The city of La Mesa has hired Perri Storey as communications manager. Her job includes coordinating the city’s website and news desk and overseeing social media, newsletters, press releases and media relations.
Her hiring is historic for La Mesa, which was incorporated in 1912.
Storey, 50, is a Black woman with 26 years of experience working in local government. It’s believed she is the first Black woman to serve as a city employee in a communications role in modern La Mesa history.
In addition, according to historian Jim Newland, author of several books on the history of La Mesa and the East County, Storey is La Mesa’s first Black woman to hold a senior leadership role as a city employee.
According to Storey, the job was added to the city’s budget following a community opinion survey that revealed city leaders needed to a better job at communicating to residents. In addition, the city’s communications efforts received low marks during riots in 2020, when vandalizing and looting arsonists set fires to small businesses, stores, banks and an historic building in the Downtown area.
“The position was in the works as a result of the community survey, but the events of 2020 underscored the need for greater community engagement,” Storey told Times of San Diego.
The job was posted in July, drawing 83 applicants with 14 finalists selected for in-person interviews. Storey was introduced at a city council meeting in November. She reports to Carlo Tomaino, assistant city manager.
“Some people might think that I got the job because I’m a Black woman, but that’s not the case. It was a very competitive hiring process,” said Storey.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to make a difference. To help people is something that energizes me. Diversity and equity are certainly important, but they’re more than just a box to check.”
She recently moved to La Mesa after living in San Diego while serving as director of communications for Fourth District City Council member Monica Montgomery Steppe, a job Storey began in January 2019.
Storey previously worked for the city of San Diego in different public information and community outreach roles from 2009 to 2015, including four years in the public works department and two years as spokesperson for City Council member Myrtle Cole.
A native of Detroit, Storey previously worked for the Michigan city as a program manager in data management operations for the Board of Assessors from 2001 to 2008. She also worked as a detention officer in South Carolina’s Charleston County (2017-2018).
At age 43, she resigned her position with Cole and took a year-long travel sabbatical (October 2015-October 2016). While working and living in Germany, she visited 18 European countries.
“Both my parents passed away at 56, and visiting Europe was something I had always wanted to do,” Storey said. “I had been working in politics and needed a break. Traveling internationally was a wonderful experience for me. It renewed my soul.”
Taco Bell Appoints Nike Exec as Global Chief Brand Officer
Irvine-based Taco Bell, owned by Yum Brands, has named Sean Tresvant as its global chief brand officer. Tresvant, previously the chief marketing officer at Nike’s Jordan Brand, begins Jan. 10.
He succeeds Nikki Lawson, who is relocating to Sydney, Australia, to pursue other opportunities, the company said. Lawson joined Taco Bell in February 2020 after serving at sister company KFC as chief development and marketing officer for the South Pacific region.
For 15 years at Nike, Tresvant was responsible for defining the prestigious Jordan Brand voice across the globe. He oversaw brand campaigns, product marketing, creative collaborations, athlete sponsorships, omni-channel marketplace design and social platforms. Taco Bell said he was recruited to the company with the help of executive recruiting agency Berglass & Associates.
The company said Tresvant will lead Taco Bell into a new age of transformative global marketing to include spearheading boundary-pushing, multi-dimensional efforts that will drive culture, initiate change and create impact. “From strategic omni-channel initiatives to digital customer touchpoints, he will further elevate and differentiate the Taco Bell fan experience as the brand continues redefining innovation in its industry,” a statement said.
“I’ve known about Sean for many years, always admiring his best-in-class marketing from afar,” Mark King, Taco Bell CEO, said in a statement. “His team at the Jordan Brand will tell you that Sean has always been a great friend, colleague and compassionate leader. We’re excited for him to be part of our Taco Bell family and look forward to his leadership and restless creativity as we continue to grow our brand and impact on our people, fans and the world.”
“When I think of Taco Bell, I think of a marketing powerhouse of trailblazers,” said Tresvant. “The brand and its people are constantly and consciously pushing the limits on what it means to be a brand in today’s rapidly evolving culture, and I’m excited to revolutionize alongside them.”
At Nike, Tresvant led the Jordan Brand’s “Last Dance” documentary team, winner of an Emmy, and a Fortnite activation with the Epic Games. He also led the Diversity Task Force and the Jordan Brand’s Black Community Commitment Committee. Prior to Nike, he held roles at Pepsi and Time Inc.’s Sports Illustrated in New York.
Taco Bell operates more than 7,500 outlets, including more than 600 restaurants outside the U.S. in 32 markets. It is the largest brand of Yum Brands, which also owns KFC, Pizza Hut and The Habit Burger Grill. In October, Yum Brands reported fiscal third-quarter net income of $528 million, up from $283 million in a year-over-year comparison. In addition, Taco Bell’s same-store sales rose 5 percent in the quarter and 8 percent on a two-year basis. Earlier this year, Taco Bell announced plans to have 10,000 restaurants by 2030 by expanding dedicated digital-order-ahead, drive-thru lanes, curbside pickup and table ordering.
Hockey Radio Show Airs on XTRA Sports
iHeartMedia San Diego has announced “SoCal Hockey Talk,” a new radio talk show, will air from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on select Mondays on KLSD 1360-AM XTRA Sports.
The show will discuss the sport of hockey in Southern California, including news about the San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League and Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League, as well as interviews with current and former players and coaches who have ties to Southern California. Talk show host is Andy Zilch, Gulls radio play-by-play announcer.
Air dates include Dec. 6 and 20, Jan. 24, Feb. 7 and 21, March 7 and 21 and April 4 and 18. XTRA 1360 is the Gulls’ flagship radio partner.
San Diego AMA Hosts Holiday Mixer
The American Marketing Association San Diego chapter will host an outdoor, in-person mixer to celebrate the holidays and the end of 2021 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 7, at Maverick’s Beach Club, 860 Garnet Ave., San Diego. Cost to attend is free for members, $20 for nonmembers. Attendees will receive one drink token. AMA said the in-person mixer will be an opportunity to reconnect after 18 months of remote events over Zoom. The venue is dog friendly. For more information, visit sdama.org.
Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.