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New Talent, Internal Promotions Set Thompson & Co. Up for Success in 2010


ANCHORAGE – Thompson & Co. Public Relations hired three new employees in late 2009 and promoted another from within to bolster the agency for what is projected to be a busy new year.

Three new additions to the public relations team include Tim Thompson, Sophie Shafter and Ariel Walsh. Tara Stevens, who has been with Thompson & Co. for over three years, has been promoted to an account executive.

As a partner in Thompson & Co., Tim Thompson brings a wide range of experience in crisis communications and corporate, community and media relations.  Previously, Thompson served as the director of external affairs and corporate spokesperson for the Alaska Railroad Corporation. Prior to the Alaska Railroad, Thompson was the assignment editor at the award-winning NBC affiliate, KTUU Channel 2 News, for over 12 years.

Thompson will be responsible for working with clients, new business development and human resources. Thompson holds a master’s degree in business with an emphasis in telecommunications management from Alaska Pacific University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and public communications from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Shafter comes to the agency from the Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau, where she fielded media requests, wrote news releases and story pitches and coordinated media visits to Anchorage for the communications department. At Thompson & Co., Shafter will take the lead on social media marketing for clients. She graduated from California State University, Chico with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and a minor in Spanish.

Walsh also joins the Thompson & Co. team in a dual account coordinator/office manager capacity.  While assisting with media requests and research tasks, Walsh will coordinate the accounting and clerical needs of the agency. Born and raised in Alaska, Walsh brings over 10 years of experience in the banking industry to Thompson & Co. Walsh also worked in Alaska’s commercial fishing industry for four seasons.   

Stevens was promoted to an account executive based on her experience at the agency over the last several years. Her primary responsibilities include a variety of tasks from assisting travel writers, fact checking and photo requests, and the detail-heavy work of planning travel itineraries and escorting media around the state. She is responsible for tracking return on investment reports for clients and will now be more involved in new business development and planning. Stevens graduated from the University of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in advertising and creative writing.

Thompson & Co. is the new name of the agency formerly known as Bernholz & Graham, Inc. Agency President Jennifer Thompson bought Bernholz & Graham in April 2009 and renamed it in June.

Thompson & Co. Public Relations is an Anchorage-based public relations agency with an office in Manhattan. Serving clients in travel and tourism, telecommunications, economic development, business, the arts and sciences, the agency boasts a broad base of experience across many industries. Recognized for its creativity and drive, the agency has won several national awards for its innovative public relations campaigns.

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