By Mary Shank Rockman, Principal & CEO

As I sat down to pen MSR’s blog for the week, I wanted to share something different than reporting on emerging public relations trends and PR agency happenings. Rather, it’s Tuesday, and I wanted to acknowledge my gratefulness for two phenomenal team members each of whom are celebrating 12-year work anniversaries with MSR today. As I type that—12 years—I am reminded how unique it is to have such dedicated, loyal team members who have remained with the firm and been instrumental in helping shape MSR for over a decade. And when you’ve owned a company for nearly 20 years as I have, the ability to retain such top-notch managers whom I respect, and trust greatly fills my heart and makes today truly #TFT.

Michael Burke joined MSR’s San Francisco office in March 2007 as a senior account executive to help manage MSR’s thriving technology business after a PR agency stint in Los Angeles where he created integrated marcom campaigns and developed content for Disney stores and Iomega. As soon as he came on board, he quickly began making an impact on MSR’s technology and business clients such as the launch of AirBnB; Ariba,, and The Myers-Briggs Company, among numerous others; where for the past 12 years, his masterful storytelling has helped amass countless industry awards for ingenuity, flawless execution and extraordinary results achieved.

Michael never ceases to amaze me! As a father of twin tweens, a teenager, and a two- year-old, I am continually impressed by his patience and kindness, as well as ability to be present, flexible, and supportive even in the most challenging times. With his melodic voice and prolific writing, it’s no wonder that in addition to his PR expertise, Michael also has a significant passion for creating and performing music. In fact, if you’re lucky, you may catch him singing and playing his very cool electric guitar at Six Flags. Thank you, Michael, for being such an integral part of my team for 12 years!

Crisel Ortiz Mills also joined MSR in March 2007 as an account executive to help build our growing consumer lifestyle practice after working in San Diego with an agency that represented retail outlets such as IKEA; nonprofit, healthcare, biotech, and financial services companies. Back then, I’d decided to combine two of my passions: health and fitness and turn them into one of the key focus areas for the firm. What initially began as oversight of two local accounts has since become a thriving business segment for MSR, led by Crisel. Throughout the past 12 years, she has worked her creative, thoughtful, and skillful magic to help clients build momentum and become leading brands in very exciting lifestyle categories. Just to name a few, sleep technology pioneer, SleepRate; women’s lifestyle products brand, Womanizer; family Internet security and privacy, AVG technologies; and even San Francisco’s original winery, Bluxome Street Winery, represent some of MSR’s most clever, award-winning results. Today, her professionalism, endless creativity, and expertise with all-things lifestyle PR, digital communications and events management, have earned her senior director and lead on MSR’s life sciences client, Evolve Biosystems. Evolve’s groundbreaking scientific discovery, EVC001, has been commercialized as Evivo, a first-of-its-kind probiotic that has the potential to change the long-term health outcomes for babies everywhere.

With all of her ‘mommies,’ ‘families’ and lifestyle PR expertise, I truly admire her ability to also create a solid work-life balance between MSR and our clients while being a terrific mom to her two-year-old daughter! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching Crisel grow her strong skillset over the years; pave her career path as a trusted, respected manager and client counselor; and assume a senior leadership role at MSR. She’s become instrumental in developing our team members, effectively managing our clients’ needs and securing top notch results. Thank you, Crisel, for everything you do to help make MSR what it is today.

One thing that’s remained true throughout the past 20 years is that while my initials may be on the logo, whether 12 years or 20, MSR is the agency it is today because of our remarkable team. On this #TFT, I am especially thankful for you both, extraordinary team members Michael and Crisel!