Meet Lexa PR's Newest Team Member: Chea Franz

Hello! Chea here. I’ve recently joined Alex at Lexa Public Relations, and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m a proud Colorado native, former Denver dweller, and current Fort Collins resident. There was a time in life when I wanted to be either an MTV news anchor, hey Kurt Loder, or a hard-hitting journalist. Speaking of the latter, I will always have a deep, profound love for Tom Brokaw.

Lucky for me, I did not end up on an MTV reality show. Instead, I found my way to advertising, and I attribute much of my work ethic from agency life. I’ve helped clients maximize every dollar spent, even with the teeniest, tiniest of budgets, and I've strategically helped them grow their brands. It’s not until you judge a hunky Santa contest on the 16th Street Mall that you start adopting an “anything is possible mentality.” And really, that’s my approach to life.

After more than nine years of working in all spectrums of an ad agency from account service, project management, media buying, and event planning, my husband David and I were presented with a unique opportunity—move to Fort Collins so that he, a former health care analyst, could work for New Belgium Brewing. Translation: blow up the life plan.

It was a huge shake up for us as young professionals who had at this point been doing some high level adulting, and we fully embraced this change.  We wanted to live life differently. So in the fall of 2015 we took a leap of faith.

It was in Fort Collins where I landed in the beer world. As the marketing, PR, and brand manager at Fort Collins Brewery, I was given the great responsibility of shifting consumer opinion of a brand that had not been updated for more than 10 years. In March of 2016, FCB rebranded, which consisted of new packaging artwork, new recipes, and the addition of a canning line to the facility.

I loved the challenge of introducing new concepts and bringing new beers to the market, but It was the beer industry itself that really left its mark. I’ve had the privilege of working alongside production staff when it was all hands on deck after a canning line crisis, poured beer and chatted with fellow craft beer lovers at festivals and tastings, pitched in with fellow breweries and community members to raise money for nonprofits, spoken at length with brewers and beer slingers, and I’ve loved every moment of it.

It was at FCB, where I met Alex, whose reputation preceded her. Many contacts suggested I reach out to her because as someone in the craft beer industry, she is a dynamic person to know. I made an introduction and we met for lunch. That lunch led to a partnership opportunity between the brewery and bRUNch Running. Follow up meetings led to happy hours. Happy hours led to lunch dates. Frequent restaurant dates led to more collaborations and hangouts. Now here we are, a place where my two worlds, craft beer along with spirits, restaurants and fitness and communication, meld. I’m excited for the wild ride ahead. Cheers!