Fleishman West Coast boss abandons ship for Internet start-up

SAN FRANCISCO: Proving that the start-up’s siren song has begun to snare even the highest-level agency personnel, Fleishman-Hillard West Coast leader Jerry Epstein announced last week that he is leaving the firm to head up a fledgling e-commerce company.

SAN FRANCISCO: Proving that the start-up’s siren song has begun to snare even the highest-level agency personnel, Fleishman-Hillard West Coast leader Jerry Epstein announced last week that he is leaving the firm to head up a fledgling e-commerce company.

SAN FRANCISCO: Proving that the start-up’s siren song has begun to

snare even the highest-level agency personnel, Fleishman-Hillard West

Coast leader Jerry Epstein announced last week that he is leaving the

firm to head up a fledgling e-commerce company.



Starting September 1, Epstein, formerly F-H’s regional president for

California operations, will take the reins as CEO and president of

GiftTrend.com, a San Francisco-based corporate and consumer gift

e-tailer.



An F-H employee for 17 years, Epstein was instrumental in the founding

of the agency’s San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego and Minneapolis/St.

Paul offices. He is also said to have played a major role in last year’s

acquisition of dollars 8 million hi-tech shop UpStart Communications

(PRWeek, February 15). He was a member of F-H’s operating committee and

oversaw the practice groups.



Until a full-time replacement for Epstein is hired, regional VP Bill

Anderson and COO Kurt Wehrsten will oversee F-H’s California offices and

the relationship with UpStart. Rick Sullivan will temporarily fill his

role on the operating committee.



Epstein’s departure is the third major high-level defection for F-H’s SF

branch. GM John Berard left for FitzGerald Communications in late May

(PRWeek, May 31), and corporate group senior VP David Melancon jumped to

a marketing post at a Boulder-based Internet company. Neither position

has been filled to date. Richard Kline continues to hold down the fort

in San Francisco as acting GM.



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