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Our Team

Karen.R

Karen MacKenzie, president, is an internationally respected food and beverage marketing communicator.  She founded her own food marketing business in 1989 in New York City following a rapid rise at Ogilvy & Mather Public Relations, Bozell Worldwide, and the NBC television affiliate in Boston.  A past president of Les Dames d’Escoffier, San Francisco chapter, Karen is actively involved with the Society of Wine Educators and the International Foodservice Editorial Council.  She frequently lectures on food and beverage public relations for colleges and industry groups nationwide.


Karen serves as a judge of the International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Awards – considered the gold standard in the culinary industry.  She is a recipient of the Clarion Award, bestowed annually by Women in Communications, recognizing the top journalists, writers and communicators in the United States.  She has been at the agency helm for virtually every Public Relations industry recognition of excellence, including an unprecedented seven Kraft Creativity Awards, the Public Relations Society of America Silver Anvil Award, as well as several Big Apple Awards for PRSA, New York Chapter.

Christine1

Christine Piccin, vice president, media relations, is a widely published food, wine and travel writer who understands the national food media and the audiences they serve.  Her work has appeared in Bon Appétit, Saveur, and Santé, among other publications, and reflects her deep knowledge of food and wine garnered during her long tenure as an award-winning chef, culinary instructor and restaurant professional.

At the MacKenzie Agency, Christine largely focuses on media relations campaigns for wine clients, including Charles Krug Winery, the DOCG Prosecco producers, and Wines of Spain, three of the most successful public relations campaigns in recent industry history.  Fluent in French, Christine and her husband, Francois, annually travel to France for what she claims is “experiential research.”

Linda

Linda Low, vice president, is an organizational genius who, among other things, manages promotional campaigns for international exporting entities, including the Trade Commission of Spain, Wines of Sicily, DOCG Prosecco Consorzio, The Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, and the Italian Ministry of Agriculture. She is particularly adept at producing special events, having orchestrated hundreds of events for foodservice, trade and consumer influencers during the eleven-plus years she has been with the MacKenzie Agency. Linda graduated from Santa Clara University and more recently completed a rigorous ‘Uniki studies program and graduated as a Kumu Hula. She continues her studies to preserve and promote the artistic and cultural traditions of the Polynesian Islands.

Bruce

Bruce Falstein, of counsel, is a former partner who continues to consult with the agency as senior strategist, copywriter and creative adviser specializing in corporate/investor relations, media relations, crisis/issues communications, speechwriting, social/online media, and advertising. The former editorial voice of Betty Crocker whose weekly "Ask Betty" advice column appeared in over 800 newspapers nationwide, his speeches have been delivered by luminaries including the CEOs of Pepsico, Haagen-Dazs, and the American Stock Exchange, network news anchors, and the reigning King of Spain.

 Mack bio pic flipped Mack Falstein, assistant account executive, combines deep experience in social media with a longstanding passion for public relations. Adept in all aspects of building and communicating to online social networks, Mack has an uncanny ability to distill the brand's key messages into highly targeted communications that resonate with the brand's core audiences. His expertise include audio, video, web, print-based content and production.  
 Susan
Susan Bejeckian, svp, destination, heads the Destination public relations account group at the MacKenzie Agency. Susan managed the very successful public relations campaign for Tourism Fiji The Americas for the past fourteen years; Yasawa Island Resort & Spa, Fiji Islands, Vintage Inn & Spa in Napa Valley, California, and is of counsel to the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau, New York Convention & Visitors Bureau; and the Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation in Atlanta, Georgia.
 
Prior to joining the MacKenzie Agency, Susan founded and operated her own public relations firm, SA/SB PR and led campaigns overseas and in the United States for The Papua New Guinea Tourist Authority in the South Pacific, Brook Farm in Australia, Marine Del Ray Convention & Visitors Bureau, Newport Conference & Visitors Bureau, and the Santa Monica Conference & Visitors Bureau.Susan’s PR career includes international public relations agency experience at Fleishman-Hillard Worldwide, where she developed and executed worldwide publicity for the grand opening of Kirk Kirkorian’s MGM Grand Hotel & Theme Park in Las Vegas, and generated thousands of media impressions for Mexico Tourism, Acapulco Tourism and Conrad Hotels.
Jay

Jay Bell, commodities project supervisor, focuses on marketing campaigns for commodities promotion groups, enabling the agency to be a full-service marketing services provider to industry trade groups and government-sponsored promotion authorities. An expert in food, beverage and packaged goods marketing, Jay is deeply experienced in all facets of program development and execution. He specializes in consumer promotions, innovative media programming, and cost-effective retail support for both national brands and fresh produce commodities. His experience includes Sunkist Growers (U.S. and export markets), Nestle (retail and foodservice), Del Monte Foods, the Chilean Fresh Fruit Association, the California Asparagus Commission, California Pomegranate, Apricot and Prune promotion boards, the California Wine Institute and numerous wine brands, The Clorox Company (new product introductions), numerous specialty food purveyors, and vendor-sponsored cooperative promotions with a long list of national foodservice chains and hospitality operations.

Eileen Eileen Hume, vice president, New York, is a specialty food marketing expert with extensive European import experience. She is a former brand manager and business development manager for ConAgra Foods’ Specialty Foods division, and served as marketing manager for Foods from Spain, representing a wide variety of specialty food products imported into the U.S. from Spain.  As both a marketing manager and consultant, she has developed markets and fortified sales for such key brands as Ferrarini salami, La Primera serrano ham, Cheese from Spain, Olive Oil from Spain, and all manner of European cheeses.
Stephanie Stephanie Avidon, senior account executive, New York, is a graduate of the prestigious hotel management program at Cornell University and was Karen MacKenzie's first hire when she started her agency. In the intervening 22 years, Stephanie picked up a Master's Degree in Food and Wine Business from St. Joseph’s University at night while managing public relations campaigns for Kraft Foods, McIlhenny Company (Tabasco), Swiss Wine, and the Wines of Argentina.