Tim Young at Torrey Pines
Tim Young at Torrey Pines

Tim Young has come a long way since traveling across America in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. “At age 23, I spent a year running a mobile PR firm out of a hot dog-shaped set of wheels,” said Young, whose official job title was “hotdogger.”

He’s also come a long way since serving as director of entertainment with the San Diego Padres from 1995 to 1999. In 1998 the staff agreed that relief pitcher Trevor Hoffman needed a new entrance song to play when the future Hall of Famer was called to the mound.

Young and coworker Chip Bowers recommended AC/DC’s “Hells Bells” (gong … gong … gong … gong …), a soundtrack that struck fear in any batter due up that inning as it reverberated throughout the stadium sound system. “The song worked so well, it was perfect,” said Young.

Today, Young is an owner and partner in Southport Marketing, a local marketing agency that specializes in organizing special events on behalf of such clients as General Motors, Alaska Airlines, 24-Hour Fitness and the Los Angeles Rams. Prior to founding Southport in 2008, he worked for General Motors managing sponsorships and promotions.

He’s also an avid golfer and has served since 2012 on the board of directors with the Century Club, a nonprofit volunteer organization that organizes San Diego’s annual PGA golf tournament at the Torrey Pines Golf Course. Recently, he took the reins as 2019-2020 Century Club chairman. His term will include serving as tournament chair for the Farmers Insurance Open, Jan. 22-26.

Tim Young on the Wienermobile

Young is hoping Tiger Woods will return to play in the 2020 tournament. Woods is the all-time leader in prize money with more than $7 million won at the San Diego tournament. He has won at Torrey Pines seven times, while finishing in the top 10 six other times. He finished tied for 20th in January of this year.

Young has a personal connection to Woods. After graduating from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, Young spent the summer of 1991 as a press room intern for the American Junior Golf Association. The AJGA hosts tournaments around the country for young golfers aged 13 to 18. And, in 1991, Tiger Woods, aged 15 at the time, played in AJGA tournaments, winning several times.

“A few years ago when Buick was the title sponsor, I ran into Tiger at Torrey Pines and we reminisced for a few minutes about the AJGA,” said Young. “His recent comeback from injuries and personal issues has been remarkable. It’s great to watch him right now have a fantastic year. I’m expecting we will see him at Torrey Pines next January.”

Recently, President Trump presented Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor following Woods’ victory at the Masters, his 15th major triumph. Woods is the fourth golfer to receive the presidential award, following Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Charlie Sifford.

This past week at the PGA Championship, playing in his first tournament since the Masters, Woods missed the cut. Woods’ Friday round of 73 left him at 5 over, one shot off the cut line.

Alternative Strategies Hires Former TV Reporter Kristina Zverjako

Alternative Strategies, a San Diego marketing agency, has added Kristina Zverjako as a public relations manager.

Zverjako, who was born in the Republic of Estonia, on the Eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, immigrated with her family to the United States and settled in Phoenix when she was in the sixth grade.

“My parents were seekers of the American dream,” said Zverjako. “They sacrificed everything to move us to the U.S. Times were tough in parts of Europe. Estonia did not provide us the opportunities our parents wanted us to have.”

Kristina Zverjako

She graduated from the Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and appeared on Cronkite NewsWatch, the university’s 30-minute daily broadcast.

She worked for TV stations in Bakersfield, Pensacola and Norfolk before relocating to San Diego. While covering historic flooding in Pensacola, rising water forced her to her car’s rooftop where she was rescued. Her husband is a Navy pilot.

“Kristina approaches her tasks with an ‘audience-first’ mentality, knowing the best way to get the attention her clients deserve,” said William Lopez, president of Alternative Strategies.

Founded in 2000, the agency serves clients in the restaurant and hospitality industries.

J. Walcher Communications Hires Jasmine Wang

J. Walcher Communications, a San Diego public relations agency, has announced the addition of Jasmine Wang as an account coordinator.

JWC said Wang will assist with hospitality, retail, nonprofit and professional services clients, providing media relations, social media, event coordination, project management, and digital marketing strategies.

Jasmine Wang

Previously, Wang was the communications manager at Smile Train, a nonprofit providing corrective surgery for children with cleft lips and palates. She also served as an intern at the Barclays Center, a concert and sports arena in Brooklyn, NY.

Wang, a member of the Asian Business Association of San Diego, holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Boston College. She also speaks Chinese and was a children’s ice hockey coach.

Founded in 2001, J. Walcher Communications represents a range of local, regional and national clients in industries including hospitality, real estate development, sports entertainment, associations, professional services and nonprofits.

Marketing Firms Among EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalists

EY, a unit of Ernst & Young Global Limited, has announced that three San Diego marketing firms have been selected as finalists for an EY Entrepreneur of the Year award for the San Diego region.

They include Canale Communications, Power Digital Marketing and SOCi. The companies are led by Carin Canale-Theakston, founder/CEO, Canale Communications; Grayson Lafrenz, co-founder and CEO, Power Digital Marketing; Afif Khoury, CEO, SOCI, Inc.

A total of 15 companies were selected as finalists. Awards will be presented June 6 at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Award winners will be selected in several industry categories by a panel of regional judges, including previous winners, successful CEOs and private capital investors.

Now in its 33rd year, the EY program recognizes business leaders in more than 145 cities and 60 countries across the globe. The awards program recognizes entrepreneurs excelling in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.

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.