Principal / Founder
I’ve been practicing PR for nearly 20 years. And no other term grates at me more than, “spin.” I’ve always disliked it. People don’t build relationships—certainly not ones that last—by spinning the truth to each other. Brands are no different. Consumers are loyal to brands they trust, that are human, to those that create an experience rather than an offering. With this philosophy in mind, I founded Curator® to help brands build relationships with consumers in today’s highly complex marketplace of conversation.
Prior to Curator I served as the SVP and Senior Director of PR for DDB Worldwide; overseeing the strategic development and execution of award-winning communications programs for major Fortune 100 companies and small development brands, alike.
I started my career as a television journalist before entering the world of agency public relations. I joined The Boeing Company in the mid-90s where I served as the international communications manager for Boeing’s commercial presence in Europe and the Middle East. From there, I joined Intel and led the PR efforts for its e-commerce initiatives.
I joined DDB in 2001 and proposed the formation of the Food Group shortly after. DDB PR’s Food Group has since worked with some of the nation’s most well known brands, amassed multiple awards, and launched complete start-up brands that have become household names.
I lecture at Central Washington University on the subject of social media and am a frequent speaker and panelist on the new face of PR.
Ann Marie Ricard
SVP / Group Account Director
What gets me most excited about this business is developing the right strategy to help a brand connect with a consumer in a meaningful way. It’s rare. There are a lot of brands that market well to consumers, but few who create a true connection. We call those that do, curator brands. They are the ones that create more than a product or service, they create an experience. It’s where we want our clients to be and I love helping them get there.
For more than 15 years, I’ve been part of the agency world, providing counsel and award-winning programs to large, multi-national corporations and small, fast-growing start-ups alike. I’ve been fortunate to work with some of the best agency minds in this business. I started my career at Porter Novelli in San Francisco, where I was part of the HP account team, working extensively on product launches and high-profile media events. I relocated to the Pacific Northwest and joined DDB, where I spent nine years working as an account director on technology, financial services and travel/tourism clients. Before joining Curator, I was a senior associate at Tier One Partners.
I graduated from Santa Clara University and live in West Seattle with my husband and two young sons.
We all can identify name brands and we live in a consumer savvy city where the experience is everything. We associate these brand interactions with a certain level of quality and satisfaction and I’m excited to work in an industry, and more importantly for a company that fosters the connection between clients, their consumers and the communities in which they reside.
Prior to Curator, I served as Marketing and Communications Director for Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream, another exciting and fast-growing Seattle-based business. From a fledgling ice cream scoop shop in Wallingford, to a 10-city national book tour and being named one of the best in the U.S. by publications including Food & Wine, Bon Appetit and Saveur, I am truly proud to have had the opportunity to grow the company into a Pacific Northwest household name.
Previously, I had a 10-year career in sports media relations which is what brought me to this beautiful city. My most recent experience was with the WNBA’s Seattle Storm and the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics where I managed communications strategy for two of the most exciting teams in professional basketball. Additionally, I provided marketing and public relations support for the teams’ philanthropic and community-driven initiatives.
I graduated from California State University, Long Beach, where I studied journalism and public relations. I live in Seattle with my husband, our daughters and one very energetic yet well-intended golden retriever-lab mix who could use a little work on his personal brand.
PR is a dynamic, integrated industry from thoughtful media relations programs and engaging targeted tastemakers to curating an online conversation. Good PR sells ideas, experiences and lifestyles – not companies or products. I was first drawn to communications for its intentional and reciprocal approach to storytelling. Today I still enjoy the clever, strategic and shared exchange that is PR.
Before joining Curator, I built my career at Seattle’s leading PR agencies, including Frause and Weber Shandwick, as an earned media specialist. A practiced writer and media relations maven, I have a strong track record of placing client stories with top-tier consumer, business and trade publications. Whether producing influencer events or building relationship with my clients’ key press, to keeping a pulse on the industry trends driving news cycles, I love the earned media hustle.
Having worked with clients across commercial real state, city government, hospitality and consumer technology, Curator feels like home working with noble consumer lifestyle brands from the retail, food and fashion industries.
I have a degree in strategic communications from Seattle University. Outside of the office, I can be found hiking the Cascades with my Chocolate Labrador, racking up air miles with my husband, wine sipping with my squad, or putzing around my neighborhood.
Senior Account Executive
My passion for public relations started with a passion for talking. Thankfully, throughout my adult life I also acquired strong listening and writing skills. My desire is to influence others for good and to encourage them to relate to causes, companies and products I know are worthy of their very limited time. I love a good story and cherish my opportunities to be a co-storyteller. I believe that people and their stories, while complicated, are what make life beautiful.
Prior to Curator, I ran my own PR consulting business in Durham, North Carolina. I worked mostly with non-profits and tech startups, focusing on earned media placements, brand development, program management, and content creation. That time set the tone for my career and allowed me to discover what I value both professionally and personally. With a culture that prioritizes whole people and hard work, Curator is the adventure I’ve been preparing for.
I have a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (#GDTBATH). Outside of the office, I’m usually eating good food, sweating in a hot yoga class, exploring one of Seattle’s many neighborhoods, or snuggled up on the couch reading Glennon Doyle Melton’s blog.
The fast-paced communications world never stops evolving. Those who can keep up find themselves in an industry where yesterday’s strategies don’t always work with tomorrow’s consumers. This uncertainty forces PR pros to take risks and make leaps of faith with each campaign—and that’s what I love about PR. I love that no two days are the same, and I love working in an industry where everyone “rolls with the punches” on a daily basis.
In PR, you’re a true storyteller, and the integration of traditional and non-traditional PR tactics gives us a bigger soapbox to stand on and a louder megaphone to shout into, allowing us to reach a larger audience for our clients. What an exciting time to be in this business!
Before I came to Curator, I dabbled in a few different PR tracks. I worked on the account of one of the world’s largest B2B tech companies at Weber Shandwick, and I did marketing and communications work for a nationally recognized golf tournament on the PGA Champions Tour. Somewhere in between, I worked on the community relations team for an NFL team that wears blue and green on Sunday afternoons.
A Seattle native, I’m a proud member of the 12s, a frequent singer of “Sounders till I die,” and if I’m walking through downtown, I probably have a venti skinny vanilla latte and a Nordstrom shopping bag in hand. I’m obsessed with pop-culture and furry, four-legged friends… just check my Twitter feed.
While not at work, you can find me unwinding – read: binge watching – with Netflix, soaking up what little sun we’re given, or enjoying the happiest of hours with my girls.
An understanding of PR expands far beyond traditional media work. It’s predicting the unpredictable and having the guts to take calculated risks. As professionals, we create and interpret relationships between individuals, companies and organizations in hopes of changing opinions and making impressions. Each day of work keeps you on your toes and challenges you to think differently.
Prior to Curator, I attended the University of Alabama, where I created integrated marketing campaigns to build awareness and viewership for nationally recognized brands, including NASCAR and Fox Sports.
During my academic career, I participated in public relations work for local organizations throughout the Tuscaloosa community, encompassing the creation and implementation of communication campaigns for Alabama Credit Union, the Higher Education Partnership and Alberta Baptist Church. I even spent some time working with Southern Living author and food critic Morgan Murphy, as an intern at Murphy Media Inc. While interning, I was able to submerge myself in great, finger-licking food and even better site seeing—traveling to 18 different states and over 60 restaurants. More importantly, I was able to expand my skills of strategic communications and use my newfound knowledge to increase Murphy’s social media presence. I also participated in the research and promotion of his most recent cookbook, Off the Eaten Path: On the Road Again, which hit Publisher’s Weekly No. 1 bestselling paperback within its first week of sales.
When I’m not working, you can find me watching Netflix documentaries or exploring the beautiful Seattle landscape.