News Release

March 23, 2016

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McPherson Square Group Introduces Members of New Advisory Board

New board members bring experience in business, government, and politics

Fairfax, VA – The McPherson Square Group, a northern Virginia-based public relations and strategic communications firm, today introduced the first three members of its newly formed Advisory Board. The company welcomes Allan G. Bortel, retired securities analyst; Brian Keeter, Director of Public Affairs at Auburn University; and John Garcia, President of Garcia & Associates. 

“After nearly a year in business, we’re ready to offer even more specialized resources to our clients,” said McPherson Square Group co-founder and CEO Brandon Friedman. “We know clients expect us to have not only depth, but also reach. Allan, Brian, and John bring that and they’re going to open a lot of doors for our customers. We’re thrilled to have them on our Board.”

Allan G. Bortel, MBA, CFA

Long-recognized as a top analyst by Institutional Investor magazine, Allan G. Bortel is a retired securities analyst. He served as a Director of Tamalpais Bancorp and as Chairman of the Compensation Committee of the Tamalpais Bancorp Board. 

Mr. Bortel became a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) in 1971. During his career, Mr. Bortel was associated with Lehman Brothers, Loeb Rhoades & Co., and Sutro & Co., in their San Francisco-based research departments. He is a 1979 graduate of the School of Mortgage Banking of the Mortgage Bankers Association. 

A long-time Trustee of the Belvedere-Tiburon Library, Mr. Bortel is currently a member of the Marin County Commission on Aging (MCCA). He is an advocate of affordable housing and is the Chairman of the Housing and Transportation Committee of the MCCA. Mr. Bortel is a member of the shadow California Senior Legislature's Senate and he serves on the board of Marin Villages, an organization which helps seniors “age in place” with the services of a large corps of volunteers.

Mr. Bortel earned an MBA in Finance at the University of California, Berkeley and a BS in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

“With his distinguished background in business and finance, Allan will not only help us grow our own business, but he’ll help us speak the language of clients whose work overlaps with the financial services industry. We wouldn’t be where we are today without him,” said Friedman.

Brian Keeter

Brian Keeter is the Director of Public Affairs at Auburn University, a role in which he oversees all central administration communications for a public research institution with over 27,000 students and 1,200 faculty members. Prior to joining Auburn, Mr. Keeter was a senior political appointee in the Bush administration, serving as the Associate Administrator for Public Affairs at the Federal Highway Administration. 

Along with many years of service on Capitol Hill and in the executive branch, Mr. Keeter spent four years in corporate communications with global PR firm Powell Tate | Weber Shandwick.

Mr. Keeter holds an MMC in Media Management from the University of South Carolina and a BA in Communications and Economics from Auburn University.

“With nearly 30 years of experience in political, government, and corporate communications, Brian brings unmatched insight and expertise to The McPherson Square Group. He’s going to play a major role opening doors for our clients moving forward,” Friedman said.

John Garcia

John Garcia is the Founder and President of Garcia & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in intergovernmental relations. He is also a member of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs. Mr. Garcia previously served in the Obama administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Mr. Garcia spent many years in state government service. In 2003, he was appointed by Governor Bill Richardson as the first Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services—a position he held for eight years. Prior to that, he served as Governor Bruce King’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Economic Development Department.

A member of numerous boards and committees, Mr. Garcia has been recognized by many organizations, including De Colores, Inc. for the New Mexico Hispanic Business Leadership Award. He also has received the National Hispanic Leadership Award from the Mexican-American Foundation and the American Center for International Leadership Award.

Mr. Garcia was a member of the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division from 1969 – 1971, serving as an infantry sergeant in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam.

“Few people know the intersection where veterans affairs meet government and business like John. Not only has he been an effective public servant in that area for decades, but he’s also been a passionate advocate since his return from Vietnam in 1970. He’ll add to our efforts immensely,” said Friedman.“


The McPherson Square Group helps clients build brands and reach stakeholders across today’s rapidly changing media landscape. We work with the most successful companies, largest government agencies, and fastest moving nonprofits to communicate critical messages to the right audience at the right time.