News and Experts Team
Founder and PresidentMarsha Friedman doesn’t like sitting still. As a prominent business woman, she has run her public relations firm successfully through prosperity and adversity, ironically having one of her best revenue years in the midst of 2009’s recession. As a publicity expert, she has authored the book Celebritize Yourself.
Marsha Friedman launched News and Experts in 1990. Her PR company represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. Some of the more prominent names on her client roster are Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane and the famous Motown Group, The Temptations.
She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis, and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity.
Manager of Business DevelopmentThe phrases “people person,” “good communicator” and “people skills” could have been coined to describe Steve Friedman. Prior to joining his wife Marsha in running News and Experts, Steve pursued a sales career in industries spanning from insurance to home security. His real passion in life and business is to help others to realize their goals and dreams, and he loves the opportunity afforded at News and Experts to assist other business owners, authors and professionals to flourish and be known in their fields.
For the News and Experts family of clients, Steve takes this caring approach to a level rarely seen in business. With each client, he strives to find the most optimum solution to help them achieve celebrity though excellent PR.
The News and Experts staff is family to Steve as well. The well-being of the team here at EMSI matters to him as though they are family – indeed, he considers them as such.
Director of News & ExpertsRachel Friedman, chief operations officer for News and Experts, has 11 years’ experience in the public relations profession. She has helped gain publicity for clients in such publications as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes and People Magazine, and has helped arrange on-air appearances for them on Good Morning America and the Today Show, among other TV programs and radio shows.
Friedman, a Cuban-American, was born in Hialeah, Florida, one of the largest Spanish-speaking communities in the United States. She attended the University of Central Florida and began her career as an international corporate trainer for a well-known restaurant brand. In that position, Friedman traveled to such countries as Guatemala, Mexico and Chile, honing her skills in relationship management, information management and customer care.
After five years in that job, Friedman joined News and Experts, a national firm that pioneered the guaranteed-PR model. Initially, she was a print campaign manager, but over the years worked in every phase of the company, including sales. She held the title vice president of media operations before her promotion to Director.
Friedman says her greatest passion is the excitement that comes from pitching a client to journalists and getting those journalists to respond. “It’s the chase that excites me,” she says. “It’s a challenge to figure out what pitch will get the response you want and I love it.”
Manager of News & ExpertsBrittany Thomas first came to News and Experts as a print campaign associate, helping to distribute articles about our clients to print publications far and wide. Before long, she earned a promotion and became one of our print campaign managers, landing clients interviews with such publications as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Post and many others. This experience is invaluable in her supporting role as Executive Assistant to News and Experts’ Director.
Brittany says one of her favorite things about being part of the News and Experts team is: “The job is different every day and every day presents a new challenge. You never know what breaking news event will happen that might get the media contacting us, or inspire us to contact the media on behalf of a client.”
Senior Writer and EditorRonnie Blair came to News and Experts as a veteran journalist with more than three decades of daily newspaper experience, including 20 years in writing and editing positions at The Tampa Tribune. During his time in the newspaper trenches, he covered such varied subjects as education, business, crime, health, government and many others. With his years of newsroom experience, Ronnie knows what newspaper editors look for and puts that knowledge to work when writing articles and pitches for clients.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Morehead State University in his home state of Kentucky.
In-house JournalistDan Dunkin, Content Writer, joins News and Experts following a 30-year career in daily newspapers. As a sports writer he covered numerous major events and personalities. He also wrote features in education, business and lifestyles and was a guest on TV and radio. Dunkin won writing awards in each of the three markets he worked, including two national honors from the Associated Press.
A native of Indianapolis, Dunkin attended the University of South Florida. After graduating, his first newspaper job was in Paris, Texas, which didn’t have an Eiffel Tower, he reports, though it was a wonderful place to get his feet wet. Dunkin then moved home to The Indianapolis Star, where his beats included the National Basketball Association/Indiana Pacers and Indiana University/Big Ten sports. In suburban Philadelphia, Dunkin worked 16 years for the Bucks County Courier Times and Doylestown Intelligencer as a columnist, editor and general assignment reporter.
“I’ve had a passion for writing since before I learned how to type,” he says. “Journalism was a great way to learn about many things and people. Having worked at newspapers, I know how editors and writers think and what makes a good story.”
Print Campaign ManagerMiguel joined News and Experts directly from Puerto Rico where he worked in public relations for almost 10 years, managing national and international clients. He is a vibrant, creative and passionate communications specialist with two Bachelor’s Degrees in Marketing and Corporate Communications from the University of Puerto Rico.
Having traveled the globe, Miguel brings a world perspective to EMSI along with a passion for diversity and cultures. He also is a dog lover and is involved with a number of organizations and initiatives such as Therapy Dogs and the FCI Youth, an international program that promotes a love for dogs among young people and societies around the world.
Print Campaign ManagerCathy Hayes is a seasoned public relations and marketing professional with over 15 years of experience. She has been the recipient of the Silver Anvil Award, sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America. She has lead a number of public relations campaigns and specializes in building brand recognition.
In her position as Print Campaign Manager at News and Experts, she has received placements for clients in top media outlets such as: GQ Magazine, NBC News, US News & World Report and Glamour Magazine. Cathy says the best part about her job is building relationships with clients and witnessing the positive results from their campaigns. “Knowing that our efforts assist our clients in meeting their goals is incredibly gratifying!” In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and volunteering in the community.
Senior Digital Marketing StrategistJay York is an internet marketing expert with extensive experience in social media marketing dating back to the early days of MySpace and LiveJournal. Since graduating from the University of South Florida Business School, Jay has worked as marketing coordinator for an international IT training company; business development and branding manager for a startup restaurant management group; and CEO of his own social media management firm. He’s learned the ins and outs of internet marketing, including the mysterious and sometimes shady world of SEO, content marketing and blogger outreach. He’s vice president of the Business Guild of Seminole Heights (Tampa) and previously served on the marketing board of Tampa Bay’s Keep America Beautiful Affiliate.
As an advocate for white hat approaches and organic networking, his work leads to long lasting and profitable relationships.
Social Media StrategistMiguel was born and raised in Puerto Rico and is a graduate of Ringling College of Art & Design. He comes from a graphics and multimedia background that he honed since living in New York City where he worked with a myriad of clients in creating images, web designs, websites and social media presence.
He is very happy to be living in the Sunshine State again where he is closer to family and the beaches. He spends his leisure time helping out on his uncle’s farm and on some weekends he performs with his musical group Tropico Blvd.
President’s Executive Assistant & Office ManagerMarti brings a wealth of skills and experience to News and Experts that helps to streamline operations for greater results, internally and for our clients. With a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University and over 17 years in public relations, including supervision of national social betterment programs and PR personnel training oversight worldwide, Marti complements the EMSI team extremely well.
Prior to joining News and Experts, Marti enjoyed extensive Executive Assistance experience in a variety of industries that includes investment, real estate and technology. This experience gives Marti the foundation to ensure that the daily details needed for a successful operation are met.
As Executive Assistant, besides managing the many activities of President Marsha Friedman, she also oversees Human Resources, IT and infrastructure support and maintenance. Her daily tasks provide the support necessary that guarantees our Campaign Managers (TV, radio and print) provide our clients the very best service possible.
Administrative AssistantJennifer Lee, an administrative assistant at News & Experts, is a key team member in our print-campaign department, assisting the print managers with executing the campaigns and helping to track media placements we earn for our clients. “I enjoy the collaborative environment here,” Jen says. “There’s always that fun aspect of coming to work every day, and I think that’s very important.” This is Jen’s second tenure with the company, returning to us after a three-year absence in which she worked in commercial real estate consulting – and found time to have a baby. Jen and her husband, Derek, are the parents of a son, Landon. One of Jen’s favorite pastimes is working with animal rescue groups. She owns two dogs and a cat herself, all of which are rescues.
In Memory of our Company Mascot and Chief Security OfficerWe were lucky at News and Experts to have had Nico watching over us and ensuring the safety and security of our offices for years! Nico’s mommy and daddy are Rachel and Damon Friedman, and he had accompanied them to the EMSI offices over the years. He was a mini schnauzer, and as lovable as they came! The team misses him dearly and will never forget him, but they now have little Mila to secure our offices and keep his spirit alive.
Our New Company Mascot and Chief Security Officer