Stoorza breaks up in order to survive

SAN DIEGO: Stoorza Communications, once California's largest

independent public affairs firm, has slashed operations by selling off

two satellite offices and its political affairs division.

Branches in Riverside and Sacramento, as well as the San Diego-based

campaign strategies division, were sold to former Stoorza employees in a

move that leaves a staff of about 24 in the San Diego and LA


Stoorza president John Spelich says the main reason for the breakup was

the mid-range size of the firm. At about 90 employees and five

divisions, Stoorza was too big to be called a boutique, yet too small to

compete with powerhouse national firms.

"Each of our individual components are now able to be more nimble and

entrepreneurial than they would have been in a larger organization,"

explained former Stoorza VP Tom Shepard, who purchased the campaign

strategies division.

As well as a number of tech clients closing shop, causing financial

difficulties, an exodus of top talent has also plagued the company.

Former president and CEO Dave DePinto and SVP, assistant GM Bob Morales

recently left to form their own venture (PRWeek, July 30).

Stoorza's Sacramento office has been renamed Randle Communications under

Jeff Randle; the Riverside office is now O'Reilly Communications, led by

Patrick O'Reilly; and campaign strategies is now Tom Shepard Associates.

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