Owen Blicksilver has more than 40 years of experience in public relations.
Since founding Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Inc. (OBPR) in 2001, he has built a highly regarded, independent, specialty practice firm that focuses on communications for private equity and real estate firms, financial institutions,
crises and special situations, as well as select investor relations assignments. OBPR has ranked among the top 10 U.S. M&A communications advisors for the past six years. In 2014, Blicksilver finished second in the Gorkana listing of “Most Respected Financial Public Relations Professionals,” one of only two executives to make the list two consecutive years.
The firm currently represents approximately 25 private equity and related firms, including global funds, middle-market, venture capital and real estate funds, and advisory firms. OBPR serves as lead public relations counsel for TPG Capital, Blue Wolf Capital Partners, Blum Capital Partners,Carmel Partners, Clearlake Capital Group, Colony Capital, Conduit Capital Partners, Gryphon Investors, Harvest Partners, Indigo Partners, MTS Health Partners, Pharos Capital, Ranieri Partners, Rockwood Capital, The Halifax Group, Trimaran Capital Partners, and Vestar Capital Partners,among others. OBPR also oversees media communications for StepStone Group, the private equity advisor, and Miramax, the worldwide film and television studio.
OBPR has managed communications for companies undergoing change or crisis, including significant bankruptcies in the airline and manufacturing industries. OBPR has also developed a strong practice handling communications issues for leading financial services firms, including First Republic, MBIA, Merrill Lynch, and ING Direct. In addition, OBPR has managed a broad range of special assignments, including representing the winning group during the bidding and purchasing of Major League Baseball's Washington Nationals.
The firm has worked on both sides of high-profile executive departures, and represented numerous private equity-related firms through conception, launch and image building across market conditions. OBPR also develops and implements branding and advertising campaigns, with services ranging from creative execution
to media buying.
Prior to forming OBPR, Mr. Blicksilver spent more than three years with Incepta, plc as a Principal in the Sard Verbinnen division and as Executive Vice President at Dewe Rogerson. Immediately prior to joining Incepta in 1998, Mr. Blicksilver served for more than 11 years as a founder, Managing Director and head of Principal Communications, a corporate and financial public relations agency that served as the corporate public relations subsidiary of GCI Group, a unit of Grey Advertising. At Principal, Mr. Blicksilver personally advised investors David Bonderman (TPG), Robert Bass, Tom Barrack (Colony Capital) and Arthur Solomon (Lazard Frères) as well as their investment partnerships. In the early '90s, he was involved in communications related to the recapitalization of Continental and America West Airlines, and in 1995 and 1999 he advised RJR Nabisco during its proxy fights. Mr. Blicksilver also served as public relations advisor to Aetna and was later brought in on a special basis to coach CEOs, including Bill Donaldson and Jack Rowe, for potentially contentious annual meetings.
Prior to founding Principal Communications in 1987, Mr. Blicksilver served for more than three years as a principal with Adams & Rinehart Inc., a corporate and financial public relations agency, where he managed the mortgage and real estate account for Lewis Ranieri at Salomon Brothers Inc. He also supervised Adams & Rinehart's Union Mutual Life Insurance Company (now UnumProvident) account, providing counsel on healthcare and financial issues, and ultimately, on the company's demutualization to a capital stock corporation.
Mr. Blicksilver's public relations career also includes account supervision positions at Burson-Marsteller and Anna M. Rosenberg Associates.
Mr. Blicksilver earned a B.A. in History from Brooklyn College and has taken graduate courses at the School of Business Administration at New York University.Lisa Baker
Lisa Baker joined Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Inc., in 2002 and is a Managing Director. She is responsible for communications strategy development, M&A communications and media relations for the firm's global private equity and advisory clients such as Colony Capital, StepStone Group, TPG Capital, TPG Growth and TPG Biotech, among others. She is also responsible for managing OBPR clients' print and online advertising including creative development, media selection and ad placement. Before joining OBPR, Ms. Baker was Vice President of Marketing at BroadPoint Communications where she directed public relations and advertising. Earlier she was a senior account management executive for major consumer brands at several New York advertising agencies. At Grey Advertising she was a Vice President, Group Management Supervisor; at D'Arcy (now Publicis) she was a Senior Vice President where she won an Effie Award for marketing and advertising effectiveness; and at DDB she was an Account Supervisor where she won her first Effie Award. A graduate of the American High School in London, England, Ms. Baker received a B.A. degree in English from Clark University in Massachusetts, and an M.B.A. degree from the University of New Hampshire.Kristin Celauro
Kristin Celauro is a Managing Director at Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Inc., a position she has held since September 2005. Ms. Celauro's responsibilities include developing and executing communications plans surrounding mergers and acquisitions, special situations and confidential assignments, including crises and executive successions, and ongoing positioning and communications. Client responsibilities include Blue Wolf Capital Partners, Blum Capital Partners, Clearlake Capital Group, Colony Capital, Conduit Capital, Ranieri Partners, TPG Capital and Vestar Capital Partners. Prior to joining OBPR, she was a Vice President in the Special Situations group at Financial Dynamics, where her communications assignments included the acquisition of the Rouse Company by General Growth Properties, representing Lionel Trains during its bankruptcy and restructuring and The Children's Place's acquisition of The Disney Store North America, and special assignments for clients including CIT and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Prior to that, she was a Senior Associate at Citigate Sard Verbinnen where she worked on a broad range of special situations, including DHL's acquisition of Airborne Express, Martha Stewart's court proceedings and Univision Communications' acquisition of Hispanic Broadcasting; and ongoing corporate positioning for Univision Communications, Thornburg Mortgage and URS, among additional and confidential assignments. Ms. Celauro graduated from Smith College with a double major in English Language and Literature and Women's Studies.Jennifer Hurson
Jennifer Hurson is a Managing Director at Owen Blicksilver Public Relations. Most recently, she was an associate director at KPMG LLP. During her seven years at KPMG, she was responsible for external and internal communications for the firm's Advisory function, specifically working with partners in the Transactions & Restructuring, Private Equity and Management Consulting groups.
Previously, Jennifer was a vice president at Citigate Dewe Rogerson, overseeing public relations and investor relations activities for corporate clients. Prior to that, she was an account manager at Morgen Walke Associates, where she handled public relations and wrote annual reports for a variety of commercial real estate and finance organizations, including PNC Real Estate Finance and NYSE specialist firm LaBranche.
Jennifer also worked for four years at Grey Advertising's Principal Communications, supporting financial and real estate accounts such as Chase Manhattan Mortgage, Lazard Freres Real Estate Investors and First American Real Estate. Throughout her career she has written brochures, white papers, newsletters, annual reports, advertising and direct mail copy.
Jennifer graduated Magna Cum Laude from SUNY College at New Paltz with a bachelor's degree in journalism.Marzena Jablonska
Marzena Jablonska has been a Vice President with Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Inc. since its inception in 2001, representing financial clients on public relations and advertising projects. Prior to joining Owen Blicksilver, Ms. Jablonska was Senior Account Executive at Citigate Sard Verbinnen. From August 1998 to January 2001, Ms. Jablonska was with Citigate Dewe Rogerson, and before that, Ms. Jablonska worked as Research Assistant to the M&A Group at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell—now Deutsche Bank AG. Ms. Jablonska received her B.A. in Psychology at New York University in May 1997.Joanne S. Lessner
Joanne Lessner is a Vice President at Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Inc., a position she has held since October 2004. Primary responsibilities include media outreach and analysis for clients such as TPG Capital, Colony Capital, Vestar Capital Partners, and LM + Co. Before joining Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, she was a media manager for Miller DeMartine Group, where her clients included Guy Carpenter, PricewaterhouseCoopers Transaction Services and Zurich North America. Ms. Lessner began her public relations career at the corporate and financial public relations firm of Ogilvy Adams & Rinehart, where she worked from 1989 to 1996. Ms. Lessner holds a B.A. in Music from Yale University and is a regular contributor of recordings and performance reviews to Opera News. She is the author of the novel, Pandora's Bottle.PETER LORD
Executive Creative Director
As executive creative director at oLo Brand Group (a strategic partner of Owen Blicksilver Public Relations), Peter Lord oversees a team of senior designers, writers, artists and programmers who translate client objectives into inspiring, integrated marketing communications that build brand equity.
Peter founded oLo Brand Group in 2002 to offer clients the depth, resources and skills usually found only in large agencies in a small agency setting. With the benefit of 20 years marketing and branding experience, Peter understands how to shortcut and accelerate the branding process to produce deliverables that increase understanding and drive demand.
Lord was at Grey Global Group for over 10 years where he built a profitable design group within the public relations arm of Grey servicing such clients as Colony Capital, Standard & Poor's, KPMG, Ernst & Young and First American. Then as co-creative director at G2, the 100 person branding arm of Grey. He headed brand development for such clients as Pharmacia, Topps, Food Network and Lilly. Additionally, he has handled assignments for Krups, Microsoft and VF.
Prior to Grey, Lord worked at a number of diverse organizations including: BursonMarsteller, where he worked on The Equitable and AT&T. At Parham Santana, an award winning design group, his clients included Reebok and CBS Video.
Lord works to develop integrated high-end communication materials – from advertising campaigns to websites – that breakthrough the visual din of today's over-saturated marketing clutter. He is a believer that clients should play an integral part in the branding process.
Lord is a graduate of The School of Visual Arts, where he earned his BFA, and he has received numerous design and excellence in advertising awards including: The Art Directors Club, The Type Directors Club, Applied Arts, How, Print and DESI.Caroline Luz
Caroline Luz is a Managing Director at Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Inc., a position she has held since September 2002. Primary responsibilities include communications strategy and media relations for a variety of clients, including Carmel Partners, Colony Capital, Gryphon Investors, Harvest Partners, MTS Health Partners, Pharos Capital Group, Rockwood Capital, TPG Capital and Trimaran Capital Partners. Before joining OBPR, Ms. Luz handled public relations for The Breast Cancer Alliance, a Greenwich, Connecticut non-profit organization. Prior to that, she was an account executive at Miller DeMartine Group, where she had daily account responsibilities for the U.S. business units of Zurich North America; TH Lee Putnam Ventures, an Internet Venture Fund; Auda Advisor Associates, an investor in private equity and hedge funds; and GNC, the national dietary supplement retailer. Ms. Luz began her public relations career at the corporate and financial public relations firm of Ogilvy Adams & Rinehart, where she worked from 1986 to 1995. Ms. Luz has a B.A. in English Literature from Yale University. In 1982, she received a Fulbright Grant to teach English to high school students in Paris, France. While there, she earned a certificate in oral and written French from the Alliance Française.Carol J. Makovich
Carol J. Makovich is a Managing Director at Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Inc., a position she has held since June 2007. Primary responsibilities focus on media relations, crisis and financial communications, and executive coaching and support. Prior to joining Owen Blicksilver Public Relations, Ms. Makovich served as vice president, Communications, for Lenovo Group, then the world's third-largest personal computer maker. In that role, she oversaw all external and internal communications, including global media, industry analyst and employee communications as well as corporate and financial communications. Prior to joining Lenovo, Ms. Makovich was vice president, Communications for IBM's Personal Systems Group, and before that she served as vice president, Worldwide Communications, for RJR Nabisco, Inc. and as a managing director of Hill and Knowlton, Inc., an international public relations agency, leading the Financial Relations Division at the firm's New York City headquarters office. Ms. Makovich also held communications positions at proxy solicitor Georgeson & Co. and at People's Savings Bank, a major New England-based banking institution. She began her career as a reporter for The Bridgeport Post (now known as The Connecticut Post). Ms. Makovich holds an undergraduate degree in Journalism from the University of Rhode Island; she is currently a member of the President's Council at the University and of the Executive Advisor Board of URI's Harrington School of Communication and Media. In addition, she holds master's degrees in Communications from Fairfield University and in Business Administration from the University of Connecticut.