SAN FRANCISCO—Waggener Edstrom has opened a new office in the San Francisco Bay Area, returning to the nation’s largest technology market for the first time since closing its Santa Clara office at the start of the technology recession in 2001.
Industry veterans Kazumi Mechling and Rowan Benecke will lead the office and work with existing clients including Advanced Micro Devices, T-Mobile USA, Terabeam, Universal Electronics, and Microsoft’s smart personal objects technology group, as well as with new accounts in the consumer electronics, biotechnology and high-technology arenas.
The office also is expected to provide a foundation for efforts in the Asia-Pacific region as Wagg Ed targets international markets, providing a complement to its existing European operations in London, Munich and Paris.
“Although we have had a presence in northern California for more than 11 years, the opening of this new office rounds out our capabilities here and allows us to offer the full spectrum of agency services to better serve our clients now and in the future,” said Melissa Waggener Zorkin, founder, president and CEO of Waggener Edstrom.
“We consider the Bay Area to be a hub for serving innovative companies in the consumer electronics, biotechnology and high-technology industries, both here and abroad.”
Senior vice president Mechling will be general manager of the new office. She has 20 years of marketing and public relations experience in key domestic and international markets, with nearly a decade of work in Japan and the Asia-Pacific region. Before coming to Waggener Edstrom, Mechling founded MediaWorks, an agency specializing in technology and consumer business based in Tokyo, which she subsequently sold to Edelman. Most recently, Mechling was senior vice president and general manager of the Austin office of Blanc & Otus.
“The Bay Area is a natural bridge for clients with operations in both the United States and Asia,” Mechling said. “This move puts us in a strategic position to offer Waggener Edstrom’s trademark technology expertise and more recent consumer and biotechnology services to more California-based companies and particularly those with pan-Pacific interests.”
Benecke, who joined Wagg Ed from his post as co-founder and senior vice president with PR21, has wireless, telecommunications, enterprise software and semiconductor experience.