New Basic team members
The new team at Basic: Jon Sukarangsan (left), Carlo Luetto, Noelle Newbold, Alex Christian, and Hannah Purmort.

San Diego branding agency Basic announced five new staff members after winning awards for its work on Google Store.

The new staff members are Jon Sukarangsan, executive director; Carlo Luetto, creative director; Noelle Newbold, creative director; Alex Christian, design director; and Hannah Purmort, design director.

Sukarangsan, based at the agency’s Mountain View office, will oversee the Bay Area production team and handle project strategy, delivery, and finances. He previously spent the past two years with New York City agency Critical Mass.

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Argentina native Luetto was previously with Spotify in New York. Newbold, also previously with Spotify, will work on the Google account in Mountain View. Christian was previously with San Francisco agency AKQA. Purmort, at Basic’s San Diego office, is a former senior art director at Denver-based design studio Legwork.

Basic also said it recently received 25 awards for its client Google Store at the 2019 W3 Awards, an awards program that recognizes digital excellence across websites, web marketing, video, mobile sites, apps and social media. The W3 program is presented by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts.

Micheal Russo
Michael Russo

Michael Russo Leaves San Diego for Calabasas

After more than 30 years of working in San Diego as a broadcast journalist and later with the County of San Diego’s media department, Michael Russo has relocated to Los Angeles County to become communications director for the City of Calabasas.

At Calabasas, he will serve as public information officer and oversee video production and web communications.

After graduating from San Diego State University in 1985, he started as a reporter with KFMB Radio and then joined KSDO Radio (now KOGO) in 1991, before switching to TV to work with NBC 7 San Diego from 1997 to 2001, when he joined the County of San Diego.

In 2013, his team won a top award from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors, a trade organization for local governmental agencies.

NBC TV Stations Launch Help 4 The Hungry Food Drive

Two TV stations owned by NBCUniversal, KNSD-TV NBC 7 San Diego and KNBC-TV NBC4 in Los Angeles, have teamed-up with Ralphs and Food 4 Less supermarkets to raise money for regional food banks in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. Until Dec. 24, shoppers can donate $5 or $10 at check-out for the food drive called Help 4 the Hungry.

Officials said last year’s inaugural campaign raised more than $400,000 for regional food banks, providing more than 1.5 million meals to those in need.

“Our community has always stepped up to help others during times of need, and there is no better time than during the holidays,” said Todd Mokhtari, NBC 7 president and GM. “We are honored to be a part of this effort.”

Mingle Bells
The crowd at a previous Mingle Bells. Photo courtesy American Marketing Association

6 Marketing Groups Celebrating 16th Annual Mingle Bells Party

The One Club for Creativity San Diego, along with five other local marketing networking groups, will jointly host the 16th annual Mingle Bells on Thursday, Dec. 12. Mingle Bells is the annual end-of-year party attended by members of professional groups spanning San Diego’s advertising, business communications, marketing, public relations, social media and graphic arts industries.

The party runs from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Moxy Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter, 831 Sixth Ave. Cost to attend is $45 per person for members or guests from any of participating organization or $65 per person for non-members.

More than 200 people are expected to attend. In addition to One Club, attendees will include members and guests of Ad 2 San Diego, American Institute of Graphic Arts, San Diego American Marketing Association, San Diego Advertising Fund for Emergencies and SD Direct.

Attendees are encouraged to donate blankets, sweatshirts, children’s clothing and gift cards to benefit San Diego Refugee Tutoring, a nonprofit providing one-on-one tutoring and academic support to refugees attending Ibarra Elementary School in eastern City Heights.

Rick Griffin
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.