LOS ANGELES: Entertainment and tech PR firm BHI, a division of 42West, has named Shawna Lynch president, effective early next year.
Lynch takes on her role as co-president and founder Dean Bender announces his retirement, effective at the end of 2022.
Previously serving as BHI co-president, Lynch will continue leading the firm for its gaming, consumer products and Web3 clients, and will become more involved with interactive entertainment. SVP Jonah Keel and VP Blake Shuster will also take on Bender’s responsibilities and clients, including FunPlus, Wildlife Studios and Jagex.
“Our team’s DNA is to not just get flat-footed,” Lynch said. “We have represented clients for years.”
BHI has worked with clients including DC Comics and Square Enix. To celebrate 75 years of Batman, it launched events throughout the year at Comic Cons in San Diego, New York and Chicago. During the 20-year celebration of Tomb Raider, BHI worked with the Guinness Book of World Records to bring 270 Lara Croft cosplayers together at Paris Games Week, setting the record for the largest gathering of the character.
Lynch has served as co-president at BHI for nearly two years. Before that, she served as managing partner at the firm for five years. Gradually, she worked her way up the agency, starting as an account executive in 1989 back when it was still called Bender, Goldman and Helper.
Bender recalled his fondest memories being working with brands as they build out their interactive entertainment business.
“We represented the home entertainment division of 20th century Fox for several years,” he said. “The work that we did there got us introduced to when Fox started their interactive division, and then we were representing their games units.”
Bender created BHI in 1986. Back then, it represented home video industry companies including Buena Vista Home Entertainment, MGM Home Entertainment and New Line.
He built out BHI’s gaming practice in the mid-'90s, steering it as the industry experimented and shifted from PC to console gaming, then mobile, then online, and, most recently, the metaverse.
In 2018, BHI launched GG, its own spinoff that focuses on PR and talent management in esports.
In January 2021, Dolphin Entertainment acquired BHI and merged it with entertainment firm 42West.