When the Waterford Crystal Ball dropped in Times Square at midnight on New Year’s Eve, it also signaled a change in ownership at Tallahassee’s oldest public relations firm and in work status for a long-time FPRA member.
The new year brought the retirement of former FPRA state president and CN chair Rick Oppenheim – the founder, president, CEO and namesake of RB Oppenheim Associates (RBOA) – who passed the baton to the firm’s new owner, Michael Winn, who has served as its executive vice president and chief marketing officer for the past 12 years. Winn has assumed Oppenheim’s role as president and CEO.
“A new year is the perfect time for new beginnings,” said Oppenheim. “After 37 years, this was the right time for me to step away and to bring new energy, new vision and new leadership for RBOA’s next chapter.”
Oppenheim, 71, served as FPRA state president in 2000, Counselors Network chair in 2005 and is a past winner of FPRA’s Dillin Award and Member of the Year Award. He founded RBOA on August 5, 1985. Since then, the firm has served more than 300 clients, employed nearly 150 professionals, taught more than 200 student interns and had an estimated economic impact on Tallahassee of more than $20 million. The company started as a public relations counseling firm, then added advertising services in 1989 and became one of Florida’s first full-service “integrated marketing communications” firms in 1991.
Winn joined the agency in January 2011 and added an array of digital marketing services to the mix. Soon after, the duo launched the firm’s digital marketing division, Digital Opps, to provide digital advertising, website development, social media management, search engine optimization, virtual event management and other services to benefit their clients. The firm has developed more than 185 websites and hosts more than 200 websites.
“During the pandemic, when many businesses struggled, our company flourished thanks to Michael and his leadership in helping us pivot to enhanced digital marketing services and virtual events,” said Oppenheim. “We were able to provide new and innovative solutions during a very challenging period to keep our clients relevant, active, connected, engaged with their customers and successful, which led to great growth and success for us too.”
Winn, who owned a web and digital consulting firm prior to joining RBOA, is excited to take the reins of the firm.
“It is an incredible privilege to carry on the legacy of what Rick has created and nurtured over the past 37 years,” said Winn. “So much of the firm’s success has been its commitment to innovation, strategic thinking, a full array of communications capabilities, skilled execution, superior customer service and a passionate, dedicated team. I intend to continue that tradition and take it to the next level.”