Chairman & Chief Executive OfficerFor over 40 years, Hal has guided the growth and direction of Cerrell. He consults with corporate and political clients on public affairs, government relations, media strategy, crisis and reputation management, legislation and political campaigns. As Chairman & CEO, Hal advocates for Cerrell’s clients before local city councils, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and various regulatory agencies, with his specialty being the energy, water, infrastructure and transportation sectors.
Chief Financial OfficerAs Cerrell’s CFO and co-owner, Steve oversees the firm’s accounting, finance, legal, and government reporting activities. A veteran of the firm for more than 30 years, he’s worked with staff to maintain consistent revenue growth and strengthen the company’s operations and client services. Steve’s understanding of the public affairs world comes from his extensive time as a financial manager and public affairs executive in the telecommunications and resource recovery industries. He advocated for various political and business-related projects, and was the business operations manager for one of the 100 largest cable television systems in the US. Steve is a wine enthusiast who has explored many of the great wine regions of the world.
Chief Strategic OfficerFor more than a decade, Brandon has run successful political, alliance development and public education campaigns. Working across the firm’s diverse specialty areas, he works to develop Cerrell’s strategic vision to ensure the firm’s continued growth. Brandon’s expertise is in developing winning strategic communications plans and mobilizing stakeholders to influence decision-makers and the media at the local, state and federal levels. A campaign veteran, he has managed several statewide programs for Cerrell and other firms, including a statewide healthcare advocacy and communications network and several ballot measures. After quitting smoking, Brandon loves running 5K’s and hiking with his friends, and spending as much time as possible with his family.
Vice PresidentFernando co-leads Cerrell’s government relations programs, bringing decades of legislative and political expertise to the firm’s corporate clients. He provides strategic counsel and decision-maker interactions for clients as they look to expand their footprint within Southern California, with a focus on the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, and the City of Long Beach. Fernando formerly worked for LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis when she served as a California State Senator, and for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Fernando is an avid fisherman and loves baseball…GO DODGERS!!!
Vice PresidentTori runs Cerrell’s political, public education and issues management campaigns, specializing in strategic communications, stakeholder engagement and media relations for private and public-sector clients. With more than a decade of political campaign and public policy experience, Tori continues to play a game-changing role on local and statewide campaigns. Tori was lead manager of the Strategic Research Department for President Barack Obama’s successful reelection campaign in 2012, having served in a similar capacity on the President’s 2008 campaign, and on high-profile U.S. Senate reelection campaigns. Tori enjoys running, reading, walking her dog and enjoying the California sunshine. She’s also seen every episode of Friends and Seinfeld.
Vice PresidentDan leads Cerrell’s public relations and crisis communications programs, handling some of the firm’s most contentious and high-profile work. He provides a broad range of corporate, nonprofit and government clients with media, crisis communications, community relations and government relations counsel. Prior to joining Cerrell, Dan gained broad experience executing complex communication and campaign strategies through his work for former Assembly Speaker John A. Perez, and later as Press Secretary on the campaign of mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel. Dan spends just about all his free time barbecuing and rooting avidly for the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics.
Vice PresidentMarc bring decades of government relations and political experience to Cerrell’s government relations focus area. He co-leads a team of government and community affairs experts to serve clients seeking to build relationships with elected officials at the federal, state, county and city levels, as well as engaging public agencies throughout Southern California. A campaign and political veteran, Marc previously was the legislative coordinator for SEIU Local 721 in LA, managing several successful local revenue measures. He’s also worked for Senator Paul Wellstone and the Bill Bradley for President campaign among others. Marc enjoys a robust yoga practice for over 20 years after suffering a knee injury from playing one season in the Danish American Football League.
Associate Vice PresidentTracey brings over 19 years of government and political experience to Cerrell’s government relations team. As the leader of our Los Angeles City focus area, Tracey bridges the gap between the corporate and government worlds, helping Cerrell’s developer, cannabis and disruptive technology clients secure favorable outcomes. Tracey has worked for four LA City Councilmembers, including current Councilmember Joe Buscaino. Through this work and her time at the Central City Association – a leading business advocacy organization – she has gained an unmatched background in government advocacy. Tracey enjoys spending time with her five-year-old daughter, teaching her how to read and write, exploring museums and cultural events, and window shopping at the American Girl store.
Public Affairs ManagerAnthony brings extensive public affairs/public relations experience spanning several industries to the firm’s government relations and land use teams. He specializes in strategic communications, media outreach, stakeholder and community engagement, brand development and event coordination. His experience in advocacy has given him the skills necessary to develop effective and culturally-sensitive messages for ethnically diverse audiences. Anthony came to Cerrell with more than a decade of experience in the fields of communications, public policy, government and international relations, nonprofit advocacy and business development. Anthony enjoys healthy living and staying active, watching documentaries, Seinfeld reruns and all types of sports, and taking his 10-year-old Shephard-mix everywhere with him on the weekend.
Public Affairs ManagerJason is an experienced communications professional whose work on complex and dynamic projects benefits Cerrell’s public relations & crisis communications clientele. He focuses on crafting innovative and effective strategies to frame client narratives and engage external audiences. Jason is a veteran of both government and campaigns at the local, state and federal levels. He previously served as Communications Director for Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and for former Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member Nury Martinez, and Press Secretary for former Congressman Howard Berman’s 2012 reelection campaign. Known at the office for his encyclopedic knowledge of useless information and Presidential trivia, and for his ever-growing collection of eccentric socks. Jason is a cinephile and a lover of food and cooking projects.
Senior Account ExecutiveSierra implements comprehensive public relations programs to shape public opinion and frame complex issues for Cerrell’s diverse clientele. She designs programs focusing on strategic communications, corporate social responsibility, and public policy analysis to strengthen our clients’ brands and achieve their goals. Her experience includes providing counsel to corporations, high-profile individuals and non-profit organizations in political affairs and strategic philanthropy, including organizing political fundraisers for numerous candidate campaigns and political action committees. A lover of eating chocolate, dancing, and playing with dogs, you will most likely find Sierra doing one of these activities (and yes, sometimes all at once).
Account ExecutiveJohn specializes in bridging the gap between familiar communication mediums and new, fast-paced and high-tech information sector. His experience includes developing public education materials and implementing community outreach programs for public and private sector clients. John engages in thoughtful analysis and creative thinking that supports any public relations campaign. He specializes in developing strategic communications programs focusing on reaching diverse audiences through digital advertisements and materials, and manages social media content, tracking and analytics for clients. On weekends, you can find John at the Rose Bowl or Pauley Pavilion cheering on his beloved Bruins. During the off season, he’s probably in his garage brewing beer.
Account ExecutiveJodi implements multifaceted advocacy and outreach strategies for Cerrell’s private, nonprofit and public-sector clients. She specializes in maximizing stakeholder relationships, event conception and planning, educating and influencing decision-makers, and mobilizing support for client issues. Prior to Cerrell, Jodi worked as the Community Outreach Director for the USC Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, managing its political internship and policy research programs. She’s also worked on the organizing and financial sides of local and statewide candidate and issue campaigns. Jodi is the Board Vice President of College Access Plan, a nonprofit that prepares underserved students to succeed in college. She’s an avid concert-goer and music lover.
Senior Account CoordinatorJoe manages day-to-day client account issues for the firm’s government relations and land use clients. He specializes in stakeholder outreach, coalition building and supporter mobilization for some of Cerrell’s highest-profile clients. Joe previously worked with The American Institute for Progressive Democracy (TAIPD) as a Digital Media Coordinator and Event Manager for their academic conferences. He promoted and supervised TAIPD’s annual events, as well as worked to enhance the reach of its online journal through the management of their website and social media platforms. When not in the office, you will find Joe on the basketball court or on the trails exploring California.
Senior Account CoordinatorLeigh brings a keen understanding of strategic communications, messaging and grassroots engagement to Cerrell’s public relations, crisis communications, campaigns and community outreach programs. She develops innovative, multipronged strategies that win elections, influence key decision makers, gain media coverage and accomplish her client’s public policy goals. An East Coast transplant, Leigh’s background includes working at the Supreme Court, on a statewide election and in the international relations sphere. Through this work, she gained valuable experience in political communications working on sensitive and complex policy issues. Outside work, Leigh can be found trying out the newest restaurant, cooking an elaborate recipe or cheering on her beloved USC Trojans.
Senior Account CoordinatorWendy Villalta supports Cerrell Associate’s Public Relations & Crisis Communications practice area as a Senior Account Coordinator. Her client portfolio includes high-profile projects in construction, healthcare, oil and gas, and water. In addition to serving a diverse range of clients in managing public relations programs, Wendy is a digital communications strategist, launching and managing social media programs for several of Cerrell’s clients. Wendy is an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hiking, backpacking, camping and rock climbing. She is passionate about protecting public lands, animal welfare, and on weekends she volunteers at a local cat shelter.
Account CoordinatorJosh manages stakeholder engagement, community outreach and coalition building activities for contentious issues throughout Southern California. He specializes in working on the firm’s environmental, health, local government and land use clients. Josh gained his community engagement expertise by serving as a Board Member for Mi Casa de Angeles, coordinating fundraising opportunities to build a new K-6 school in Lima, Peru. He also worked with the Freedom of Information Organization, engaging student bodies to raise awareness about the lack of transparency within government. When not at Cerrell, you can find Josh at Dodger Stadium catching a game with his dad, Steve…
Accounting & HR ManagerSarah wears many hats at Cerrell, blending traditional accounting and office management functions with innovative human resources practices, ensuring a productive and collaborative workplace environment. She oversees client invoicing, as well as accounts payable and receivable, and manages staff onboarding and benefit administration activities to seamlessly integrate new employees onto our team. Sarah gained valuable accounting and human resources experience through her previous work in the mental health and insurance sectors. A proud UCLA Bruin, Sarah enjoys traveling, reading fantasy fiction, cross stitching, and spending time with her family and twins.
ReceptionistAnna has been part of the Cerrell family for 20 years. The first voice that everyone hears when they call our office, she provides administrative support with a focus on accounting and event coordination. Anna came to Cerrell with over a decade of working for the public sector. In her time with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and California Children Services, she gained valuable customer service and database management experience that she continues to use to this day. Anna and her husband are members of her local church outreach program and love to watch NFL sports games on her time off.
Accounting CoordinatorAs an Accounting Coordinator at Cerrell, Joe is an integral part of the administration team by supporting the firm’s account leaders with client budgeting, contract management and sub-contractor coordination. Joe manages the firm’s lobby reporting and registrations, accounts payable, revenue forecast, budgets, and cash account reconciliations. Joe gained valuable finance experience through his previous work in the mortgage industry where he worked in both the compliance and loan servicing departments. In his free time, Joe enjoys watching football, working out, seeing live music, and appreciates the many great restaurants that Los Angeles has to offer.
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