People

Our account teams offer the right mix of personnel, with the experience and professionalism needed to support your brand. We believe strongly in providing our clients with ample senior counsel and pride ourselves in the quality personal service we deliver.

Senior Leadership

  • Melanie Brandman

    Melanie BrandmanFounder & CEO

    As Founder and CEO of The Brandman Agency, Melanie’s clients are a rolodex of who’s who in the luxury travel and lifestyle industries. Like most Australians (although she’s been a New Yorker for 14 years), travel is in her DNA—she’s traveled to 70+ countries and has called Sydney, London and Tel Aviv home. Described by the media as “007 in heels,” Melanie is one of the most credible travel experts in the business. Prior to establishing Brandman, Melanie served as Vice President, Corporate Affairs for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts in London. She has since gone on to start several other successful travel ventures, including The Travel Curator, an online luxury travel site that curates city guides for top destinations. In her spare time, Melanie devotes time to philanthropic efforts focusing on travel and education, as a member of the Executive Board of Directors for the Bodhi Tree Foundation and as a member of WEPA (Worldwide Elephant Polo Association). She also currently serves as Manager of the US Elephant Polo team.

  • Beth Cooper

    Beth CooperCreative Director

    Beth passionately drives the strategic planning of campaigns, working closely with clients to ensure all activity provides tangible results and a strong return on investment. Beth has a broad range of experience in the luxury travel and hospitality sectors. Her excellent relationships with the UK’s most influential media, as well as prominent personalities and captains of industry, provides clients with unique access to some of the most relevant, of the moment and diverse brands. With an intuitive understanding of client brands and their audience fit, Beth ensures creative boundaries are always pushed in order to continually exceed client expectations.


  • Kristen Vigrass

    Kristen VigrassPresident

    Since 2001, Kristen has helped to grow the agency’s Hospitality & Travel division. As President, she manages agency personnel, client relationships and directs strategy for the Agency’s flagship accounts. Kristen has 20 years of experience in consumer, fashion and travel public relations, has won numerous HSMAI awards, and belongs to a number of PR associations. Former clients have included consumer brands such as Calvin Klein, Banana Republic and even Krispy Kreme. Kristen holds a degree in Film Production from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and is currently active in the Syracuse University Alumni Association and Dress For Success and God’s Love We Deliver.


  • Emily Venugopal

    Emily VenugopalSenior Vice President

    In her 18 years in travel PR, Emily has worked with a variety of luxury hotels as well as major hotel brands. Her past experience with tourist boards is vast — Barbados Tourism, Namibia Tourism, the Greater Miami CVB, Palm Springs, Texas Tourism, Washington State & Seattle, Kent Tourism (UK), and the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. Emily has represented tour operators including The Destination Group (UK) and Hayes & Jarvis (UK). Emily graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a degree in Media Studies, followed by nine years working in London’s finest travel PR firms. Prior to joining Brandman, Emily worked at Miami’s KWE Group.


  • Keri Kirschner

    Keri KirschnerVice President

    Keri provides strategic council and creative direction for top accounts, leveraging 10 years of experience to support hospitality, interior design, and real estate clients. Keri oversees Brandman’s business development efforts, as well as the firm’s successful international media relations program. Starting her career at Weber Shandwick Worldwide (The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Royal Caribbean accounts), Keri brings a big agency perspective and national broadcast experience to the boutique agency format. Outside work, Keri enjoys far-flung travel (25 countries and counting), chasing her toddler, and lots of yoga. She holds an Economics degree from DePauw University and serves as Managing Editor of The Travel Curator, a luxury travel website.


  • Kirsten Magen

    Kirsten MagenSenior Vice President

    Kirsten brings more 10 years of PR experience to her role as Vice President. Prior to joining Brandman, she worked in-house at InterContinental Hotels and Resorts where she oversaw a new resort launch and managed PR for the North American properties. Kirsten has worked for both agencies and in-house managing PR for hospitality, non-profit, government, and technology clients. As a cum-laude graduate of Arizona State University, Kirsten is obsessed with sunshine, but is content with the diversity of flights from New York City to warm destinations. Passionate about food and travel, when not working for her clients, she can be found creating new recipes or exploring beaches around the world.


  • Ty Bentsen

    Ty BentsenManaging Director, Los Angeles

    Ty brings a decade of PR experience to her role, where she oversees the growth and development of the Los Angeles office. Her close-knit relationships demonstrate the power of her commitment to not only get the job done, but to exceed expectations. Born and raised in San Francisco, Ty considers herself a true “Angeleno” after attending the University of California Los Angeles and calling the city of angels home since 1999. In between her travels, Ty enjoys exploring the cultural, musical, and culinary delights of Los Angeles. She indulges in regular “retail therapy” and loves spending weekends exploring Los Angeles’ burgeoning Silver Lake neighborhood.


  • Susie Westwood

    Susie WestwoodManaging Director, Sydney

    A leading media and public relations professional, Susie Westwood has run the Australia office for The Brandman Agency since its launch in October 2011. Prior to joining The Brandman Agency, Susie enjoyed a stellar career with the VOGUE magazines in Australia for more than twenty years. Her previous roles have included Director of
    Public Relations and Promotions for the VOGUE magazines and GQ Australia, under The Condé Nast Publications, during which she was responsible for all corporate and brand media communications. A combination of editorial and commercial experience and insight has allowed Susie to develop an in-depth understanding of travel, lifestyle, fashion and design brands, and how to bring them to life. The exceptional network of contacts she holds with the Australian travel and lifestyle media, and the tourism industry, continuously delivers results and strong engagement for the company’s clients.


  • Elizabeth Morrison

    Elizabeth (Lizzie) MorrisonManaging Director, London

    Lizzie has spent well over a decade in the travel and lifestyle industry, managing campaigns for some of the finest luxury hotels, airlines, tour operators and destinations around the world. She is passionate about building brands and getting under the skin of emerging destinations, and is recognised for her extensive hotel experience. Over the years, Lizzie has cultivated long term relationships with top tier media across a range of sectors, and has a hands-on, results-orientated approach to craft innovative and original stories for clients. Lizzie’s knowledge of the global travel landscape and the UK media market, combined with a savvy understanding of how to drive an idea into a story and on to the page, ensures clients are always one step ahead of the competition.


  • Stephanie Krajewski

    Stephanie KrajewskiVice President

    With over a decade of travel PR experience, oversees some of the agency’s most renowned accounts. She is instrumental in strategic planning, new business development, and media relations, delivering quality results for her clients. Well-versed in award-winning hotel launches and destination marketing, Stephanie’s prior experience includes working with the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and the Canadian Tourism Commission accounts at Weber Shandwick. Completing a semester abroad in Florence, Italy, she graduated Cum Laude from Loyola University Maryland with a B.A. in Communication and a Minor in Music.


  • Daphna Barzilay

    Daphna BarzilayAccount Director

    Daphna brings 10 years of public relations experience, with a mix of luxury fashion, design, tourism and hospitality brands. Daphna began her career in fashion and lifestyle at New York-based C&M Media, where she oversaw PR strategy for European-based fashion houses such as Missoni, Fendi, Roberto Cavalli, Alessandro Dell’Acqua, Moncler and Belstaff. Her background also includes event management: for Brazilian designer Carlos Miele’s New York presentations, along with show production in Milan and Paris. A Fine Arts graduate, in her free time Daphna is an abstract cubism artist specializing in nudes and working with large-scale canvases.

NEW YORK (HQ)

New York (HQ)

261 Fifth Avenue, 22nd floor
New York | NY | 10016
212.683.2442
nyc@thebrandmanagency.com
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Blackbird Public Relations

261 Fifth Avenue, 22nd floor
New York | NY | 10016
212.683.2442
blackbird-pr.com

LOS ANGELES

Los Angeles

8444 Wilshire Blvd, 6th floor
Beverly Hills | CA | 90211
323.944.0064
la@thebrandmanagency.com
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SYDNEY

Sydney

Lvl 5, 16 - 20 Barrack St
Sydney 2000
+61.2.9299.6448
sydney@thebrandmanagency.com
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LONDON

London

Bedford House | Second Floor
Fulham Green | 69-79 Fulham High Street
London | SW6 3JW
+44.207.610.9877
london@thebrandmanagency.com
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