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Who We Are

Meet the Team

David Hernandez

David Hernandez

Co-founder & Managing Partner

David launched lotus823 in 2010 after his experience within both sides of the marketing and retail world, at a time when he felt the strong need of a results-driven integrated boutique firm. Prior to launching lotus823, David was part of the leadership team for a consumer technology public relations agency where he drove the firm’s growth to double-digits in less than three years.

With 25 years of experience in the retail and marketing industry, David has also served in a variety of executive roles at companies such as Guitar Center, MARS Music, and OMI.

Allison Hernandez

Allison Hernandez

Co-founder & Managing Partner

Allison has established key policies, procedures, and budgets for lotus823 since 2010 when she founded the firm with husband and co-managing partner David Hernandez. With over 20 years of extensive experience in human resources and company operations, Allison is a senior-level professional who has brought to life her and David’s vision of creating a company culture that attracts the best people both as employees and clients.

Prior to lotus823, Allison has worked within human resources and business solutions at large companies such as MARS Music and Toshiba.

Nancy Kohlreiter

Nancy Kohlreiter

Chief Operating Officer

Nancy manages lotus823’s overall corporate vision with a key focus on efficiently managing the agency’s future expansion and plans for growth and providing counsel on new business development. With over 15 years of experience, Nancy provides the leadership, management, and direction necessary for lotus823 to thrive.

Prior to joining lotus823, Nancy held the position of Senior Director, New Product Acquisition at Office Depot where she was a champion at developing strategic partnerships with major brands inside the organization.

Rachel Litner

Rachel Litner

Chief Strategy Officer

Rachel is a seasoned professional with more than 30 years of public relations, marketing and journalism expertise. As Chief Strategy Officer, she spearheads global business plans to expand lotus823’s presence and growth in the consumer lifestyle space. Prior to joining lotus823, Rachel was President and Founder of Rachel Litner Associates, a PR agency that specialized in the culinary and home industry. She previously held positions at CIT, Conair Corporation, Fairchild Publications (Home Furnishings Daily) and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Her diverse background as an in-house PR executive, magazine editor, and an agency principal plays an instrumental role in creating new growth strategies for clients and the company as a whole.

Dan Kulp

Dan Kulp

Vice President

Dan has more than ten years of marketing and public relations experience, having worked extensively in a variety of capacities in the lifestyle and consumer products industries. As Vice President of lotus823, he oversees all client and media relations, from press relations and content creation to event and strategic planning. Prior to joining lotus823, Dan was Vice President of Rachel Litner Associates, a culinary, lifestyle and housewares public relations firm. He has also been a team member at MWW Group in New Jersey and 5W Public Relations in New York City.

Anthony Berardo

Anthony Berardo

Director of Digital Advertising

As a seasoned marketing executive for B2B and B2C campaigns across various industry verticals, including travel, technology, and managed services, Anthony believes in the  importance of utilizing all internet marketing channels to synergize his client’s message with a focus on branding and increasing relevant traffic, conversions, lead generation, and sales.

Prior to joining lotus823, Anthony served as Director of Marketing for Myriad Supply and Myriad Tech Solutions, where he managed brand strategy and development, website traffic growth, website UI, and overall advertising revenue.

Beth Gard

Beth Gard

Senior Manager, Client Relations and Operations

Beth provides public relations counsel and leadership, consistently generating strong coverage for her clients. She has garnered placements in and built relationships with publications such as USA Today, Cosmopolitan, Parade, and TWICE. She has developed winning client entries in award programs, including the InfoComm Best of Show Awards and rAVe Readers’ Choice Awards. Beth’s work has also directly resulted in award wins for lotus823, including the PRSA NJ Pyramid Award and the PR News Agency Elite Awards.

Prior to joining lotus823, Beth held positions with Burson-Marsteller and Gutenberg Communications and she holds a Masters in Communication & Information Studies.

MJ Thompson

MJ Thompson

Senior Manager, Digital Marketing & Design

MJ specializes in organic and paid digital marketing and social media, developing cross platform strategies that combine data driven decisions and current design trends to promote conversions and brand awareness. Experienced in Google AdWords, SEO and SEM tactics along with best web development practices, MJ enjoys building a cohesive marketing plan that can be implemented to best meet a client’s needs and goals.

MJ has extensive experience in, creating social media policies and strategies, executing day-to-day posting, monitoring, and managing brand and divisional pages, launching and updating a national ad program, and reporting on various media strategies while adjusting spend within products, so that each buy is most cost-effective. Additionally, she is proficient with the Adobe Creative suite, graphic design video editing, script writing, and post production, along with experience working in HTML5, Python, Ruby and motion graphic animation.

Heather Hewit

Heather Hewit

Senior Account Manager

Heather joined lotus823 in 2011 and holds a successful track record of managing award-winning integrated, social media, and public relations strategies.

Heather’s knack for relationship-building with trade and mainstream media consistently leads to top-notch placements, such as CNET, USA Today, Parents, SELF, Men’s Fitness, CNBC, TechCrunch, Engadget, Wired, Digital Trends, PCMag, and more.

Her leadership, tactical execution, and results-oriented nature at lotus823 has led to her accounts’ wins of a 2015 PRSA NJ Pyramid Award in Media Relations, a 2014 Ragan’s PR Daily Awards Honorable Mention in Product/Service Launch, a 2014 PRSA NJ Pyramid Awards Honorable Mention for PR on a Shoestring, and a 2013 PR Daily’s Social Media Awards Honorable Mention for Best Event Promotion.

Cait Coyle

Cait Coyle

Senior Account Manager

As a creative and goal-driven marketing professional, Cait brings diverse experience in developing and executing integrated marketing communications plans to lotus823. In her role Cait utilizes her strong writing, project management, and client relationship skills to develop strategies and execute PR, social media, and digital marketing campaigns for a wide range of clients. Since she joined lotus823 Cait has secured interest for her clients from a number of media outlets including Huffpost and Elite Daily.

Prior to joining lotus823, Cait ​held various marketing positions in the healthcare field. At Meridian Health, she specialized in content creation and event management on behalf of numerous internal and external clients. Most recently, Cait held a position at Patients and Purpose in NYC (Part of Omnicom Health Group) where she was responsible for managing relationships between large pharma clients and internal agency teams to ensure the delivery of high quality services in both digital and print.

Melissa Hunt

Melissa Hunt

Senior Digital Marketing Strategist

Melissa has an extensive range of digital experience, with a deep understanding of both inbound marketing and paid advertising for eCommerce, lead generation, and branding efforts. Her expertise encompasses everything from social media marketing and conversion rate optimization to SEO copywriting and landing page design.

Before joining lotus823, Melissa held a position with New Jupiter Media, where she created a digital marketing department from the ground up. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and English from NYU.

Amanda Erdmann

Amanda Erdmann

Digital Marketing and Operations Analyst

Amanda kicked off her career in the digital marketing field, specializing in organic and paid social media, website design, and content marketing. Her analytical proficiency, paired with her keen organizational skills, gave Amanda a well-rounded foundation as a knowledgeable resource in data analytics and digital strategies.

Her passion for business optimization and analysis has enabled her to evaluate data, processes, and systems to enhance strategies and operations at lotus823. Prior to joining the company, Amanda worked at a digital agency, where she managed a team of 15 while overseeing all marketing activities, maintaining new business development and optimizing business procedures.

Olivia Munafo

Olivia Munafo

Assistant Account Executive

Olivia’s communication and media relations skills play an intricate role in her ability to generate meaningful results for a diverse client base. She utilizes her strong writing expertise and PR savvy to secure client coverage in top media outlets, such as CBS News, Chicago Tribune, HuffPost, O Magazine and BRIDES Magazine, as well as leading trade publications.

Prior to joining lotus823, Olivia worked as a Marketing Coordinator at Brand Groupies, where she focused on event planning, media relations, social media and and content marketing for clients.

A graduate of Monmouth University, Olivia is also pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA), with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Public Relations.

Samantha Barnwell

Samantha Barnwell

Assistant Account Executive

Throughout her career, Samantha has diverse experience in both digital marketing and public relations. She has worked closely with hospitality, beauty, and other lifestyle clients to execute partnerships, marketing campaigns, events, and related branding initiatives. Her expertise in media relations and networking has garnered high profile exposure from leading press outlets including News 12, New York Pix 11 News, and Gothamist.

Prior to joining lotus823, Samantha held positions at a New York City experiential marketing agency as well as The Princeton Review.

Cathy Harlow

Cathy Harlow

Bookkeeper