Jayanti Menches, new president of the San Diego chapter of IABC

The International Association of Business Communicators San Diego chapter has announced its 2020-2021 board of directors. Jayanti Menches, communications consultant, will serve as president. Her term began July 1. Menches succeeds Jan McGinn, independent consultant, who will serve as past president.

Other IABC San Diego board members, as well as their employers and IABC board role, include: Lauren Levenson, Breg Inc., VP of administration; Michael Hromadik, Ionis Pharmaceuticals, VP of finance; Rob Campbell, Kyriba Corp., VP of membership; Liz Neely, Qualcomm, VP of communications; Dave Flynn, Scripps Health, co-VP of programs and events; and Katie Knott, Collins Aerospace, co-VP of programs and events.

Additional 2020-2021 IABC San Diego board directors include: Kacy Vega, University of California San Diego Library; Lauren Karwel, Qualcomm; Mike Godfrey, Scripps Health; Kate Griffin, Qualcomm; and Michelle Mowad, County of San Diego.

“The IABC San Diego chapter is honored to have a creative and experienced group of business communicators volunteering to serve on our board,” said Menches. “The new board comprises communications professionals representing a variety of industries in San Diego including telecom, life sciences, defense, higher education, healthcare and software. We applaud our members’ dedication as the IABC San Diego board continues to deliver professional development programs and share best practices to help members meet new challenges.”

The next IABC free webinar will be held at 5 p.m., Thursday, July 30, over the Zoom online meeting platform. Presenting will be board member Hormadik, who is director of corporate communications for Ionis. His presentation, titled “COVID-19: Setting in for the Long Haul,” will include pandemic-related communications strategies for keeping employees informed, as well as return-to-work plans.

IABC San Diego is a 70-member trade association for business communicators who live or work in the San Diego area. IABC advances the awareness of communication as a strategic leadership function within organizations and its impact on business performance. IABC serves professionals in the field of business communication, bringing together the profession’s collective disciplines and offering education, certification, awards program, resource library, an online magazine and an annual World Conference.

GDX Studios Names Sophie Masson as President

San Diego-based GDX Studios, which positions itself as a full-service, experiential marketing firm that creates, captures and amplifies disruptive experiences, has named Sophie Masson as its new president.

The company said Masson will be charged with leading the vision of GDX Studios out of the pandemic and working with the studio’s multidisciplinary team to develop unique experiential solutions that meet the evolving needs of new and existing clients.

Sophie Masson

Masson, who was raised in Canada, has 20 years of experience in advertising. She spent the past three years as co-founder of Do Not Disturb, a San Diego-based marketing and advertising creative collective. Prior to Do Not Disturb, she worked as freelancer at different creative agencies.

During her career, she has collaborated with brands such as Volkswagen, Wonderbra, Red Bull, Cirque du Soleil, Qualcomm, Suzuki, Smart Car, Air Canada, International Paper, General Motors, Caesars Entertainment, TAXI and BBDO and worked closely with creative powerhouses Sid Lee, Moment Factory and Crispin Porter.

In 2001, she founded Manifest, one of Canada’s first experiential marketing companies. In 2018, she also founded Animal Friday, a nonprofit that promotes bringing dogs to the office. In 1996, she earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing communications from the University of Montreal.

“In today’s environment, the need for companies to be more creative and nimble in business is paramount, and as an entrepreneurial-led company, reinventing ourselves to provide clear, competitive advantages is at the core of our DNA,” said Aaron Gaeir, founder of  GDX Studios. “Welcoming Sophie as a part of our leadership team will make our position in the industry stronger than ever as we come out of this pandemic era and help us pivot to what now will be the new normal. Clients are no longer looking for us to execute on experiences alone. They expect a comprehensive approach to their experiential campaigns. We’re not only executing flawless branding activations but providing expertise on all elements, from strategy, production, and communications as well as telling effective branding stories.”

“I believe in the power of translating a brand’s mission into real life experiences that merge people and video storytelling to create authentic and moving brand stories that are far more welcoming than traditional advertising” said Masson. “I’m excited to join such a talented, creative and dedicated team that will always look to take on the next challenge. Our goal during these unprecedented times is to re-imagine where and how brands are brought to life while creating purpose-driven projects. Consumers are still craving experiences that lead to human connectivity.”

Earlier this year, Grandesign Experiential, a company Gaeir founded in 2009, was renamed as GDX Studios. It offers tracking capabilities, content capture, consumer touch points, public relations and social media services. GDX Studios, headquartered in the former Wonder Bread factory building in San Diego’s East Village, also operates offices in New York City and Los Angeles.

Jacob Tyler Launches Geofencing Platform

Jacob Tyler Brand + Digital Agency, a San Diego branding and digital agency, has launched its own proprietary geofencing platform to help clients target customers in specific geographic regions.

The company said its technology will pinpoint consumers who work or live in a certain area, as well as target individual mobile devices within a certain point-of-interest location.

“As the marketing and digital media landscape continues to change, we must constantly evolve our client offerings to address the current environment,” said Les Kollegian, CEO and chief creative officer. “Now, more than ever, marketers need to think about reaching people where they are, and this platform helps them to do just that.

“Geofencing is another tool in our arsenal that can help our clients reach their business goals efficiently and effectively. The beauty of this platform is that it works with both small and large budgets, and with one-time or recurring campaigns. And the best part is that you own the data, not Google. This means that you can continue to market to those warm leads who have seen or clicked but didn’t convert. It’s a great way to build brand equity over time and create future marketing efficiency.”

Jacob Tyler said two companies recently used its geofencing platform. A local restaurant targeted consumers within a one-mile radius with a direct link for “to-go” orders. Also, a consumer-packaged goods company sent ads to customers on their mobile devices when they visited certain grocery stores.

A Red Show Day team

Red Shoe Day Media Sponsors Included iHeart Radio, News 8

iHeart Radio San Diego, operator of eight local radio stations, and KFMB-TV News 8 were the presenting media sponsors for Red Shoe Day, a fundraiser that raised more than $114,000 in donations for Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego.

The recent 11th annual Red Shoe Day was held online this year due to COVID-19. Typically, Red Shoe Day features volunteers carrying iconic red shoes stationed at major intersections to collect cash donations during the morning commute. The fundraising goal for the 2020 Red Shoe Day was $85,000, officials said.

“While our world looks different today than it did just a few months ago, the need to care for our region’s most critically ill children hasn’t stopped, nor does the work we do at San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House,” said Chuck Day, president and CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego. “Now more than ever, community support is critical for the House to continue to keep families close as they go through the unimaginable. That’s why we are incredibly humbled and grateful to San Diegans who stepped up and provided support to the House, even through tough times.”

Donations assisted with operating expenses for Ronald McDonald House, a 56-guest suite lodge and day-use center in Serra Mesa which has served for the past 40 years as a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill or injured children being treated at San Diego hospitals. Annually, nearly 15,000 family members visit the Ronald McDonald House in San Diego to receive meals, lodging and other supportive services, including emotional and physical sanctuary, so that parents can stay near their hospitalized child. The respite enables families suffering medical crises to focus their energy on helping their sick or injured child heal.

Ronald McDonald House receives just 10 percent of its annual funding from McDonald’s Corp. Donations make up the remainder of its operating expenses.

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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