OUR TEAM

We are proud to have an incredible team of professionals with backgrounds in the new media, politics, business, and the non profit sector.

Steve Sugerman

Steve Sugerman

Steve serves as President of Sugerman Communications Group, which he founded in 2002. Prior to founding SCG, he served as Deputy Mayor under Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan and was a senior executive at two of the world’s largest public relations firms. As president of SCG, Steve counsels clients on public affairs, communications, and media issues related to land use, labor relations, governmental decision-making, and a wide array of public policy and business matters. He represents companies, associations and non-profit organizations in such diverse fields as real estate, entertainment, health care, education, finance and social services. In times of crisis on matters including labor disputes, high-profile litigation, media exposés and corporate bankruptcies, Steve has counseled CEOs, public figures and non-profit leaders on how best to communicate to customers, investors, employees and other audiences. He is an active member of the Southern California civic community, currently serving on the board of trustees of the Karsh Family Social Service Center. He formerly served as a board member of Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Los Angeles Parks Foundation, Jewish Vocational Services and the Expo Center, and co-chaired the advisory board for the Pediatric Surgical Services group at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

EDUCATION
University of Michigan, B.A. Political Science
Coro Foundation Public Affairs Fellowship

Randy James

Randy James

Randy is a Managing Director of the SCG team, playing a lead role in much of the firm’s corporate and nonprofit work since joining in 2010. With a foundation as a journalist and award-winning writer, Randy helps drive results for the firm’s diverse clients through communications strategy development, local and national media relations, speechwriting, video production, social and digital media, long-form report writing and other forms of strategic storytelling. Before moving to his adopted hometown of Los Angeles, Randy was a New York-based reporter for TIME magazine and Time.com, and a regional newspaper reporter in Connecticut. Randy began his career as a writer and producer at WCBS News Radio in New York City, where he covered the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and their aftermath.

EDUCATION
Georgetown University, B.A. Government
Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University M.S. Journalism

Malina Brown

Malina Brown

Malina is a Managing Director at Sugerman Communications Group where she manages strategic communications programs for several of the firm’s clients. She brings a rich background in producing award-winning campaigns in the business, government and nonprofit sectors. Previously, Malina led the marketing and communications department for City Year Los Angeles, a nonprofit dedicated to reducing the school dropout rate. She also held senior roles at The Rogers Group and Fraser Communications, overseeing a multimillion dollar public education campaign for government agency First 5 California, among other accounts. Malina began her career as a reporter covering the Pentagon while freelancing for the food sections of newspapers like The Washington Post for fun. She was awarded the Congressional Fellowship for Journalism from the American Political Science Association and served as a legislative fellow in the U.S. Senate. She currently serves on the board for Inner-City Arts, which provides quality arts instruction to students from underserved communities.

EDUCATION
Brown University, B.A. Comparative Literature
American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship

Jonathan Karp

Jonathan Karp

Jonathan Karp, a senior advisor at Sugerman Group, has worked as a journalist, nonprofit leader and communications consultant. Most recently, he was the principal contributor to The Giving List, a guide to nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles. From 2014 to mid-2019, Jonathan served as Asia Society Southern California’s executive director and has since consulted for ASSC and other nonprofits. He joined Asia Society after a distinguished career in journalism, including 18 years abroad. He began his journalism career in Israel in 1986 and continued as a foreign correspondent based in Hong Kong, New Delhi and Sao Paulo, Brazil, the last two posts as a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal. In 2004, he transferred to the Journal’s Los Angeles Bureau and later served as senior editor at Marketplace Radio, leading the business and finance coverage for their family of public radio shows. Jonathan studied Middle Eastern History at Princeton.

EDUCATION
Princeton University, B.A. Middle Eastern History

Jonathan Karp

Emma Stein

Emma is an Associate at Sugerman Communications Group. A Los Angeles native with a background in journalism, Emma brings local knowledge and strong storytelling skills to the team. Prior to joining SCG, Emma was a breaking news reporter for the Detroit Free Press, Michigan’s largest newspaper, where she covered state and city-wide issues, including the 2021 Oxford High School shooting and the plot to kidnap the state’s governor. She also developed long-lasting relationships with diverse communities across the state and honed her communication skills.

As a student at the University of Michigan, Emma led the Michigan Daily, one of the largest college newspapers, as editor-in-chief, orchestrating coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and sexual misconduct allegations against university administrators. Emma is passionate about environmental equity and social justice.

EDUCATION
University of Michigan, B.A. Political Science 

 

Alec Vida

Alec Vida

Alec Vida, a Southern California native, is an Associate at Sugerman Communications Group. He brings global and local experiences – as well as a background in political communication – to the team. Prior to joining SCG, Alec interned for Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in the Office of International Affairs, aiding develop Los Angeles’ global engagement strategy. Alec also interned with the French Foreign Ministry’s U.S. Embassy in Washington, D.C., helping to navigate the Press and Communication Team’s strategic outreach following the historic recall of the French Ambassador. Additionally, Alec interned for the U.S. State Department’s Embassy in Paris, France, where he prepared analysis on French developments impacting U.S. governmental and business interests for consumption by the Political Section. Alec also has experience on the Hill as a legislative and press intern for Long Beach congressman Alan Lowenthal. Alec is a dual citizen of the U.S. and France and speaks English and French. 

EDUCATION
The George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs, B.A. International Affairs

Alec Vida

Flannery Brown

Flannery, a Minnesota native, is a Junior Associate at Sugerman Communications Group where she brings her well-rounded knowledge and enthusiasm for politics, government relations, and communications to the team. She is a 2023 graduate of the University of Southern California where she majored in Political Science and minored in News Media and Society. Flannery is a passionate advocate for women’s rights and accessibility to affordable and comprehensive reproductive healthcare.

Prior to joining SCG, Flannery interned for Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on his public engagement team and, the following year, worked for Governor Walz as a press assistant where she developed a keen interest and excitement for public affairs and communications work.

EDUCATION
The University of Southern California, B.A. Political Science, News Media and Society

Ellen Sugerman

Ellen Sugerman

Ellen is responsible for the company’s finance and office administration functions, including employee benefits, payroll, client billing, human resources, and insurance. A person of many talents, she is also a licensed speech therapist who spent 10 years at the UCLA Early Intervention Clinic. She is also a trained cantorial soloist who can be seen frequently at Reform and Conservative congregations in the Los Angeles area.

EDUCATION
Pomona College, B.A. English Literature
California State University, Northridge, M.S., Speech Pathology