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ouroffice@vangard.com
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Our Team.

Meet your storytellers: a senior-team advocating for your brand

Meghan Patke

President

A self-professed “citizen of the world,” Meghan’s international experience and firsthand knowledge of Southeast Asian culture and cuisine means she not only eats well most days but is also a highly trusted resource and authority for other culinary enthusiasts. Raised in Singapore, she firmly believes that a trying day can be turned around over a plate of Hainanese Chicken Rice, and splits her time between Los Angeles and London, where most of her family now resides.

In her tenure in PR, she has orchestrated Hello Kitty’s 35th birthday; hosted the U.S.’s first ever Thai Food Festival at the historic Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood; soared to new heights with the world’s largest airline; advocates tirelessly for sustainable seafood and helped launch the West Coast and South Pacific’s first-ever Dock-to-Dish community supported fishery programs; and has been fortunate enough to sample some of the world’s most transcendent meals with luminary chefs such as Niki Nakayama, Jet Tila, and Michael Cimarusti—to name only a handful of accomplishments.

A graduate of the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Public Relations, Journalism & Global Communications/International Relations, Meghan’s second love after all things tasty is travel. Wanderlust has taken her across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, with Bhutan and Africa next on her bucket list.

Favorite word: Fernweh – (n.) an ache for distant places; the craving for travel

Lisa Strangis

Vice President

A Los Angeles native, Lisa has immersed herself in various media and communications arenas for more than a decade and has a passion for promoting tourism destinations and culinary talent. She has cultivated dynamic PR campaigns for international travel clients, including an Australian tourism board and its luxury destination resorts, and conceived the PR launch strategy for Hong Kong Airlines’ debut in North America, including the campaign launch with the airline’s celebrity ambassador, Jackie Chan.

Among other highlights: launching new food products, mixed-use real estate projects, and aligning hospitality brands with the awards show circuit, namely the Emmys and Grammys. Prior to embarking on her career in PR, Lisa spent several years as a journalist and content creator, including positions at Angeleno magazine and gigs in television production and photography, which fuels her holistic approach to navigating the modern media landscape. She graduated from Cal State University Northridge with a B.A. in Cinema & Television Arts.

An overarching culinary passion keeps her close to the kitchen, cooking, food styling, and developing recipes. Lisa is seen by peers and friends as a GTA—Gastronomic Travel Advisor—recommending must-have dishes traveling, from Australia to Burgundy. She has contributed personal essays about her food memories to Life & Thyme and can be found hosting wine-paired dinner parties, making her Instagram followers hungry for more.

Daphne Barahona

Senior Account Manager

A native Texan with Nicaraguan roots, Daphne was exposed to a dynamic upbringing full of rich culture and delightful dishes very early on. After getting her first international passport stamp at the age of six, she quickly developed a personal affinity for globetrotting that would eventually become a bonafide career in travel and hospitality. With nearly a decade of public relations experience under her belt, she has worked closely with high-profile clients around the world, from Australia and Aspen to Dubai and Dallas – and numerous others in between.

Throughout her communications career, which began in New York City and eventually brought her to Los Angeles, Daphne has executed major PR stunts, brokered strategic partnerships, and secured high-impact press results as well as overseen the successful campaign launches of Hotel Indigo’s global flagship in Downtown Los Angeles and Austin’s music-inspired Hotel Van Zandt; debuted celebrity chef Jose Andres’ first international restaurant in Mexico City; executed Visit Victoria’s (Australia) first-ever global influencer activation during the city’s Melbourne’s landmark role as host city for the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards; and launched Mexico’s second largest airline carrier—Interjet Airlines—in the U.S.

Daphne holds a B.A. in Journalism from Texas Tech University and speaks fluent English and Spanish – plus can order food in French and Italian. In her spare time, she loves mapping out her next escape, flexing her cooking chops, volunteering in her local community and rowing crew.

Meghan Patke

President

Lisa Strangis

Vice President

Stephanie Senter-Rankin

Account Director
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