Since founding Solem & Associates in 1976, agency President Don Solem has led the firm to become one of the most respected independent public relations agencies in California with a solid reputation for delivering effective services to a broad range of clients in business, government, the nonprofit sector and politics throughout California and elsewhere in the country.
Mr. Solem has primary responsibility for directing the agency's strategic development and business growth. He provides oversight, consultation and strategic direction to the agency's major accounts and has final creative and management responsibility for all Solem & Associates client projects. Mr. Solem also heads the agency's government relations and political campaign practice areas. During his longstanding career in politics, Mr. Solem has been involved in more than 300 campaigns and has been the strategist behind the agency's successful track record of managing winning issue campaigns in California and elsewhere in the U.S.
Solem & Associates has received two of the industry's coveted Silver Anvil Awards, the highest honor given by the Public Relations Society of America, for excellence in public affairs. In 1995, the Silver Anvil was awarded for the agency's work to reform the City of San Francisco's governing charter. This effort included an extensive public affairs program followed by a successful public election. In 1989, the company was recognized for outstanding work integrating research, public relations and advertising for the Contra Costa Water District's Los Vaqueros Reservoir Project. Mr. Solem headed the account teams responsible for design and implementation of both efforts.
Under his direction, the agency has received more than 100 other national, regional and local awards and honors for its public relations and advertising programs.
Prior to establishing Solem & Associates, Mr. Solem served as assistant to the California State Senate Democratic Floor Leader, the late George R. Moscone. He has extensive Sacramento-based state government experience and also served as Executive Director of the California Democratic Party in 1969 and 1970. Prior to that, he managed numerous campaigns for candidates at all levels of elected office.
Mr. Solem currently serves as board chair of Oakland-based K to College which distributes school supplies to public school students from low-income families, and is a board member of the Moscone Institute for Public Service, the California Council on Environmental and Economic Balance and the Government Financial Strategies Institute Advisory Board. He formerly served on the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies National Advisory Council. He also is a former national board member of the Coro Foundation, former chair of the Northern California Coro Foundation, past president of the San Francisco Advertising Club and former chair of the Mill Valley Schools Community Foundation. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.