Trey Ditto, CEO
According to Trey, the PR Industry is broken, and he started Ditto as an anti-PR firm that puts clients first, results ahead of billable hours, only proposes work his team can succeed at and empowers his staff to be the best PR people in the industry.
Trey's unique background as a reporter and a political communications operative put him in a position to be one of the top PR people in the industry. He started his career as the sports editor of his college newspaper and went on to be a freelancer for the Associated Press. That quickly transitioned into a full-time job at the AP in Dallas, where at the age of 21 he was being published across the country.
Trey moved into political communications, working with the Governor of Texas and other statewide elected officials, as a Deputy Communications Director and Spanish Spokesperson (Yes, Trey is fluent in Spanish). Leaving Austin, Trey moved to Washington D.C. and became the Communications Director for a U.S. Congressman, who was the most televised Congressman during Trey's stint. Trey went on to become the deputy press secretary for U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, handling local and national media and external relations on K-12 and higher education issues.
Moving to New York City in 2007, Trey quickly became trusted communications counsel to Fortune 100 companies, celebrities and film festivals, tech start-ups and entrepreneurs and companies looking to elevate their awareness Inside-the-Beltway. Clients included TIME 100, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Stone, Lionsgate Films, Roadside Attractions, Tribeca Film Festival, the documentaries I.O.U.S.A. and American Made Movie, the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker, Bank of America, Deloitte, The Hartford, Microsoft, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and Natixis Global Asset Management - to name a few. From providing strategic communications counsel to implementing communications campaigns, Trey created a following of clients who appreciated the fact that he understood their communications needs and delivered the results he promised.
Simply put, Trey started Ditto based on what he didn't like about PR, and has created a company where colleagues collaborate and work together and clients and results are put first.
When he's not at the office, he's at home in Brooklyn with his wife Natalia and their tiny, adorable dog, Loki. Or you may find him playing soccer (and trying not to get hurt) or traveling as much as possible before before...the next stage of his family life soon happens.
Blain Rethmeier, Managing Director
As a leading expert in corporate affairs and crisis communications, Mr. Rethmeier has spent over 17 years as a trusted advisor to many corporations and C-suite executives, private companies, coalitions and public officials with a talent in developing communication and marketing strategies to drive value and visibility while mitigating complex, high-risk situations during times of crises.
Blain has extensive experience in the White House, federal agencies and Capitol Hill, regulated industries and association management. Most recently, Blain was called upon to help lead the Senate confirmation process for General John Kelly who was sworn into office as Secretary of Homeland Security on January 20, 2017.
Before opening Ditto’s West Coast office, Blain was the Managing Director for Edelman’s Western Region crisis and risk practice and the firm’s lead for their Los Angeles corporate practice. Blain has also served in senior communication roles for the American Insurance Association and the U.S. Travel Association.
Mr. Rethmeier earlier served as special assistant to President George W. Bush for communications and directed all aspects of public affairs for the National Economic Council and Homeland Security Council. He helped manage and execute the Supreme Court confirmation hearings while working for the Senate Judiciary Committee of Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.
Blain resides in California with his wife and three children and enjoys mountain biking and beach time during his days off.
Steven Melfi, Vice President
Before joining Team Ditto, Steven was an Account Director at Affect, a B2B communications agency that focused on technology and professional services clients. Prior to Affect, Steven was a Manager in the Corporate and Public Affairs & Crisis Practices at Burson-Marsteller, where he specialized in connecting B2B companies with relevant stakeholders through traditional and digital channels. He was a trusted advisor to clients, providing counsel on a range of issues including litigation, product recalls, thought leadership and executive positioning. He also worked for Robinson Lerer & Montgomery developing and executing crisis communications programs for clients in financial services, healthcare and technology.
Steven provides clients with strategic insight and guidance for maintaining sound corporate profiles and managing reputational risk. Steven has a diverse communications skill set, having worked in crisis and corporate communications, investor relations, media relations and digital strategy.
Steven holds a double major Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Communications & Media Studies from Fordham University.
Ali O'Leary, Associate vice president
Before joining the Ditto team, Ali was a director at FortyThree PR, a consumer technology agency in Santa Cruz, California where she developed and led various PR initiatives for both B2B and B2C clients. Prior to FortyThree, Ali worked at Edelman in the Silicon Valley for years where she focused on consumer technology and design on the Adobe and Pantone accounts.
Ali has been in the public relations industry for years working on various PR and social media campaigns, reaching out to press, securing desk side meetings and coverage, working on contributed articles, spearheading surveys and handling events, awards and speaking opportunities. As a native Californian, she loves spending time at the beach and hiking as well as travel, art and anything that has to do with live music. Ali has a bachelor's degree in Marketing from Santa Clara University.
casey elliott, Associate vice president
Casey started her career in nonprofit policy and grassroots advocacy. She worked as a Legislative Assistant at the Uniform Law Commission in Chicago, Illinois, and assisted with the passage of uniform state laws, including the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act and the Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act. She went on to work with the American Association of Diabetes Educators to promote state licensure initiatives for diabetes educators and the Access to Quality Diabetes Education Act of 2014 during the 113th Congress. Casey moved to Washington, D.C. in 2014 to work for DDC Public Affairs and provided support for high-profile clients' grassroots advocacy programs.
In early 2016, Casey organized an “On the Record” event in Manchester, NH for the Addiction Policy Forum, featuring presidential candidates Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Chris Christie, Governor John Kasich, and Carly Fiorina. As Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the Addiction Policy Forum, Casey worked with stakeholders, legislators and constituents on the passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) of 2016, which was signed into law on July 22, 2016 by President Barack Obama.
Casey holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees in political science and history from the University of Utah, and a Master of Arts degree in strategic communication from American University in Washington, D.C.
Joanna Leis, Account director
Joanna brings nearly a decade of experience in public relations to her work at Ditto. Her expertise in media relations, social media, research, event planning, thought leadership, award entries and CSR have helped elevate awareness of social issues and clients’ reputations. She’s a generalist that has worked across various industries including nonprofit, B2C, B2B, CPG, education, healthy lifestyle, beauty, arts, health, environment, hospitality, food, wine, telecommunications, information technology and publishing space. Before joining Team Ditto, Joanna was a Senior Account Executive at Finn Partners within the CSR & Social Impact Group working on clients such as Bloomberg Philanthropies, Viacom, Barnard College, Rather Prize (Dan Rather’s nonprofit), Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial, The Female Quotient, Verizon, and NOMORE.org.
In 2016, she was named one of the PRSA-New York Chapter’s inaugural “15 Under 35,” which recognizes the most inspired and inspiring young public relations talent in the New York metro area and as one of PR News’ Rising PR Stars 30 & Under, which recognizes the most promising young leaders of PR across the globe. She currently sits on the New York University’s School of Professional Studies Department of Programs in Business Alumni Board and serves on the Young Advisory Committee to the PRSA-NY Board of Directors.
Joanna received a M.S. in Public Relations and Corporate Communication from NYU. At the age of 20, she obtained a double B.A. in Sociology and Women Studies from SUNY Albany, graduating Magna Cum Laude and successfully completing SUNY Albany’s Project Renaissance Pre-Law Track Program.
Kendall Clark, Account Executive
Prior to Ditto, Kendall worked at Natixis Global Asset Management on the public relations team in Boston where she focused on supporting various PR initiatives for both Natixis and affiliate thought leaders and products. She worked closely with the U.S. and international teams to curated content for press releases, whitepapers and executive articles. While at Natixis, she helped produce content under the Durable Portfolio Construction Research Center and was involved in implementing marketing strategies to promote brand awareness and continuity between international offices.
Kendall holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs and Sociology with a minor in Business Administration and Spanish from the University of New Hampshire. She is interested in foreign travel and languages, photography, writing and art.
Natalia Tsurikova Ditto, Marketing Director
Natalia joined Ditto from Copia Interactive LLC, an ed-tech startup, where she fostered and implemented strategic corporate and educational partnerships to include The Blaze and the Delilah digital book club verticals. She has 6 years of experience working in the communications field both in-house and at agencies to include Rubenstein Associates and Tractenberg & Co. She has worked with a range of lifestyle and non-profit clients to include Amazon.com, Cartier's CSR initiatives, Diesel Fragrances, Harry Slatkin, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and The Doe Fund. Natalia graduated from Drexel University with a BA in Corporate Communication and Business Administration.
Natalia lives in Williamsburg with her husband and her dog Loki. In her spare time she enjoys traveling the world, photography, live music & and DJ school, and spending time with family and friends.
Lisa Langsdorf, Tech PR Specialist
Lisa is a highly skilled public relations professional who focuses on developing and driving PR programs for companies that range in size, from start up to public. She specializes in planning, messaging, writing and media relations for b2b and b2c technology companies. She has driven several large scale PR campaigns for companies that include: About.com/New York Times Company, Fusion-io, Lookout Mobile Security and Wickr. Lisa has a degree in Journalism from Temple University.
Chris Rice, CEO redBlazer
redBlazer has more than a decade of experience working for Fortune 100 companies. Most recently managing the digital presence of Samsung Electronics. While working at large tech companies, Chris Rice (President and CEO of redBlazer), noticed that teams of people worked on every digital detail which led to some of the highest trafficked websites in the industry.
What he also noticed was that many small businesses or startups that were trying to break into the industry did not have the resources or know how to enhance their digital presence. redBlazer set out to rectify this problem by using a client focused approach to truly understand the business and how to represent that passion in an ever-growing and ever-changing digital landscape. Clients can remain focused on the day-to- day operations and strategic thinking needed to grow, while redBlazer focusing on the digital needs in order to keep up.
They specialize in many digital areas: complete website redesigns, copywriting, photography, website management, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), product launches, campaign launches, and advertising campaigns.