Preparing for future growth following a record year in 2016, industry-leading strategic communications firm Sachs Media Group today announced major new roles for key company leaders, Michelle Ubben, Ryan Cohn, and Lisa Garcia.
“The real strength of our firm is the depth of our excellent team of stellar professionals – the best in our field,” said Ron Sachs, founder and CEO. “We are going to maximize the advantage that our diverse talent can provide for every client and project as the essential strategic communications partner for organizations looking to leverage a major opportunity, overcome a significant threat, consistently excel and win.”
Sachs named Michelle Ubben the firm’s President, following her longtime service as senior partner and Chief Operating Officer, managing a diverse staff and client roster. Sachs, as the firm’s Chief Executive Officer, will focus on top-level strategy, targeted client priorities, business development, and crisis management.
“Michelle’s super power is her ability to listen to any client’s challenge or problem, to synthesize a flood of seemingly disconnected information, and distill it all into a compelling narrative that solves the problem or breaks through any barriers,” Sachs said. “She sets the bar for laser-effective messaging, combining it with brilliant strategies to connect with the audiences our clients need to reach. She inspires our clients, staff, and collaborators.”
Ubben is a 20-year veteran of the firm, who previously had a successful 14-year career in state government, with stints as Communication Director for the Florida Senate, the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Department of Insurance.
Under her leadership, Sachs Media Group earned national Bulldog Awards for Small Agency of the Year, Best PR Agency for Non-Profit Communications, and was honored as one of Florida Trend’s Best Companies to Work For. The work she directed to rebrand the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs earned the All-Florida Grand Golden Image Award for the top public relations campaign of the year in 2012. Her work has also earned multiple Emmy Awards and a national Gracie Award.
Ryan Cohn, the firm’s Vice President of Digital, was named Executive Vice President and is part of the core leadership team setting a course for the firm’s future direction and growth. Sachs Media Group acquired Cohn’s firm, What’s Next Marketing, in 2012. Since then, he has grown the firm’s social media and digital practice and has played a pivotal role in forecasting and navigating the changing communications landscape for the firm and its clients.
“Ryan’s ascent into top leadership ensures our firm’s continued growth and success now and down the road,” Sachs said. “Ryan has shown an outstanding ability to forecast where our fast-changing industry is going and to leverage those trends to actively benefit our clients.”
Lisa Garcia was named Chief Operating Officer, taking on responsibility for the firm’s working processes and daily operations. Garcia also will head up the firm’s diversity and inclusion efforts.
“Lisa is a veteran public relations strategist with excellent management capabilities,” said Sachs. “She is a terrific mentor to the staff and she ensures client priorities are met and exceeded.”
Other key members of the leadership team include Vicki Johnson, Senior Vice President and Director of Central Florida Operations; Herbie Thiele, Vice President and Director of Public Affairs; Drew Piers, Deputy Director of Public Affairs; Jon Peck, Vice President of Public Relations; Karen Cyphers, Vice President of Research; and Mark Pankowski, Vice President and Director of Washington Operations.