For more than twenty-five years, Darlene has helped B2B, B2C and not-for-profits gain market visibility with thoughtful integrated marketing communications. As principal of Hollywood Agency, Darlene, with a staff of media relations and digital pros, sets the strategic direction for how clients’ stories are pitched, placed and measured. Since founding Hollywood Agency in 2011, her firm has supported multi-national household name brands including Welch’s, Playtex, Samsonite, StanleyBlack & Decker and Honeywell. Hollywood Agency has also launched several UK businesses in the US, most recently bringing Kendamil baby formula to the states under President Biden’s Operation Fly Formula to help offset the US shortage.
Darlene is a prior president of the Boston Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), one of the nation’s largest chapters. In 2017, the chapter honored her with the Diane Davis Beacon Award, its most prestigious honor for extraordinary achievement. That same year, Darlene was nationally recognized as a Champion of PR by PRWeek, the industry’s leading trade publication. An award-winning firm, Hollywood Agency has been recognized with more than 50 awards for its work.
Currently, Darlene sits on the executive committee for the South Shore Economic Development Committee and is on the charitable board of NVNA & Hospice. She is a past student advisor for Bridgewater State College and was treasurer and press secretary for a prominent Massachusetts State Representative. Darlene holds a B.S. in Mass Communications from Emerson College.
Richard (Rick) McKenna
Rick has spent 25 years coaching executives and creating branding and marketing programs for more than 200 companies of every size. His firm Atlantic Strategies works with entrepreneurial-led companies of any size in healthcare, financial services, technology, consumer products and higher education. Current clients include GE Healthcare, PKF O’Connor Davies, Meach Cove Capital and 270 Surgical. Rick spends a good portion of his time acting as a “trusted advisor” to international executives to guide them on efficiently entering the US through cultural immersion, key contact networking, branding, and on all aspects of digital and traditional marketing. His mobile app business, Manage My Things, helps homeowners create and securely share photo-based inventories of all their things for estate planning, insurance, downsizing and charitable donations.
Rick is a frequent speaker in the US, UK, Northern Ireland, and Germany about contemporary marketing, entrepreneurship and innovation, and general business trends. He is a media resource having been recently quoted in The Boston Globe, the BBC, UR Business Network, WFXT, Yorkshire Post and many others. He also participates in trade missions to Western Europe. A Winchester, MA resident, Rick holds an MS from Boston University’s College of Communication and a BA from Boston College. He sits on the boards of the McAuliffe-Shepherd Discovery Center in NH, SoSure Software in Denmark, is past president of The British American Business Council of New England. He also sits of the ‘GBH Corporate Executive Council and is a former vice chairman of the board of Save the Harbor/Save the Bay. Rick and his wife Colleen are avid boaters and weather-permitting, work aboard their Albin 35 named “Legacy” berthed at Constitution Marina in Charlestown, MA.
Richard is a director of photography, creative director and brand storyteller with sixteen years of professional experience and twenty-five years of personal experience as a videographer and photographer.
Richard was born in England and gained dual citizenship in 2004. He now works collaboratively with clients across North America and the U.K. He formed Hawke Commercial Filmmaking in 2012 and Hawke Commercial Photography in 2018. Hawke Commercial Filmmaking produces branded commercial content and short creative narratives. Their studio is located in South Boston, and they also have a satellite office in the U.K.
Richard joined the British American Business Council of New England in 2018. As an Associate Board Member, he chaired the BABCNE NextGen Young Professionals Group. He was elected officially to the board in 2020 and elected as Treasurer and Officer of the Board in 2022.
He has a passion for creating and making connections. Outside of work, you will see him on the climbing wall, out and about on his motorcycle, travelling and filming in different cities around the globe.
Judie’s career spans more than 40 years in the travel industry, including 12 years as VP of Beacon Hill Travel. The principal of Judith Akerman and Associates, Judie’s international experience as the US Manager of TourBritain/Travel and Leisure; Regional Manager Northeast Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and Cayman Airways; and Regional Manager Northeast, US Virgin Islands Department of Tourism has shaped her global perspective.
Judie is a past president of Les Dames d’Escoffier, a founder and chapter president of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, and has been a director on the British American Business Council for 25 years.