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DiGennaro Communications

2011 SAWIB WinnerCompany: DiGennaro Communications, New York, NY, U.S.A.
Company Description: Founded by CEO Samantha DiGennaro in 2006, DiGennaro Communications is the leading New York-based strategic public relations agency specializing in business-to-business communications for the advertising, media, marketing and entertainment spaces. The 25-person team partners with clients to provide award-winning personalized, focused service in a way that larger agencies cannot.
Nomination Category: Company/Organization Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Overall Company of the Year – Service Businesses – up to 100 Employees

Nomination Title: DiGennaro Communications (DGC)

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated company during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):

DiGennaro Communications (DGC), a PR firm focused on business to business communications for marketing, advertising and entertainment companies, boasts a nimble team of 25 flanked by strategic acumen, creative problem solving and a risk- taking spirit. Led by founder Samantha DiGennaro, a 20-year PR veteran who fled corporate America to start her own shop five years ago, DGC’s niche specialization allows the agency to build highly targeted media relationships and strategic communications plans to produce results in a way that larger agencies cannot.

In the last year, DGC has received significant recognition for its impressive growth – despite a tough economy:
• In June 2011, DGC was voted a top 10 Great Entrepreneurial Places to Work by NY Enterprise Report
• In August 2011, DGC was included on the Inc. 500 | 5000 list of America’s fastest growing companies in 2011. Since 2007, the firm has boasted a 169% growth in revenue as of 2010, rising from $862,081 to $2.3 million.

DGC’s culture is highly entrepreneurial and Samantha believes that good ideas can come from anywhere – that is particularly true for new business. Employees who bring in new clients are eligible to collect 10% of monthly retainers – an effective approach as DGC was included on Inc. magazine’s list of American’s fastest growing companies in 2011.

To accommodate staff growth, in January 2011 we moved into a Flatiron loft, complete with ping pong table, office-wide internet radio, Nintendo Wii and a full- service kitchen. Samantha also made strategic hires to manage operations and stay ahead of the curve in client offerings:
• In Dec. 2010, DGC hired Howard Schacter as its first President. Howard, formerly CMO for Steve & Barry and Brandweek Marketer of the Year honoree, handles management/operations responsibilities for DGC in addition to driving growth into new areas such as sports and consumer brand marketing.
• In Dec. 2010, DGC hired Melanie Wells, formerly of Forbes Magazine and founder of the CMO Network, as managing director and chief content officer. With her appointment, DGC established its own content division, offering PR support for c-suite executives through original content creation, branding and media relations.

Employee engagement:
Employee happiness and work/life balance is very important to Samantha, as evidenced by company policy: DGC covers 100% of healthcare costs, offers telecommuting, annual bonus, generous vacation/sick time and maternity leave, matches up to a 4% 401(k) match, etc. Samantha also encourages us to take on passion projects. In the last year, thanks to individual efforts, DGC launched its own social media program, a DGC social committee and a kickball team:
• Winter 2010, established a DGC social committee – led by employees, planning fun events for the team like movie nights, bowling and wine tastings.
• Summer 2010, launched our own social media program – with an employee carving out extra time to get company Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn channels up and running.
• Summer 2011, formed first DGC kickball team – spearheaded by employees and athletes alike, established a kickball team to participate in weekly games; a networking and bonding experience.

List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, []:

Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the nominated company (up to 100 words):

Samantha DiGennaro, who has earned significant recognition and respect as a communications strategist over her 17 year career, launched DiGennaro Communications in January 2006. Since then, she has built a highly reputable business-to-business public relations agency that boasts a roster of clients ranging from global media companies to full-service advertising agencies to digital and design outfits.

From 1998 to 2005, Sam built and oversaw the NY, North American, and Global Communications teams at J. "Walter" Thompson, the world's first ad agency. Prior to that, she was PR manager at DMB&B. Sam holds a BA from the University of Chicago.

Choose one (even if both apply):

The CEO (or other principal manager) of this company is a woman, and at least 40% of the management team is comprised of women.