June 2009 – FishChoice.com Partners with Straus Communications
The purpose of FishChoice.com (www.fishchoice.com) is to connect commercial seafood buyers with the most environmentally preferred and sustainable seafood suppliers. Sustainable Seafood is fish and shellfish that is caught or farmed in ways that maintain healthy populations and have minimal impact on the environment. FishChoice is a nonprofit, conservation minded, organization. FishChoice.com serves Commercial seafood buyers looking for sustainable seafood products. All the seafood products featured on the FishChoice website meet the strict ranking and certification criteria of at least one of the environmental community’s leading organizations. Through FishChoice.com, commercial seafood buyers are able to immediately search and easily contact any suppliers whose products interest them.
May 2009 – B Lab Partners with Straus Communications
B Lab (www.bcorporation.net) is the non-profit organization which certifies, promotes, and supports B Corporations. B Corporations are a new type of corporation which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. B Corporations are unlike traditional responsible businesses because they:
As of June 2009, there are over 200 certified B Corporations, representing a diverse $1B marketplace.
- Meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards.
- Institutionalize stakeholder interests.
- Build collective voice through the power of a unifying brand.
May 2009 – Straus Communications Certified as B Corporation/Speaking on B Corp Panel
Michael Straus joined a panel of green business experts at the Sustainable Enterprise Conference in Sonoma. Sponsored by B Corporation, the panel, “To B or Not to B: How B Corporation helps your company measure and certify your triple bottom line performance” showcased Straus’ experience in becoming a certified B Corporation. Michael’s panel included industry leaders Matt Reynolds, co-founder and President of Indigenous Designs Corporation; Mal Warwick of Mal Warwick Associates, long-time chair of the Social Venture Network board of directors and co-author(with Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's) the first volume in the SVN Book Series, Values-Driven Business: How to Change the World, Make Money, and Have Fun; and Michael Hannigan, President and Co-Founder of Give Something Back, Inc., California’s largest independent business to business office supply company. Moderator Deborah Hirsh of B Corporation co-directs community and business development on the west coast for B Lab, the 501©(3) non-profit organization with the mission to support businesses in their goals to measure and improve social and environmental performance through the use of their B Ratings System.
May 2009 – Straus Communication provides Media training for CCOF and Environmental Working Group
Straus conducted media training workshops in the spring of ’09 for two prominent organizations focused on sustainable food systems: California Certified Organic Farmers (www.ccof.org) and Environmental Working Group (ewg.org). Straus Communications Vice President Haven Bourque trained senior analyst and executive level staff who were facing messaging challenges as diverse as the mainstreaming of certified organic products and the conventional meat industry’s role in climate change. Handling media interviews is a key skill for organizational spokespersons and their support staffs; these trainings enabled these thought-leading organizations to strengthen their position in the marketplace of change.
April 2009 – Equator Coffees & Teas Partners with Straus Communications
Equator Coffees & Teas (www.equatorcoffees.com) is a Bay Area coffee roaster that has built a national reputation for environmental and social responsibility. Based in San Rafael, CA, the successful, women–owned company was co-founded in 1995 by Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell. They have earned an outstanding reputation as purveyors and roasters providing distinctive specialty coffees and rare teas and are known for careful selection of sustainable green beans, artisan blend development, efficient small-batch roasting, and advanced brewing technology. Equator focuses on ways to advance sustainability practices that encourage productive relationships with coffee growers around the globe, resulting in an empowered chain of supply. Their unparalleled coffee can be found at top restaurants around the country, including all of the Chef Thomas Keller’s restaurants, such as Per Se and The French Laundry and fine foods purveyors such as Dean & Deluca.
April 2009 – Straus Communications Senior Media Strategist Anna Ghosh Partners with The Greening of Southie
Senior Media Strategist, Anna Ghosh worked with the filmmakers of the award-winning documentary The Greening of Southie (www.greeningofsouthie.com) on the national campaign, Earth Week in the Union Halls, which ignited conversation about green-collar jobs in building trade union halls across the country. More than 60 events took place in 17 states, engaging more than 1,500 tradesmen and women. Dozens of national broadcast, print and online stories resulted including a segment on Good Morning America and a feature story in the New Yorker. Set on the storied streets of South Boston, The Greening of Southie is a feature documentary created by King Corn’s Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, about Boston’s first residential green building, and the men and women who set out to construct it. From wheatboard cabinetry to recycled steel, bamboo flooring to dual-flush toilets, The Macallen Building is something different––a leader in the emerging field of environmentally friendly design. But green building has its challenges, and the jobsite has its skeptics. And when things start to go wrong, a young developer has to keep the project from unraveling. Funny and poignant, The Greening of Southie is a story of bold ideas, new environmentalists, and the future of urban America.
April 2009 – A Sense of Wonder Filmmakers Partners with Straus Communications Senior Media Strategist Susan Coss for Women’s History Month Screenings
When pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson published Silent Spring in 1962, the backlash from her critics thrust her into the center of a political maelstrom. Despite her love of privacy, Carson’s convictions and her foresight regarding the risks posed by chemical pesticides forced her into a very public and controversial role. Using many of Miss Carson's own words, Kaiulani Lee, A Sense of Wonder’s writer and star, embodies this extraordinary woman in a documentary style film, which depicts Carson in the final year of her life. Struggling with cancer, Carson recounts with both humor and anger the attacks by the chemical industry, the government, and the press as she focuses her limited energy to get her message to Congress and the American people. The film is an intimate and poignant reflection of Carson's life as she emerges as America's most successful advocate for the natural world. A Sense of Wonder was shot in HD by Oscar-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler at Carson's cottage on the coast of Maine.
February 2009 – Straus Communications Senior Media Strategist Anna Ghosh Partners with The Greening of Southie
From a pink-tented stand at a local farmers market to being called one of the ten best pastry shops in the world by Conde Nast, Miette (www.miettecakes.com) has grown by leaps and bounds to become one of the Bay Area’s most coveted sources for sweet treats. What sets Miette apart, besides their precious, artful presentation and unparalleled flavors is the incorporation of the finest and freshest ingredients sustainably sourced from family-owned farms. With three shops to date - in the Ferry Building, Hayes Valley, and the Marina - and another on the way in Oakland, Miette is spreading it’s wings and bringing modern, cheerful, mouthwatering confections, cakes, and pastries to San Francisco sweet-tooths everywhere.
November 2008 – Anna Ghosh Hired as Senior Media Strategist
Anna Gosh, Straus Communication’s newest team member and Senior Media Strategist, has a 12-year track record of leading successful communications programs for organizations ranging from Slow Food Nation to a Smart Grid company, solar power plants to software providers. She believes in the power of a compelling, values-based story to reach the right audience, being a resource to journalists in writing about sustainability trends and the products that make a better life accessible to all. Anna's experience as a PR professional spans agencies large and small, in-house work and consulting for leading-edge businesses and non-profits. She spent the past three years growing A&R; Edelman’s clean technology group from the ground up, promoting companies focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency, green building and water management. While Anna dedicated to the development of renewable energy and efficiency as a linchpin to protect our environment, it is renewable human fuel – sustainable food – that’s nearest to her heart. Her recent work on the Slow Food Nation PR advisory committee, combined with her personal passion and years of experience in restaurants and working with food, has enabled her to use her media relations expertise to advance the cause of responsible food sourcing, personal health and cultural value of food, farms and families. Anna’s depth and breadth of experience is sure to contribute greatly to Straus moving the needle on sustainability even further.
November 2008 – Rachel Cole Hired as Account Coordinator
Straus Communications extends a warm welcome to our new Account Coordinator, Rachel Cole. Rachel brings a dynamic combination of sustainable food knowledge, online and social media prowess, and serious organizational chops. She created and authored the "SF SuperFoods" column for Edible San Francisco magazine and is the Creator for the magazine's Edible Pursuit food-trivia event series. She has dug potatoes as an apprentice on an organic farm and mastered Alice Waters' famous goat-cheese salad and farm-to-table credo while working at Café Fanny. She contributed regularly to the natural foods Web site mightyfoods.com while completing a graduate internship with the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) where she helped create educational programs for the Ferry Plaza farmers’ market community. In 2008 she earned a fellowship to the inspiring Taste3 conference. She holds a Masters degree in Holistic Health Education.
October 2008 – Susan Coss Hired as Senior Media Strategist
Joining Straus Communications this month is Susan Coss, our new Senior Media Strategist. She brings more than 15 years of public relations, communications and marketing experience in the socially responsible business, financial and tech sectors to the table. As the granddaughter of a farmer, and daughter of a man who became a farmer after retiring from the Federal Government, Susan is very well acquainted with the call of the land, and the importance of preserving the environment. In 2007, she made the decision to align her lifelong passion for environmental and food sustainability issues with her career ambitions, and struck out on her own. Most recently, Susan worked on the public relations and marketing team for Slow Food Nation, the first-ever American collaborative gathering that united the growing sustainable food movement and introduced thousands of people to clean and fair food. She was responsible for all radio outreach and generated over 30 radio interviews, including coverage on nationally syndicated shows like Whole Living with Martha Stewart and A Matter of Taste.
September 2008 – Australis Aquaculture Partners with Straus Communications
Australis Aquaculture (www.thebetterfish.com) is an award-winning provider of delicious, healthy, sustainable seafood marketed under the banner of The Better Fish® - Better Tasting, Better For You, Better For Our Environment. The company spearheaded the introduction of Barramundi in North America and has proudly seen it grow from a favorite in Australia into an international culinary trend. Starting with their revolutionary, indoor aquaculture system in Massachusetts, Australis’ innovative farming practices address all of the major environmental challenges facing fish farming. Such innovations are helping the aquaculture industry reach its potential as a sustainable alternative to diminishing wild fisheries, and have propelled Australis to become a recognized leader in the sustainable aquaculture movement. From conserving water and using sustainable feeds, to recycling fish manure for local farmers to use as fertilizer, Australis is committed to advancing the cause of sustainability while protecting our oceans and the natural environment.
August 2008 – Marin Agricultural Institute Partners with Straus Communications
The Marin Agricultural Institute (www.marinagriculturalinstitute.org) is the 501(c)3 sister non-profit of Marin Farmers Markets. Equally dedicated to growing a healthy local food system, they are working towards building a permanent pavilion to house the farmers market. The pavilion will celebrate the Bay Area region's vibrant agricultural roots and support their emerging role as a model for a thriving local economy. Some of the highlights of this exciting development are:
- A retail promenade with a bakery, butcher shop with only locally sourced meats and fish, local cheese & dairy shop, and a specialty grocery
- An open air plaza featuring areas for picnics and special events, demonstration gardens, and an agriculturally-themed educational children's play area.
- A Farm to Fork distribution program that will advocate to the county's businesses, government offices, hospitals and schools to source locally grown food
March 2008 – Straus Communications Executives speak at Sustainable Food Industry Forum presented by the Food Alliance
Michael Straus and Haven Bourque addressed an audience of over 250 sustainable food industry thought leaders at the University of Portland. The Sustainable Food Industry Forum is an annual event for professionals in North America’s sustainable food industry. Hosted by Food Alliance, the Industry Forum is a key opportunity for business leaders to network and share their experiences in developing, supplying, sourcing, and marketing sustainable food products. Straus Communications was invited to present on the topic of communicating brand sustainability to your target audience.
March 2008 – Vanessa Barrington Hired as Account Manager
Straus Communications is thrilled to announce our new Account Manager, Vanessa Barrington who brings to the team a deep commitment to sustainable food and agriculture. For over five years, she served as Marketing Manager and Senior Copywriter for the Northern California and Pacific Northwest Regions of Whole Foods Market. She's also a cookbook author and recipe developer, specializing in artisan foods and sustainability. Vanessa's cookbook, Heirloom Beans: Great recipes for dips and spreads, soups and stews, salads and salsas, and much more from Rancho Gordo, co-authored with Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo, was published in Fall 2008 by Chronicle Books. She also worked on the award-winning Fish Forever: The Definitive Guide to Understanding, Selecting, and Preparing Healthy, Delicious, and Environmentally Sustainable Seafood by Paul Johnson.
June 1, 2007 – Adam Stiles hired as Associate Account Manager
Straus Communications is thrilled to welcome Adam as to the team. From Oregon by way of Brooklyn, Adam holds a degree in Media Studies and Political Science from Hunter College and brings an impressive background in magazine publishing, media education, and peace activism.
May 21, 2007 – Sarah Billingsley joins Straus as Associate Account Manager
Sarah earned an MA in Food Studies from New York University and a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She worked as a food writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and coauthored a culinary textbook on improvisational cooking, Games Cooks Play. She has edited cookbooks, including the most recent edition of Joy of Cooking and has contributed to Edible Brooklyn, edited Food Matters, the food studies newsletter at New York University
April 15, 2007 – The David Brower Center partners with Straus Communications
The David Brower Center (www.browercenter.org) is a facility designed to inspire and nurture current generations of activists and social entrepreneurs – and to build a foundation for future generations. From informal meals in the restaurant, to meetings in the courtyard and conference rooms, to public programs in the theater, the Brower Center seeks to bring people together while educating, improving, and inspiring its local and global communities. Inside this LEED-Platinum-certified building, the Center’s nonprofit and socially responsible office tenants will also benefit from collocation, a healthy working environment, and opportunities to collaborate and share resources.
April 1, 2007 – Sunlight Electric partners with Straus Communications
Sunlight Electric (www.sunlightelectric.com) specializes in solar power solutions for organic and sustainable food and beverage producers in Northern California. Other clients include artisan cheese producer Cowgirl Creamery and Star Route Farms, which hosted Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall in November 2005.
February 26, 2007 – San Francisco Locally Owned Merchants Alliance (SFLOMA) partners with Straus Communications
The San Francisco Locally Owned Merchants Alliance (http://www.sfloma.org/), encompassing numerous merchants across the City, has been specifically formed to identify and promote locally-owned independent retail businesses and to educate and inform residents and visitors on the positive economic impact on the community and the value to individuals of shopping at independent retailers first.
February 22, 2007 – CleanFish enters partnership with Straus Communications
San Francisco-based CleanFish (www.cleanfish.com) is leading both the market and movement for sustainable seafood. Their unparalleled standards for sustainability and stewardship are matched by the recognition they are garnering for the taste and quality of their artisan products.
February 5, 2007 – Johanna Silver signs on as intern
Johanna is a Denver native and a University of Michigan graduate. She spent two seasons working at Deleney Community Farm, an urban farm in Denver, and has interned as a Teacher-in-Residence at Slide Ranch in Marin County.
January 2007 – Lonnie Fogel joins Straus Communications as Senior Account Executive
Lonnie brings 20 years of broad experience in corporate communications. He spent many years as the senior executive in charge of corporate communications, public relations and investor relations for The Home Depot. He has had a nearly life-long interest and involvement in environmental issues. He recently completed an environmental studies course focusing on the stewardship of parks and open space in Marin County. He is an active member of the Friends of Bayfront Meadow Park in Mill Valley and is currently providing pro-bono communications support to the Marin Headlands-based Yosemite National Institutes.
January 1, 2007 – Straus Communications grows its talented team
Christine Lim becomes Account Coordinator fresh off of an internship at Straus. Christine is a Bay Area native and a UC San Diego Graduate with an honors degree in Communications and a minor in English. She spent a summer working for World of Good, a Berkeley-based fair-trade business, followed by an internship at SustainLane.com, an online resource for sustainable living.
Sarah Levy promoted to Associate Account Manager. We are delighted to recognize Sarah for her continued excellence in work at Straus.
June 12, 2006 – Sarah Levy joins Straus team as Account Coordinator
Sarah brings a passion for food affairs to Straus Communications. She has worked under Alice Waters on such pioneering projects as the Edible Schoolyard, the Berkeley School Lunch Initiative, and Slow Food, and is a copyeditor for Edible East Bay. A Boston native, Sarah graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology from Harvard University.
May 1, 2006 –Sustainable Food Lab Retains Straus as Strategic Communications Partner
Straus Communications is proud to announce their communications partnership with The Sustainable Food Laboratory (SFL). SFL (www.sustainablefoodlab.org) is a consortium of business, public sector and civil society leaders working together to ensure that the world's agriculture and food supply meets the needs of the present while increasing global capacity to meet the needs of the future. SFL’s unique approach to this goal allows private and public sector leaders, including competitors, to engage in unprecedented collaboration across the farming, fishing, manufacturing, dining service and retail sectors of the food supply chain.
April 3, 2006 – Elephant Pharmacy Retains Straus Communications as Agency of Record
Elephant Pharmacy (www.elephantpharmacy.com) is a unique one-stop wellness destination store and community education space dedicated to helping people cross the bridge to a good long life, well lived. As the leading complementary pharmacy, Elephant fills both Rx and herbal prescriptions and offers thousands of over counter pharmaceuticals, remedies and supplements from western and eastern traditions side-by-side with natural foods, natural body care and cosmetics, yoga and meditation gear, home and travel accessories. Elephant Pharmacy’s full service staff of wellness practitioners, instructors and visiting experts offer hundreds of free classes, lectures, clinics and health testing programs every month making Elephant’s retail locations natural community hubs.
March 1, 2006 – Planet Organics Retains Straus Communications as Agency of Record
Planet Organics (www.planetorganics.com) is the leading home delivery service offering top quality organic and local produce, artisanal foods, groceries, household items, and organic prepared meals to food lovers throughout Northern California. Weekly or bi-monthly home deliveries are ordered via the company's easy-to-use website, which features the finest seasonal, local produce, grocery basics such as dairy, eggs, and meats, and specialty food items such as organic chocolate, artisanal cheeses, and freshly-baked bread. A wide selection of home essentials including natural baby products, household cleaning items, and health and beauty care items are also available.
January 15, 2006 – Lucina Company Retains Straus Communications as Agency of Record
Founded in 2005, Lucina Company (www.lucinacompany.com) brings together the craftsmanship of artisans in developing countries and the talents of American designers to create indulgent jewelry. Lucina works with fair trade importers to source handcrafted materials from women survivors of war and artisans in developing countries. Lucina designers then use these materials to create luxurious accessories that carry stories of resiliency, hope, and opportunity from around the world.
January 3, 2006 – Friends of Calakmul enters partnership with Straus Communications
Straus Communications is proud to announce their new partnership with Friends of Calakmul, the pioneering conservation organization. By offering an economic alternative to logging and slash and burn agriculture FOC is empowering indigenous Mexican communities to become environmental stewards of some of Latin America’s last remaining jaguar habitat. Stay tuned for exciting announcements as Straus Communications helps FOC spread the word on a new conservation model and lets you know how you can get involved.
January 1, 2006 – Del Forte Denim Retains Straus Communications as Agency of Record
Del Forte Denim (www.delforte.com) is a line of premium denim apparel for women. Made in the USA with 100 percent organic cotton, the Del Forte collection contributes to a growing fashion trend that interprets luxury as a combination of exquisite beauty and ethical production. Garments focus on streamlined silhouettes and beautiful detailing for an especially flattering fit. Del Forte’s eco-friendly pieces enhance the well being of the environment, of worker communities, and of the women who wear these exceptional clothes.
October 15, 2005 – HRH Prince Charles to visit Marin County organic farmers
Marin Organic, the hosts of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales’ visit to organic farmers has retained Straus Communications to manage the anticipated media frenzy, expected to include every major television network, national and regional newspapers.
October 1, 2005 – Layla Azimi hired as Account Coordinator
Layla brings valuable knowledge of the food and restaurant industry from her PR and marketing roles at the San Francisco Symphony and Ketchum. And, like the rest of us, her passion for food guides how she spends her spare time and change. Layla graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and Public Relations from the University of Kansas. On campus, she was a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America and the director of Jayhawk Communications, the university public relations firm.
May 1, 2005 – Alti Plano Gold retains Straus as Agency of Record
San Francisco-based AltiPlano Gold, founded in 2002, fills a gap in the natural-foods market. Though there were plenty of organic products, few were taking advantage of the high nutritional value of quinoa and other heirloom grains. With more people buying foods for their health benefits, the time was right to launch AltiPlano Gold, a unique line of quinoa breakfast cereals.
April 1, 2005 – Bon Appétit Management Company retains Straus as Agency of Record
Palo Alto-based Bon Appétit Management Company is the onsite restaurant pioneer of bringing sustainable foods into the mainstream. They operate more than 190 restaurants and cafés in corporations, universities, and specialty venues in 26 states, with clients include Yahoo!, the Getty Center and American University.
March 1, 2005 – Nathan Beers to Produce Beyond Organic Radio
Nathan joins the team as Producer of Straus Communications’ Beyond Organic radio show and will also serve in the role of Account Coordinator. His expertise includes building interactive web newscasts, writing outdoor pieces, and public relations account support. He has worked in direct action timber protection with the USDI, and experiential environmental education for high school students and adults. Originally from Vermont, he graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
February 1, 2005 – Organic Bouquet retains Straus as Agency of Record
Mill Valley-based Organic Bouquet has pioneered the organic flower market, working with growers around the world who are committed to the highest social and environmental standards. Their flowers are grown and harvested using practices that aim to improve the quality of farm working conditions, minimize damage to ecosystems, conserve biodiversity, and enhance environmental quality for future generations.
January 1, 2005 – Ruth’s Hemp Foods retains Straus as Agency of Record
Toronto, Canada-based Ruth’s Hemp Foods, a pioneer of hemp food in North America, offers the most extensive line of hemp food available. Ruth’s uses the hemp seed as a signature ingredient to make innovative and nutritious products that are packed with essential fatty acids and rich in protein. Their products contain no GMOs, refined sugars, hydrogenated oils, artificial preservatives, fillers and colors.
November 1, 2004 – Haven Bourque hired as Vice President.
Haven brings 16 years of experience directing marketing and communications programs, including Director of Marketing and Communications for TransFair USA, where she worked with Starbucks, Procter & Gamble, and Dunkin’ Donuts to drive consumer awareness of the Fair Trade Certified label to an all-time high. Previously, Haven held senior positions at the San Francisco Symphony and 3Com Corporation.
Haven holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Kansai Gaikokugo Daigaku of Osaka, Japan, and is a member of the San Francisco Professional Food Society, SLOW Food, and the marketing committee of the Specialty Coffee Association of America.