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Feb 19: How PR Shaped Baja California's Resurgence

2/19/2013 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Handlery Hotel
950 Hotel Circle North
San Diego (Mission Valley), CA 92108 


About The Event

Join us for first luncheon of 2013. Learn how Allison+Partners worked with the Baja California Secretary of Tourism and various other groups and individuals to shift the Baja conversation from security concerns to an attractive American tourist destination. This in-depth look at an award-winning (Bronze Bernays Award, 2012) PR case study will include information on:

  • Developing a robust media relations campaign of proactive outreach on events, milestones and other news
  • Leveraging the burgeoning food, wine and art scenes, including “Baja Med” cuisine, the more than 70 vineyards in wine country, and Tijuana’s  creative boom
  • Bringing Anthony Bourdain to film an episode of “No Reservations” 
  • Using third party testimonials and seeding opinion article from American celebrities, those living in Baja, and frequent American visitors to tell the real Baja story 

Arrive early for networking beginning at 11:30 a.m. Both the lunch and presentation begin at 12 noon.


Speaker Bios

Sec. Juan Tintos Funcke - Juan Benjamín Tintos Funcke serves as Secretary of Tourism of Baja California, a role he’s held since September 2010, as well as from 1992-2001, both periods of important tourism projects for the state. These include creating Tourism Promotion Trusts to the Municipalities of the State, using “Titanic” to promote the film industry, co-founding Mexico Tourism Promotion Council, developing new tourist routes and hosting Anthony Bourdain to film “No Reservations” in 2012. He also worked as general director of the Baja Inn Hotels and Travel Agencies, was president of the Hotel Association of Tijuana, and served as General Coordinator of Public and International Affairs of the Baja California State Government from 2007-2010. A Tijuana native, Sec. Tintos holds a B.A. in Tourism from the Baja California Autonomous University.
Hugo Eduardo Torres Chabert - Hugo Torres has been CEO of the legendary family-owned Rosarito Beach Hotel since 1968, and an active promoter of tourism and business interests in the city. From 1984-1989, he was a municipal delegate of Rosarito for the city of Tijuana, working to promote and start public services for the city, and leading the effort that resulted in Rosarito becoming independent from Tijuana in 1995. He served as mayor of Rosarito twice from 1995-1998 and 2007-2010, and founded the Association of Tourism Real Estate Development Areas in Baja California, as well as the Committee for Tourism and Conventions in Rosarito, serving as president for three consecutive years after its founding in the 1990’s. Since 2011, Torres has been chairman of the Baja Image Committee, a public-private partnership formed to promote Baja by conveying an accurate portrait of the region. He studied business administration at San Diego State University and public accounting at Tecnológico de Monterrey, graduating with honors.

Jean-Loup Bitterlin - Jean-Loup Bitterlin is a Baja California native who was raised in San Diego since elementary school and received his architecture degree from University of Southern California. He is currently president of the Ensenada Hotel and Motel Association. He is involved in many diverse endeavors and his greatest passion is tourism in Ensenada, where he has also been president of the Ensenada Convis and president of the Ensenada Tourism Trust twice. He was on the Travelodge International advisory board for more than 10 years, as well as the Americas Best Value Inn advisory board for 10 years. He is a founding member of the Baja California Image Committee and owns the legendary El Rey Sol Restaurant, Mexico's oldest French restaurant, that turned 65 last year, as well as Posada El Rey Sol Hotel, and Cibola del Mar, a residential community.
Annie Drury - Annie Drury is an account executive in the consumer, digital media and tech practices at Allison+Partners. She has more than five years of PR experience, working with a variety of consumer, technology, education, travel and food clients. She has worked on the Baja California campaign for two years, leading the charge on the 2012 campaign, which won Bernays Awards for government public relations and creative tactics. Prior to Allison+Partners, Annie worked at a boutique PR agency in Seattle on travel destinations and consumer brands. She earned a B.A. in Communications at the University of Washington and has been a PRSA / PRSSA member since 2007.

  • $35 for PRSA SD/IC Chapter Members with RSVP by Friday, Feb. 8 ($45 after 2/8)
  • $45 for Non-Members and PRSA National Members with RSVP by  Friday, Feb. 8 ($55 after 2/8)
  • $25 for PRSSA Members/College Students with ID

Take advantage of the early bird rate and register by Friday, Feb. 8. Rates will increase by $10 on Feb. 9. 

If you are not able to register online via credit card, send a registration RSVP via email by Friday, Feb. 8 to receive reduced rates. Payment can be made at or prior to the event by check, credit card (VISA, Mastercard and American Express) or by cash. Checks can also be mailed to PRSA SD/IC, P.O. Box 28512, San Diego, CA 92198-0512.

Because it is necessary to set a food guarantee with our venue, once you RSVP we’re counting on your participation. Members and guests who RSVP are asked to pay even if you are not able to attend. The cancellation deadline is Wednesday, Feb. 13. No refunds granted after Feb. 13. No-shows will be billed.


The sit-down lunch includes a house salad, entrée, dessert, coffee, and iced tea. Lunch choices are:

  • Tilapia with Chimichurri
  • Eggplant Parmesan (Vegetarian) 

The vegetarian option MUST be requested during registration to ensure availability.



Self-parking for guests is $2 per vehicle.


Thank you to our event sponsor!

Event Contact

For questions, not reservations, contact Leslie Payne (or 619-409-6723)


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