MarketInk: Carlsbad PR Firm Honored for Reaching 50 Years in Business

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Gayle Mestel of CCS Public Relations in Carlsbad.

By Rick Griffin

Carlsbad-based CCS Public Relations, founded in 1966 by Bob Fisher, a former reporter for the New York Herald Tribune, has been honored by the U.S. Small Business Administration with the “Anthony Vigil Award for Staying Power” after marking 50 years in business.

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The award was presented at the SBA’s recent anniversary luncheon of Small Business Week. The award is named after Anthony Vigil, a former SBA deputy district director for the San Diego office who retired after 45 years of service.

Gayle Mestel, president and CEO of the firm, received the award at the luncheon. She has served at the agency for nearly 37 years in roles ranging from publicist, business development manager, marketing manager, assistant general manager and, since 2010, as president and CEO, succeeding Fisher.

“It fills me with pride to win this ‘Staying Power’ award from such a respected, recognized and credible organization as the U.S. Small Business Administration,” said Mestel. “This represents the ultimate validation that being in business for over 50 years is an impressive milestone and a major achievement.”

Mestel started with CCS in 1981 as a part-time typist. Her job was to enter changes from handwritten copy into a word-processing system.

The firm says it has served Fortune 500 companies and enterprise businesses in a variety of industries over the past five decades. Clients have included Hewlett-Packard, Carestream Health, Dassault Systèmes, Siemens, IBM, NCR, AT&T, Apple, Infosys, VMware, NetApp, 3M, DuPont, Johnson & Johnson, Kodak and Qualcomm. CCS specializes in case studies, public relations and customer-reference program management. It has earned the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council “Gold Standard” certification.

Internet Marketing Inc. Names New CEO, CFO

San Diego-based Internet Marketing Inc. announced that Jason Brigham has been promoted from vice president of marketing and sales operations to CEO. In addition, Dan Romeo has been named CFO.

Brigham, with more than 13 years of experience, joined IMI in 2015. He succeeds Brandon Fishman, former CEO and co-founder, who will remain on IMI’s board of directors but will not be part of the agency’s day-to-day operations.

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Jason Brigham

“It’d be remiss to say we’ve had some ups and downs over the past several months,” said Brigham. “However, this is an industry that faces constant change. What matters is how we adapt, grow and improve. We are focused now more than ever on what’s best of our clients, our partnerships and our IMI team. It’s an exciting time for our company. We have the talent and drive to make this a valuable transition for everyone involved.”

Romeo, with 15 years of experience in the marketing and advertising industry, is returning to IMI. He previously worked at IMI from 2014 to 2016, before leaving for the CFO role at the PIA Agency, another local marketing firm. He also has worked at Google and Ogilvy.

“I truly think Jason and I can become a very good team together,” said Romeo “We are on the same page in so many areas already. He has tremendous passion for the business, people and the work, as do I. If we can be efficient in what we do, then the profit goals take care of themselves. But, in addition to the financials, I want everyone to be proud of what they do at IMI. Building a great company we are all proud of and feel accountable toward is really the big goal.”

Now in its 11th year in business, IMI has offices in San Diego and Las Vegas.

Jacob Tyler Appoints Richard Truss as Creative Director

Jacob Tyler, a San Diego-based branding and digital agency, has appointed Richard Truss as executive creative director. Les Kollegian, CEO of Jacob Tyler, said Truss will oversee the Jacob Tyler creative team and all creative output for local, national and global clients, including brand direction, design, writing and vision, in addition to supporting new business efforts.

Richard Truss

Truss has worked in Orange County, San Diego and Las Vegas. He has worked on such brands as Disney, AOL, Encad and Intel. He also has taught at Platt College of Design. In 2001, he moved to Las Vegas and worked on several casino accounts before opening in 2006 his own firm called Fat Elvis Advertising, which served such accounts as Trader Vic’s International, Cosmopolitan Hotel, SLS Hotels and Venetian Properties.

“Richard and I worked together at a large creative marketing agency based in San Diego nearly two decades ago,” said Kollegian. “He’s one of the best and most creative people I’ve ever worked with, and I am thrilled to have him back with us. Adding an ECD like Richard positions our agency for growth and assures our clients the very best product possible.”

“If there’s one thing Jacob Tyler and I have in common, it’s that we specialize in pushing the boundaries and doing away with the traditional, cookie-cutter agency processes,” said Truss. “I’m looking forward to bringing a bit of Vegas to the market, adding a new flare to the creative team and expanding the company’s offerings and client roster.”

San Diego PRSA to Discuss Digital Newsroom Strategy

The Public Relations Society of America’s San Diego-Imperial Counties chapter will host a professional development program titled “Using Social Command Centers and Digital Newsrooms to Drive Strategy” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m on, Friday, July 20, at the Sharp HealthCare auditorium, 8695 Spectrum Center Blvd. Speakers will be two Sharp HealthCare employees, including Pam Hardy, managing editor of Sharp Health News, and Jennifer Balanky, manager of digital content. Cost to attend is $35 for members, $45 for nonmembers and $25 for students. For more information, visit

Rick Griffin

Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.

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