Senior Leadership

  • Melanie Brandman
    Founder & CEO

    As Founder and CEO of Blackbird PR, Melanie’s clients are a rolodex of who’s who in the lifestyle, luxury, and travel industries. Like most Australians (although she’s been a New Yorker for 14 years), travel is in her DNA — she’s traveled to 70+ countries and has called Sydney, London and Tel Aviv home. Described by the media as “007 in heels,” Melanie is one of the most credible travel and luxury lifestyle experts in the business. Prior to establishing Blackbird PR, Melanie served as Vice President, Corporate Affairs for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts in London. She has also launched several other successful travel ventures, including The Travel Curator, an online luxury travel site that curates city guides for top destinations. In her spare time, Melanie devotes time to philanthropic efforts focusing on travel and education, as a member of the Executive Board of Directors for the Bodhi Tree Foundation and as a member of WEPA (Worldwide Elephant Polo Association).

  • Kristen Vigrass
    President

    As President, Kristen manages agency personnel, client relationships and directs strategy for the Agency’s flagship accounts. She has more than 20 years of experience in consumer, fashion and travel public relations, has won numerous HSMAI awards and is on the Board of Directors for ProjectExplorer.org. Former clients have included consumer brands such as Calvin Klein, Banana Republic and even Krispy Kreme. Kristen holds a degree in Film Production from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University

  • Kirsten Magen
    Vice President

    Kirsten brings more than 12 years of PR experience to her role as Vice President of Blackbird PR. She has extensive experience leading strategy and execution for lifestyle, real estate, spirits, hospitality and travel brands, specializing in media relations and creative partnerships. Prior to joining the agency she worked in-house at InterContinental Hotels & Resorts where she oversaw new hotel launches and managed PR for the North American properties. As a cum-laude graduate of Arizona State University, Kirsten is obsessed with sunshine but is content with the diversity of flights from New York City to warm destinations.