people

Roger Schaffner

Chairman / CEO

Palisades MediaGroup (PMG) has reached two milestones so far in 2016: the 20-year anniversary of its founding and an employee count that topped 100 people. It is a testament to Roger’s sense of hard work and fair play that the agency has reached these two milestones. The clients who trusted him in the beginning with their business still entrust it to Roger and Palisades today. Through hard work, smart business insights, and ethical dealings, Roger has created his legacy in the media community. In 2015, he was awarded the prestigious Life Saver Award by Ad Relief of Greater Los Angeles for his support of both the charity itself, and the advertising community as a whole.

The insights and strategic thinking that Roger brings to the planning process at Palisades MediaGroup have been developed over an illustrious career in film distribution and media management. The agency’s phenomenal growth throughout the last few years is a testament to the client-focused management style that Roger has modeled, in addition to his ability to assemble a top-notch team of media professionals who share this dedication. For the thirteen years prior to starting PMG, Roger supervised the creation and development of the entertainment division at a national media-buying service. He also worked on the client side early in his career, working his way up through distribution to the level of Senior Vice President, Marketing, at Embassy Pictures.

Having spent his youth in a rural area in Oregon, Roger is an avid outdoorsman. He’s most at home when he is out hiking the trails and enjoying the fresh air, but he is also a world traveler with his family – from Tuscany to Africa to South Pacific, and many other locales.

Laura Jean Bracken

President / COO

With a sharp strategic mind and a straightforward, down-to-earth approach to the business, Laura finds her inspiration from her all-time favorite movie, Apollo 13: “Failure is not an option.” As President and COO, she has led Palisades MediaGroup to an increase of 50% in revenue through new business wins and organic growth since assuming the leadership role in 2010.

Laura joined Palisades after managing the San Francisco offices of OMD, Omnicom’s largest media agency. While at OMD, Laura had similar success with new business wins including State Farm of California, Callaway Golf Company, and drugstore.com, to name a few. Her communications planning experience includes a wide range of categories including retail, technology, travel, wine, insurance, QSR, business-to-business, entertainment, and solar energy.

Armed with a degree from UC Berkeley and a competitive spirit honed on the tennis court, Laura started her career in media at Saatchi & Saatchi – NY. After a few years, she transferred to the San Francisco office where, as Media Director, she oversaw communications planning for Hewlett-Packard, Barclays, a number of dot-coms (including E-Loan and Cooking.com) and managed consumer packaged goods clients such as P&G, Kikkoman, and General Mills. Laura was awarded Media Strategist of the year by Advertising Age for her global media strategy for HP’s first ever “E-Services” campaign released in 18 languages across 35 countries. That campaign resulted in the doubling of HP’s stock price and incremental revenue.

When not managing Palisades MediaGroup’s daily operations, business development, and strategy, Laura can be found running, playing tennis or golf, or walking her two Havanese pups, Callie and Parker. She might also be found driving up and down the 101 between LA and the Bay Area where she retains strong ties.

Russell Dean

Chief Financial Officer

With more than 25 years of experience in marketing and advertising, Russell is well into his second stint as Chief Financial Officer at Palisades MediaGroup, where he finds the entrepreneurial spirit alive and well. Throughout his career, Russell has served as CFO for some well-known creative and media agencies in Southern California, including The Cimarron Group, and The Phelps Group. A graduate of Occidental College, Russell also holds an MBA from USC, and a law degree from Southwestern University School of Law. He brings his experience and education to bear in his strategic and tactical financial role, as well as in general management, human resources, and transaction structuring and negotiations.

An advocate of staying healthy, Russell works out regularly at the gym and tracks his daily activity on his Fitbit. On the weekends, you might very well find him cooking up a gourmet meal at his home in Palos Verdes.

Hwa-Shih Lee

SVP, Digital Marketing

Armed with her MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business, Hwa-Shih brings 16 years of digital marketing expertise to her role at Palisades MediaGroup, working with clients in multiple categories such as entertainment, travel, consumer products, QSR, and retail. Prior to joining the agency in 2005, Hwa-Shih served as VP of E-Business for online customer acquisitions at CitiCards (Citigroup). Other digital experience includes her role as Online Associate Manager for Datek where she managed and negotiated partnerships with Yahoo, MSN, CBSMarketWatch, Bloomberg and DoubleClick – and even experienced the burst of the first internet bubble! Comfortable in a leadership role, Hwa-Shih especially enjoys leading a team and mentoring people; and her easy-going management style is greatly appreciated by her team at Palisades.

After hours, you will most likely find her enjoying outdoor activities or cheering on her son, Reggie, at one of his basketball games. Additionally, Hwa-Shih loves international travel and anything “Hello Kitty”!

Erin Morgan

SVP, Audio/Local Video

Erin is a New Orleans native and proven negotiator who believes you get more flies with honey than vinegar. She is experienced in developing teams, relationships, processes, and best practices. Erin leads by example and actively participates in industry strategic, leadership, and philanthropic initiatives. Ever curious about the constantly evolving advertising space, Erin stays at the forefront of marketplace advancements in consumer targeting, audience measurement and editorial access/partnerships all while managing a team of media buyers.

She brings to Palisades a wealth of experience from her 17+ year career in local broadcast spanning almost all client categories. Prior to joining Palisades, Erin honed her theatrical skills at Starcom working mainly on Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures & Home Entertainment releases. Before Starcom, she gained experience in automotive, QSR, retail, direct response, healthcare, travel, and political while working at Universal McCann.

Erin serves in another special capacity at Palisades – that of directing the agency’s charitable activities and donations. Most recently, she brought groups of employees together to adopt needy families at the holidays. Additionally, Erin serves on the Board of Directors for Ad Relief, a non-profit volunteer organization helping advertising colleagues in times of life crisis.

Andrea Cardamone

SVP, Managing Director (NY)

A 15+-year media veteran, Andrea joined Palisades MediaGroup for a “return engagement” in 2016 to manage the agency’s new client, Netflix. Based in New York, she was most recently with PHD as Senior Vice President/Group Account Director on HBO, Cinemax, Bleecker Street Films and Top Rank/PPV Boxing Promoters. In her senior-level role, Andrea led an integrated team of more than 30 strategists, analysts, and buyers across a variety of disciplines, executing 80 to 100 campaigns annually with end-to-end authority for bringing strategy to life. She worked previously at Palisades from 2004 to 2010, both in Santa Monica and New York, primarily on The Weinstein Company as National Media Group Director. In addition to theatrical and home-entertainment categories, Andrea’s first stint at Palisades also included accounts in the sports, consumer packaged goods, auto, and travel and leisure categories. Her early years in the business were spent at OMD on Pepsi beverage brands, then at Warner Brothers, and also at Starcom on Disney.

The overall primary focus of her career has been on entertainment and theatrical clients. However, she is admittedly a big sports fan (HUGE when it comes to the NY Jets!), and also served a stint on the client side at ESPN in New York.

Matt Greenfield

EVP, Client Services

Matt manages Client Services for a number of clients in Palisades’ diverse portfolio, ranging from auto insurance to retail to apparel. He is also active in the agency’s business-development efforts. A 20-year veteran of media, both full-service agency and client-side marketing roles, Matt’s background includes overseeing client acquisition, strategy, and media investments for brands such as Guitar Center, PetSmart, Mercury Insurance, Toshiba, and Ugg Australia. The core of Matt’s expertise is founded on analytics and consumer insights. His work has been recognized with multiple awards including Advertising Age’s Media Plan of the Year, The Canadian Marketing Association Award, The Telly, Creative Media Award, and others.

Matt is a recovering brain cancer survivor, and is active supporting local charities for those affected by cancer. He is a dedicated family man and is most happy spending time with his wife and three daughters.

Genevieve Wiersema

SVP, Group Director of Strategy (SF)

Genevieve is part of a team representing Palisades MediaGroup in the San Francisco market, where she has more than 15 years of experience. She began her career at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, helping the agency win SBC Communications and Dreyers Ice Cream. After working at a variety of smaller agencies, Genevieve joined OMD. There, she managed large advertising budgets with measurable results for a range of clients including Clorox, Robert Half, Allianz, and others. Genevieve’s collective experience ranges from consumer goods to financial services, utilities to securities.

In her current role at the Palisades/SF office, she manages more than $20 million in client billings, including UCSF, American Automobile Association, and Wawanesa.

Genevieve loves the outdoors, especially water sports. When she’s not working, you will most likely find her paddleboarding on the San Francisco Bay and swimming with her kids. And if they are begging for something sweet, her hidden talent is her ability to bake 40-minute brownies in 20 minutes!

Casey Brathwaite

SVP, Group Director of Strategy (SF)

Casey completes the Palisades MediaGroup’s San Francisco team, managing In-Shape Health Clubs and BevMo! Over the course of her near five-year tenure at PMG, she has also worked on the eBay, Premier Protein, PG&E, Muscle Milk, Peet’s Coffee & Tea and UCSF accounts. She joined Palisades in 2010 from OMD, where she was Group Director of Strategy on Autodesk, Callaway Golf, Sun Power, and others. During her time at OMD, she and her teams were awarded three Effies.

Casey also previously held the position of Media Director at Starcom SF on Sprint-Nextel and Foster’s Wine Estates, and she has worked other top brands such as Saturn, Alamo Rent-A-Car, and The North Face. While at Publicis and Hal Riney, Casey was awarded the 2003 Annual Agency Award. When she’s not working, you might find Casey on a running trail or spending time with her family. She’s proud to say she can occasionally complete a Thursday edition of the New York Times crossword in one sitting!

Rhona Dass

SVP, Director of Strategic & Visual Communications

Rhona joined Palisades MediaGroup in 2012. She has cultivated her strategic planning expertise working across a diverse portfolio of clients, primarily rooted in the fast-paced, highly demanding world of entertainment. Her experience includes working on Walt Disney Studios Theatrical & Home Entertainment, Nintendo, Lego, Morgan Stanley, and fashion and retail marketing at Vogue Magazine. Rhona has a proven track record for developing smart, measurable communication plans that deliver on clients’ marketing objectives and span all media platforms—traditional, digital, and emerging. She also brings to the table a 360-degree perspective, having worked in national TV buying and overseeing a print investment group. She is a hands-on leader who values and fosters a collaborative team atmosphere.

When not immersed in media, Rhona loves all things design and fashion and can be found on the weekends checking out museums and exhibits. She is successful in bringing new ideas and concepts to the table because she has a photographic memory!

Pam McCarthy

SVP, Director of People & Talent

Pam is a “people person,” which makes her title at Palisades MediaGroup especially relevant. Like Laura Bracken, Pam started her career at Saatchi & Saatchi (though on the opposite coast in LA). Moving up through the ranks from Account Service, Traffic, and Office Management, she rose to the role of Senior Vice President, Director of Human Resources and found her niche. She also served as Vice President, Director of HR for Davis Elen Advertising, and in both roles helped to launch the careers of many successful people in the LA advertising community. Pam joined Palisades MediaGroup in 2013 to oversee employee relations, payroll, benefits, the hiring and onboarding of talent, and to contribute to the success of the company by supporting the agency’s positive, “employee friendly” culture of excellent work and camaraderie.

Pam is a regular volunteer in her South Bay community, and has been an active Ad Relief board member for many years. She is currently serving her second term as President. Pam enjoys spending time with her grown children and their families as well as traveling domestically and internationally.

Matt Lundstrom

Digital Creative Director

Before joining Palisades, Matt freelanced, quickly gaining the reputation of a highly acclaimed cinematographer and editor. His knowledge and skills in this arena allowed him to shoot projects as diverse as music videos for The Mars Volta, to one man on location productions in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. In his earlier days, Matt studied film and graduated from Chapman University in California. He achieved a reputation of merit during his time there and received nominations for best cinematography, best editing, best documentary, and best sound design. In addition, he was the cinematographer, editor, and sound designer on the short film, Facility 4, which received the most nominations of any film in the school’s history. In his free time Matt enjoys working on interactive art installations and music production. His most recent accomplishment being an installation for Polaroid / Lady Gaga for William Morris at Bloomingdales in Manhattan.