KAREN SCHLOSS is co-founder and person-in-charge @ diaz * schloss communications (dsc), a PR, social media + marketing communications firm based in Montclair, NJ, just 12 miles west of Manhattan. We’re smart, funny, creative women who like nothing more than running with a great client/story and sharing it with the world.
Karen is the longtime food + beverage/hospitality columnist for The Montclair Times (now part of Gannett/USA Today). She started in literary publicity in NYC right after college and worked for small firms and large, including Edelman Worldwide, before launching dsc in 1994 with then-partner, Frank Diaz. Over the years, the firm has represented an exciting and diverse range of clients, from food + wine world luminaries (The Rainbow Room, Windows on the World, Nick Stellino, Andrea Immer Robinson, Jockey Hollow Bar + Kitchen) to non-profit + educational institutions such as the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Montclair Food + Wine Festival.
Over the years, Karen has been interviewed by traditional media and digital sites, including the Associated Press, NJ.com, NorthJersey.com, The Daily News, The NY Times and Restaurant Business. She’s gone out for review dinners with critics from The Times; taught classes on PR at The New School; written for Modern Restaurant Management, Baristanet.com and New Jersey Monthly; moderated more than a dozen panel discussions; served on the Board of the NY Women's Culinary Alliance; mentored every young woman who's reached out; and appeared several times on Today, most recently in a 3-part series on Women’s Lives at 50 + Beyond. @diazschloss
BYRNE ARMIENTO loves to find the words and images that capture the essence of each client's story, helping them articulate their passions and message so it comes alive to others. She first met dsc founder Karen Schloss when they were both young Brooklyn professionals, and were introduced by their mutual mentor. Byrne's longtime love of food and drink, combined with her eclectic professional experience in OG agency public relations, client-side investment banking and brokerage advertising and, after a midlife career shift, as a dating coach for women 50+, give her a unique perspective and skill set for working with dsc's entrepreneurial clients, vivid personalities and often tight deadlines. A resident of West Orange, NJ, she shares her home with rescue cats Arjuna and Caramello D'Artagnan. She loves the beach, hiking in the woods, good audio books, brown spirits and pizza. @bernshininglife.
LAUREN MURRAY joined diaz ~ schloss communications in September 2021 as their Head Researcher. She graduated from NYU in 2006 with a degree in broadcast journalism, and creative writing. She worked in advertising sales at several big publishers in NYC spending most of her career at CBS Sports and Entertainment's digital properties. After growing up in the area, Lauren returned to Montclair and has lived here since 2014 with her husband and two young children. Lauren has a passion for food and drink and a love for the local community. She has a knack for building relationships and enjoys being social with everyone she meets!
THERESA TUMMINELLO joined diaz ~ schloss communications in August 2021 as their Digital Assets Coordinator. She graduated from Montclair State University in 2020 with a degree in Communication and Media Arts. She has an eye for social media and has worked on accounts of local, small businesses as well as Fortune 500 brands. Theresa currently works in Advertising and has experience in in Print, Digital, Out-of-home and Programmatic channels, making her well-versed in all things communications. She is a Jersey-girl, born and raised, and enjoys traveling to places near and far, trying traditional food to immerse herself in the full cultural experience!
LAUREN WILSON-POLICKE is the Founder of LWP Public Relations, an NYC metro area-based boutique Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media company specializing in building brand awareness for a variety of celebrated and emerging fashion and lifestyle brands. Lauren is a veteran publicist, marketing and social media expert with years of experience working in-house for internationally recognized brands like Nautica, Nicole Miller, French Connection, Swatch Watches, and BACARDI. After years of working in executive level roles in New York City, Wilson-Policke decided to pursue her passion of owning her own company to help emerging and established brands achieve their business goals by crafting and implementing successful PR, Marketing and Digital programs. Lauren has worked with brands, products and executives of all sizes and stages of their business to help guide and cohesively share their brand story. She currently resides in Montclair, New Jersey and loves traveling, the ocean, live music and exceeding client expectations. Follow along at @lwp_pr.
STU ZAKIM is a Corporate Communications/Marketing professional with senior level experience in the entertainment, media and cannabis sectors. He has a strong background and proven track record in brand repositioning, integrated marketing programs, product launches, strategic media relations, development and implementation of corporate communications programs and crisis communications.
He has worked for some of the best known brands in film, magazines and television. Stu has provided counsel to a variety of iconic media leaders including Jann Wenner, Bonnie Fuller, Christie Hefner, David Pecker and their publications - Rolling Stone, Playboy, Us Weekly, Shape and Star magazines among others. He has also worked on the PR campaigns of some of the most popular and successful films and television shows in recent history as an executive at Columbia Pictures, Universal Pictures and Showtime Networks. He is also a frequent contributor to CNN and MSNBC on media issues. He launched Bridge Strategic Communications in 2009.