Meet the Team

Our Team

As an award winning integrated marketing communications agency, lotus823 is comprised of a team of driven, passionate, and talented digital marketing and public relations specialists. Meet our ever blossoming team below.

David Hernandez

Co-founder & Managing Partner

About David
David’s visionary leadership, dedicated marketing expertise and drive to excel are at the heart of lotus823’s success and reputation as a trusted partner in the integrated communications space.

David established the agency in 2010 with his wife, Allison, to fill the void for a results-driven integrated boutique firm for both consumer and B2B brands. Prior to launching lotus823, he spent 20 years in the retail and marketing industry, holding leadership roles at such companies as MARS Music, OMI Medical Imaging and Guitar Center.  

David’s passion and creative energy underscore the culture of lotus823. He has been a guest writer and speaker on numerous topics, from Hispanic marketing to digital best practices, for organizations such as TEDx, RCA, and various other companies.  

Allison Hernandez

Co-founder & Managing Partner

About Allison

Allison’s deep expertise in business operations, human resources, and change management is a driving force behind the success of lotus823.  She established the company in 2010 with her husband, David, and brought more than 20 years of experience to the business that supported its swift and steady growth.

Prior to lotus823, Allison spearheaded change management initiatives (including Six Sigma and ISO 9000 programs) at companies such as Toshiba and Office Depot that resulted in significant, sustainable business improvement and increased profitability.

As a leading force at lotus823 and with a mantra rooted in strong and passionate leadership, Allison has brought to life her vision of creating a company culture that attracts the best people and fosters growth.

Rachel Litner

Rachel Litner

Chief Strategy Officer

About Rachel

Rachel is a seasoned professional with more than 30 years of public relations, marketing and journalism expertise. As Chief Strategy Officer, she spearheads global business plans to expand lotus823’s presence and growth in the consumer lifestyle space. Prior to joining lotus823, Rachel was President and Founder of Rachel Litner Associates, a PR agency that specialized in the culinary and home industry. She previously held positions at CIT, Conair Corporation, Fairchild Publications (Home Furnishings Daily) and Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Her diverse background as an in-house PR executive, magazine editor, and an agency principal plays an instrumental role in creating new growth strategies for clients and the company as a whole.

Amanda Zidlick

Amanda Zidlick

Director of Operations

About Amanda

Amanda kicked off her career in the digital marketing field, specializing in organic and paid social media, website design, and content marketing. Her analytical proficiency, paired with her keen organizational skills, gave Amanda a well-rounded foundation as a knowledgeable resource in data analytics and digital strategies.

Her passion for business optimization and analysis has enabled her to evaluate data, processes, and systems to enhance strategies and operations at lotus823. Prior to joining the company, Amanda worked at a digital agency, where she managed a team of 15 while overseeing all marketing activities, maintaining new business development and optimizing business procedures.

Melissa Hunt

Melissa Hunt

Director of Client Services, Digital Marketing & Creative

About Melissa

Melissa has an extensive range of digital experience, with a deep understanding of both inbound marketing and paid advertising for eCommerce, lead generation, and branding efforts. Her expertise encompasses everything from social media marketing and conversion rate optimization to SEO copywriting and landing page design.

Before joining lotus823, Melissa held a position with New Jupiter Media, where she created a digital marketing department from the ground up. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and English from NYU.

Samantha Lins

Samantha Lins

Director of Client Services, PR & Marketing

About Samantha

Sam is an energetic marketing professional who brings a versatile background and expertise in the consumer lifestyle, home and tabletop business to her work at lotus823. With vast experience spearheading strategies that encompass digital marketing, public relations, and traditional marketing elements for both consumer and B2B industries, Sam brings an integrated mindset to all her client work.

Additionally, she has created marketing/PR strategies for numerous industry trade shows, such as the New York Tabletop Show; Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS); Boutique Design New York (BDNY) and more.

Prior to joining lotus823, Sam managed marketing for Villeroy & Boch, a global luxury home manufacturing brand, in the United States and Canada. Sam holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the University of Rhode Island.

Alyssa Morrello

Alyssa Morrello

Senior Account Executive

About Alyssa
Alyssa uses her deep understanding of the media landscape to bring the buzz clients crave. An experienced public relations professional, her tendency to think creatively is infused throughout her writing as well as her approach to media relations, social media, event marketing, and influencer campaigns.
Before joining lotus823, Alyssa held positions where she has worked with a broad array of clients including toys and consumer products, B2B companies, pharmaceuticals, tech start-ups and more. Her public relations strategies have led to placements with TODAY, Forbes magazine, and Reader’s Digest, among many others.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Kaitlin Crocilla

Kaitlin Crocilla

Account Executive

About Kaitlin

Kaitlin is a detail oriented and driven PR professional with a background in the home industry, consumer tech and other lifestyle sectors. Her passion for communication, research, and writing are evidenced in all the services she provides to both consumer and B2B clients.

Prior to joining lotus823, Kaitlin held various positions that have helped shape her into the PR professional she is today. Originally she joined lotus823 as an intern, has worked at SCG Advertising & Public Relations, and has held various other roles within the lifestyle industry. She has also served as the arts & entertainment editor of her college newspaper at Ramapo College.

Kaitlin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Global Communication & Media from Ramapo College of New Jersey.

Michaela Paris

Michaela Paris

Assistant Account Executive

About Michaela

Michaela specializes in public relations and organic social media, and has previous experience in consumer goods, healthcare, fintech, and hospitality. Her love for writing and passion for marketing reflect in her client work.

She previously interned at a boutique public relations firm in New York City, where she worked with several different types of clients on projects from pitching to event planning. Michaela also completed a Graduate Marketing internship at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, NJ. She previously worked as an Accountant, which helped her develop her analytical skills.

Michaela graduated from Stockton University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and Writing. She recently received her MBA, with a focus in Marketing, from Monmouth University.   

Lindsay Byrne

Lindsay Byrne

Assistant Account Executive & BD Strategist

About Lindsay

Lindsay is a highly motivated young professional that is passionate about digital marketing for B2C and B2B clients. Prior to joining lotus823, she held various internship positions where she gained hands on experience in the marketing field, specifically growing her event promotion, SEO, and social media skills. Lindsay served as an intern for MRB Public Relations and Tom James Company. She has also served as the Membership Director and Fundraising Chairman for her sorority. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications and Marketing from Towson University.

Elaina Whelan

Elaina Whelan

Account Coordinator

About Elaina

Elaina is a determined and motivated professional with a background in both public relations and digital marketing. Her passion for communications formed while working directly with the public in diverse industries for the past 8 years. Prior to joining lotus823, she has gained valuable insight and educational experience from a variety of opportunities.

She previously interned at Resound Marketing in Princeton, where she found her strong interest in PR and the agency lifestyle. She worked on securing coverage and building brand awareness for several consumer goods, lifestyle, tech and beauty brands. She has also held positions in social media management, email marketing, copywriting and event planning for different companies, where her creativity was an asset to their success.

Elaina earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations at Rider University.

Cathy Harlow

Cathy Harlow

Bookkeeper and Administrator

About Cathy
As lotus823’s bookkeeper and administrator, Cathy plays an integral role in the company’s accounting and reporting activities, in addition to other related administrative tasks.

She has more than 15 years of financing, purchasing and sales experience, having worked at Duferco Steel Inc. and other corporations. Before joining lotus823, Cathy worked in a client support position for a recruitment advertising agency and focused on event coordination and office management.

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