BEAGLE FREEDOM PROJECT AWARDS $50K GRANT TO DR. KATHERINE TSAIOUN, DIRECTOR OF EBTC AT JOHN HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, FOR PIONEERING NEW STUDY AIMED TO ELIMINATE ANIMAL-BASED RESEARCH

LOS ANGELES, CA (February 21, 2017) – Earlier this month, the national non-profit, animal rescue and advocacy organization Beagle Freedom Project (BFP), announced four chosen winners of its first ever ‘Beagle Freedom Prize’.

Commemorating the first winner, Dr. Katherine “Katya” Tsaioun – Director of the Evidence-Based Toxicology Collaboration (EBTC) at John Hopkins University – BFP is providing a $50K grant to fund the EBTC project, a study that seeks alternative solutions for replacing the use of animals in experiments.

“BFP is delighted to award Dr. Katherine Tsaioun with the necessary resources to advance her research and studies to the next level,” explains Kevin Chase, Vice President of BFP. “Our long-time goal and motivation has always been to promote alternative models and methodologies that will replace the use of animals in experiments. Other alternatives do exist; we just simply need to explore them.”

The EBTC project uses a systematic review approach by comparing liver toxicity in human patients, experimental animals (including beagles), and non-animal (in vitro) tests. Dr. Tsaioun’s team, comprised of stakeholders from academic, industry, and non-profit sectors, will inspect the literature on ten marketed drugs that have reported adverse liver events, or lack thereof, in humans. The objective of the study is to increase understanding of inter-species differences, frequently observed in adverse drug reactions. Additionally, the research team will explore the ability of the in vitro tests in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ToxCast program, in order to predict such reactions in humans. The results will provide a direct objective comparison of the ability of animal tests, and non-animal tests, to predict drug-induced liver toxicity in humans.

Today, regulatory agencies worldwide require the use of beagles and other animals to assess human safety. There are studies from previous years that prove animal tests have limited ability at predicting how drugs and other products affect humans. Systematic review and additional evidence-based methodologies are the gold standard of clinical research, and the EBTC is pioneering their translation to the science of toxicology.

BFP negotiates with laboratories around the world for the release of beagles and other animals, helping to set them free from the grueling life of being tested for cosmetics, products, and scientific curiosities. The non-profit has strong celebrity support from stars such as SiaChelsea HandlerShannen DohertyHolly Marie CombsMaria MenounosWhitney CummingsNikki Reed, and Ian Somerhalder, to name a few.

For more information on Beagle Freedom Project, or to interview Kevin Chase, please contact Eileen Koch of EKC PR, a full service Branding, Marketing, and Public Relations firm at 310.441.1000 or email [email protected]. Visit www.EKCPR.com.

BEAGLE FREEDOM PROJECT FILES LAWSUIT AGAINST USDA-APHIS, IN EFFORT TO RESTORE THE ANIMAL ABUSE REGISTRY

LOS ANGELES, CA (February 14, 2017) – Beagle Freedom Project (BFP), the renowned non-profit national, animal rescue and advocacy organization, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). BFP, along with five other animal advocacy groups, are challenging the USDA-APHIS to restore the Animal Abuse Registry, an online database of records related to puppy mills, laboratories, roadside zoos, traveling animal shows, and other enterprises that use and exploit helpless animals.

It was earlier this month that, without warning, the USDA-APHIS deleted thousands of records relating to the welfare of animals in abuse industries, including research facilities that experiment on dogs and cats. This means all animal labs and inhumane acts/abuse going on internally, will now stay hidden from public record.

“In an effort to restore records relating to animals and animal welfare, we are proud to announce that BFP has joined forces with PETA, Born Free USA, PCRM, Delcianna Winders, and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,” said Shannon Keith, President and Founder of BFP. “Our organization relies and uses these public records to consistently fight for animal rights, helping to protect them.

BFP’s fundamental mission is to place animals in loving homes after they have been used for research. The organization’s core principles and values have always centered on the fact that every animal deserves the opportunity to experience life as a beloved member of an adoptive family. With this new regulation in place, BFP is virtually blinded and no longer privy to the locations of where animals are being used for testing. Therefore, the non-profit would cease full resources that assist in its mission to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home animals formerly used in research.

BPF encourages the public to speak out against this action by contacting their members of Congress and urging them to do everything in their power to compel the USDA-APHIS to restore all records back onto its website. The public can also sign BFP’s petition on Change.org.

For more information on Beagle Freedom Project, or to interview Shannon Keith, please contact Eileen Koch of EKC PR, a full service Branding, Marketing, and Public Relations firm at 310.441.1000 or email [email protected]. Visit www.EKCPR.com.

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BEAGLE FREEDOM PROJECT DOLES OUT $200K FOR SCIENTISTS DEVELOPING ALTERNATIVES TO TESTING ON BEAGLES 

Research teams are conducting groundbreaking non-animal research at Johns Hopkins University, University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute, and Miami University

LOS ANGELES, CA (February 7, 2017) – Beagle Freedom Project (BFP), the renowned non-profit national research, animal rescue and advocacy organization, has just announced the winners of its first ever ‘Beagle Freedom Prize’. As supported by a grant received from Microsoft, BFP will fund $200,000 towards innovative research that pioneers new models and methodologies for replacing the use of animals in experiments.

Headquartered in Los Angeles, BFP spent six months advertising and accepting research applications from across the world. Their team worked with scientific peers in each relevant field to evaluate and guide the judging process, and ultimately the charity has chosen four exceptional and diverse proposals from those who have the potential to replace animal-based research with more effective and humane alternatives.

“BFP might have made a reputation from its emotionally gripping rescue videos of beagles who had survived laboratory experimentation, but the organization also recognizes the need to strike at the root of the problem and support the future of modern medical research,” said Jeremy Beckham, Research Specialist for BFP.

The winners of the ‘Beagle Freedom Prize’ include Dr. Katya Tsaioun (Director of the Evidence-based Toxicology Collaboration at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health), Dr. Lawrence Vernetti (Research Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute), Dr. Lei Kerr (Professor of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at Miami University in Ohio), and Dr. Alison Gray (Founder of the non-commercial science organization AFABILITY).

Together, these four fields of research offer new promise at replacing antiquated animal models with 21st century innovations. BFP is eager to highlight the results of this funded research and will continue supporting more outstanding non-animal based research each year, until no animals are exploited and/or killed in laboratory testing.

For more information on Beagle Freedom Project, or to interview Jeremy Beckham, please contact Eileen Koch of EKC PR, a full service Branding, Marketing, and Public Relations firm at 310.441.1000 or email [email protected]. Visit www.EKCPR.com.

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EKC PR CLIENT AND MUSICAL.LY STAR BROOKE LIZ RELEASES POP SINGLE “BUBBLEGUM,” CO-WRITTEN WITH THE VOICE’S PAULINA CERRILLA

LOS ANGELES, CA (January 17, 2017) – EKC PR client Brooke Liz is only 14-years-old, but already she’s a singer/songwriter, actress, model, creative artist, influencer, and Musical.ly star. Brooke’s highly anticipated first single “Bubblegum,” co-written with Paulina Cerrilla from NBC’s The Voice, has been released today and is now available on iTunes. The song’s music video, currently on YouTube, follows Brooke’s quest to gain her crush’s attention, only to realize they both have something in common.

“I worked extremely hard last year on perfecting my music so I’m beyond thrilled that I can finally share it with everyone,” said Brooke Liz. “Writing ‘Bubblegum’ with Paulina Cerrilla was a surreal experience, and one that I’m beyond grateful for. Together we were able to create an upbeat, catchy pop song that is very relatable.”

Born and raised in Cartersville, GA, Brooke Liz’s introduction to the entertainment industry started early in life when she modeled for Macy’s at 18-months-old. Over the years, she has participated in numerous runway shows for Nordstrom, recently appeared in featured roles on Showtime’s Shameless and Lifetime’s My Haunted House, lent her voice in Fashion Feline: The Movie, and was the lead host and regular in several episodes of the YouTube series LEGO® Building with Friends.

Back in February 2014, after having been recognized at the International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA) convention, Brooke’s family opted to help their daughter aggressively pursue a professional acting and music career by moving to Los Angeles.

“I’m so thankful that I have parents who are behind my dreams and want to help me reach another level of my career,” states Brooke. “Since moving to LA, I have been incredibly blessed with all the opportunities presented to me, and seeing my fan base grow right in front of my eyes has truly been an amazing ride.”

In her spare time, Brooke enjoys gymnastics, DIY & decorating, baking, swimming, and visiting theme parks. The young teen also serves as a First Responder for the Bully Prevention Solution Station – an anti-bullying organization which helps youths.

Be sure to follow Brooke Liz on Musical.ly (@brookebacting), InstagramYouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.

For more information, or to interview Brooke Liz, contact Eileen Koch of EKC PR, a full service Branding, Marketing, and Public Relations firm at 310.441.1000 or email [email protected]. Visit www.EKCPR.com.

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Former Reality Star, Kari Ann Peniche-Williams, Introduces DAF House

– A New Luxury Furniture, Decor & Art Firm In Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CA (January 4, 2017) – EKC PR client Kari Ann Peniche-Williams is a burgeoning name in today’s interior design. The former Miss United States Teen and television personality has just launched DAF House, a new luxury furniture, decor, and art firm. The company specializes in creative and organic projects, as well as artistic works that reflect the wild, fiery heart of DAF House’s principal creator and founder.

“Over the last decade, I’ve assembled an artisan-level team of manufacturers and designers who help bring to life my one-of-a-kind pieces for DAF House,” says owner and head designer Kari Ann Peniche-Williams. “The first time I meet a new client, my goal is to create practical art that speaks to their desires while providing an unparalleled level of comfort.”

DAF House’s flagship line features a range of specialty chairs, each bearing a creative title such as Dark ChildQueen Majesty, and Golden Goddess. Themes range between Hollywood, Celebrity, Pop Culture, Gothic, Cartoon, Opulence, Fashion, Fairytale, Feminism, Rock & Roll, and Native American, as they sport dark fabrics and brilliant jewel tones hand-painted into the woods. Crafted wholly unique from inception to completion, all DAF House chairs are 100% handmade in the US and begin at a price of $1,250. Certain styles are limited editions and are made in small runs of 12, 15 and 20. All pieces have a serial number verifying its authenticity.

Inspired by duality, Kari Ann infuses her creations with the love she has for her family, the trials, tribulations and joys she’s experienced in her life, and the dreams of her clients. She creates deep from the soul, drawing from a well of influence collected from a world of challenging obstacles, ambitions, and hard work. This spring, the first DAF House store front will open in Studio City at 11366 Ventura Blvd.

Currently, Kari Ann lives with her husband and two young children in an idyllic Southern California home.

Be sure to keep up with all the latest designs that DAF House offers by following the company on Instagram and Facebook.

For more information on DAF House or to interview Kari Ann Peniche-Williams, contact Eileen Koch of EKC PR, a full-service Branding, Marketing, and Public Relations firm at 310.441.1000 or email [email protected].

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Liberty Writers News Rebrands Its Platform as ‘News Entertainment’

LOS ANGELES, CA (Dec 14, 2016) – Liberty Writers News, a nationally recognized media source that provides openly opinionated discussions of real news in a comedic, theatrical and entertaining fashion, announced it is commencing the New Year with a rebranding campaign. Originally established in June 2016 by creators Paris Wade and Ben Goldman, Liberty Writers News’ updated approach for 2017 will coincide with their firm vision on repositioning the website’s content as a source of “news entertainment.” In turn, this will reflect their desire to branch out and cover additional topics outside of politics.

“We want our audience to understand that Liberty Writers News was never intended to be a ‘news channel,’ but rather a forum where people can find comprehensible news that is direct and humorous,” said Paris Wade. “After several occurrences in the last month, Ben and I came to the conclusion that it was the perfect timing to redirect our approach, but also expand on our business goals.”

Fresh approaches on the horizon include the development of original content videos, as well as surrounding the brand with goodwill. Due to the growing success of Liberty Writers News, the company acknowledges the importance of philanthropy and social responsibility, and therefore, has begun exploring different partnership opportunities with various charities.
“We have a strong desire to expand our audience and business strategies without losing touch of who we are, and what we stand for,” said Ben Goldman. “With the success of Liberty Writers News, we want to take the opportunity to give back to others in need. And with Christmas and New Years upon us, what better timing.”

For more information about Liberty Writers News, or to interview Paris Wade and Ben Goldman, please contact Eileen Koch of EKC PR, a full service Branding, Marketing and Public Relations firm at 310.441.1000 or email [email protected]. Visit www.EKCPR.com.

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EKC PR Client, Actor/Singer Frank Raducz Jr. of Shadowman, Wins Best Lyric Video For “Little Devil” at 2016 Independent Music Awards in NYC

LOS ANGELES, CA (November 15, 2016) – Independent musicians and artists across the country gathered at the 15th Annual Independent Music Awards (IMAs) in New York City last weekend as they anxiously awaited the announcement of this year’s winners across various music genres. Among the crowd was EKC PR client Frank Raducz Jr. – also known by his alias artist name Shadowman. Frank took home the top honors for his song “Little Devil” in IMAs Best Lyric Video category. The celebrity judges included artists like Amy Lee, Tom Waits, Slayer, Shinedown, and The Kills, to name a few.

“I was extremely proud when I found out that my music video for “Little Devil” even made the top four finalists out of hundreds of submissions,” said Frank Raducz Jr. “But actually winning an IMA was such a surreal moment for me, and one that I will never forget.”

Set to debut his EP, Art of Prophecy, on December 1, Frank’s music is a mix of goth and “voodoo” rock, infused with industrial metal and dark country. The young actor and singer was also the man behind the creatives for “Little Devil,” as he directed, produced and edited the music video. Every song featured on Art of Prophecy, such as “Goddess” and “Crossroad Deal,” were written and composed by Frank himself.

“I certainly feel like I’m on a role with my acting and music career,” Frank remarks. “I have received some collaboration offers now to work with other musicians and producers, which is very exciting.”

Just last month, the Austin Film Festival presented the World Premiere of Frank’s new crime thriller Suburban Cowboy, based on true events. Frank plays the lead role of Jay, a Long Island drug dealer whose business gets complicated by underling Serbian gangsters. With his world turned upside down, Jay works endlessly to keep his life, and the people he loves, in tact and protected.

A distribution deal, in conjunction with Paradigm, is currently being finalized for Suburban Cowboy. The film will be available to watch on major streaming services in early 2017.

Be sure to follow Frank Raducz Jr. on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as his music alter-ego Shadowman on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more information, or to interview Frank Raducz Jr., please contact Eileen Koch of EKC PR, a full service Branding, Marketing and Public Relations firm at 310.441.1000 or email [email protected]. Visit www.EKCPR.com.

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HYLINK DIGITAL ANNOUNCES GRAND OPENING OF INTERNATIONAL HEADQUARTERS IN SANTA MONICA, CA

China’s Largest Independent Digital Advertising Agency Formally Opens American Office & Commends New U.S. Managing Partner

LOS ANGELES, CA (October 3, 2016) – Hylink Digital, China’s largest, independent full-service digital advertising agency, has announced the grand opening of its first-ever US office in Santa Monica, CA. The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place last Thursday evening at 225 Santa Monica Boulevard, 8th Floor, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Additionally, Hylink Digital commended the appointment of Humphrey Ho as their new U.S. Managing Partner, the latest senior appointment to the agency’s international team.

Hylink Digital originally opened in Beijing in 1994, and has since grown to 2,200 employees across sixteen offices. Some of their clients include Estee Lauder, Procter & Gamble, General Mills, IKEA, LG, Goodyear, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, P&G, Sephora, Shell Gasoline, KFC, GM, and many more. Today, the company is considered the largest native digital adverting agency in all of China. Now their new US office has the dual focus of supporting both American brands’ advertising efforts in China as well as directing Hylink Digital’s investment fund to acquire American film, TV, and digital content for distribution in China. Hylink Digital is also investing in the U.S. advertising-tech sector.

“The US is an extremely important market for us as we further develop our global network,” said Humphrey Ho. “We hope to serve as a conduit between American brands and Chinese consumers. With LA being the epicenter of entertainment as well as a prominent ad-tech scene, it was only natural we establish our first office in the Los Angeles area. There is an exciting paradigm shift in commerce between the U.S. and China and we look forward to being a part of the cultural exchange.”

Humphrey Ho is internationally recognized as a leader in digital business efforts. He co-founded the enterprise social network Speechbobble at age 23, and prior to joining Hylink Digital, Humphrey oversaw programmatic efforts in both mobile and video as a Strategic Partnerships Leader at Google China. Prior to that, he brought in local partners and clientele as Business Director at Widen+Kennedy Shanghai and was the Director of Business Operations at one of the top independent boutique advertising agencies, Leagas Delaney Shanghai.

“We are delighted that someone with Humphrey’s experience has joined Hylink Digital in America, signaling our intent to further invest in the United States,” said Su Tong, founder and CEO of Hylink Digital. “Humphrey brings an unsurpassed level of expertise, leadership, and strategic oversight to our team. His deep knowledge of the Chinese market, his wealth of experience and proven track record will help create lucrative partnerships, and bridge the cultural gap between the U.S. and China.”

For more information or to interview Humphrey Ho please contact Eileen Koch of EKC PR, a full service Branding, Marketing and Public Relations firm at 310.441.1000 or email [email protected]. Visit www.EKCPR.com.

About Hylink Digital
Hylink Digital is China’s largest, independent digital full-service agency. Ranked the #1 Digital Agency by China Internet (CI) Weekly Magazine for six consecutive years in a row, 2009-2015; and named a multi-year Effie Greater China Most Effective Independent Agency Network of the Year. Hylink Digital is comprised of industry leading units in the following disciplines: digital media, interactive creative, programmatic, SEM, content marketing and investment, EPR/social, research and insights. With headquarters in Beijing, the agency now has a total of sixteen offices worldwide. Hylink Digital services Fortune Global 500 companies, both headquartered in the U.S. and abroad. For more information, visit www.hylinkgroup.com, or follow Hylink on Twitter at @hylinkdigital.

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EKC PR Welcomes Young Renowned CG/VFX Artist & Designer, Alejandro Robledo Mejia, To Its Roster of Clientele

LOS ANGELES, CA (September 28, 2016) – EKC PR is proud to welcome 23-year-old Alejandro Robledo Mejia, a professional CG/VFX artist, animator and designer at Imaginary Forces, and founder of RMA Design, to its client roster.

Born and raised in Medellin, Colombia, Alejandro began his entrepreneurial and artistic career at the age of 15 when he launched Mandawaka, his international fashion line for surfers. With determination running through his veins, Alejandro traveled to America to further his education at Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, and then at MICA in Baltimore, Maryland. He went on to earn a BFA in graphic design while developing his future plans/goals.

With a mission of working in motion graphics, Alejandro set his sights on Los Angeles after earning a job at the award-winning creative design house Imaginary Forces (the company behind the main titles for Netflix’s Stranger Things). Surrounded by a fabulous team of some of the hottest players in the business, Alejandro has recently contributed animation and typography for the look and video transitions (Directed by Grant Lau) at the 2016 MTV Movie Awards, modeled 3D viruses for the teaser trailer (Directed by Karin Fong) of National Geographic’s 2016 documentary Zero Days, and crafted high-speed bullet shots in the promo (Directed by Michelle Dougherty) for National Geographic’s new series No Man Left Behind.

Alejandro’s stunning 3D designs for media platforms across film, advertising and entertainment are birthed from strict analysis and technical excellence. He predicts that GPU-based computing is not only enabling the entertainment industry but will soon be disrupting every industry.

“I am passionate about tech and engineering innovations in the design world and seek to make my own breakthroughs through the study of computer science,” explains Alejandro. “My zeal towards creating unique content has led me to explore the infinite possibilities that code and Houdini could achieve, mixed with the utilization of OctaneRender, a massive accelerator, allowing for real-time renders up to 50 times faster than CPU-based, unbiased renderers.”

With an innate ability to push the limits of design, technology and computer engineering, Alejandro Robledo Mejia is most certainly on a path toward continued innovation in this space.

For more information, or to interview Alejandro Robledo Mejia, please contact Eileen Koch of EKC PR, a full service Branding, Marketing and Public Relations firm at 310.441.1000 or email [email protected]. Visit www.EKCPR.com.

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“KICKBOXER: VENGEANCE” Is Currently Kicking It On VOD and In Select Theaters

LOS ANGELES, CA (September 12, 2016) – Earlier this month, crowds anxiously stood outside the world premiere of Kickboxer: Vengeancethe first film in the rebooted Kickboxer franchise (starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Alain Moussi, Dave Bautista, and Georges St-Pierre), as fans anticipated the arrival of the film’s stars, as well as some of UFC’s biggest names.

Held at the exclusive iPic Theater in Westwood, CA, guests were all smiles as they walked the red carpet, which included breakout star Alain Moussi who plays the lead character Kurt Sloane (the same role Jean-Claude Van Damme originated in 1989’s Kickboxer), as well as co-stars Georges St-Pierre, Sam Medina, Sara Malakul Lane, Fabrício Werdum, Luis Da Silva Jr., and Steven Swadling. Additional VIP guests included the current World’s Strongest Man Brian Shaw, and UFC champion Roy “Big Country” Nelson, both of whom have prominent roles in the soon to be released sequel Kickboxer: Retaliation.

The talented production team behind Kickboxer: Vengeance (and Retaliation) includes producer Rob Hickman and executive producers Larry NealySteven Swadling, and Jay Strommen (all from Our House Films), and producer/writer Dimitri Logothetis of Acme Rocket Fuel – who is also the director of the upcoming second and third films.

“It is great to see people appreciate our film. Those who attended the premiere genuinely enjoyed the movie,” said Rob Hickman. “We received nothing but compliments. It’s very rewarding.”

Following the screening, the talented cast went on to celebrate at the after-party held at The Tuck Room Tavern, where attendees congratulated them on their substantial performances.

Kickboxer: Vengeance is now in select theaters and available on VOD through Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, and other major cable/satellite providers. The second installment, Kickboxer: Retaliation, is set for a 2017 release and will once again star Jean-Claude Van Damme and Alain Moussi. They will be joined by Christopher Lambert, Mike Tyson, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, Roy Nelson, Brian Shaw, Ronaldinho Gaúcho, Fabrício Werdum, Wanderlei Silva, and Shogun Rua, to name a few.

For more information, or to interview the producers of this rebooted franchise, please contact Eileen Koch of EKC PR, a full service Branding, Marketing and Public Relations firm at 310.441.1000 or email [email protected]. Visit www.EKCPR.com.

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Headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, Eileen Koch & Company Inc. (EKC PR) is a full-service Branding, Marketing and PR firm that defines Public Relations. When developing your plan, EKC PR assures optimal exposure and recognition with its services: Publicity, Brand Development, Marketing, Advertising, Product Placement, Media Relations, Photoshoots/Electronic Press Kit Design, Crisis & Reputation Management, Sports, Product Launches, Television, Management, Consultation, Music, Hollywood Talent, Red Carpet / Special Events, plus much more.

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