Established in 1985, Brustman Carrino Public Relations (BCPR) specializes in high profile culinary and hospitality campaigns; developing innovative publicity, marketing and special event programs for over 30 years. BCPR believes there is an art to creating strategic publicity campaigns; with a strong network of local, national and international media contacts, BCPR blends an expertise in story development, image building, and special events marketing with an eye to creating a buzz among media and driving business from both locals and visitors. The firm also represents its clients in the marketing realm, often securing prestigious local and national product ambassadorships, a key element to branding chefs and restaurants in the evolving culinary marketplace.
The firm is pleased to announce that in 2013, BCPR launched a division in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOLA, a consummate “foodie” town, is a destination so deserving of culinary recognition; we’re extremely proud to be associated with such a gastronomic jewel.
With the firm for close to two decades, Managing Partner/President Larry Carrino oversees publicity, special event and marketing campaigns for the firm’s roster of top restaurant, hospitality, event, arts and entertainment accounts. He is well-known for his superlative work as publicist for nationally esteemed celebrity chef Michelle Bernstein and currently spearheads regional PR efforts for the famed Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival. The current PR chair for Slow Food Miami, he sits on the board of the Miami Light Project and is the former chairman of the South Florida chapter of the American Institute of Wine & Food. In 2009 he was selected as one of the top “40 Under 40″ Professionals by Gold Coast magazine and was cited as “Best Flack” by Miami New Times in 2008 and again in 2013. A talented writer, he has penned several features for publications including Miami Herald, Broward New Times, Florida International, and Restaurant Hospitality.
The founder of the firm, Susan Brustman, a former New Yorker, brought more than 20 years of newsroom experience and media contacts with her when she started the company. A seasoned journalist, she helped establish the Los Angeles Free Press and was affiliated with New York magazine. Prior to launching the firm, Brustman honed her promotional skills at the legendary Hank Meyer Associates. Now, semi-retired, she is a member of the Art Basel Miami Beach Host Committee; the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau’s PR Task Force, Share Our Strength and the Miami chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, a prestigious national service organization of women involved in the culinary arts: food, wine, hospitality and farming.
Vice President of Accounts
Vice President of Accounts Karen Barofsky, a graduate of New York the firm’s arts, hospitality and events specialist for over two decades, has represented some of BCPR’s top hospitality accounts. She’s spear-headed numerous national media FAM tours and publicity campaigns and oversees many of the firm’s major restaurant and hospitality-oriented clients.
Vice President of Operations
Vice President of Operations Lauren Busch, brings enthusiasm, experience and expertise to the table, creating fine-tuned local to national publicity campaigns, Grand Opening programs and innovative food and wine events for top tier clients in South Florida as well as spearheading our New Orleans division. A graduate of Tulane University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, she produced an award-winning children’s album to generate post-Katrina awareness and raise funds for New Orleans. Currently she serves on the board of the National Food and Beverage Foundation (NatFAB); is a founding member of Les Dames D’Escoffier New Orleans; a Tulane alumni interviewer, and works closely with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to raise awareness for spinal cord injuries.
Office Manager/HR Director
A key part of BCPR’s senior management, Liz Hanes has been with the firm since 1989, handling human resources duties and financial oversight as well as being integrally involved in strategic planning. With a BS in marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Hanes brings the perfect combination of business savvy and style to the team.
Marel Holler Hinners hails from New York City and joins BCPR as an Account Executive with over five years of luxury fashion and lifestyle public relations experience. In addition to her PR acumen, she brings to the team her expertise as an event coordinator which includes eleven seasons of NYC’s infamous Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Be it press or events, her primary focus is always on enhancing her clients’ brands.
Account Executive Andrea Moreno started with BCPR as an intern, providing assistance on the Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival. She quickly proved her passion and talent for PR and marketing and all things culinary, and upon graduation from Florida International University with a Masters in Hospitality and Tourism Management, joined the firm full time. In addition to handling account duties for various clients, including SOBEWFF, Andrea fills an important role working with Spanish language media.
Account Executive Gita Shonek has more than twelve years of public relations and marketing experience in South Florida’s non-profit sector. Shifting her focus to the culinary and hospitality realm, Gita boasts close to twenty years of experience in marketing, programming and promotion having held positions with the University of Miami Lowe Art Museum, Bakehouse Art Complex in Wynwood, Miami Book Fair International, and most recently the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. Gita holds an MFA in visual arts from the Miami International University of Art and Design and brings creativity and passion to all that she does.
Anabel Mendez joins the BCPR team as an Account Executive with experience in public affairs, campaign strategy and community outreach. A graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in public relations, Anabel worked for Miami-Dade County as a social media manager, where she assisted with branding initiatives. Previously, she worked for Wragg & Casas Strategic Communications as an account coordinator. In addition, she spearheaded a public relations campaign for UF’s Office of Sustainability.
Sarah Thaler joins the BCPR team as an Account Coordinator with ample experience in editorial writing, brand strategy and media relations. A graduate of the S.I Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, Sarah earned her Bachelor degree in Television, Radio, and Film with a minor in Food Studies. Prior to joining BCPR, she worked at Schwartz Media Strategies, where she learned the ins-and-outs of public relations in the business sector. She served as Director of Programming at the Miami Short Film Festival in 2015 and has published stories in the Miami New Times and Latina Magazine.
Account Executive Mariana Michelsen has experience in hospitality, travel and lifestyle public relations. She has worked with an array of local, national and international brands playing an integral part in their launches, strategy and ongoing press efforts. Mariana graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in public relations.
Social Media Director and Account Coordinator
A native New Yorker, Devin Smith attended Florida International University and received a degree in Digital Media Marketing with magma cum laude honors. With prior experience in the hospitality sector in both agency and in-house PR, she has worked alongside award-winning hotel and restaurant clientele. She joins the team as Social Media Director and Account Coordinator.