AWAKENING THE WORLD TO YOUR MESSAGE AND MISSION

With Extraordinary Results in Media Coverage, Strategy, Content Marketing, Social Media and More

 


OUR TEAM

Gail Fitzer, Founder and CEO

A former journalist, Gail has worked as a public relations professional and media strategist since 2008. She specializes in developing media and marketing strategies, pitching and placing stories in high-profile traditional and digital media outlets, writing and editing SEO-driven web content, writing compelling and newsworthy press releases and marketing materials, planning press conferences and events, media training and executing highly successful PR campaigns.

Prior to working as a PR executive, Gail served as a journalist for Reuters, the Associated Press and The Hollywood Reporter for over 15 years.  For Reuters, Gail worked as a foreign correspondent in Jerusalem, an editor on the world desk, a Wall Street correspondent, a health care industry specialist, and a general news/business reporter in both New York and Los Angeles. At the AP, Gail worked as a general news reporter in Los Angeles.

For The Hollywood Reporter, Gail covered TV, film and online marketing as well as branded entertainment and the integration of commercial and cause-related marketing messages in entertainment content. Her relationships with Hollywood and Madison Avenue afford AWAKEN PR’s clients the opportunity to get their marketing messages into pop culture as well as the mainstream media. Prior to The Reporter, Gail also served as media director and celebrity liaison for the grassroots presidential campaign of Gen. Wesley Clark in Los Angeles.

As a former reporter and editor, Gail is a media insider who knows exactly what needs to be done to turn an event, organization, company or cause into a newsworthy story that journalists will want to write about. She is an expert in writing compelling press releases that grab media attention.  She also writes web content, blogs, op-ed pieces, speeches and marketing materials.

Gail has also served as associate editor of Olam Magazine and executive editor of Touro College’s alumni magazineTouro Links. Her freelance work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Newsday, People Magazine and Newsweek.

Stephen Bingham, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Strategist

Stephen has more than 15 years of senior experience designing and executing strategic corporate communications campaigns for top-tier multinational pharmaceutical and healthcare companies including Novartis, Schering-Plough, Johnson & Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott Laboratories, Hoffman-La Roche and Becton Dickinson. He has also executed advocacy and communications campaigns for U.S. and international government agencies, nonprofits and professional associations including the United Nations, the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Osteoporosis Society of Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Stephen has developed communications programs to launch new products, designed and implemented media relations and marketing programs, served as project manager to plan major events, facilitated public-private sector partnerships and conducted many issue management programs for his clients. Stephen holds a BA and MA from the University of Toronto. In 2005 he was appointed Adjunct Professor of Communications and taught for two years at the State University of New York at Amherst NY. He also served as an awards judge for the Canadian Science Writers’ Association for 10 years.

Raina Grossman, Media Strategist

Known for her storytelling and media strategic skills, Raina is a highly experienced PR executive who has served a wide variety of big-name brands, non-profits, public affairs clients and startup companies through her tenures at Rubenstein PR, where she served as Director of Media Relations, and at MBooth& Associates where she held the title of Senior VP.

At MBooth, where she worked for 15 years, Raina won numerous prestigious awards for campaigns she helped develop. She represented such clients as American Express, Avon, Wharton School of Business,
JCPenney, Zales, Unilever Interactive Unit, AIG, KPMG, Ernst & Young, CareerMosaic (sold to Yahoo HotJobs), Queens Center Mall, Aerosoles and International Council of Shopping Centers.

Raina has also worked with a variety of not-for-profit organizations during her career including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi ShmuleyBoteach’s This World: The Values Network, The Blue Card, which helps Holocaust survivors, Birthright and Pledge 2 Protect, among others. She has also represented Bayer in its partnership with the nonprofit K9 for Warriors and the Trane environmental platform.

Raina began her public relations career at Markham/Novell Communications, where she helped Jim Henson Productions enhance the appeal of Miss Piggy, Kermit and friends for licensors, helped promote Bob Guccione’s magazines, and helped launch Erno Rubik’s Magic during a worldwide tour.

Prior to embarking on her PR career, Raina worked as a journalist/editor at United Feature Syndicate where she published two syndicated columns featuring her interviews with celebrities, wrote freelance articles for the New York Daily News, and trained to become an agent at the William Morris Agency.

Jeff Jacomowitz, Media Strategist

Jeff Jacomowitz is an award-winning public and media relations professional who specializes in healthcare and medicine but has worked both in-house and with clients in the fields of information technology, city government and law enforcement, sports, entertainment and publishing for 25 years.

A former radio reporter for WOR, Jeff served as Associate Director of Public Affairs for Continuum Health Partners (Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospitals and the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary), now known as Mt. Sinai Health System, for seven years, and represented New York Hospital Queens Presbyterian for two. He has also worked with numerous global healthcare companies including Lumenis and Given Imaging, and helped launch the anti-insomnia drug Lunesta.

Jeff has developed a specialty in representing physicians with their own private practices who are competing for media exposure with doctors working for major hospitals. He also recently represented the New York City Department of Correction to help publicize its positive programs and counter a constant barrage of negative media coverage.

Earlier in his career, Jeff served as National Accounts PR Manager for Industrial Markets at KMPG and Senior Publicist and Director of the Sports Division for the Planned TV Arts at Ruder-Finn Worldwide, the publishing division at the agency. Jeff has placed stories in countless media outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, NBC News and WCBS-TV NY.

Sarah Moga, West Coast Media Strategist

Sarah Moga is an Emmy-nominated television producer with over 13 years of experience in the news and entertainment business who now utilizes her diverse media background to serve as a public relations and media strategist. She is based in southern California where she is able to focus on servicing West Coast clients for AWAKEN PR.

Sarah heads up communications for IndieFlix, an independent streaming movie service, and for the IndieFlix Foundation. She also handles media relations for a number of TV chefs, celebrity stylists, world-renowned physicians and other on-air personalities. She has placed clients on major network shows including “Good Morning America” and “CBS This Morning” as well as in local markets across the country.

After working for several years as a writer for local news in Chicago, Sarah covered many world events for CBS News in New York including the 2008 presidential campaign, the “Miracle on the Hudson” and the death of Osama Bin Laden. Sarah is fluent in Spanish and frequently covered events in Latin America for the network. She also served as a senior producer in the control room for “The Early Show.”

In 2011, Sarah helped develop the PBS interview series, “The Artist Toolbox.” She then helped launch the first season of “Anderson,” Anderson Cooper’s syndicated daytime talk show. Sarah was then recruited to help expand original video programing for “The Daily Beast,” and handled all high profile celebrity, newsmaker and political bookings for the site’s shows. She also helped develop and produce the first season of Meghan McCain’s docu-talk series, “Raising McCain” for Pivot TV (Participant Media) as well as “Take Part Live,” Pivot’s daily news show.

Tony Zaret, Video Producer

Tony Zaret is an award-winning producer and writer with deep experience in TV network, brand, social and digital creative. Driven by a love of storytelling, Zaret has concepted, written and produced creative for platforms from television to digital to social and beyond.  As a producer and writer for companies like the ABC and USA networks, he has developed marketing campaigns that come to life on and offline and has worked closely with external agencies to provide editorial and creative direction. At USA Network, Zaret initiated and ran the network’s Vine account where he grew audiences and created buzz with original social content. Recently Zaret has worked on projects for Unilever, Showtime and the non-profit The Harlem Children’s Zone.

 

Justin Alvarez, Senior Social Media Strategist

Justin Alvarez is a highly experienced social media and digital content strategist, who has led content innovation for a number of leading publications including Lucky PeachThe Paris Review, and Guernica magazine, and has helped spur social and digital growth for a wide selection of global content marketers including Pepsi, IBM, Procter & Gamble, Bank of America and Campari.

Justin’s work has won numerous awards including National Magazine Awards in General Excellence, the Webby Award and the James Beard Award for culinary writing. Prior to publishing, Justin worked at Organic, a creative digital agency, and Sacks and Co, a PR, strategic marketing, management and consulting firm known for representing high-profile musicians, filmmakers, actors and other celebrities.

Akua Afwireng, Social Media Strategist

With a passion for all things creative, Akua wears many hats and has a backgroundin PR, social media and event planning. She began her career at HBO in New York and then worked at Good Girl PR, where she helped develop and increase the agency’s online presence via social media. Akua was a member of the social media team at Good Girl PR whose successful campaigns not only helped grow client Pooka Pure & Simple’s customer base and revenue, but also landed the client a cover feature in Black Enterprise Magazine.

Akua has been a longtime social media enthusiast and is passionate about translating her enthusiasm into groundbreaking campaigns for clients. She holds a BS in Management from the University of Phoenix and a Mini-MBA Certificate in Social Media Marketing from Rutgers University.

Frank Juan, Web Designer

Frank is a highly-motivated and experienced UX/UI designer and front-end web developer with a professional marketing and social media background and education. He designs and develops SEO-optimized online and mobile solutions for businesses, individuals and startups, with a focus on business growth. Frank develops creative programs and design concepts that meet the business and marketing objectives of clients, supervises and inspires his development team and generates multiple concepts for campaigns and projects. He is passionate about building high-quality web solutions and dedicated to fulfilling client expectations. He enjoys working closely with clients to help make their vision come to life.

Frank received training at General Assembly’s Web Development Immersive Boot Camp. Prior to become a web developer, Frank worked for Blueliner Marketing, where he conceived and implemented multi-channel marketing strategies for brands that tied web, mobile, email, social media and traditional advertising together to provide solutions based onconsumer insight and data. He also designed logos, mockups and promotional materials for a variety of clients. Frank’s marketing skills include visual design, SEO, email marketing, CRM, Google AdSense and marketing research. He builds fully SEO-optimized websites and is an expert in Google Analytics.

Jan Guarino, Graphic Designer

A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Jan Guarino is an award-winning graphic designer. Known as the “Logo Goddess”, Jan applies her creativity and commitment, heart and soul to helping clients with branding, corporate identity packages, brochures, direct mail campaign, advertising campaigns, and customer relationship marketing programs. She believes that an effective, comprehensive, well-coordinated marketing program ties together intent, messaging, and design, seamlessly across all channels.

Jan has developed the unique ability to blend her artist’s soul with her vast practical business knowledge to create communications that powerfully resonate credibility, emotion, and authenticity. Her work serves to open doors, initiate dialogues, and cement long term, meaningful relationships between companies and their clients and prospects. Jan is also a fine artist whose talents include painting portraits, landscapes, still life’s and botanical watercolors.