marketing and advertising technology space. He has led the Oracle Marketing Cloud PR team for the last three years, which includes support for marketing and ad tech companies Eloqua, Responsys, BluKai, Compendium and Maxymiser. Simon also oversaw communications programs for Verizon Business, Hitachi and LG Communications.
Simon is the only team member to have worked for Blanc & Otus on two continents. And even though he has been in the U.S. for almost a decade, he simply refuses to drop his random English phrases.
Stefanie Engle Vice President of Media
With 17+ years of high-tech communications expertise, Stefanie has devised, led and driven global and national campaigns for Fortune 500 companies and start-ups. She has had the privilege of working in the boardroom with Silicon Valley’s top CEOs including Jonathan Schwartz (Sun), Carol Bartz (Autodesk), John Chambers (Cisco), John Schroeder (MapR) and Scott Kriens (Juniper Networks).
It is Stefanie’s ability to quickly to break through the clutter and media hype to drive business results while leveraging her clients’ technology solutions. Stefanie’s passion is to deconstruct her clients’ technology to make it intriguing and tangible – enabling her to continually secure top -tier business coverage and feature stories. She has landed stories in CNBC, Oprah Magazine, USA Today, New York Times, Fortune, Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Recode, Bloomberg and many more.
Stefanie thrives on a good brainstorm where she gets her holy sh** moment. You’ll find her constantly scribbling in her notebook with random thoughts that most people won’t find interesting. However, it’s those nuggets that turn out to be the holy grail of a story.
Stefanie is a native of San Francisco, grew up in Chinatown and has no desire to learn to ride a bike or eat any type of pepper.
Suraya Akbarzad Vice President
Suraya brings professionalism, creativity and 15 years of technology PR expertise to Blanc & Otus. Her drive and motivation have been great assets to clients including Oracle, Ask.com, ASKfm, The Daily Beast, Dictionary.com, About.com and Investopedia.
Prior to joining Blanc & Otus, Suraya was Senior PR Manager for IAC Publishing, IAC’s collection of premium publishers, where she helped manage and execute PR strategies for brands including Investopedia, Dictionary.com, The Daily Beast and About.com. Before this, she worked on strategic communications for Ask.com where she helped promote the search brand’s evolution to a Q&A platform and its entrance into the content publishing market. In addition, she managed social channels for Ask.com and ASKfm, a Q&A social media platform for teens with 150 million unique monthly users, developing a strategic pipeline of content for ASKfm that included Internet celebrity campaigns, positive and unique user examples, and editorial content, in an effort to retain and engage users both on external social channels and on the app itself.
Suraya has previously worked as Group Manager at Weber Shandwick, Account Supervisor at Outcast Communications and at Edelman Public Relations gaining in-depth expertise for B2B, consumer, SMB and start-ups in categories like SaaS, enterprise security, data storage, semiconductor and cleantech with companies such as Apple, Salesforce, EMC, Zazzle.com, Ubisoft, Symantec, NVidia and Synopsys. Her extensive experience also includes PR initiatives around national and global events such as SXSW, Techcrunch Disrupt, Dreamforce, RSA, Macworld and WWDC as well as playing integral roles in the introduction of Apple’s Mac OS X platform and launches for Apple’s consumer applications (iMovie, iTunes, iPhoto, iDVD, Keynote, iCal and iSync).
Suraya is a rare Bay Area native and takes full advantage of the budding Oakland restaurant scene with her family and friends. Though she notes that staying in and binging on the hottest new TV series has its advantages as well.
Taylor Phillips Asst. Account Executive
Taylor Phillips is an assistant account executive at Blanc & Otus, and is responsible for proactive and reactive media outreach, developing media relations, creating and executing social media campaigns, conducting client research, and continually tracking speaking and award opportunities for various clients in the enterprise and consumer tech space.
Taylor joined B&O after a year of working with consumer tech clients such as Fitbit, GoPro, and Electronic Arts. She is currently working on similar clients including Amazfit, YI Technology, OCF and VMware.
Taylor graduated from California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, where she majored in Journalism and minored in Media, Arts and Technology. She enjoys hiking, boating, or anything outdoors and plans to one day own many dogs.
Tony Hynes CEO
Tony is what you might call an “OG of Tech PR.” He has spent more than 20 years delivering high impact communications for a wide range of technology companies – from the world’s largest to early stage start-ups. His experience ranges from managing corporate reputation; messaging and positioning programs for company launches to global product roll-outs; and creating high impact, integrated communications campaigns.
Before joining Blanc & Otus, Tony was a partner at WPP boutique agency North of Nine Communications working with companies including Ericsson, Intel, Informatica, Operator and Oracle. Previously he was general manager and executive vice president at Weber Shandwick, where he managed its Northern Californian operation and supported major client engagements.
Prior to Weber Shandwick, Tony was the West Coast general manager of Bite Communications where he managed global technology accounts, including HP and Sun Microsystems, and established Bite’s Clean Technology Practice. Prior to that, he was director of global public relations and corporate communications for Hitachi Data Systems, where he managed the company’s global reputation and public profile.
Tony started his career at Ogilvy Public Relations working on international campaigns for IBM. He has lived and worked in Hong Kong, London, Melbourne, Paris and San Francisco and has worked with brands such as ask.fm, Bank of America, Cathay Pacific, Citrix Online Services, deCarta, General Motors, Juniper Networks, NETGEAR, Recurrent Energy, SAP and SunPower.
When he’s not hanging out with his family in the Oakland Hills you might find him at bottom of the ocean or the top of the mountain—pursuing his passions for SCUBA diving and snow boarding.
Virginia Stratford Account Director
Motivated by results and focused on global impact, Virginia Stratford leads and manages comms programs for some of the tech industry’s most innovative brands. As an Account Director, she partners with B2B and B2C companies to develop and execute PR strategies, ultimately making their PR dreams a reality.
Virginia’s experience in San Francisco and London spans hardware, software, analytics, connected car, telecoms, security, and aerospace with brands such as Microsoft, Honeywell, Toshiba, T-Mobile, MediaTek, and BMC Software. She currently works on Quantifind, GroupM, Axway and VMWare. Previous to tech, she worked in the non-profit sector with the European Union and Habitat for Humanity.
When she’s not drafting PR plans, you can find Virginia at spin class or hiking.