Family affair

Sachs Media outlines succession plan, describing it as a ‘family affair’

Sachs Media, the 26-year-old Florida communications company, today announced its ownership and operating succession plan to five senior partners in a multi-year process that is now underway.

Founder and CEO Ron Sachs and President and Senior Partner michelle ubben will entrust five younger associates — Lisa Garcia, Herbie Thiele, ryan cohn, Drew Piersand Karen figures — with the next era of business ownership and operation. Each has been with the company for close to 10 years or more.

This month marks 26 years since Sachs left executive office of government. Lawton Chiles to open the doors of what was first called “Ron Sachs Communications”. His start-up capital: a few family savings, a wealth of political knowledge and statewide connections.

From a one-man group operating out of a 600-square-foot office on Jefferson Street across from the Florida Capitol complex, Sachs grew the company to two employees a few months later. And for more than a quarter of a century, Sachs Media has grown into a dominant, respected and influential nationwide and national public relations force, with approximately 40 full-time employees, a 7,000 square foot headquarters in the center- city ​​in the shadow of the Capitol. , and a deserved reputation as one of the top independent communications companies in the country.

Ubben has been with Sachs for 24 years, helping to lead and grow the business. She has received local, state and national accolades in the professional and business world; Sachs calls her “my best friend, every day, and the most talented person I’ve ever worked with.”

The leadership duo invested in talent while growing the business with a diverse team of professionals who regard the rhinoceros as their mascot for its strength and ability to break through, giving rise to the slogan that Sachs Media is ” The Breakthrough Agency (™)”.

In its early days, the company was a traditional public relations/public affairs firm, but has since evolved to offer all the communications services a client may need for their high-stakes challenges: research, crisis management, advertising, Emmy-winning digital/social, web, graphic design and video production. The company also has a culture dedicated to community service – regionally and statewide – characterized by its creation of Tallahassee’s “Best & Brightest” scholarship program, which honors high school students for excellence. academic, with a strong emphasis on community service, and their state and national initiatives on topics as varied as road safety, hurricane preparedness, and financial literacy.

The company has consistently won top industry accolades, with Forbes proclaiming Sachs Media as one of America’s top PR agencies in 2021 and PRNews including the company on its list of Top 100 PR Agencies nationwide in 2020. The company is often the choice of Florida government agencies with high stakes, including impactful work connecting children to health insurance, helping Floridians access hurricane relief, ensuring veterans get the benefits and services they have earned, increasing reporting of child abuse, and finding homes for foster children.

Over the years, Sachs and Ubben were repeatedly wooed with interest in major national corporate mergers and acquisitions, but always resisted such efforts in the interest of remaining independent.

In 2017, with a focus on the future of the business, Sachs and Ubben named the five veteran executives as partners. They’ve set up a seamless way to intelligently grow these five talented friends into the next generation of company leaders.

“Unlike the popular ‘Succession’ TV series, this one has no cutthroat aspect to it,” Sachs said. “Instead, it is a natural process that involves love, trust, respect and appreciation for the many contributions of these five wonderful friends to our success and growth. I’m healthy and not retiring, but these great people have earned the right to run this business.

Ubben added: “We have always been a working family – striving for excellence in everything we do for every client and doing it with people we truly and deeply care about. This is the best and most natural direction for our future – a transition to our working family.

Sachs and Ubben have chosen a path forward that ensures Sachs Media will continue to be a relevant giant in its work for public, private and not-for-profit clients. The couple will continue to serve as CEO and chairman respectively – and next year Sachs will become chairman of the company and Ubben its CEO as the other partners move up in the collaborative leadership of the company.

This plan benefits from the fact that beyond Sachs and Ubben, the other five partners have been essential leaders of the firm for many years – and they are respected and trusted by all staff and the strong client list. of the firm.

Here’s a bit more about and from the leaders of the Sachs “family” estate:

Lisa Garcia, Chief Operating Officer

The Emmy Award-winning producer is in her 17th year with Sachs Media. His expertise lies in the production of state and national public initiatives, strategic communications and leadership in the implementation of public relations, public affairs and crisis management initiatives, as well as in the overall management of projects. . Prior to joining Sachs Media, Garcia led campaigns for various nonprofit organizations in Washington. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Frostburg State University.

“Our partnership represents a strong bond of family friendship, shared values, work ethic and dedication to the company, its employees and their families, our customers and our community.” LG.

Herbie Thiele, Director of Public Affairs

Thiele has established himself as one of the leading communications and public affairs professionals at Sachs Media. He joined the firm in 2009 and is now a partner overseeing the public affairs team. Political insiders and officials often seek Thiele’s advice when navigating the state’s political environment. While Thiele has led countless successful policy outcomes for clients in Florida, he has also led cross-state efforts and worked on a wide range of pressing federal issues.

“No matter who is in power in Florida, the company has always been the most relevant and credible leader in our industry. When Ron and Michelle expanded the leadership team four years ago, they made sure that we were perfectly positioned to adapt to whatever the future holds while delivering the same exceptional service that our customers and communities have come to expect. HT.

Ryan Cohn, Executive Vice President

Cohn is a senior communications advisor and media strategist for some of the nation’s most respected companies and thought leaders. A skilled storyteller with over 15 years of communications experience, he has helped shape the national conversation around many important issues and ideas. Cohn simultaneously leads Sachs Media’s digital media practice, anticipating and navigating the changing communications landscape for the company’s clients. Prior to joining Sachs Media, he led What’s Next Marketing, a social media marketing agency, from launch to acquisition.

“Ron and Michelle have set the highest standard of excellence that runs through everything we do for clients and the firm. We are excited for this opportunity to build on this story of positive impact for many years to come. RC.

Drew Piers, General Manager

Piers provides advice and leads strategy for the firm’s political, public affairs and crisis management clients. Piers is in his 10th year with the company and brings extensive experience in developing and implementing effective advertising and messaging campaigns designed to drive public affairs results. He has led the firm’s efforts on behalf of local, state, federal and even international clients and is an invaluable resource for those seeking to win in the court of public opinion. He received a bachelor’s degree in public relations and political science and a master’s degree in applied American politics and politics, both from Florida State University.

“Over their decades of dedication, Ron and Michelle have built such a healthy culture that enables breakthrough results for important causes and clients, and the result is an innovative, evolving company with an exceptional all-star team. We are immensely excited about the opportunities to continue telling great stories that change communities for the better. DP.

Karen Cyphers, Research Director

Cyphers has worked at Sachs Media for nearly a decade, leading the company’s Breakthrough Research division. She has worked in the Florida political process for 20 years and is passionate about data analysis, public policy analysis, and polling. Cyphers earned her Ph.D. from Florida State University, where she teaches graduate courses in public policy.

“The five of us complement each other, we like each other and we share a vision for the future of Sachs Media. I will be forever grateful to Ron and Michelle for bringing us all together. KC.


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