Clarity PR ups Jay Kolbe to emerging tech EVP post

He joined the firm in January.

Image credit: Philip Robertson, BritrockPhotography
Image credit: Philip Robertson, BritrockPhotography

NEW YORK: Clarity PR has promoted Jay Kolbe to the newly created position of EVP of emerging technologies.

His practice includes blockchain and cryptocurrency, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and other cutting-edge platforms and technologies. Kolbe said Clarity was technology-focused before his hire in January as SVP in the practice, but not as strong in those areas.

"It wasn’t an area of expertise, but since I got to Clarity, it has since become a strong area for us," he said. "The firm has always been a bit of a startup tech firm. It’s just that now we’re a little more mindful of emerging tech needs."

Kolbe is reporting to Ruth Sarfaty, New York MD, in the newly created role. He has four direct reports. Before joining Clarity, Kolbe worked at SparkPR for more than six years, most recently as EVP, according to his LinkedIn account.  

Clarity has also hired Michael Paffmann as VP of enterprise technology, another new role at the agency. Sarfaty said companies that provide expense-management software and services or other B2B enterprise offerings would be included under Paffmann’s purview. Prior to Clarity, Paffmann worked at 5W Public Relations and Highwire. He also reports to Sarfaty and has four direct reports.

The firm also promoted senior account director Sherry Smith to the newly created position of VP of media, mobile, and marketing. Smith, who reports to Sarfaty and has four direct reports, joined Clarity in early 2016 after working at the boutique firm Nadine Johnson Inc. and MWWPR, according to LinkedIn.

Sarfaty said the personnel moves are intended to deepen Clarity’s bench in the respective areas. "The idea is to build out these practices, and that’s not uncommon in agencies of our type," she said. "Each area will be fleshed out."

Clarity gained its San Francisco office in August when it acquired DRSmedia. Last year, Clarity posted $3.4 million in revenue, up 3% compared with the year before.

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