In the seven years since Almira Bardai co-founded Jive Communications with Lindsay Nahmiache, the two have expanded their public relations company to include offices in Vancouver, Los Angeles and Toronto, and employ 17 staff members.
A dozen of those employees are in the firm’s Vancouver office while two are in Toronto, and Nahmiache heads a three-person contingent in Los Angeles.
Clients include Telus Corp. (TSX:T), Granville Island Brewing and the Vancouver International Film Festival among many others.
Her initial goal was to be a teacher.
Instead of going through that training, however, Bardai took a job at the public relations agenCOcy Wilcox Group in 2000, just before graduating from Simon Fraser University with a bachelor’s degree in communications.
A year and a half later, she realized her dream to work abroad when she leapt into the unknown and went to London, England.
She spotted an ad for Cobra Beer while riding the city’s underground railway, and inspiration struck.
She decided to cold-call the company’s marketing director to see whether there were any public relations jobs available. He was impressed with her experience, so he gave her a chance.
Within a year she was put in charge of the company’s global PR while Cobra expanded across Europe and to South Africa, the U.S. and India. In 2005 she moved to Australia.
“I really wanted to continue to travel,” she said. After about eight months at an agency in Sydney, she left to travel some more before working at Cobra in Capetown for a few months.
A Vancouverite at heart, she returned to her hometown in mid-2006 and launched her own agency, Avid Communications, while she looked for work. Within months, she secured contracts that gave her full-time work.
The partnership with Nahmiache came about four years later, in February 2009, when the world was nearing the nadir of the global financial crisis. Despite challenging times at first, the duo persevered. Jive is now the 12th largest PR firm in Vancouver, according to Business in Vancouver’s 2016 list of PR companies.
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