AJ Gerritson, Founding Partner
AJ is obsessed with making clients happy. When he cofounded the agency in 2004 with partner Nick Lowe, their purpose was simple: Create an agency that helps people fall “crazy-in-love” with brands. Although the agency has grown significantly since then, he has never lost sight of what they stand for as an agency.
Today at 451 Marketing, AJ oversees the agency’s strategic direction as well as the sales and marketing efforts for the different offices. He brings over 14 years of experience in brand strategy, public relations, advertising, search engine optimization, and interactive marketing.
Prior to co-founding 451, AJ was a Vice President at Zeeo Interactive, Inc., an award-winning interactive agency based in Boston. At Zeeo, AJ provided brand strategy, interactive marketing and digital advertising strategy for internationally recognized companies such as Time Warner, CookingLight.com and Disney. Prior to that, AJ was the Vice President of Public Relations for AsiaFoods.com, an online Asian food company that specialized in the importation and distribution of Asian foods into the mainstream marketplace. He helped to build the company from the ground up and eventually positioned it for a successful acquisition.
In 2010, the Boston Business Journal named AJ to the 40 Under 40 Class – a prestigious list of business and civic leaders who collectively represent the next wave of talent and commitment in the Boston economy. AJ is an active member of the Greater Boston business community and serves as president of the Boston Irish Business Association (BIBA) – a non-profit business organization dedicated to promoting the business interests of its members and member organizations located in Massachusetts and abroad. AJ sits on the Board of Directors for the March of Dimes Boston. He received a BA in Journalism from University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he captained the UMass Men’s Rugby Team and was named a two-time All-American. AJ later helped to lead the Boston Irish Wolfhounds Rugby Football Club to two USA Rugby Division I National Titles in 2003 and 2004 and played professionally in Limerick, Ireland for the Young Munster Rugby Football Club. AJ resides in Hull, MA with his wife Meaghan and their son Jack.
Nicholas Lowe, Founding Partner
As partner at 451 Marketing, Nick handles the agency’s internal operations. He has over 16 years of digital marketing, SEO and Social Media Marketing experience, working with local and national companies across market sectors, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, energy services, healthcare, high technology, and hospitality companies. Nick founded 451 Marketing in 2004 with friend and colleague AJ Gerritson. Their idea was to create a communications agency that, by harnessing emerging technologies, could offer its clients a better way to connect, engage, and acquire new customers through innovative and integrated communications strategies
Prior to co-founding 451, Nick served for over five years as senior vice president of client services at Zeeo Interactive, Inc., an award-winning interactive agency based in Boston. At Zeeo, Nick worked with a host of internationally and nationally recognized companies like IBM, PAREXEL, Student Advantage, Cooking Light magazine, Fleet Boston Financial, and The May Institute.
Nick began his career as a Congressional Aide for Congressman Edward J. Markey (D), U.S. Representative for Massachusetts’s 7th congressional district. Nick spent two years with Congressman Markey, where he focused on telecommunications, environmental and foreign relations issues. He worked closely with Congressman Markey’s legislative team as they helped implement the new regulatory framework created by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the first significant overhaul of United States telecommunications law in more than sixty years. This historical Act represented the deregulation of the broadcasting market and marked the first time the Internet was included in broadcasting and spectrum allotment.
Nick is involved with several charitable organizations including Jane Doe Inc, National Network to End Domestic Violence and The ROSE Fund. He is a graduate of University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he received degrees in both Political Science and German Literature. Nick also studied at the University of Freiburg in Germany and Oxford University in England. He speaks both German and French and is an avid mountaineer. He resides in Melrose, MA with his wife Julia and their two sons.
Thomas Lee, Senior Partner
As partner at 451 Marketing, Tom oversees 451 Marketing’s public relations teams and assists in developing and driving the agency’s strategic direction. Tom has worked in the public relations and journalism fields for over 17 years, having handled strategic communications for national consumer brands, professional sports teams, professional service companies, and public agencies. Tom joined founding partners AJ Gerritson and Nick Lowe at 451 in 2007 to strengthen and grow the burgeoning agency’s public relations and social media teams. In 2013, Tom was named to the Boston Business Journal’s 16th annual “40 Under 40″ list.
Tom came to 451 from Regan Communications in Boston where, for over five years, he represented national consumer brands like Dunkin’ Donuts, New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc., and RE/MAX; and regional media outlets like Boston Herald, Boston magazine, The Weekly Dig, Mix 98.5, and WBIX-AM1060.
Prior to that, Tom served public relations manager at The Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA), representing over 100 hospitals and health system members in the Commonwealth. Before that, Tom served for over three years as spokesman for The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), a public authority responsible for providing water and sewer services to 2.5 million people and more than 5,500 large industrial users in 61 metropolitan Boston communities. During his time at MWRA, Tom worked on highly scrutinized public works projects like the Deer Island Treatment Plant and Integrated Water Supply Improvement Program. He served as lead spokesman for two nationally publicized events – the “Deer Island Outfall Tunnel Tragedy” and the MWRA’s lawsuit with the US Environmental Protection Agency over the MWRA’s adherence to the Clean Water Act.
Tom began his career as a newspaper reporter, writing for several community newspapers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire including The MetroWest Daily News, The Weston Town Crier, The Wayland Town Crier, The Sudbury Town Crier, Carroll County Independent, and Granite State News.
Tom is involved with several charitable organizations including Good Sports, Jane Doe Inc., and SHADE Foundation. He is a graduate of Xavier High School in New York City and received a BA in English from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, where he served as News Editor for The Clock student newspaper and played defensive back for the university’s nationally ranked Division III football team. Tom is also a former member of the United States Under-19 National Rugby Team and three-time USA Rugby Division I National Champion Boston Irish Wolfhounds Rugby Football Club. Tom resides in North Andover, MA with his wife Krista and their daughters Faith, Madeline and Ava.
Jay Symonds, Partner
As partner, Jay oversees 451 Marketing’s West Coast operations with a focus on sales and business development strategy. Jay has more than 15 years of experience in marketing including advertising, media, brand development, interactive marketing, and search engine optimization. Over the years, Jay has worked with some of the largest and most brand-focused organizations in the world including Target, Toyota, GM, Honda, Staples, CBS, and Sony.
Jay joined 451 Marketing after serving as founding partner at WildFire Capital, a consulting and incubation firm focused on revenue generation and brand development. Previously, Jay served as CEO of Framework Solutions, a leading training consulting firm specializing in utilizing new media and technology to enhance the learning experience. Prior to joining Framework, Jay worked at Rovion as senior vice president of sales where he worked to grow revenues until the company was acquired by Local.com. Before Rovion, Jay played a pivotal role in launching Page One Local, a search engine marketing firm that specialized in lead generation.
Jay began his career at the New York Times Company creating integrated marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 advertisers. Using a blend of traditional media and cutting edge interactive campaigns, Jay was able to deliver outstanding results for the clients he worked with. Early in his career Jay helped create and launch some of the most dynamic and innovative web ad campaigns seen in the last decade, having the pleasure to work with personalities including Tiger Woods, Lebron James, and Eli Manning. With a unique blend of passion, enthusiasm, and creativity, Jay enjoys working with a wide variety of companies from start-ups to Fortune 500 and enjoys all aspects of helping companies grow.
Tanner Elton, Partner
As partner, Tanner brings extensive experience to 451 Marketing’s West Coast operations in the digital media and marketing fields. Tanner is an innovator and leader with a proven record in pioneering new business development strategies that strengthen top-flight marketing and sales organizations.
Before becoming a partner at 451 Marketing, Tanner was a partner at WildFire Capital, a consulting and incubation firm focused on revenue generation and brand development. During that same time, Tanner served as senior account executive in the entertainment division at Amazon.
Tanner’s experience includes being a part of some of the most innovative and cutting edge companies of our time including News Corp, Myspace, IMDb, and Amazon. In addition, Tanner has run successful campaigns for brands including Disney, Universal, Paramount, Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate, The Tribune Company, ABC, and NBC.
Tanner has successfully created and launched various online applications including the first video gifting application on Facebook. This foresight led to an invitation to the first F8 conference. In addition, Tanner has developed numerous social media audiences including one surrounding the Twilight move franchise that now has over 12 million fans. He has continually shown innovation across multiple platforms and industries developing new brands and services and looks forward to working with companies to enhance their position in the market.
Nicole Russo, Executive Vice President
With more than fifteen years of experience in hospitality public relations, Nicole Maffeo Russo is known in Boston as the top restaurant and hospitality publicist in the city. At 451 Marketing, Nicole and her team work with more than fifty hospitality clients, promoting celebrity chefs and getting top billing for established and up-and-coming restaurants.
Before joining 451 Marketing, Nicole worked at O’Neill and Associates, where she served as vice president and helped launch the company’s hospitality and entertainment division. Prior to O’Neill, Russo worked for eight years at Regan Communications, where her client roster included companies like Legal Sea Foods, Mohegan Sun and Boston Harbor Hotel. During this time, Nicole also served as publicist to restaurateur Todd English, helping to elevate his brand to a national level. Russo helped English launch several new restaurants, promoted his various television shows, and worked to align him with several nationally recognizable events such as the Daytime Emmy Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and Jeffrey Katzenberg’s “The Evening Before” Dinner.
Before joining Regan, Russo worked as a publicist for Kirvin Communications in Las Vegas, Nevada building her hospitality and luxury brand experience working with notable companies including MGM Mirage, Studio 54, and Wolfgang Puck.
Russo began her career as a White House intern in the Social Office under President Clinton and as a Legislative Correspondent for U.S. Representative John F. Tierney on Capitol Hill. Nicole is involved with several charitable organizations including the Shonda Schilling SHADE Foundation and ReadBoston. She is a graduate of Lynchburg College in Virginia. She currently resides in West Roxbury, MA with her husband Jay and their daughters Sophia and Issie.
Francis Skipper, Executive Vice President
With more than 11 years of experience in global digital marketing including search engine marketing, advertising, and sales, Francis Skipper serves as Executive Vice President at 451 Marketing. At 451, Francis oversees all global digital marketing campaigns, including search marketing (SEO, PPC, Display) and social media marketing/ advertising. Selected B2B and consumer clients include: Kettle Cuisine, Hood, The College of Healthcare Professions, The Annie Selke Companies, and Gentle Giant Moving Company. As an experienced senior manager and business development driver, Francis has led successful online marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 level companies in the pharmaceutical, consumer packaged goods, healthcare, consumer electronics, B2B, and retail spaces.
Trained as a formulations chemist, Francis began his digital career building web applications in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and chemical regulatory fields. Prior to joining 451 Marketing, he worked in new business development and sales at iProspect where his clients included TiVo, Harry and David, Cost Plus World Market, OakWood Homes, PennySaver USA, Shop.com, and Equinix. Prior to his experience with iProspect, Francis served as Director of Technology at Catalyst Online where he worked with biotech, pharmaceutical, and consumer clients including Pfizer, Novartis, Boehringer Ingleheim, and Procter and Gamble.
Francis holds a Masters of Business Management from Cambridge College. A South Carolina native, Francis earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Chemistry.
Karyn Martin, Executive Vice President
Karyn has more than 12 years of public relations experience in a variety of areas including consumer packaged goods, travel, luxury, hospitality and technology. She specializes in developing and managing integrated public relations campaigns at 451 Marketing as well as utilizing PR 2.0 and SEO/PR techniques for the agency’s growing list of consumer PR clients including The Yankee Candle Company, BAILEYS Coffee Creamers, Cool Gear International, the Annie Selke Companies, Hood, Destination Cellars, and Entertainment Cruises.
Prior to joining 451 Marketing, Karyn spent five years at Emerge PR, representing a wide range of local and national clients including DestinationWeddings.com, CardScan, Cartesis, CSG Systems, Experian QAS, Harte-Hanks, InnoCentive, Information Builders, Precyse Technologies, Quaero, Tizor and Trillium Software. Karyn is an award-winning PR practitioner and has been published multiple times in PR trade publications.
Prior to Emerge PR, Karyn drove the publicity for and provided event management support to the nation’s largest public consumer electronics exhibition show. Previously, Karyn was an account executive at Portland, Maine-based Fendler Communications, a boutique firm specializing in the consumer outdoor industry. In her role, she was responsible for all aspects of executing a successful long-term publicity plan for international companies formally launching their products in the U.S. market. These clients included Ralph Lauren RLX, Thule, VAUDE, Swany America, and PrimaLoft. Karyn has also serviced several local and national accounts in the fields of healthcare, education and technology.
Karyn has led award-winning PR and event campaigns for clients including Hood and Yankee Candle. In 2012, Karyn was honored with the Ringer Award by the Publicity Club of New England, an annual award recognizing excellence in public relations. Karyn is a summa cum laude graduate with a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is currently a board member at large for the Publicity Club of New England.
Katie Gerber, Vice President
With more than 13 years of public relations experience in the technology, video gaming and entertainment industries, Katie manages public relations campaigns in 451 Marketing’s Los Angeles office. At 451, Katie leads the Los Angeles public relations team and focuses on developing and managing integrated public relations campaigns for the agency’s growing roster of West Coast-based clients.
Prior to joining 451 Marketing, Katie founded 318 Agency, representing clients in the lifestyle, technology and digital entertainment spaces. Before that she worked with emerging global kids’ entertainment company, Mind Candy, and also served as Vice President for Wonacott Communications, where she provided senior-level counsel for Wonacott’s interactive entertainment and consumer electronics clients while helping to expand new business for the company.
Katie also spent several years at Disney’s Interactive Media Group, where she focused her efforts on evolving the growing family friendly online gaming business and worked on major franchises including Cars, Club Penguin, Disney Fairies and Pirates of the Caribbean.
Katie began her career at A&R Partners/Edelman, handling media and analyst relations on large consumer and enterprise technology clients, such as Adobe, Inc., and palmOne. She later moved on to represent a variety of consumer tech and entertainment accounts including Hotwire, Pioneer Electronics, Sony Electronics, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, THQ, Newegg.com and several independent online and mobile game publishers, among others. Katie holds a bachelor’s degree in communications, with a focus on TV and video production, from Santa Clara University. – See more at: http://www.451marketing.com/kgerber/#sthash.hMyOYmj9.dpuf