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PAN Employee Spotlight: San Francisco’s John Vernon

PAN Communications

1. Tell me about yourself and how you came to PAN

I was born and raised in Canada (near Toronto) and moved to the Bay Area after graduating from college back in ’08. After Googling “top PR agencies in San Francisco,” walking around town with my resume, and knocking on doors, I was fortunate to start my career at a boutique tech PR agency called Vantage, which was later acquired by PAN at the end of ’15.

SF Employee Spotlight Outside of the office, I love eating epic food, tapping into my Armenian roots, watching basketball, listening to Green Day, serving on the board of PRSA’s San Francisco chapter, volunteering for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and enjoying as much time with the family as possible – especially my wonderful 2-year-old niece. Check out #MyStoryIn365 to learn more!

2. How did you grow your career at PAN?

I started on the account side, working on PR and marketing programs for a variety of clients, largely in B2B tech. Then, remember that episode of Friends where Ross and Chandler are trying to get that couch up the stairwell? PIVOT! Well, that’s what I did with my career – about four years in, I was really interested in switching from the client management side to the business development side. I was lucky to work for a leadership team that was incredibly responsive to helping me shift gears, pave that new path, and continue to grow my career at the agency.

3. How do you take advantage or PAN’s work hard, play hard mentality in SF?

As I’m writing the answers to these questions, I’m minutes away from taking advantage of PAN’s summer Fridays – between Memorial Day and Labor Day, our offices close at 1pm on Fridays! Our team in SF also often enjoys Thursday afternoon PAN Pubs, especially when visitors from our Boston, NY and Orlando offices are in town. Plus, we’re all a bunch of foodies – so whenever there’s a birthday, promotion, holiday, you name it, you can count on us to celebrate over some great food and beverages. I still dream about our epic Thanksgiving potluck lunches! Those are just a few of the many ways I enjoy taking advantage of PAN’s work hard/play hard philosophy.

4. What drives you as a business development professional?

Every day, I get to build and nurture relationships with CMOs, VPs of Marketing, PR managers, social media managers, content marketing managers, etc. I get to learn about their goals, their needs, their pain points – and chat with them about how we might be able to help drive brand visibility, thought leadership, ABM, lead gen, etc. As a business development professional, I also get to keep a constant pulse on what markets, regions and technologies are heating up, and work with our team to craft creative and effective prospecting strategies.

5. Are there any PAN leaders that you look to for inspiration? If so, why?

Absolutely! To start, there are the leaders of PAN’s business development team whom I’m fortunate to work with and learn from every day. They are experts at this craft, and constantly inspire and challenge me to think about things differently, strategically and creatively, and to hone my skills as a business development professional.

In my role, I often get the opportunity to work directly with several of PAN’s S/VPs, including the two VPs who lead our San Francisco office. These leaders inspire me in so many ways, including the way they work with their teams to develop and execute incredibly creative and impactful marketing and PR campaigns for clients.

And of course, there’s the captain of our ship – PAN’s CEO, Phil Nardone. When I look at the 140+ people who work at PAN, I see an amazing number of people who have enjoyed building their careers here over the past 5, 10, 15+ years. That doesn’t happen without the strong leadership of an inspiring CEO who built this agency upon the values of honesty, transparency, accountability, creativity, passion, trust and commitment – to our clients and to one another.


Topics: Culture

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