Members of Forbes Communications Council have been busy adding to their impressive resumes with new companies, partnerships and service offerings, along with notable accolades for charitable giving. Below, we highlight six members and their big news.

FireDisc founders raised $1 million for MS

Janine Robertson. Photo courtesy of individual member.

Janine Robertson, marketing and PR manager at Insect Shield Repellent Technology, is excited to share that the founders of her freelance client FireDisc® have raised $1 million for MS. Brothers Hunter and Griffin Jaggard created the Bike MS team in 2004 and have since expanded, forming a nonprofit and raising more than $1 million for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. In fact, the National MS Board recognized the team with the Circle of Distinction award this year. The Jaggard brothers are the founders of FireDisc®, selling outdoor gas-powered cookers that work on the centuries-old idea of cooking food on a large disc, based on a farmer’s metal plow disc.

Media Monsters launched as a new kind of marketing agency

Joel Contartese. Photo courtesy of individual member.

In November 2016, Joel Contartese launched Media Monsters, a full-service e-commerce development company, where he is one of four managing partners. The company offers digital marketing, SEO, e-commerce platform management, affiliate/influencer marketing, brand management and content distribution. “I saw a need for honest and transparent marketing partners who truly care about your brand and work with you to make sure your every need is taken care of,” says Contartese. He also notes that, in his years of experience as an entrepreneur, he has encountered the negative side of traditional marketing agencies, which are often focused on locking businesses into long-term contracts without delivering on promises. Contartese and his team at Media Monsters are committed to taking on a small number of select clients so the agency can act “as a real partner,” meeting each client’s unique needs.

Allegiant announces five new routes in time for summer

Jessica Wheeler. Photo courtesy of individual member.

Allegiant has announced five new flight routes to begin in May, according to Jessica Wheeler, the company’s director of marketing communications. The airline will be offering flights to Fort Lauderdale from Bellville, Illinois, to Los Angeles from Oklahoma City, and to Myrtle Beach from Belleville, Dayton, Ohio, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with one-way fares starting at just $49. “We’re excited to connect even more travelers to a few of our beautiful, sunny destinations,” said Lukas Johnson, Allegiant’s senior vice president of commercial, in a press release. “These additional routes continue our commitment to providing travelers with an affordable, convenient way to enjoy a vacation this summer.”

Hyperwallet Hackathon drew developers to solve disaster funding issues

Chantielle MacFarlane. Photo courtesy of individual member.

Global payouts provider Hyperwallet announced its first ever Hyperwallet Hackathon, which took place on March 14, according to Chantielle MacFarlane, the firm’s director of marketing communications. The Hackathon invited developers to experiment with new technologies, including Hyperwallet’s own developer sandbox and API integrations care of the Visa Direct network, to hack solutions for distributing funds in a disaster situation, all in an eight-hour period. Proceeds and donations went to nonprofit organization Upbring to support its disaster response programs. “The fast, efficient, and secure distribution of funds is critical during a disaster situation when individuals often don’t have access to their money through traditional means,” said Hyperwallet’s Chief Product Officer Bill Crowley in a press release. “We’re very excited to see what new solutions the developer community can build using Hyperwallet’s evolving platform of payout APIs and integrations.” CEO Brent Warrington added, “This is a great opportunity for the developer community to come together and make a real impact in future disaster relief efforts. Hyperwallet’s global payout platform is designed to facilitate instant, or near instant, payments to individuals almost anywhere in the world. We’re confident that our participants will find new and exciting ways to harness that capability and make a positive difference.”

Kann Advisory Group launched by former LPGA executive Kraig Kann

Kraig Kann. Photo courtesy of individual member.

In October 2016, Kraig Kann launched Kann Advisory Group, where he is the founder and managing director. Kann has 25 years of experience in the media, shaped by 17 years in television at Golf Network/NBC and seven years as chief communications officer for the Ladies Professional Golf Association. Also an accomplished motivational speaker, Kann’s seminars, “Power of Presentation,” “Winning the Media Game” and “A Brand New You” have garnered significant press attention. In launching his new business, Kann aims to “bring real-world and relevant communications experience to companies and employees to help elevate their brands and deliver strategic counsel to gain earned media and exposure.” His goals include helping athletes, executives and business professionals grow and learn the art of sharing their story through better communications. He says, “Dealing with the media is not an obligation; it’s an opportunity. Embracing it is the key to success and having a real messaging plan is the only way to make a difference.”

Employer branding guide published by Wiley in partnership with Universum

Jonas Barck. Photo courtesy of individual member.

Universum has partnered with Wiley to publish “Employer Branding for Dummies,” according to Universum Chief Marketing Officer Jonas Barck. The book, co-authored by Richard Mosley and Lars Schmidt and published in March, aims to provide expert insight along with actionable advice for employers looking to attract quality talent. Kathy Nebenhaus, vice president and publisher at Wiley said: “Investing in effective employer branding is a proven way for companies to recruit and retain the best talent possible and we hope Employer Branding for Dummies will help employers do just that.” Universum CEO Petter Nylander added, “We are pleased to partner with such a prestigious publisher as Wiley for this title. Employer branding is becoming a strategic function for most employers and this book will even further the conversation about its importance.” “Employer Branding for Dummies” is available in both print and e-book formats.

These are just a handful of Forbes Councils members’ recent exciting achievements. Read about what other members are working on here.


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