Client Partners

Talent & Personalities

About Us

Ron Berkowitz

Founder & CEO

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.

Marisa Carstens

Senior Vice President

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.

Melanie Van Dusen

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.

Alex Pitocchelli

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 

Vice President

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.

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. 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 & entertainment, consumer lifestyle, food & beverage, and travel & tourism. Berkowitz leads the firms' reputation management practice that includes Alex Rodriguez, Meek Mill, and Michael Rubin, and has been featured across Inc, PRWeek, CBS Sports “Tiki & Tierney”, and more.

Founder & CEO

Ron Berkowitz

Veteran publicist and crisis communications expert Ron Berkowitz began his career in media as a radio personality before pursuing public relations...

Marisa has been part of the core executive team at Berk Communications for five 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

Marisa Carstens

Marisa has been part of the core executive team at Berk Communications for five years. For the past two decades, her focus has been on building smart...

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.

Senior Vice President

Melanie Van Dusen

Melanie (Wadden) Van Dusen joined Berk Communications in 2017 and co-leads the sports and entertainment practice. With over a decade...

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 a student of the Internet who uses pop culture to tap traditional and new media formats to help 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 (acquired by MasterCard) among many others and the experiences have made him adept at successfully crafting compelling strategies for any industry or beat. Always eager to pursue great stories, Matt has contributed pieces for publications such as Fast Company on topics ranging from marketing to Internet culture.

Senior Account Director

Matt Mirandi

A skilled content marketing and communications strategist, Matt Mirandi has spent years leading comprehensive content, thought leadership...

From the world’s biggest brands to the newest start up darlings, Laura Kepus has a depth of experience across a multitude of sports, fashion, streetwear, fitness, and lifestyle brands. Beyond providing strategic guidance and expertise to her clients, Laura has developed a vast network of strong and genuine relationships with editors across an array of verticals. Clients past and present include household names from PUMA, Target, Foot Locker, Lids, ’47, Major League Soccer, Nixon, and CorePower Yoga to breakout brands Bombas, Balance Athletica, Toluca Swim, BODYARMOR, and more. Laura has also conceptualized and activated during important cultural events including New York Fashion Week, Super Bowl, NBA All-Star, MLS All-Star, and more.

 

An avid sports fan with a deep appreciation for fashion, when not working Laura can be found watching a game, cooking up a new recipe, or spoiling her adorable French Bulldog, Lucho. Originally from Richmond and a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University (go Rams!), Laura currently resides in Boston.

Senior Account Director

Laura Kepus

From the world’s biggest brands to the newest start up darlings, Laura Kepus has a depth of experience across a multitude of sports, fashion...

Brooke Levine is an Account Director at Berk Communications with nearly seven years of experience in public relations, working with clients across food, beverage, and consumer lifestyle verticals. Currently, Brooke has a vast array of clients on her plate, ranging from a tech provider in the cannabis space, Weedmaps, a premium spirits e-commerce platform, ReserveBar, a household name such as The Cheesecake Factory, and more. Brooke serves as a day-to-day lead across all accounts and builds thoughtful media strategies that ladder back to individual client goals. She is a media maven who’s always on the lookout to secure the next impactful story for her clients.

Account Director

Brooke Levine

Brooke Levine is an Account Director at Berk Communications with nearly seven years of experience in public relations, working...

Gabrielle Gaines is an Account Director at Berk Communications with over seven years of experience in the public relations field. Since joining Berk in January 2017, Gabrielle has been a core member of shaping the food and beverage department. She is an expert in the space that loves to think outside the box and secure top-tier press for her clients. She also serves as a day-to-day lead across all her accounts where she develops PR plans and pitch strategies to help her clients tell their unique stories in the media. She has worked with various food and beverage companies whilst at Berk, ranging from large-scale restaurant chains, Michelin restaurants and chefs, wine companies, liquor brands, RTD cocktails, energy drinks, and beyond. Currently, she is overseeing accounts such as The Cheesecake Factory, Cavit Wines, Tao Group Hospitality at Moxy East Village, BBQGuys, Rowdy Energy, and more. 

Account Director

Gabrielle Gaines

Gabrielle Gaines is an Account Director at Berk Communications with over seven years of experience in the public relations field...

Christy Distefano is an Account Director at Berk Communications with a background in global in-house public relations. Throughout her career, Christy has focused on corporate and brand communications within the luxury goods and lifestyle categories. Prior to joining Berk, Christy was the first Global PR Manager at Oribe Hair Care where she focused on building the brand’s international presence and was part of the Strategy & Development team at Tiffany & Co. for four years. At Berk, Christy works across the consumer lifestyle, technology, and food & beverage verticals, crafting strategic and effective media strategies for her clients such as Weedmaps, ReserveBar, and Eastbay.  

Account Director

Christy Distefano

Christy Distefano is an Account Director at Berk Communications with a background in global in-house public relations. Throughout her career...

Our Leadership Team

Hover over each team member to learn more about them!

© 2021 by Berk Communications

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