A Business and Personal Partnership Founded at the U

Amy with her friend and business partner Lori Teranishi BS’91 at a gala event in 2009 where they received the “Media Event of the Year” award from PR News. Photo by William Hauser

WEB EXTRA~ (A Web bonus related to the Alum Profile “Coming Full Circle”)

Greenfield’s experiences at the U of U led her to not just the combination of public relations and law, but also to what has become a decades-long friendship and, eventually, professional relationship with a fellow communication major. In a communication class in 1989, Greenfield met Lori Teranishi. The two immediately became friends, and they have remained so ever since. And over the years, their careers have had interesting parallels, eventually intersecting. While at Edelman, Greenfield counseled the credit card company MasterCard about one of the largest antitrust cases in U.S. history. At the same time, Teranishi, who lives in San Francisco and had received an MBA from the University of San Francisco, was working at another major credit card company, Visa, counseling her company about the same antitrust case. As friends, the two women spoke frequently, but they could not talk about the case because of issues relating to confidentiality. It was then that they began hatching a plan to join forces.

In 2005, the time was ripe—VPG opened an office in San Francisco, and Lori left Visa to become the firm’s chief operating officer and its director of West Coast operations. A native of Hawaii, Teranishi began bringing in business from her home state, which she frequently visits, and recently, the firm opened an office in Honolulu, making VPG the only firm in Hawaii specializing in litigation communications. Recent projects have involved handling communications surrounding the issue of random drug testing for Hawaii’s teachers; providing pro-bono public relations counsel to the Honolulu Symphony regarding its bankruptcy; and promoting a Congressional luau jointly sponsored by Hawaii native President Barack Obama, the White House, and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, designed to promote the state to mainlanders.

“Without my partnership with Lori, the firm would clearly not be as successful,” says Greenfield. “She brings an important business perspective to what we do. I feel so lucky, not just because we’ve been friends for 20 years, but also because we have been able to build a strong business partnership based on our different strengths.”

—Alan S. Horowitz

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