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Omidyar Group

Bennet Group provides ongoing communications strategy for the Omidyar Group and its various subsidiaries in Hawaii. Most recently, Bennet Group provided media relations and overall communications support for the launch of the Pillars of Peace program, and the visit of his Holiness the Dalai Lama to Hawaii in April 2012.

Rachel Ross, Director

Rachel Ross works with clients in the areas of development, energy and education, including Howard Hughes Corporation, Taubman Company, First Wind, D.R. Horton, Iolani School, Perkins + Will and Bank of Hawaii.

Ross grew up in Honolulu and graduated from Punahou School. She has a bachelor’s degree (BS) in resource management from UC Berkeley and spent 10 years in the field of environmental planning, where she developed volunteer-based environmental monitoring programs and hosted community meetings for clients. Ross brings a strong writing background based on technical writing and years of freelance experience writing for magazines and online publications including HONOLULU Magazine, HONOLULU Family and Mana Magazine, as well as her own blog. She also brings a strong understanding of development and energy based on years of experience in environmental consulting.

A two-time Ironman Age Group World Champion and sub-three hour marathon runner, Ross competes in triathlons and marathons in her free time. She also coaches both children and adults for triathlons and running events and paddles competitively with Outrigger Canoe Club.

Tory Burch enlists the help of Bennet Group to jumpstart her Foundation’s efforts in Hawaii

E hoowaiwai kakou means “to enrich together” in Hawaiian — which is exactly what happened when a group of local businesswomen — from finance to food — came together for Tory Burch Foundation‘s mentoring event in Honolulu.

Monica Salter was on hand to assist in the needs of Tory Burch’s philanthropic kick-start. Of the occasion, Ms Salter says,”It’s an authentic opportunity to impact this beautiful island community in a meaningful, sustainable and positive way.” More from this effort on Tory Burch’s blog site.

PRSA – Hawaii Awards Bennet Group the “Best of Show” 2013!

Bennet Group received five honorable accolades at this year’s annual Koa Anvil Awards, presented by the Hawai’i chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). For the second year in a row, our firm also took home the highly sought-after “Best of Show” award, reserved for the top public relations campaign of the year. This year, Bennet Group received “Best of Show” for our campaign publicizing the Whole Foods Market Kailua Store grand opening.

Bennet Group received the following awards at the PRSA Hawai’i Koa Anvil Awards:

– Koa Anvil Award and “Best of Show” in events and observances for the Whole Foods Market Kailua Store grand opening
– Koa Anvil Certificate for events and observances for Ward Centers Small Business Saturday launch
– Koa Anvil Certificate for events and observances for the Inaugural Pacific Links Hawai’i Championship
– Koa Hammer Award for social media: text-based marketing programs for the Pillars of Peace Hawai’i launch
– Koa Hammer Award for press conferences for Forest City Hawaii’s launch of O’ahu’s largest solar farm

BG Receives Prestigious “Kau I Ka Hano Award”

Bennet Group received eight accolades at this year’s Ilima Awards, presented by the Hawai’i chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). Bennet Group was honored with IABC’s “Best in Show” prize, taking home the prestigious “Kau I Ka Hano Award,” for our public relations campaign for Forest City Hawaii’s “Flip the Switch” commissioning ceremony.

Bennet Group received the following IABC – Hawaii awards:

– Kau I Ka Hano Award for Forest City Hawaii’s launch of O’ahu’s largest solar farm
– The Ilima Award of Excellence for public relations program for the Whole Foods Market Kailua Store grand opening
– The Ilima Award of Excellence for media relations for Aloha Pacific Links Hawai’i
– The Ilima Award of Excellence for marketing communications for Aloha Wellness at Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk
– The Ilima Award of Merit for public relations program for the Pillars of Peace Hawai’i Launch
– The Ilima Award of Merit for media relations for the Finance Factors Charity Breakfast
– The Ilima Award of Merit for marketing communications for the Pillars of Peace Hawai’i Launch
– The Ilima Award of Merit for social media for the Pillars of Peace Hawai’i Launch

Christine Matsuda Smith, Director

Christine Matsuda Smith, joins BG as a director, and brings excellent marketing and strategic communications experience to our team, especially in the retail, food, and non-profit areas.

Previously with the Hawai’i Foodbank managing donor events and fundraising campaigns, Christine worked with Washington D.C.-based Share our Strength, and at Bon Appétit Magazine in Los Angeles.

Born and raised in Hawai’i, Christine is also a Punahou School graduate and graduated summa cum laude from USC.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

Bennet Group works with Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, a Disney Vacation Club and hotel property at Ko Olina to help create excitement and buzz about the new property among potential guests and buyers, as well as to build a strong and desirable brand for the new resort. Helping to showcase the new resorts many exciting features – including the spa, restaurants, water-features and other amenities – Bennet Group is helping to drive bookings for Aulani, which is expected to generate about 2,400 jobs and more than $270 million in economic activity.

Bennet Group also helped Aulani recruit a skilled workforce capable of maintaining the Disney standard of excellence, as well as position the property with targeted niche markets, including the wedding market. Working with the Disney team, Bennet Group is helping Aulani create an unparalleled guest experience at the resort that will keep visitors and residents alike coming back for years to come.

Before development began, Bennet Group helped identify key stakeholders from the native Hawaiian community, government, business and the general community to obtain their input and support for the project. Bennet Group also helped create a community giving strategy that strongly positioned Disney as a company that cares about Hawaii, that listens, and that is working with the state’s top business, neighborhood and cultural leaders to ensure the new resort is warmly embraced by the entire community.

Bennet Group also provides ongoing media relations support to Disney, helping to secure both local and national media placements throughout the construction process and since the Grand Opening of Aulani in fall 2011. Bennet Group has garnered thousands of dollars in “free” or earned-media for the project and successfully helped win community support for Aulani and Disney in Hawaii.

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Bennet Group has won numerous Pele Awards

Bennet Group has won numerous Pele Awards in their role as lead agency for the Hawaii Tobacco Control Trust Fund’s Health Communications campaign. The Pele Awards were received by their partner advertising and media agency, Hendrix Miyasaki Shin for its creative efforts to change public perception and behavior about tobacco use in Hawaii.

2005 PSA Poster Campaign “Arsenic, Acetone, Ammonia” (HCF)
2005 PSA :30 TV “Theater” (HCF)
2008 PSA :30 TV “Cereal” (HCF)
2008 PSA Broadcast Campaign “Bath” and “Cereal” (HCF)
2011 PSA :30 Radio “Scary Music” (HTQL)

Megan Tsuchida, Senior Account Executive

Ms. Tsuchida represents clients in the areas of consumer marketing and the non-profit sector. She also provides public relations services to some of Hawai‘i’s most prominent community organizations, including Special Olympics Hawai‘i, Omidyar Group, Hawai‘i Community Foundation and the Joyful Heart Foundation.

In addition to serving as a marketing intern at Modern Luxury Magazine, Ms. Tsuchida also has a background in finance and accounting. She previously worked at ONTS CPA, LLP as an Accounting Assistant, and at the Shidler College of Business as a Student Advisor.

Ms. Tsuchida is a Punahou School alumna and earned her B.B.A. in Finance and Entrepreneurship and a minor in Japanese at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. In her free time, she enjoys staying active outdoors and is an avid reader.

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