Gino Colangelo, President
Gino founded Colangelo & Partners Public Relations in 2006 after spending over 10 years with Dentsu Communications where he pitched and won new business, and conceived and put into play communications strategies for a great client list that included Siemens, Olympus, Japan Airlines, Finmeccanica, Suntory, Winebow, Mionetto and lots of others. Before Dentsu, Gino spent 10 years in his own retail business, a unique experience in the agency world. Prior to the retail business, Gino spent 2½ years in Japan writing copy for an ad agency and writing freelance for travel magazines. He has also lived and studied in Siena, Italy. Gino's love of food, wine and spirits combined with a huge interest in all things Italian has led to CPR's focus on these ‘worlds of passion.’
Michael Colangelo, Chief Operating Officer, Partner
Michael has owned and operated several businesses over his 25-year entrepreneurial career. He started out in the language education business in Osaka, Japan and from there branched into the specialty tour and travel industry. Most recently, Michael entered the transportation industry, where he has grown his company into one of New York City's largest tour and charter bus companies. He is the owner of Michaelny, an English-language teaching Bed & Breakfast in New York City. He is fluent in Japanese.
Jim Miller, Executive Vice President, Partner
Jim is an award-winning public relations professional whose honors include two consecutive wins for Best Media Relations at the PRNews NonProfit PR Awards (2011–2012) and a nomination for Best Word of Mouth/Viral campaign at the Platinum PR Awards (2012).
Jim has led communications programs for a who's who of clients in the food, wine, education, travel, technology and healthcare sectors, including Mionetto Prosecco, Nestlé Nespresso, H.J. Heinz, Marine Stewardship Council, Siemens Foundation, College Board, and CUNY.
Jim has trained a host of C-suite executives and celebrity spokespeople for interviews and speaking opportunities. He has put his clients on-camera, in-print and online with many of the nation’s leading news outlets. A guest columnist for PRNews, he is the author of Cigar Family: A 100-Year Journey in the Cigar Industry (Forbes).
Jim began his PR career at Burson-Marsteller. After a stint at Vorhaus & Co., he worked as an independent public relations consultant for the better part of a decade. Prior to joining Colangelo & Partners in 2012, Jim was managing director of Dentsu Communications.
Jim spent his teenage years in Berlin before the fall of Wall. He studied music at The Crane School of Music and trained in theatre at New York University, where he received his BFA.
Anya Grottel-Brown, Vice President
Anya Grottel-Brown develops and leads PR campaigns for clients in food & wine, education, and nonprofit. She is the recipient of two consecutive PR News NonProfit PR Awards for Best Media Relations (2011-2012) and of one of the year's Best Marketing (2012) and Best Event PR (2011) campaigns. A seasoned media trainer, Anya has successfully prepared individuals and groups to work with the press. Her most recent article The Reluctant Spokesperson, published in the 2012-13 PRNews Media Training Guidebook, offers tips and techniques to overcome media stereotypes and distrust among a client's key constituency. Anya is a firm believer in the integrated approach and often spices up the PR mix with out-of-the-box events, innovative stakeholder communications and thought leadership programs, and video and social media.
Anya joined CPR from Dentsu, where she has helmed programs for Ajinomoto, House Foods and Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of New York. Other brand experience includes the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation, Merck Institute for Science Education, Siemens, Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, Canon, Olympus, PhotoPlus/PDN, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and Asahi Glass.
Born in Russia, Anya holds an Honors BA in East Asian Studies from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She spent five years in Japan, where she taught English and reported for a regional newspaper Ehime Shinbun. Anya's cultural commentary was subsequently published in Meet Japan, a quarterly magazine of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Anya has traveled extensively through a dozen countries and has once gone around the world. When not developing communications programs for clients, she is engaged in active communication with her son and writing a novel.
Sara Gorelick, Account Supervisor
Sara has had a pen in her hand since the age of five and hasn't stopped writing since. From birthday wishes to to-do lists to press releases, to cocktail columns for the Examiner in New York City and editing for ShakeStir.com, Sara has incorporated her love for writing into the public relations world. She started at CPR in 2007 after graduating from Quinnipiac University with a Bachelor's in Print Journalism in 2005 and a master's from the prestigious Newhouse School at Syracuse University in the Magazine, Newspaper and Online department that she received in 2007. At CPR, Sara works on both the account and media relations side for Partida Tequila, Broken Shed Vodka, Kusmi Tea and an array of projects and events within the company. She is a New York member of the United States Bartender Guild and enjoys experimenting with fun cocktail ideas. When Sara isn't working or writing, she is hanging out with her family and friends, walking with beagle Bailey, listening to good music or reading a mystery novel.
Erica Nonni, Account Supervisor
A passion for food and drink and an early career in pharmaceutical marketing drove Erica to pursue a career in an entirely different regulated industry: wine. Erica has spent several years working in wine and food marketing in the US, the UK, Italy and France, developing trade and consumer programs with companies such as The Antique Wine Company (UK), Oddbins (UK) and the Wine Library and brands as diverse as Georges Duboeuf, Domaine Serene and Château Margaux. Prior to entering the gastrosphere, she managed digital marketing programs for P&G brands Herbal Essences, Head & Shoulders, Pantene and Clairol and healthcare advertising accounts for a division of McCann-Erickson.
Erica earned her Bachelors degrees (cum laude) from Georgetown University, her Masters degree (with Merit) from the London School of Economics and a WSET Advanced Certificate (with Distinction). In her spare time, Erica loves traveling, hosting dinner parties, discovering new wine bars and learning obscure languages. She also serves as Co-President of the Georgetown Club of Metropolitan New York.
Alessandro Boga, Senior Account Executive
Native Italian with a Master Degree in Economics, Alessandro was born and raised in a small village located close to the Adriatic Sea in the Rimini province of Romagna. With a passion for traveling, he discovered the importance to make experiences in culturally different environments during his studies in Istanbul, Turkey, where Alessandro had the chance to meet and know students from all over Europe. The will of making connections and keeping relationships during that time made him strongly interested in the Communications and Marketing area of business. London and Publishing were the first city and industry where Alessandro practiced his communications skills.
Alessandro joined Colangelo & Partners Public Relations in November 2010, after one year of experience in public relations in another New York based agency that specialized in housewares, design and food. Working for brands like Bodum and Australian Lamb made him extremely passionate about food. At CPR, Alessandro does media relations and digital marketing for the Soave Consortium, Di Palo Selects, Arnaldo Caprai Wines and the Speck Alto Adige/Asiago Cheese promotional program.
In the States since November 2009, Alessandro was awarded a Professional Certificate in Digital Media Marketing from New York University, where he increased his knowledge and dedication to the digital and social media marketing area. He regularly attends seminars and Meet Up groups in order to be always on the top of innovations in these fields.
Paul Yanon, Account Executive
Hailing all the way from the antipodean waters of Australia, Paul is a wine industry communications veteran with a real passion for travel and all things vino.
His love affair with wine began at the tender age of 15 while working in one of Sydney's best wines stores and he very quickly became one of the rising young personalities of the industry, having worked as a tasting assistant for one of Australia's top wine writers and a consultant sommelier and founding member of the award-winning food group ‘Toys’.
Paul earned a bachelor degree in Communications (Print) from Sydney's Macquarie University and prior to his move to the United States had been a successful marketer of both boutique and large Australian wineries. Now based in New York, Paul specializes in public relations for the wine industry and brings an experienced and knowledgeable skill set to the table.
In his spare time, Paul enjoys traveling, dining, discovering new varietals and finding new ways to get people interested in some of the lesser known wines from his homeland.
Denise Finnegan, Account Executive
Who knew that a seminal foodie experience at Di Palo Fine Foods in Little Italy
would be the fate of Irish native Denise Finnegan to turn her passion for
everything food into a public relations career at Colangelo.
A graduate of Dublin City University in Media Production Management with a concentration in French may have situated Denise in Paris rather than New York but a burning desire to make it in the Big Apple sent her West.
Working on media relations for such clients as Ferrarelle, Grana Padano and BOLD Organics pizza couldn't be further away from her previous roles as campaign coordinator for an Irish senator and production assistant for local music radio station but it is definitely more colorful and gratifying.
When not happily juggling the needs of her diverse clients, Denise makes the most of what the city has to offer and hits the beach to tan in the summer and the mountains to ski badly in the winter, always packing a picnic from her now client, Di Palo Fine Foods.
Joe Giumarra, Account Executive
An active participant in team sports since the age of four, Joe Giumarra learned early on that winning hinges heavily on how well you are able to communicate. His passion to communicate and to win in sports has translated into a budding career in public relations. Joe believes in building close relationships with reporters, He has successfully placed clients on Fox News, in Travel + Leisure and the Atlanta Journal Constitution, among many other national and regional media outlets
Joe holds a BA from Pennsylvania State University and an MA. from Montclair State University. In his down time, he can be found at a rock concert, playing video games, or participating in a competitive sports league.
Pola Avrasin, Assistant Account Executive,
Digital Media Specialist
Pola Avrasin developed a deep interest in digital media as it gained steam in the early 2000s, participating in the initial beta tests for many of today's great platforms such as Google Plus, Twitter, FourSquare and Pinterest. Pola went on to receive a Bachelors of Business Administration from Bernard M. Baruch College (CUNY) with a degree in marketing focused on social media. While attending the Lorenzo de' Medici Italian International Institute in Florence through a study abroad program in 2009, she fell in love with wine, fine foods and Renaissance history.
Pola has blended her enthusiasm and expertise in digital media with her passion for travel, food, beverages and technology in her daily activities. A self-proclaimed “tech geek,” she always keeps her iPhone in hand- ready to Like, Check In, Pin or Tweet at the drop of a dime. Previously working as a research officer at a marketing consultancy and analyst at a strategy and innovation management consulting firm, Pola has found her true calling working CPR. In her free time she continues to obsess over the release of new Apple products and opening of new restaurants.
Margot Dempsey, Assistant Account Executive
After attending Georgetown University, Margot spent the first years of her professional life working in marketing and client management for the financial services industry, until a trip to France changed her perspective on what she wanted out of her career. While she had always been obsessed with food, it wasn't until that trip to Burgundy that Margot set out on a mission to learn about all things wine. Margot has earned the WSET Intermediate Certificate (with distinction) and continues to take wine classes around the city to build her wine knowledge.
Margot was always interested in the influence and power that smart marketing has over consumer perception, which led her to explore a career in public relations and join Colangelo & Partners. At CPR, Margot specializes in working with the agency's wine clients. In March 2013, she completed Mediabistro's Public Relations Certificate program.
In her spare time, Margot enjoys cooking and experimenting with food & wine pairing, dining out in NYC, attempting to brew beer in her tiny New York apartment, and practicing bikram yoga.
Hidenao Miyamoto, IT & Web Manager
Hidenao has been working at Colangelo & Partners since January, 2008, when he moved to New York from Tokyo, Japan, where he had worked as a software developer/programmer for many years. At CPR, 'Hide' (pronounced 'Hee Day') takes care of IT issues; updates and maintains websites and blogs; designs and programs electronic invitations, announcements, enewsletters and so forth; and developed and maintains an extensive data base of company contacts. Hide speaks the language of computers as opposed to other Colangelo & Partners members who speak many other languages.