EMSI Team


Marsha Friedman

Marsha Friedman

CEO & Founder

Marsha Friedman doesn’t like sitting still. As a prominent business woman, she has run her public relations firm successfully through prosperity and adversity, ironically having one of her best revenue years in the midst of 2009’s recession. As a publicity expert, she has authored the book Celebritize Yourself.

Marsha Friedman launched EMSI in 1990. Her PR company represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. Some of the more prominent names on her client roster are Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane and the famous Motown Group, The Temptations.

She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis, and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity.


Steve Friedman

Steve Friedman

Partner

The phrases “people person,” “good communicator” and “people skills” could have been coined to describe Steve Friedman. Prior to joining his wife Marsha in running EMSI, Steve pursued a sales career in industries spanning from insurance to home security. His real passion in life and business is to help others to realize their goals and dreams, and he loves the opportunity afforded at EMSI to assist other business owners, authors and professionals to flourish and be known in their fields.

For the EMSI family of clients, Steve takes this caring approach to a level rarely seen in business. With each client, he strives to find the most optimum solution to help them achieve celebrity though excellent PR.

The EMSI staff is family to Steve as well. The well-being of the team here at EMSI matters to him as though they are family – indeed, he considers them as such.


Rachel Friedman

Rachel Friedman

V.P. of Media Operations

Rachel came to EMSI in 2006, fresh from her 5 years as an international corporate trainer for a well-known food service brand. This position taught her vital skills in relationship management, information management and customer care, to name a few. In addition, this role provided her with fantastic exposure to the international marketplace.

Rachel started with EMSI in the position of Print Campaign Manager, where she revolutionized the execution of our clients’ print campaigns. After fine-tuning her skills under the wing of EMSI’s CEO, she was able to push the successes of each campaign into a new realm. Over the years, she has worked in every medium of our News and Experts division, as well as in our sales division, and has a client-care focus second to none.

As EMSI’s V.P. of Media Operations, she oversees the day-to-day management of the News and Experts division toward delivering the best results for our clients’ publicity campaigns.

Rachel is Marsha and Steve’s daughter-in-law and has two children, Mason and Daniella.


Ronnie Blair

Ronnie Blair

Senior Creative Director

Ronnie Blair came to EMSI as a veteran journalist with more than three decades of daily newspaper experience, including 20 years in writing and editing positions at The Tampa Tribune. During his time in the newspaper trenches, he covered such varied subjects as education, business, crime, health, government and many others. With his years of newsroom experience, Ronnie knows what newspaper editors look for and puts that knowledge to work when writing articles and pitches for clients.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Morehead State University in his home state of Kentucky.


Shawn LaFata

Shawn LaFata

Creative Communications Strategist

A multi-faceted communications professional, Shawn LaFata comes to EMSI with experience as a writer, PR professional, social media specialist, graphic designer and marketer. In his last stop he handled all media relations efforts at Metropolitan Ministries, a non-profit organization that serves the homeless in the Tampa Bay area.

After beginning his career as a sports journalist, Shawn entered the realm of athletic media relations at his alma-mater, the University of North Florida. From there he moved to the Bay area, where he has worked in marketing and public relations both as a full-time employee and a freelancer.

A unique fact about Shawn is that he is the “human” behind the Twitter account of California Chrome (@CalChrome), the richest race horse in North American History and winner of the 2014 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.


Miguel Casellas-Gil

Miguel Casellas-Gil

Print Campaign Manager

Miguel joined EMSI directly from Puerto Rico where he worked in public relations for almost 10 years, managing national and international clients. He is a vibrant, creative and passionate communications specialist with two Bachelor’s Degrees in Marketing and Corporate Communications from the University of Puerto Rico.

Having traveled the globe, Miguel brings a world perspective to EMSI along with a passion for diversity and cultures. He also is a dog lover and is involved with a number of organizations and initiatives such as Therapy Dogs and the FCI Youth, an international program that promotes a love for dogs among young people and societies around the world.


Don Whitman

Don Whitman

Radio Campaign Manager

Don Whitman brings to EMSI over 20 years of radio broadcast experience as an on-air personality, producer, promotions director, program director and account executive. He’s worked in markets including Philadelphia, Atlanta, Nashville, Sacramento and many more, producing number one ratings and excellent returns on investments for clients.

His combination of being a top rated radio personality, as well as a program director gives him a unique understanding on how to effectively present your message to producers and radio show hosts to maximize your audience reach.


Jay York

Jay York

Senior Digital Marketing Strategist

Jay York is an internet marketing expert with extensive experience in social media marketing dating back to the early days of MySpace and LiveJournal. Since graduating from the University of South Florida Business School, Jay has worked as marketing coordinator for an international IT training company; business development and branding manager for a startup restaurant management group; and CEO of his own social media management firm. He’s learned the ins and outs of internet marketing, including the mysterious and sometimes shady world of SEO, content marketing and blogger outreach. He’s vice president of the Business Guild of Seminole Heights (Tampa) and previously served on the marketing board of Tampa Bay’s Keep America Beautiful Affiliate.

As an advocate for white hat approaches and organic networking, his work leads to long lasting and profitable relationships.


Miguel Lantigua

Miguel Lantigua

Social Media Strategist

Miguel was born and raised in Puerto Rico and is a graduate of Ringling College of Art & Design.  He comes from a graphics and multimedia background that he honed since living in New York City where he worked with a myriad of clients in creating images, web designs, websites and social media presence.

He is very happy to be living in the Sunshine State again where he is closer to family and the beaches.  He spends his leisure time helping out on his uncle’s farm and on some weekends he performs with his musical group Tropico Blvd.


Marti Carlson

Marti Carlson

CEO’s Executive Assistant & Office Manager

Marti brings a wealth of skills and experience to EMSI that helps to streamline operations for greater results, internally and for our clients. With a Bachelor of Science degree from Iowa State University and over 15 years in public relations, including supervision of national social betterment programs and PR personnel training oversight worldwide, Marti complements the EMSI team extremely well.

Prior to joining EMSI, Marti enjoyed extensive Executive Assistance experience in a variety of industries that includes investment, real estate and technology. This experience gives Marti the foundation to ensure that the daily details needed for a successful operation are met.

As Executive Assistant, besides managing the many activities of CEO Marsha Friedman, she also oversees Human Resources, IT and infrastructure support and maintenance. Her daily tasks provide the support necessary that guarantees our Campaign Managers (TV, radio and print) provide our clients the very best service possible.


Brittany Thomas

Brittany Thomas

Executive Assistant to VP Media Operations

Brittany Thomas, in her supporting role to Rachel Friedman, VP Media Operations, assists in the execution of all of our clients’ campaigns.  Brittany has a wide array of administrative skills and delivers superb customer service, stemming in part from her career at a legal firm, and especially from her experience as one of our Print Campaign Managers.

Brittany and her husband are movie buffs who enjoy all genres of cinema, although their theater going has been curtailed somewhat because they are the proud parents of an energetic toddler named Harvey.


Christy Rossiter

Christy Rossiter

Administrative Assistant

Christy Rossiter brings a diverse background to her job as administrative assistant here at EMSI. Just as an example, she spent 10 years handling accounting duties for a cheerleading company, and owned and operated a daycare center for two decades. One of her strengths over the years has been providing top-quality customer service, so we are excited that our clients now are able to benefit from her helpful attitude and positive approach.

Christy happens to be the mother of another member of the EMSI team, Brittany Thomas. That makes her the proud grandmother of Brittany’s son, Harvey.


Cheryl Smith

Cheryl Smith

Administrative Services

Cheryl has been with EMSI almost since the company was founded. Marsha affectionately refers to her as “the memory” of the firm. And it is true—there is virtually no detail about the operation of EMSI, going back twenty years, that Cheryl does not recall.

Cheryl currently wears a number of vital hats that keep the gears turning smoothly, including database management, tracking all the statistics for print production and also for the marketing department. She also is very nimble as Marsha’s Internet researcher.

Over the years, Cheryl has worked in most every area of EMSI, and so is uniquely able to quickly and accurately pull up arcane (but valuable) bits of information that often save the day.


Nico

Nico

In Memory of our Company Mascot and Chief Security Officer

We were lucky at EMSI to have had Nico watching over us and ensuring the safety and security of our offices for years! Nico’s mommy and daddy are Rachel and Damon Friedman, and he had accompanied them to the EMSI offices over the years. He was a mini schnauzer, and as lovable as they came! The team misses him dearly and will never forget him, but they now have little Mila to secure our offices and keep his spirit alive.

Mila

Mila

Our New Company Mascot and Chief Security Officer

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