Dean Bender / President and Founding Partner
Dean Bender is a founding partner of B/HI. The agency, which was formed in 1986, is a full-service public relations and marketing communications firm that specializes in the development and implementation of corporate and consumer-oriented campaigns for entertainment-based businesses.
Having counseled a wide range of entertainment and corporate-related clients over the years, Bender is currently responsible for the agency and day-to-day operations. In that role, he oversees the agency's key practice areas, which include Entertainment Content, Interactive Entertainment, Consumer Products and Entertainment Technology, as well as the company's social media group, Code Relevant.
With an in-depth knowledge of the issues, trends and policies related to these areas, Bender provides corporate, branding and product consultation to the entire firm’s roster of clients including 20th Century Fox Consumer Products, Lionsgate Home Entertainment, Square Enix, CBS Consumer Products, Disney Home Entertainment, Sony Online Entertainment and DC Comics, among many others.
Prior to the establishment of B/HI, Bender spent the previous decade in executive positions at entertainment-based public relations agencies Rogers & Cowan and ICPR Public Relations. From comprehensive and strategic campaigns to damage and crisis control situations, he has worked closely with such recognizable industry leaders as Rupert Murdoch, Reed Hastings and Al Gore on behalf of 20th Century Fox, Netflix and Current Media, respectively.
Lee Helper / Founding Partner
Lee Helper is a founding partner of Bender/Helper Impact, which together with partner Dean Bender, has built a preeminent, marketing communications firm that provides comprehensive counsel and future focused services to the world's leading entertainment, media & interactive technology companies & brands since 1986. In addition, he oversees a unique series of fully integrated and multi vertically focused international partnerships known as The Surround Group. Surround consists of entertainment, media and technology-focused PR, social media & digital marketing service companies located in key regions and countries including The United Kingdom, Germany, China, Japan, Australia, Korea, India, France, Mexico, Brazil, GCC region, Argentina, Chile, Canada, Spain and throughout Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark)
Helper is also the Senior Managing Partner of Neo Business Partners LLC. Neo is a business and industry organizational development enterprise that targets, communicates and connects its wide range of clients with new business opportunities and relationships in the fields of entertainment, media, technology, packaged goods and services marketing.
With his extensive professional strategic business consulting and development experience, Mr. Helper's realm has spanned the areas of media, entertainment, general business, government, Wall Street, consumer/ manufactured products and services. He also is the Founder and Executive Director of the All Screen Ventures Association (ASVA).
He has been integral and made significant contributions to the growth and establishment of such influential, organizations as the University of California Regents DIMI Institute, The International Council Of The National Academy Of Television Arts And Sciences, @dtech, Association for Interactive Media (AIM), Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA now ESA)/E3, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), Digital Coast Roundtable and Paid Content.
He has played a pivotal strategic and problem-solving role for a myriad of domestic and international companies and associations, including: Discovery Communications/Networks (DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL,) The Disney Channel, GTECH, Amazon.com, Players Network, TV Guide Channel, Yahoo, Liberty Media, USA Network, HULU, ABC Network, Telemundo, ACTV, Showtime, Antena 3 (Spain), The Travel Channel, CLT, CineCanal, Fox Latin America, Speedvision, Current TV, ABC, Outdoor Life, Mark Goodson Productions, The Sundance Channel, F/X, King World, OpenTV, Shelter Ventures, Tele-Communications Inc. (Was TCI prior to AT&T Broadband which was acquired by Comcast), Viacom, NBC International, TNT, Lifetime, National Geographic Channel, Post Newsweek Stations, Nexus/ Great Luck LLC, The Game Show Network, The Interactive Channel and CNBC.
With a proven track record in the strategic development, marketing and successful launch/re-launch of over 35 television channels to date, he also played a lead and instrumental role in the successful launches and ongoing success of such hit television properties as "Oprah," all three "Star Trek Next Generation" series, "Jeopardy!," "Wheel Of Fortune," over 14 other hit network and syndicated series.
Shawna Lynch / Executive Vice President
With more than 20 years of experience in public relations, Shawna Lynch brings a vast amount of skill and knowledge to every campaign she oversees. She has represented some of the largest entertainment brands in the world and has developed groundbreaking communications strategies for a wide variety of companies, properties, and products in the areas of entertainment packaged goods, technology, digital delivery, television and licensed merchandise. Among Lynch’s strengths are strategic planning, creative events/concepts, media relations, corporate positioning and media training.
As an Executive Vice President at B/HI, Lynch oversees the agency's Entertainment Content and Consumer Products groups, and is known for getting in the trenches with her account teams. She is personally involved in the implementation of every project and contributes on a daily basis to the orchestration of each campaign.
Lynch has supervised ongoing communications programs, announcements, new initiatives and special events for such clients as YouTube, Hulu, DC Entertainment, Disney, 21st Century Fox Home Entertainment, Lionsgate, MGM Home Entertainment, Saban Brands, CBS Home Entertainment, American Film Institute, Current Media, FremantleMedia North America, TV Guide Network, Comcast Interactive Media (Fancast.com), Universal Studios Consumer Products, WB.com, Mattel Media, DreamWorks Home Entertainment, Playmates Toys and 21st Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising, among others.
Jerry Griffin / General Manager, New York
Jerry Griffin is the general manager of B/HI’s New York office, bringing over 18 years of journalism and public relations experience to the agency. Griffin’s background runs the gamut of corporate communications, technology, consumer electronics and digital media and entertainment. He has executed broad campaigns and launches for global companies as well as nascent start-ups.
Prior to joining B/HI, Griffin spent six years at Edelman, where he most recently built and oversaw a Digital Media & Entertainment practice within Edelman’s Technology group, working with clients such as IMAX, TVGuide.com and digital music startup Grooveshark. As a precursor to the new group, Griffin had earlier launched Web studio mydamnchannel.
During his time at Edelman, Griffin was also the Deputy Global Client Relationship Manager for the Samsung Electronics corporate communications program. As part of his duties, Griffin oversaw programs spanning corporate communications, product launches, CSR, global coordination and crisis communications, including serving as the crisis manager for Samsung on the 2008 Beijing International Olympic Torch Relay.
Prior to joining Edelman, Griffin was with Text 100 after beginning his PR career at PAN Communications, a Massachusetts-based boutique firm. Before that, Griffin was a reporter for seven years in Connecticut, including two years as a political writer covering the Connecticut Statehouse. An avid supporter of the arts, Griffin produced a critically acclaimed off-Broadway play in 2006.
Eric Wein / Vice President, Interactive Entertainment
As vice president, Eric Wein oversees B/HI's interactive entertainment (games) and consumer technology division.
Bringing 15 years of experience leading highly successful campaigns for major entertainment franchises and product launches both in-house and on the agency side, Wein oversees a highly talented group continuing a strong legacy of industry leadership at B/HI. He delivers senior level strategy for clients and leads business development.
B/HI games division’s stellar client roster includes Square Enix, Sony Online Entertainment, 505 Games, Rising Star Games and Sony Creative Software.
Before joining B/HI, Wein spent six years leading global public relations campaigns for multimillion-dollar video game product launches at Disney Interactive Media Group, the interactive entertainment division of The Walt Disney Company. Products ran the gamut from major live-action and animated film-based games to racing, shooting, casual and lifestyle products. He also served in a corporate communications capacity, managing several major projects, including developer studio acquisition announcements.
Prior to Disney, he spent five years at Edelman, the largest independent global public relations firm, where he was among the first members of the Xbox hardware public relations launch team for Microsoft. After initially supervising business media and industry analyst outreach strategy, he transitioned into roles that led strategy on a number of major projects, including the revolutionary broadband Xbox LIVE online service, Xbox brand partnerships and eventually supervised media outreach for dozens of Microsoft Game Studios console and PC products.
His experience also includes stints in studio corporate communications and TV publicity at Warner Bros; and in client relations at Business Wire.
Mimi Fernandez / Director of Business Development
Mimi Fernandez brings more than twenty years of experience in large corporations, global PR agencies and leading non-profits in communications and business development. She brings a mindset of service and advocacy to her work with prospective clients at B/HI.
For B/HI, Fernandez focuses on building awareness about the company’s unique capabilities among prospective clients, and develops and maintains relationships with current and past clients.
Fernandez oversees the growth of B/HI’s four primary practice areas – Entertainment Content, Interactive Entertainment and Gaming, Entertainment Licensed Products, and Consumer Technology & Platforms – as well as the ongoing integration of B/HI’s rapidly expanding list of strategic consulting and activation partners in the U.S. and its international unit, The Surround Group.
Prior to joining B/HI Fernandez was a business development executive for a national women’s health non-profit and a start-up social influence marketing agency. She’s been in the business of public relations, integrated marketing and communications throughout her career.