Sarah Evans Thelen is one of the most powerful names in the public relations world, having built J Public Relations into a bicoastal force with global reach. Sarah’s 360 worldview of the travel industry, social media and traditional public relations coupled with her deep breadth of luxury lifestyle and branding knowledge, has set JPR on a higher plane from the gates, and today, that insider status remains the cornerstone of the powerhouse agency. She is a trusted industry resource, and her deep-rooted relationships are the foundation of many long-term clients (160 clients on 6 continents), an a-list media network and the global JPR team of nearly 60.
Her repertoire of top-tier clients includes 24 Ritz-Carlton hotels, Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, including Dubai’s famous Burj Al Arab, Relais & Châteaux Hotels and Grace Hotels. During her career, she’s worked with brands such as Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Dorchester Collection and Regent Hotels & Resorts. In 2016 alone, Sarah helped launch ten large-scale hotel openings and renovations including Gurney’s Montauk Residences, The Restoration in Charleston, Jumeirah Al Naseem in Dubai and The Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. She’s also incredibly versed in the social and digital part of the business, which handles content management, influencer relations and digital strategy for a host of clients including Hotel Californian, Gurney’s Montauk, Marquis Los Cabos and The Revere Hotel in Boston.
Deemed a “badass businesswoman” by Media Bistro, Sarah is a spokesperson in the field, having been featured as a travel expert on MSNBC, ABC and Fox. A proficient panelist, Sarah has presented industry trends at the PRSA Travel & Tourism Conference, Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association (BLLA) Investment Conference and the America's Luxury Summit by Walpole in London. She has also spoken at programs geared toward illustrious hotel leaders such as The Ritz-Carlton and Relais & Châteaux. Sarah currently sits on the board of the BLLA and is a member of HSMAI and Women in Communications.
An honors graduate of East Carolina University, Sarah was named to the university’s inaugural “40 Under 40” list and is a recipient of the 2016 Incredible ECU Woman Award. She and the firm have been recognized by a host of accolades including New York Observer’s “Power 50” (2014 and 2015), “Small Agency of the Year” Under 10 Million in US and Canada by PR News (2015), Bulldog Reporter’s Agency of the Year (2016), Smart CEO’s Culture Award (2016), PR News Best Places to Work (2015), Inc 5000’s Fastest Growing Companies in America (2013, 2014 and 2015), and O’Dwyers Top 100 (2014 and 2015).
Passionate about travel both professionally and personally, Sarah has visited more than 45 countries. Her favorite trip to date was camping in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert.
“From the first moment I met Sarah Evans, I knew instantly that she was a professional who cared very deeply about her clients. During the time that we have worked together, Sarah has been a great friend and partner to The Ritz-Carlton. She shares The Ritz-Carlton commitment to excellence, a clear vision and has the focus, drive and organizational skills to execute. I could not be happier to have her as a trusted business partner.”
- Allison Sitch, Vice President, Global Public Relations, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.