Veteran publicist and crisis communications expert Ron Berkowitz began his career in media as a radio personality before pursuing public relations. While at the University of Miami, Berkowitz handled play-by-play for WVUM Radio covering Hurricanes football, baseball, and basketball. He then worked as a reporter for WTOP radio in Washington covering the Baltimore Orioles where he met longtime MLB PR guru Rob Butcher (then with the Yankees, and now with the Cincinnati Reds). Butcher invited Berkowitz to interview with him for a role in the Yankees PR Department if he wanted to transition out of broadcasting, and he quickly took him up on the offer. Berkowitz went on to work for the Yankees and FOX Sports before launching Berk Communications in 1999. For the last 21 years, Berkowitz has grown the then-one-man-shop to what is now an award-winning PR firm representing some of the industry’s leading players across sports and entertainment, consumer lifestyle, food and beverage, travel and tourism. Berkowitz leads the firms reputation management practice that includes Alex Rodriguez, Meek Mill, and Michael Rubin. He has been featured across Inc, PRWeek, CBS Sports “Tiki & Tierney”, and more.
Founder & CEO
Ryan is a highly accomplished sports marketing and communications executive with 20+ years of expertise in developing and implementing results-driven public relations campaigns and building effective sports & entertainment strategies for leading Fortune 100 brands representing diverse sectors including computing, financial services, telecommunications, consumer technology, CPG, esports, sportswear, food/beverage and sports. He is a senior brand strategist who has supported integrated sports marketing communications initiatives and leveraged global sponsorships for industry leaders including Amazon, Activision, Microsoft, Nike, National Football League, Hershey, PUMA, Coca-Cola, Comcast, NASCAR and DraftKings. Ryan brings a proven track record of success in all facets of marketing communications including media relations, digital / social media, corporate and crisis communications, reputation management, strategic partnerships, influencer marketing, product launches, and issues-based PR.
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Marisa has been part of the core executive team at Berk Communications for four years. For the past two decades, her focus has been on building smart and effective media strategies for consumer lifestyle brands. She has held leadership roles at some of the top PR agencies in New York including Text100 and Harrison & Shriftman, and also spent several years in-house at American Express. Marisa has worked with a diverse roster of consumer brands throughout her career including Johnson & Johnson, Shazam, MTV, VH1, The Cheesecake Factory, British Airways, TLC (The Learning Channel), W Hotels, JW Marriott, Blackberry and more. At Berk Communications she leads strategy development for key accounts across the lifestyle, food & beverage and travel categories including The Cheesecake Factory, Israel Ministry of Tourism, Elegance Brands, Weedmaps, Patreon and more.
Senior Vice President
Melanie (Wadden) Van Dusen joined Berk Communications in 2017 and co-leads the sports and entertainment practice. With over a decade of experience, she has worked with some of the biggest personalities, agencies, and governing bodies in the industry and held roles with the National Basketball Association, Octagon, and Select Sports Group. As a senior strategist at Berk, Melanie oversees the agency’s roster of sports personalities in reputation management and leads the National Football League, Major League Soccer, BODYARMOR, and Lids business. Her deep industry expertise, extensive rolodex, and proven results earned her a spot on the 2018 PRNEWS’ Rising Stars 30 and Under list.
Melanie Van Dusen
Senior Vice President
Alex Pitocchelli joined Berk Communications in 2020 with a background in both agency and in-house public relations roles. Prior to joining Berk, Alex was a PR Manager at New Era Cap where he oversaw the strategic planning and execution of PR initiatives tied to the brand’s key tentpole moments including Super Bowl, All-Star Games, Drafts and other important product launches. Alex also spent five years at Allison+Partners where he worked with a variety of partners either endemic to sports or brands who were looking for new and innovative ways to leverage their sports sponsorships. His clients included Advance Auto Parts, ASICS, Dannon, Minute Media, NextVR, Nike DTC, Samsung, Spartan Race, TB12, US Equestrian and more. Originally from Massachusetts, Alex is a die-hard Boston sports fan as well as a fan of Sam Adams and lobster rolls. He is also an avid skier who has traveled the world in search of epic powder days.
Didier Morais joined Berk Communications in February 2017, where he has led clients spanning music, entertainment, social justice, spirits, fashion and consumer lifestyle verticals. Over the course of his career, he has successfully spearheaded media relations and reputation management campaigns for several prominent personalities and brands, including Meek Mill, Megan Thee Stallion, Yo Gotti, Fat Joe, Michael Rubin, Roc Nation, REFORM Alliance, D’USSE Cognac and Bel-Air Athletics, among many others. In addition to overseeing global album releases, red carpet events and innovative product launches, Didier’s work in social justice has spawned national conversations around criminal justice reform and systemic racism, even leading to public praise from Vice President Kamala Harris and action from the U.S. Justice Department. Before working in publicity, Didier also spent three years as a sports reporter, covering the Boston Red Sox for New England Sports Network (NESN), the Miami Heat for the Miami Herald and high school sports for the Houston Chronicle.
A skilled content marketing and communications strategist, Matt Mirandi has spent years leading comprehensive content, thought leadership, and public relations campaigns for Fortune 50 companies, advocacy groups, and startups alike. He’s passionate about building authentic reporter relationships, and is a student of the Internet who uses pop culture to tap traditional and new media formats to advance client stories and enhance the impact they have on desired audiences. Matt has led media relations strategies for brands as diverse as GE, Credit Suisse, Pfizer, ExxonMobil, Target, The Home Depot, Dell, The Motion Picture Association of America, the TED Conferences, InterContinental Hotels Group, Liberty United, Solar Impulse, The Happiest Baby Company, Knewton, Credit Sesame, and BillShrink among many others making him adept at successfully crafting compelling strategies for any industry or beat. Always eager to pursue great stories, Matt has contributed pieces for publications on topics ranging from marketing to Internet culture. His desire to dress as ‘Scumbag Steve’ for Halloween led to the investigation on the origins of the Internet’s most infamous hat; a curiosity into an emerging meme about the absurd length of CVS receipts led to a buzz of national news stories and a change in CVS’ corporate policy; and a keen eye for social media chatter led him to discover that two teenagers in a crowd likely inspired Kanye West’s iconic VMA speech about his ambitions to run for president.