- MARCI BRACCO CAIN
- ANDRIA CAMBRIDGE
- CHARLOTTE WEBB
- MAC MCDONALD
- ALETHEA CUSIMANO
- GENO THE WONDER DOG
- BUDDHA & ZOEY
Anyone who has met Marci Bracco for more than a few minutes knows she wears her passions on her sleeve - an undeniable zest for life, animal welfare and a fierce dedication to her clients and their brand.
Ask any of the clients who have enlisted her services. They always know she and her staff are in their corner and will champion them every step of the way. Passion. Commitment. Creativity. These are the directives for the Chatterbox team.
Marci, who grew up in Morgan Hill and has a degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations from CSU Long Beach, has, in six short years, built Chatterbox into the premier public relations, brand management and marketing firm on the Central Coast. After a stint with prominent national advertising agency Chiat-Day-Mojo and a few boutique advertising agencies in Southern California, where she honed her PR skills, Marci came to Monterey County to handle public relations for the Mills Family Farms and Monterra.
After three years, she knew it was time to go out create her own company. "Chatterbox PR came from a nickname I earned a long time ago," she told the Carmel Pine Cone in a recent interview. "And it's still who I am and what I do best, getting the word out on behalf of my clients. I specialize in building and creating brands, focusing on the unique qualities of a company, an organization, a product or service and the characteristics of their audience, to help them succeed in a competitive and often-crowded marketplace."
In a day that starts at 5 a.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m., and that also includes a "helping hour" to see how she might help out her favorite charitable causes, it's time for her five favorite companions, her six beloved French bulldogs, Geno, Lulu, Hugo, Rooney, Zoey and Buddha, and her husband Brandon, a chef in Carmel.
And when she finds the time, she also loves to cook, hang out in the garden and travel whenever possible. In fact, the couple has made it a commitment to take an annual three-week trip to somewhere in the world that allows them to relax, experience other cultures and recharge their creative energies. And it's that abundant creative energy that helps fuel Chatterbox and inspires the team to greater results and success for their clients.
Marci and Andria are two sides of the same coin. While Marci is the public, sociable face of Chatterbox, Andria likes to work her magic behind the scenes. In this way they perfectly complement each other to fulfill the needs of the client. Andria, who has a bachelor's degree in business, is passionate about finding creative ways to achieve cohesive branding. Very detailed-oriented, Andria likes to focus in on a business' strengths, maximize their unique vision and come up with progressive solutions to engage their audience and develop their brand. She has extensive experience in hospitality, consumer and business-to-business marketing, and has developed and implemented marketing programs and events for a diverse range of clients. And as the owner of a 15-year-old Chihuahua, ChaCha LaRue, Andria is devoted to Chatterbox's philosophy of giving back to the local community, in particular the four-legged community. Andria and her firefighter husband have a three-year-old son and enjoy an active lifestyle that includes many days at the beach, traveling, working out and water sports.
Charlotte specializes in social media and account management for Chatterbox. She has her finger on the pulse of current trends and consults with the team on how to maximize client engagement while managing content and setting social media strategies. Charlotte, who met her husband of seven years when they were both in the sixth grade, also lives in Santa Cruz, loves to travel and loves beach days, where she can often be found beachcombing. She recently returned to Santa Cruz from Washington State with her husband and has been part of the Chatterbox team for about a year.
Mac has 30-plus years of experience in journalism as a writer, editor and columnist, the last 22 years as editor and writer for the Monterey County Herald's GO! entertainment and dining magazine. During that time he also wrote a weekly music column for GO! called "Mac About Town." Mac was well-acquainted with Marci and Chatterbox through the many press releases about clients and events coming across his desk at The Herald. His first "work" with Chatterbox came when Marci recruited him to emcee the annual Peace of Mind Dog Rescue fundraiser at Abalonetti's Bar & Grill three years ago. After he left the Herald in 2014, it was a natural transition for him to write for Chatterbox and its clients and to help support its many animal welfare and pro-bono work for local charities.
Once Alethea Cusimano had aspirations of being a paralegal, even to the point of getting her certification as one. But after working in the hospitality business she found a new calling. “I fell in love with hospitality,” she says. “I found out I loved making people happy.”
Alethea (pronounced “Alee-thea,” her name means “truth” in Greek) started her hospitality stint as a hostess at Tarpy's Roadhouse, worked as server for almost two years, in banquets and catering for eight years as an event planner and for two years as the Banquet and Catering Manager, 12 years total, all at Tarpy's.
Born and raised in Seaside, Alethea says she's always liked law and attended Cal State University Monterey Bay and garnered a paralegal certification, but the pull of hospitality was too great and Tarpy's was a good fit for her. But as much as she enjoyed her work in hospitality, it was time to move on. She is now an account executive with Chatterbox Public Relations, a job that dovetails with her work as an event planner at Tarpy's.
Even though PR offers a whole new perspective for her, Alethea says her keen attention to detail and a genuine interest in helping people makes learning a new business enjoyable for her. “I believe in solutions, good communication and follow through,” says Alethea. “I have a strong work ethic and will do whatever I can to contribute to our client’s success.”
She and her husband Nick, who met at Tarpy's and were married in 2008, have three children, a 2-year-old son, and 4-year-old and 7-year-old daughters. She says when she and her husband have some leisure time, they love to spend it with their kids.
Geno is a lover of people, an avid reader, and he especially loves helping kids. But why is he "The Wonder Dog"? Because Geno is also a singer and will belt out a tune for anyone who asks.
Hugo is happy-go-lucky soul, an avid foodie (just don't get him started on foie gras) and food critic, loves people and kids.
Rooney writes a monthly blog for ChatterboxPR.com, commenting wittily on all the things happening in his world - which is a lot. He loves chewing on ice cubes and his favorite blue down vest, which is never far from his side. There's a reason he's called "Rockin' Rooney," because Rooney rocks!
Lulu, aka Wiggles, is a model and fashionista, she loves socks, birds, the beach and, of course, fashion! And make no mistake, she is The Princess!
Frenchies Buddha and Zoey are the latest members of the Chatterbox PR staff. Buddha is spicy and likes to keep everyone on task with their projects. She is a perfectionist who is always making sure everyone is doing what they should be doing.
Zoey, on the other hand, is the funny one — always smiling and wanting to play. She has not started to focus on work just yet. In fact, she thinks she should just be allowed to play all day. Together, they make a great team!