Octagon First Call

David Schwab

David Schwab understands the power of a celebrity; he spent 10 years marketing, selling and publicizing them. In 2005, recognizing a shortcoming in the marketplace, he created Octagon First Call, the firm’s celebrity acquisition and engagement division. The goal was simple – help brands, their agencies and nonprofit associations use celebrities effectively in marketing initiatives. He is passionate about the work and his team. He is regularly asked to give insight at marketing conferences and to the media. He is also passionate about his family, including his wife, Erika, whom he met at Miami University (OH), and their three children: Kate, Elizabeth and Matthew. You can follow David’s daily thinking on twitter (@david_schwab) or via this blog.

Michael Jacobson

  • Twitter@mj4030
  • College: Furman – go 'dins, poly sci profs got me ready for Hollywood(?), the tennis continued, lifetime friends made
  • Work experience: Caught the fever @ Octagon a while back … prior fun shorter stints at U.S. Embassy Bahamas, Hamptons tennis pro and Capitol Hill
  • First Call: Building relationships w/ corporate & talent, literally living Hollywood & adding value to programs
  • Fun celebrity fact: Pre-Twitter, @KimKardashian to @MJ4030: “Not sure about this Twitter stuff, should I get into it?” Me: Um, yes. I’m going to go with yes

Lindsey McElroy

  • Twitter@lmcelro
  • College: Go Blue – 2 words that transform a complete stranger into my new BF. U of M class of ’02 – varsity diver under Olympic coach Dick Kimball
  • Work experience: Small biz to fortune 500s (Nike/Wrigley/Omnicom) – career has kept me movin from coast 2 coast. First Call brought me back East in fall ’09
  • First Call: Rare breed that enjoys client service and working as the middleman. Love the dynamic between the corporate world and Hollywood
  • Fun celebrity fact: Played a mean, two-night game of flip cup with an undisclosed XFactor personality. Let’s just say, it’s not a college pastime in the UK.

Maria Conti

  • Twitter: @mcontico
  • College: CUNY (see above), got a job at Show Business Newspaper one week after graduation and that was that.
  • Work experience: Journalism to celeb acquisition @ JWT, to celeb rep @ ICM and on my own, then back to celebrity acquisition @ First Call. Circles are good!
  • First Call: A team of really different people with different ideas, but who are single-minded when it comes to getting the job done.
  • Fun celebrity fact: Paul McCartney once gave a backstage radio press conference holding my son John, who wouldn’t stop tugging at his (Paul’s) ears! Of course, I didn’t get a photo

Clare O'Boyle

  • Twitter@obo2jack
  • College: Went to the local community college.
  • Work experience: Book entertainment and speakers for private and public events.
  • First Call: Joined the OFC A-Team in 2009. Prior to that, Director of Entertainment with Jack Morton Worldwide for 12+ years.
  • Fun celebrity fact: While working on the Ryder Cup – I missed a call from Samuel L.’s office (who responded to an invitation to host the opening ceremonies), when I returned the call Samuel L. answered the phone – we chatted like we were besties!

Allie O'Connor

  • Twitter: @AllieOConnor
  • College: UNC-Chapel Hill - bleed Carolina blue #goheels
  • Work experience: Spent the last few years at a mid-size PR agency
  • First Call: Combining a strong background in PR/marketing with a passion for entertainment/pop culture
  • Fun celebrity fact: At a Korean karaoke bar, sang a beautiful rendition of 'Wonderwall' with Chace Crawford

Katie Grijalva

  • Twitter@LAKatieG
  • College: Syracuse University – Go Orange! Trekked through many feet of snow with frozen tear ducts for that degree in communications and many “Shine” parties.
  • Work experience: Bi-coastal PR representative for small and large brands in the fashion, consumer products and entertainment industries as well as a talent publicist.
  • First Call: Love being at the intersection of entertainment and business in this crazy world of Hollywood.
  • Fun celebrity fact: Gene Simmons gave me a pop quiz on musicians from decades before I was born and I failed miserably. He called me a 12-year old from there on out.

Matt Griffin

  • Twitter@mtgriffin
  • College: UCLA, Class of 2008. I loved my life there and am glad I can stay close by.
  • Work experience: Recently came from MGM Studios, but have also dabbled as an editor for a few websites, guidebooks and Facebook walls.
  • First Call: I accepted the job because "First Call" sounded like either 1) a superhuman team of crime-solving misfits or 2) an alpine response service that saves stranded hikers with the help of several Saint Bernards. Once I have a few more months under my belt, I'll let you know what the reality of it is. (Or will I?)
  • Fun celebrity fact: On the red carpet at the premiere of FAME, Megan Mullally grabbed my arm, turned me around to face her, and with a solid stare, asked, "Are my t*ts hanging out of this dress?"

Andi Bernal

  • Twitter@Andi_Bernal8
  • College: University of Southern California '10 Love—got in and out in 3 years (made dad pretty proud) #FightOn! And #We’llStartPlayingHardWhenItCounts
  • Work experience: Interned with the Octagon First Call straight out of SC and haven’t left!
  • First Call: Great mix of brands and celebs— love seeing projects grow from the first brainstorm to the final touches and everything/one in between
  • Fun celebrity fact: I may have cut off Johnny Knoxville on La Brea … at least he slowed down to tell me he thinks I’m #1

Brian Wedl

  • Twitter@BrianWedl
  • College: University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. Small Division 3 School with a great Golf program! Studied Marketing and Physics #weirdcombination
  • Work experience: : Intern @ Under Armour and moved on to Octagon’s Athlete and Property Marketing team. Made a stop with the Octagon Global Events Team and now to First Call. Gotten pretty good at moving across the country
  • First Call:Always have been interested in playing matchmaker between celebs and brands/products. An exciting opportunity with a unique team
  • Fun celebrity fact: While walking @TheMichelleWie to a media interview at the @NWAChampionship I missed a set of stairs and fell flat on my face in front of the entire entourage #smoothmove

Tim Lay

  • Twitter: @TLay290
  • College: UC Riverside ‘12, Business Admin - Go Highlanders! Sang some a capella, gave some campus tours and had the best 4 years of my life (so far)! #tartansoul
  • Work experience: Interned with First Call during my senior year and they just couldn’t get rid of me (no matter how hard they tried!).
  • First Call: Applying business learnings with a passion for all things pop culture and entertainment. Oh, and also working with the most awesome team around- in my humble, unbiased opinion.
  • Fun celebrity fact: My first time covering a media event, I ended up sporting a giant candy bar costume for an impromptu photo shoot with Jaime Pressly- anything for a client.