Saramaya PenachoMANAGING DIRECTOR, HEALTH TECH PRACTICE

Originally from Idaho, Saramaya has a degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations and a minor in communications from the University of Oregon. She got her start in PR at Edelman in Chicago, rising quickly through the ranks and working on healthcare and technology clients. After many winters in the Windy City, the West Coast called her back with its warmer weather. She worked remotely for Edelman, but eventually wanted to get back in an office environment and extend roots in San Diego. Saramaya joined BAM in 2016 to diversify her big brand experience with the fun and fast pace of startup mania.

At BAM, Saramaya is director of the firm’s growing health tech practice. She leads BAM’s marketing and communications campaigns for clients in enterprise and consumer healthcare technology, as well as related wellness and science industries.

Best part of Saramaya’s role: I love working with younger companies. They’re very invested in the day-to-day, so we’re often ingrained internally on the client side and are truly an extension of their team. I also find the a-ha moments in coaching my team very rewarding. It’s amazing to watch their talent and client relationships grow.

What Saramaya reads: I’m in PR, so just about everything! It’s critical to stay on top of the news for my clients. Personally, though, I most enjoy reading Fast Company, as well as autobiographies of entrepreneurs to better understand their psyche. “Shoe Dog,” by Nike founder and Oregon alum (go, Ducks!) Phil Knight, is one of my favorites.

One top career highlight: After learning of an unfortunate crisis involving road rage and a civilian shooting, one client’s media reputation was on the line. I was able to quickly confirm our crisis response plan to cease all new media interests and correct existing stories, collaborate with local authorities, inform our client’s customers in the appropriate timeline and context, and ensure internal employees understood the situation and how to respond. We were able to achieve the best possible outcome because of a well-identified plan and seamless communication.

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