Burgeoning Firm Expands, Opens Chicago Office
MIAMI, Nov. 5, 2013 – Ten months after opening its doors with two key clients and a small, dedicated team, booming demand for RockOrange’s creative thinking and innovative approach has led the Miami-based communications, branding and marketing agency to quadruple its team and open a Chicago office.
Founded in January by Miguel Piedra, the former chief communicator for Burger King Worldwide, Inc., and David Naranjo, former head of marketing and public relations for Emilio and Gloria Estefan’s Estefan Enterprises, RockOrange’s growing client roster includes marketing, public relations and corporate communications work for several global and national brands.
Current client list includes:
• Burger King Worldwide, Inc. — Global corporate communications, agency of record (AOR)
• Seven-time Grammy Award winner Gloria Estefan — Publicity and talent management, AOR
• Estefan Enterprises — Marketing and public relations, AOR
• Estefan Hospitality Group — Marketing and public relations, AOR
• Driven Brands, parent company of Meineke Car Care Centers and Maaco — Internal communications, AOR
• Meineke Car Care Centers — Public relations, AOR
• Maaco — Public relations, AOR
• The Mottola Company and international superstar Thalia — Public relations, branding, partnerships and endorsements
• Richard Sandoval Restaurants — Marketing, national public relations, digital and branding creative
• AARP, “Life Reimagined” campaign — National PR Launch
• Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, “Temptations” program — Public relations
• Zumba Fitness — Talent management
• Burger King McLamore Foundation — Public relations, AOR
• I am Second/Yo Soy Segundo — National public relations
“In just a few short months we have seen incredible demand for our solid, fresh ideas,” said Piedra, principal and managing partner of RockOrange. “We are excited about the possibilities we see for the growth of our agency and believe we now have the right team in place to help deliver exceptional work for our clients.”
Diverse talent lineup joins leadership team
RockOrange’s expanded team brings more than just decades of public relations, marketing and branding experience to the table — they bring a passion for innovative thinking and an impressive collection of multicultural and professional experiences.
Anchoring the firm’s senior leadership team are consumer marketing and public relations veteran Alix Salyers; award-winning creative director and brand strategist Johanne Pradel Wilson; media relations and culinary expert Paulina Naranjo; consumer public relations expert and crisis communicator Bryson Thornton; and corporate communications and multicultural strategist Julissa Bonfante.
Alix Salyers, vice president, general manager, Chicago
With more than 25 years of consumer marketing and public relations experience, Salyers brings a keen strategic sensibility, along with a solid integrated marketing and corporate communications background.
An attorney turned retail executive and public relations strategist, she has managed programs for a wide range of global blue-chip clients, including: Microsoft, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Mexico Tourism, Kraft, KFC, Butterball Turkey, Visa and Purina.
A PRSA Silver Anvil recipient, Salyers has a proven track record leading award-winning teams and integrating multi-channel communications programs involving multiple agencies from disciplines including advertising, promotions, digital and social media, as well as issues and crisis management, litigation support, integrated marketing and reputation management.
Previously, Salyers served as an executive vice president of consumer marketing at Edelman, in Chicago. In addition to managing the Chicago office, Salyers is responsible for the agency’s consumer marketing practice.
Johanne Pradel Wilson, chief creative strategist
Throughout her career, Pradel Wilson has created award-winning creative for advertising campaigns, packaging, corporate identities, online media and non-traditional interactive, and brand engagement programs.
Pradel Wilson joins us from Starmark, where she worked on a variety of projects, including: Broward Center for the Performing Arts; SeaWorld; Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau; Silver Airways and MSC Cruises. Previously, she worked on global consumer brands for Procter & Gamble.
In addition to managing the agency’s creative services and branding practice, Pradel Wilson will also focus on new business development.
Paulina Naranjo, vice president of media relations
Naranjo has worked with some of the most celebrated international culinary stars for nearly a decade as a key member of the team behind the Food Network’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival and culinary publicist for award-winning restaurants and chefs in North America and abroad.
Her work also includes the launch of blockbuster films for Warner Bros., Sony and Pixar, establishing a rapport with some of the most important media and digital influencers, which she leverages to increase market value and visibility for her clients.
Bryson Thornton, senior account director
Thornton has served as communications counsel and media spokesperson for some of the world’s most admired brands. From talking ketchup bottles for Heinz to the world’s largest doghouse for Milk-Bone, walking the red carpet with StarKist’s Charlie the Tuna, and even a cat game show for Meow Mix.
Thornton has an outstanding record of helping his clients protect their brand equity while navigating complex issues, and the industry has taken notice. Thornton has received a long list of accolades that include PRWeek’s “40 Under 40,” “15-to-Watch” by PR News magazine and “Rising Star” by the Public Relations Society of America. Most recently, he served as director of global communications for Burger King Worldwide, Inc.
Julissa Bonfante, account director
Bonfante has a strong track record in both corporate and agency settings. Her work has ranged from designing strategic communications programs for multinational companies to launching a digital media start-up. Her experience also includes being a regular contributor to Mamiverse, The Huffington Post and HuffPost Live.
She comes to RockOrange with solid experience and a fresh perspective. Past work includes her time at BBVA, first serving as manager of investor relations, then as vice president of group communications. In addition, she served as director of communications for República, where she executed national PR campaigns and events for brands like Goya Foods, Univision and the Miami Dolphins.
Bonfante brings her extensive experience in everything from media relations and employee communications to brand management and digital media.
RockOrange is a full-service communications firm specializing in traditional PR, digital and social media, corporate communications, brand building and talent management, targeting both general market and Hispanic audiences. Experience includes work with some of the world’s most iconic brands in a variety of industries, including franchising businesses, music and entertainment, cruise lines, hotels/resorts, resort destinations, culinary, automotive, pharmaceuticals, banking/financial institutions and not-for-profit organizations.