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FSB Core Strategies Announces Bill Romanelli as New Senior Vice President

New Hire Will Add Leadership to Public Affairs Practice and Help Drive Long Term Strategy


Sacramento (August 7, 2017) – FSB Core Strategies (FSB) today announced long-time public affairs practitioner, Bill Romanelli, previously Senior Director with APCO Worldwide in Sacramento, has joined the firm as Senior Vice President and will provide further leadership to the firm’s Public Affairs Practice.

“Bill is an exceptional addition to our team—his reputation for being a thoughtful, skilled strategist and communications professional is widely recognized, said Jeff Flint, FSB President and CEO.  “We have been looking for the right person to provide further leadership to our Public Affairs Practice along with the partners for some time and Bill embodies our firm’s values, culture and strategic vision. He is the perfect person for the position.”

Romanelli has nearly 25 years’ experience representing companies, associations, industry coalitions and nonprofits seeking to tell their story and advance their cause on a variety of local, state and federal issues. Over the years he has led multiple communication and outreach campaigns to educate and influence decision makers, reporters and local communities on a wide variety of issues. He possesses experience in energy and natural resources, conservation, environmental remediation, flood control, civil justice reform, health care, land use, and public safety.

“This is an exciting new chapter for me and for FSB Core Strategies,” said Romanelli. “They’ve been a firm to watch for a number of years already, and I’m very honored to be joining this dynamic and growing team.”

Romanelli rounds out FSB’s senior leadership team, which includes Jeff Flint as firm president and CEO, Cherri Spriggs-Hernandez as firm principal and chief marketing officer, Kristy Babb as firm principal and chief administrative officer, Jerry Amante as the firm’s general counsel and senior vice president and David Murillo as vice president of the firm’s Association Management Services practice.  Romanelli’s addition helps position the firm for future growth and will assist in the firm’s long-term strategic direction.

FSB Core Strategies recently celebrated its 5th anniversary, though the company has been providing public affairs, public relations and association management services statewide since 2001 through predecessor companies. Recognized by the Sacramento Business Journal as one of the premiere public affairs and public relations firms in the region, FSB has delivered great successes on behalf of government agencies, Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations. FSB employs a team of 20 professionals between offices in Sacramento and Orange County.

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FSB Core Strategies announces staff promotions in Orange County

ANAHEIM, CALIF. (July 24, 2017)—FSB Core Strategies, a public affairs, public relations and trade association management firm based in Sacramento with an office in Anaheim, recently announced three promotions for members of its Orange County team. FSB promoted Alex Burrola, Mayra Vega and Rachael DiCicco, all long-time team members and entrenched in southern California projects.

“We’re only as good as our team,” said FSB Core Strategies President and CEO Jeff Flint, “and our team is the gold standard when it comes to innovative, resourceful, thoughtful public affairs and public relations practitioners. Alex, Mayra and Rachael’s promotions are well-deserved and we take pride in cultivating a culture that affords professional growth and rewards. The longevity of our entire team – in Sacramento and Orange County – is what differentiates FSB from other public affairs and public relations firms.”

Alex Burrola has been promoted to Senior Account Supervisor.  Burrola is an invaluable member of the public affairs team and has been part of the Orange County office since 2012. He provides senior leadership to the junior team while leading multiple client campaigns and projects.

Mayra Vega has been promoted to Account Supervisor. Vega works in the public affairs and public relations practices and creates and implements strategic outreach and bilingual media programs in an effort to foster and maintain long-lasting relationships between clients and various southern California communities. She has been with FSB since 2014.

Rachael DiCicco has been promoted to Assistant Account Executive. Rachael joined FSB two years ago upon graduating from California State University, Chico, where she studied journalism and public relations. Rachael is an integral member of the team and works in all three of FSB’s Practice Areas: Public Affairs, Consumer Public Relations and Trade Association Management.

FSB Core Strategies recently celebrated its 5th anniversary, though the company has been providing public affairs, public relations and trade association management services statewide since 2005 as a predecessor company. Recognized by the Orange County Business Journal as one of the most premiere public affairs and public relations firms in the County, FSB has delivered great successes on behalf of government agencies, Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations.


FSBulletin: Fall Edition

FSB Named Top Public Relations Firm in Sacramento and Orange County
Ranked No. 4 in SacramentoNo. 15 in Orange County  

FSB in the Community

Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Jerry Amante, has been named a Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics Ambassador.  In September, the USC Dornsife School’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics Director, Dan Schnur, announced that the Institute had named about two dozen public and private sector community leaders as Unruh Ambassadors.  The Ambassadors are part of the Unruh Institute’s effort to provide guidance and advice to students who are interested in making a difference in both the private and public sector in their communities. The Ambassadors also serve on discussion panels and as lecturers and also mentor students.  Beyond the USC Campus, the Unruh Ambassadors engage with both the students and the broader Southern California community on behalf of the Unruh Institute.  FSB congratulates Jerry on his appointment to that select group of community leaders and wishes him and his colleagues much success.

Rachel Smith has been appointed to the board of CA Groundbreakers, a new civic-engagement, community-focused organization highlighting people making change for the better in California. This month they will kick off their “Policy and a Pint” panel series which focuses on the current California ballot initiatives.

Mayra Vega was part of the “Meet the Funders” panel at the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s annual convention.

FSB proudly sponsored the OC Taypayers Association’s Roses and Radishes Event held on Sept. 8

Client News
1st Annual Farm Tank Summit- Sacramento, CA

Ford sponsored Sacramento’s inaugural Farm Tank Summit on Sept. 22 & 23 at the Hyatt Regency. This event was a great venue to continue Ford’s sustainable materials conversation in the region and tout their practice of replacing petroleum-based plastic with plant-based materials.

Driving Skills for Life


Ford Motor Company Fund’s Driving Skills for Life program teaches thousands of newly-licensed and permitted teenagers around the world how to be safer drivers. With the help of professional race car drivers, DSFL is conducted in both hands-on and web-based curriculum and the four-hour program is available at no cost. The Ford DSFL program addresses both the inexperience factor as well as issues surrounding distracted driving. In September, hundreds of teens in the Fresno area learned that car crashes are the number one cause of death among teens and took the initiative to become better-prepared to take the wheel.

Anaheim Chamber of Commerce – Annual Job Fair 

Spanish Language Outreach Specialist, Mayra Vega, appeared on Univision to promote the Anaheim Chamber’s Annual Job Fair on 8/31.

Sacramento Area Human Resource Association’s Annual Conference

FSB managed the Sacramento Area Human Resource Association’s (SAHRA) highly-anticipated Annual Conference on September 20th and 21stat the Sacramento Convention Center. Attendance ascended over last year’s Conference, as hundreds of HR professionals came together to network and learn the latest trends in human resources. The two day program consisted of 15 top-notch speakers, a sold-out exhibit hall, and a cocktail reception. FSB is honored to represent this reputable organization, a local chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. FSB looks forward to another successful SAHRA Conference in 2017!

Staff News

Jeff Flint Turns 50 on Oct. 19. Happy Birthday to FSB’s President and CEO!

Will Hixson has been promoted to Association Operations Manager. He is responsible for the day-to-day operation of FSB’s association management clients. Will is involved in all aspects of FSB’s association practice including membership development and outreach, marketing and communications, and event coordination.

Mayra Vega has been promoted to Special Projects Manager and Latino Outreach Specialist, working directly with the CEO. She serves on multiple teams conducting community outreach, specifically within the Latino community, and securing community partnerships for clients. Additionally, she is responsible for creating and implementing client campaigns in Southern California through events and media outreach.

Rose Smoot, IOM, CAE joins FSB as Finance Director of Association Management Services. She oversees the financial and operations arm of the association management services of FSB.

Jessica Sweeten has been named Association Operations Coordinator. As the Association Operations Coordinator, Jessica assists with the day-to-day operations on our Association Management team including invoicing, managing & updating membership profiles and membership outreach.

FSB in the News

Also, be sure to check out EVP & Chief Marketing Officer Cherri Spriggs Hernandez‘s interview for The Membership Management Report, October 2016 edition. Full text below!

November Election Updates & Staff News

The end of summer might be drawing near, but the FSB election cycle is just heating up! FSB is serving as lead campaign manager, or as part of the campaign strategy team, for six ballot measures across the state. We look forward to delivering wins on November 8! Campaigns include:

We’re also excited to announce on behalf of our clients the approved closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant when operational permits expire in 2025 and the first ever Drone Information Day at the State Capitol. FSB provided strategic counsel and developed and implemented aggressive and extensive community and earned media programs for both efforts!

(Courtesy of FOX40)

And a major client victory was achieved in the City of Anaheim on behalf of major hotel development projects being sought by Disney and the Wincome Group. FSB created a diverse coalition to advocate for the city’s hotel incentive policy approval for three new luxury, four-diamond hotels that will generate hundreds of millions of dollars and create thousands of jobs. After orchestrating hours of expert testimony and public comment, that included dozens of speakers representing community groups, business groups and organized labor, the City Council voted 3-1 in favor of economic growth!

Other Exciting Client News

Have you heard? Ford Motor Company and Jose Cuervo® are exploring the use of agave plants to develop a sustainable bioplastic material to incorporate in vehicles, giving the agave fiber byproduct a second chance at usefulness. FSB managed media and influencer events throughout the state to help promote this news.

(Courtesy of Good Day Sacramento)

The Keep Placer Moving: Yes on Measure M campaign announced that all five Placer County Supervisors have endorsed Measure M. Placer County voters will see Measure M on their November ballots. The Measure would direct a $1.6 billion Transportation Investment Plan, with strict accountability and strong taxpayer safeguards.

Work Anniversaries, New Hires, and other Notable FSB Happenings

Work Anniversaries
Our team, and the longevity of our team members, is what sets FSB apart from other agencies. It is with great pride that we congratulate the following employees on their FSB anniversaries:

Rachel Smith, Associate Vice President & Media Relations Director 9 years
Jerry Amante, Senior Vice President & General Counsel 4 years
Alex Burrola, Account Supervisor, 4 years
Rachael DiCicco, Account Coordinator, 1 year
Dave Murillo, CAE, Vice President and Director, Association Management Services, 1 year

New Hires
We welcome our newest employees to the FSB Team: Colin Sueyres, Crystal Norman, and Miranda Pinto.

Colin Sueyres joins our Sacramento office as a Public Affairs Special Projects Director and will be working within FSB’s public affairs practice serving as the day-to-day manager for various campaign clients.

Crystal Norman joins our OC office as an Account Coordinator and will be working within FSB’s public affairs practice assisting with clients such as the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. 

Miranda Pinto joins our Sacramento office as the Administrative Services Director and will be managing all aspects of the firm’s accounts payable/receivable operations, human resources and administrative operations.

Other Notable FSB Happenings

After eight years of service to the Junior League of Sacramento, FSB Principal Cherri Spriggs Hernandez took Sustainer Status. The alumni-like status ensures Spriggs Hernandez can still be involved in the League, but allows her more time to focus on other community commitments. With her new found free-time, Spriggs Hernandez will be serving on the Board of the St. Rose School Parents’ Guild as the Communications/Marketing Chair. Her son started kindergarten there earlier this month.

FSB Core Strategies is proud to report that our Association Management Vice President, David Murillo, has earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) professional designation from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

To be designated as a Certified Association Executive, an applicant must have a minimum of three years’ experience with nonprofit organization management, complete a minimum of 100 hours of specialized professional development, pass a stringent examination in association management, and pledge to uphold a code of ethics. To maintain the certification, individuals must undertake ongoing professional development and activities in association and nonprofit management. More than 4,000 association professionals currently hold the CAE credential. The CAE program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

David has also been elected to serve on the Board of Directors of the Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus. Leveraging his experience as a non-profit executive, David is excited to help the Board in the execution of its mission of creating entertaining music that inspires its members and audience by instilling pride in our diversity and common humanity. David is also the incoming Vice Chair of the CalSAE Professional Development Committee, which is the committee that oversees educational development for association executives in California.

Account Supervisor Alex Burrola was recently installed as a Board Member at the North Orange County Chamber of Commerce‘s Business of the Year Awards and Board installation and was also elected as a Board Member for the California Republican Liberty Caucus.

FSB Core Strategies Announces Staff Promotions, New Hires


FSB is pleased to announce the following staff promotions and newest hire in our Orange County and Sacramento Offices:

Orange County:

Mayra Vega has been promoted to an Account Executive and Latino Outreach & Spanish Language Specialist. She is in charge of creating strategic outreach plans for both the general population and Latino communities in order to build long-lasting relationships between clients and their publics. Mayra has been with FSB for two years. 

Nailea Ayala has been hired as an Account Coordinator after working as an intern for one year in the OC office on a variety of FSB’s clients. Nailea plays an integral role in FSB’s bilingual and bicultural practice. 


Jessica Sweeten has been hired as an Account Coordinator after working as an intern in the Sacramento office on a variety of FSB’s clients.

Rosana Torres has been promoted to an Assistant Account Executive and Latino Outreach & Spanish Language Specialist. She serves as an in-language spokesperson for several clients and works on social media outreach, grassroots campaigns and community relations strategies. An active member of the National Guard, Rosana has been with FSB in Orange County for three years and will be relocating to the Sacramento office later this month while continuing to work on southern California clients.  

Will Hixson has been promoted to an Account Executive. He assists coalition-building and media relations for the firm and has more than four years’ experience in public relations roles. Will has been with FSB for two years.

Sarah Pollo, MA has been promoted to a Senior Account Supervisor and Social Media Director. She manages the daily activities for various public affairs campaigns. She is an effective social media and grassroots strategist for various candidate and issue campaigns at the local, statewide and Congressional levels. Sarah has been with FSB for eight years and just recently earned a master’s degree in government at Sacramento State. 

Rachel Smith has been promoted to an Associate Vice President and Media Relations Director. She leads FSB’s public relations practice and oversees earned media campaigns for the firm’s clients, including global companies, national organizations, local businesses and non-profits. Rachel has been with the firm for nine years, spending 2012 in the Orange County office as an Account Supervisor before moving back to Sacramento. 

FSB Core Strategies is a full-service public relations, public affairs, political consulting and marketing firm with offices located in Sacramento, Roseville, Anaheim, and Costa Mesa.

FSB Core Strategies Wins Another Tough Land Use Campaign


FSB Core Strategies congratulates our client, the Modesto Chamber of Commerce PAC as well as Modesto’s business, farming, labor and public safety leaders, for successfully defeating Measure I this week.

The final tabulation of ballots in Modesto’s 2015 general election showed Measure I defeated by 215 votes. Our firm was honored to manage this campaign on the PAC’s behalf and on the side of property rights, good planning, more jobs, and economic development. Another win on a tough land use ballot measure for our team.

Measure I’s defeat follows a tough local land use victory just this past May in Buena Park.

Click here to read the Modesto Bee article.

Click here to view FSB’s campaign track record.