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The Team

LEO "LEE" PEARLSTEIN - Founder & President

LEO "LEE" PEARLSTEINWhen Leo founded Lee & Associates, Inc. in 1950, he had no idea he would one day be referred to as a "Legend of Food PR," as part of a feature in the Public Relations News publication, or be named a "PR superstar" in the Public Relations Quarterly magazine. TV Guide has even featured Leo and cited his ability and professionalism in getting his clients' products placed on television shows and in movies.

Over the years, Leo, who personally supervises all phases of the agency's operations, and members of his highly respected firm, have won numerous awards for outstanding accomplishments in public relations, marketing and merchandising from many organizations.

Leo has spearheaded financial and corporate public relations programs for Norton Simon Communications, Pepsico, Frito Lay and Interstate Bakeries Corporation. In addition, he has served as the public relations consultant to the Financial Group, as well as various hotel and community development projects including Cabrillo Marina and The Los Angeles Airport Hilton & Towers. Pharmaceutical manufacturers, food conglomerates and major corporations have called on Leo's expertise in corporate communications.

He pioneered in California agricultural commodity and generic promotions, and has created and supervised successful programs for over 40 different advisory boards, trade associations and co-ops, as well as state and federally-funded marketing groups. This includes industries such as almonds, apples, artichokes, asparagus, boysenberries, chives, corn, eggs, figs, grapefruit, papayas, peaches, pineapples, plums, prunes, seafood, tomatoes and turkeys.

Leo Pearlstein Wikipedia BioSome of the commodity groups he has handled range from the Danish Dairy Board and the English Cheese Association to the Mexican shrimp industry. He has worked with large conglomerates, such as J.R. Simplot. Beverage clients he has worked with range from Pepsico and the milk industry to Suntory International (a billion-dollar conglomerate which produces over a hundred whiskey, wine and soft drink products).

And because of his great knowledge of food, Leo was invited to participate in the first President's Council on Nutrition at the White House.

He enjoys membership in many public relations and trade industry organizations, such as the International Association of Culinary Professionals, in addition to the Los Angeles Chefs d'Cuisine and the American Culinary Federation, for which he is also a consultant. He is also a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Leo received his Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from the School of Merchandising, College of Commerce, at the University of Southern California, where he was honored with the Paul G. Hoffman Award, presented to the most outstanding marketing graduate.

HOWARD PEARLSTEIN - Principal/Vice President

HOWARD PEARLSTEINHoward oversees all public relations activities for clients, arranging print interviews, as well as TV and radio appearances. His contact with newspaper and magazine editors and writers, as well as broadcast program and news directors and producers, is a daily activity. He also supervises video production for our clients, as well as coordinating broadcast media planning and buying for the agency.

Howard has been account executive or supervisor on a wide range of accounts including Suntory International, a billion-dollar conglomerate which produces over one hundred beverage products; the Panda Management Co., the largest Chinese food restaurant chain in the country; Florida’s Natural Fruit Snacks; Frito-Lay's Tostitos; Ocean Garden Products (large Mexican shrimp); The Oregon Potato Commission; Del Monte; Henry's Farmers Market; Guiltless Gourmet snack products and also several products of Interstate Bakeries Corporation, including Weber's Bread and Dolly Madison cake products; Affordable Quality Pharmaceuticals and ORIKI Cosmeceuticals.

Major special events he has supervised range from the Grand Opening of the Los Angeles Airport Hilton & Towers (and then supervised PR activities for the hotel for eight years), the West Coast product launch of Johnson & Johnson's 1-Day Acuvue Disposable Contact Lenses, and the Annual Sweet & Hot Music Festival, to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) WESTEC show, the largest Manufacturing Expo in North America.

For his involvement in various civic and community organizations on behalf of the agency, Howard has been honored and has received plaques and proclamations from the United Nations, three Mayors of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Department, to name a few. He has also been a public relations advisor to Los Angeles County's Department of Health Services' “Public Health Week.”

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations from the School of Journalism at the University of Southern California. He is a member of Beta Phi Gamma, the National Honorary Journalists Fraternity.

He was chairman of the prestigious Counselors Section, Public Relations Society of America (Los Angeles Chapter), and also served on PRSA's Board of Directors for two years. In addition, he is a member of numerous organizations such as the Fresh Produce and Floral Council and the International Foodservice Editorial Council (I.F.E.C.), as well as the International Association of Culinary Professionals (I.A.C.P). He is occasionally a guest lecturer for UCLA'S Public Relations classes and also lectures at USC and other major universities, when time permits.

FRANK PEARLSTEIN - Principal/Vice President

FRANK PEARLSTEINFrank works closely with clients on strategic planning and implementation, as well as overseeing development and budgeting of client programs.

He oversees and coordinates all print media planning and buying for the agency, as well as advertising and collateral material production. And, he plans and implements free-standing-insert (FSI) programs for clients, as well as coordinating and administering couponing and bar codes.

Frank oversees the agency's Internet Marketing / Social Media division, "Marketing Blend," which "blends" traditional, offline marketing services with online marketing solutions. With his up-to-date, constantly evolving knowledge of the Internet and its marketing opportunities, he utilizes his wealth of traditional marketing expertise with the "new medium."

He has strong expertise in trade media relations and maintains constant contact with editors, publishers, writers and representatives.

Frank has been an account executive or supervisor on a wide range of accounts, from the international shipping and storage giant, P&O Cold Logistics, to consumer products accounts, such as Mrs. Cubbison's Foods, Marie Callender's Croutons, Florida’s Natural Fruit Snacks; Morehouse Foods, Rojos Salsas and Tropical Preserving Company; Internet accounts, such as Chowbaby.com; high-tech accounts, such as SRC VISION (optical sorting machines) and Loronix Information Systems (Digital security/surveillance systems); and all of the agency's industrial food accounts, including Woodstone Foods Limited (fiber, protein and starch), Monte Cristo Almonds and Interstate Brands Corporation (Dry Products).

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the California State University at Northridge as an honorary Phi Kappa Phi, and is a member of the Second Wind National Advertising Network.


Sarah has a Bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and is a graduate from Chicago’s Second City Conservatory.

Pam Johnson - Associate

Pam Johnson - AssociatePam Johnson has 20+ years of experience including public relations, sales promotion and marketing communications. Pam specializes in marketing for food and lifestyle brands including consumer packaged goods, kitchen items/housewares, restaurants, health/fitness and baby/children's products . Pam has developed and managed strategic programs for companies such as Ready Pac Produce, Lawry's Foods, Vons, California Egg Commission, Lucky Jade Baby Clothing, California Avocado Commission, National Nutritional Foods Association, Dole Foods, and Gelson's Markets, as well as for national restaurant chains including Chipotle and Pasta Pomodoro.

Pam provides Lee & Associates' clients with a wide range of services, including program development, media relations, social media programming, marketing communications and copywriting. Pam has worked on both the corporate and agency sides of marketing, including consumer promotions, brand management support and public relations management, as well as agency account management and new business development.

Pam holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Magna Cum Laude from Texas Tech University, and a Certification in Public Relations from UCLA. She is also a certified Pilates and Group Fitness instructor.

Livia Squires - Associate

Livia Squires - AssociateLivia is a creative and results-oriented public relations professional, and quite diverse, working on entertainment, food, medical, high-tech, industrial, and cultural accounts.

Livia has over seven years of experience in television broadcasting, having worked as an entertainment news reporter, producer, and host.

From 1991 to 1992 she was anchor/reporter on “Captured Live!” an entertainment news program that aired on KVUE-24, Austin’s ABC affiliate station. She covered arts and entertainment events.

From 1989-1996 she produced her late-night television talk show, "Ask Livia LIVE!" This comedic relationship advice/call-in show quickly drew a cult following. It received multiple “Best TV Talk Show” and “Best TV Host” awards from the Austin Chronicle.

Currently, she excels in public relations writing, media pitching, web outreach, editing and strategic media planning. A strategic thinker with a nose for news, Livia has catapulted story ideas into media sensations.

Clients with whom she’s worked have enjoyed media exposure from local press around the country, to being featured on such national giants as “Good Morning America,” “CNN Headline News,” and MSNBC.

She has worked on such diverse accounts as the WESTEC Expo for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, Healthcare Resources, the California Salmon Council, Data Linkage Software, 20th Century Fox, Penny Lane Family Center, Westside Ballet of Santa Monica, and USA Dance, among many others.

Originally from New Jersey, after receiving a BA at Bernard College at Columbia University in New York, Livia earned a Ph.D. in geophysics in 1993 at the University of Texas at Austin. Her award-winning research has been published in leading scientific journals, including Geophysics and Science. As a geophysicist, Livia was employed by the Exxon Production Research Center, Houston Advanced Research Center and the California Institute of Technology.

Jessica Ikeda - Executive Assistant

JessicaJessica assists the agency’s principals with client administration activities, as well as various projects, plus coordination and budgeting of client programs.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of California, Irvine.

Western Research Kitchens Team

kitchesMeet the food professionals of the Western Research Kitchens Team!

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