All of our clients, large and small, benefit from the active involvement of veteran PR executives who understand their strategic goals and act as partners in developing and implementing successful plans.
With decades of experience, our principals are insightful thinkers with extensive relationships in the media and an extremely knowledgeable approach to our clients’ activities. We understand the substance behind the clients we represent and are able to communicate it in ways that are both compelling and nuanced. Our background and our approach give us the ability to see opportunities and capitalize on them.
We understand our clients’ missions, goals and challenges. We recognize how details affect the big picture. We focus on successful outcomes; whether through an aggressive major media campaign or through more targeted tactics, we help clients communicate the right message to the right audience at the right time.
We assign senior executives to every account. All of our clients benefit from the active involvement of veteran PR executives who understand their strategic goals and act as partners in developing and implementing successful plans.
Lisa Linden, President & CEO
Over a career that has spanned nearly four decades, Lisa Linden has established a reputation as one of the top professionals in the public relations field, having worked with scores of top executives and political figures, prominent public and private companies and non-profit institutions to build their brands, shape perceptions and achieve their goals through effective communications.
A veteran crisis communications strategist, Lisa has served in senior consulting and staff positions on Presidential, Congressional and statewide campaigns and is frequently called upon to counsel clients through high-stakes business and reputational issues, particularly those at the intersection of the private and public sectors. In the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks, she played a key role working with New York City's hospitality and tourism industry to mount the city's comeback, as well as with the Families of Flight 93 in their efforts to develop the Congressionally-mandated Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Named one of City & State's "50 Over Fifty" most prominent leaders, and to the publication's list of "100 Responsible New Yorkers", Lisa is a fixture in New York City's civic community. She serves on the boards NYC & Company, the City's convention & visitors' bureau, the New York League of Conservation Voters, and The NYLCV Education Fund. She is a member of the Board of Governors of the New York Building Foundation, an Associate Partner of the Partnership for New York City, and a member of the Broadway Association.
Prior to co-founding her firm, Lisa was a Senior Vice President at Howard J. Rubenstein Associates, Inc. Before that, she was Press Secretary to the U.S. Senate Small Business Committee in Washington, DC, chaired by then-U.S. Senator Lowell Weicker, Jr., where she publicized the activities of the committee, its 19 Senators and its Chairman. Earlier in her career, she served as Director of Constituent Services, Deputy Chief of Staff and Press Secretary to New York State Senator Roy Goodman.
Colleen Roche, Principal, Managing Director
Throughout her career, Colleen Roche has excelled as a skilled media strategist, crisis communications expert, exceptional writer and editor and insightful communicator. As head of LAK's not-for-profit / government affairs group, she has led highly successful media campaigns that have catapulted small local charities onto the international stage and helped global nonprofit organizations bring awareness to major health and environmental crises. Her efforts have also sparked significant editorial support for clients who work in the areas of criminal justice reform, animal welfare, healthcare, social services, historic preservation, affordable housing, domestic violence and human trafficking.
An unflappable crisis communications specialist, Colleen expertly guides clients through difficult situations under intense public scrutiny. Her strategic approach ensures that clients are prepared for any eventuality and are able to communicate quickly and effectively with important constituencies, including government officials, reporters, donors, community members, employees and Boards.
Clients also benefit from Colleen's expert writing skills. Whether preparing press releases, opinion pieces, detailed crisis communication plans, position papers, speeches, blog posts or gossip items, her clear, concise and approachable writing style gives voice to her clients over numerous diverse platforms.
Colleen came to LAK in 1999, having served as Press Secretary to New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. Prior to her City Hall experience, she served in the administration of New York State Governor Mario Cuomo as Communications Director for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. While Deputy Director of Public Information for Robert M. Morgenthau, New York County District Attorney, she handled press on some of the most sensational crimes and complex investigations in New York City history.
Hannah K. Arnold, Principal, Senior Executive Vice President
A senior communications strategist, publicist and writer, Hannah Arnold spearheads creative and effective communications campaigns on behalf of a range of clients seeking to raise their profiles, manage high-stakes crises, navigate special situations and advance their agendas in challenging environments.
Her clients have included international law and professional services firms, Fortune 500 companies, consumer products manufacturers as well as organizations facing complex issues including bankruptcies and restructurings, regulatory or governmental investigations, complex litigations and other matters that may threaten their business operations. She has led the development of numerous internal and external communications programs, enabling organizations to shape perceptions of key stakeholders, protect their brands, enhance their market positions, preserve their reputations and achieve bottom line business objectives.
An experienced writer, Hannah has worked with clients to create nearly every form of written communication, including op-ed pieces, contributed articles on a variety of business, financial and legal topics, white papers, speeches and press materials. She has written on the importance of communications in the bankruptcy process for publications including the Bankruptcy Strategist and authored the historical introductions to The Twinkies Cookbook and The Wonder Bread Cookbook, books she conceived and that were published by Ten Speed Press. She has also spoken on crisis communications topics, including crisis strategies for in-house and outside legal counsel.
Prior to joining LAK in 1999, she served as Press Secretary to New York State Senator Roy M. Goodman, the Senate Committee on Investigations, Taxation and Government Operations, and the Senate Special Committee on Arts and Cultural Affairs.
Richard Edmonds, Senior Vice President/Director, LAK Real Estate Group
With more than 25 years of experience in government and private sector public relations, Richard Edmonds directs LAK’s real estate practice. Having joined the firm in 2005, he specializes in the representation of commercial and residential builders, owners and developers as well as businesses in the related fields of real estate finance, investment and technology.
Prior to joining LAK, Richard gained experience in media relations, crisis management, product launch, special events planning and business-to-business communications at another New York public relations firm. He has represented industry leading firms in nationwide commercial real estate development, finance and investment, architecture, telecommunications, data center development and operations, and satellite and cable TV business operations and content programming.
In the 1980s, he served as the City of New York’s Director of Public Relations for the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, overseeing public communications for five separate government agencies during one of the city’s periods of unprecedented economic recovery and growth. Prior to that, he was transportation editor of the Daily News and a member of a team of journalists who were selected as National Reporting finalists for the 1981 Pulitzer Prize http://www.pulitzer.org/finalists/1981. A former captain in the United States Air Force, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College.
Marie Espinel, Senior Vice President
A communications strategist, brand marketer and publicist, Marie Espinel works with a range of clients at LAK in the consumer brand, media, healthcare, technology and professional services industries.
Since joining LAK in August 2013, Ms. Espinel has led client engagements and media relations campaigns producing a wide array of meaningful coverage in top-tier business, trade and consumer outlets. Her talents as a writer, editor and storyteller have resulted in the publication of numerous contributed articles on behalf of her clients in venues that guide perceptions and outcomes. Whether promoting a new product, technology platform or piece of thought-leadership, her deliberate, targeted approach has yielded strategic results that impact her clients' businesses, from generating new business leads to influencing partner decisions to impacting consumer behavior.
Prior to joining LAK, Ms. Espinel was a Vice President at Olson Engage (previously Dig Communications of which she was a founding member) where she oversaw the planning and execution of strategic communications and public relations programming for a range of retail, food/beverage, travel and technology clients. Previously, she worked at Burson-Marsteller in Chicago.
She received a bachelor of arts degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she graduated with honors.
Ilyse Fink, Senior Vice President
An established public relations professional and 20-year veteran of New York City government, Ilyse Fink has been with LAK Public Relations since 2006, leading client engagements that span the areas and intersections of culture, education, law and real estate.
Prior to joining the firm, Ilyse served as Communications Director for ten years at the New York City Department of Buildings, where she honed her skills in public affairs and crisis management. During her tenure, she fielded thousands of media requests and inquiries, and wrote, developed or edited a wide variety of communications vehicles including press releases, statements, newsletters, brochures, speeches and website content.
She is honored to be included in the acknowledgements of several books including New York Streetscapes by New York Times real estate columnist Christopher Gray; City in the Sky: The Rise and Fall of the World Trade Center by James Glanz and Eric Lipton and 102 Minutes: The Unforgettable Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers by Jim Dwyer and Kevin Flynn.
Sharon Horowitz, Senior Vice President
Sharon Horowitz creates and executes communications strategies that raise the profile and protect the reputation of a diverse array of organizations, from startups to non-profits to publicly traded corporations. Her clients have included leading healthcare companies and associations; local and national law firms; boutique and global consulting firms; internationally ranked business schools; architecture firms; technology companies; charitable organizations; and consumer brands.
With a razor-sharp focus on bottom-line objectives, she works closely with clients to develop thoughtful campaigns, positioning them to make news and reach targeted audiences. She brings a unique talent for pitching hard-to-place stories, regularly securing coverage in the world's most influential print, online and broadcast outlets, as well as top industry-focused publications and social media platforms placements that bring in business and serve to benefit and influence a wide range of stakeholder groups.
A talented writer, she also frequently ghostwrites op-eds, blog posts and letters to the editors, contributions that have appeared in national and regional daily newspapers as well as academic journals.
Sharon joined LAK PR from an independent public relations firm focused on healthcare, higher education and philanthropy. Her past experience also includes content creation for websites, brochures and internal communication vehicles, and brand generation.
A graduate of Smith College, Sharon has served as a social media strategist for the Smith College Club of New York City.
David Simpson, Senior Vice President
David Simpson joined LAK in 2013 following 15-years in New York politics where he earned a reputation as a savvy communicator with an instinct for message development. An effective strategist, writer and publicist, he works with a wide range of clients including real estate entities, hospitality industry companies, professional services firms, Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations and those facing crisis situations – effectively collaborating to craft and execute high impact, results driven communications campaigns.
A talented writer and skilled media relations manager, he has authored numerous bylined op-ed submissions on behalf of clients and, previously, public officials that have appeared in several major media outlets. He also excels in crisis communications, with an ability to operate and deliver in high intensity, complex situations.
Prior to joining LAK, David served as Senior Adviser to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. Before that, he served for six years as Communications Director for the City of Yonkers, N.Y. in the administration of Mayor Phil Amicone where he developed a sustained public relations strategy that was a critical component in advancing a $5 billion economic resurgence in that city’s economy.
In 2007, David was named one of Westchester County’s “40 Rising Stars Under Age 40” by the Westchester County Business Journal. He currently serves as a Greensward Circle committee member of the Central Park Conservancy.