Brandon Friedman Awarded "Startup Impact Importer of the Year" for Rakkasan Tea

*This news release was originally distributed by the Global Chamber Dallas here.*

November 8, 2017
Contact: Global Chamber Dallas

Dallas, TX – The Global Chamber® Dallas is excited to announce our second annual Grow Globally Fair on November 16th, in Dallas, Texas. 

We are awarding Brandon Friedman, who tells the story of an unconventional transition from Public Affairs to social impact, with "Startup Impact Importer of the Year." He founded Rakkasan Tea, a company that "works with farmers in post-conflict countries to deliver the best loose-leaf tea you've never had."

Brandon launched Rakkasan Tea Company in 2017 as a way to meet growing U.S. demand while promoting peace and economic development in post-conflict countries. He has completed the Specialty Tea Institute's Level I and Level II courses on his way to becoming a Certified Tea Specialist recognized by the Tea Association of the USA.

Brandon is also the CEO of The McPherson Square Group, a PR and strategic communications firm he co-founded during more than a decade as an adviser to Fortune 500 companies, large government agencies, and fast-moving nonprofits. In 2014 – 2015, Brandon served in the Obama administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. There, he played a key role leading communications for Secretary Julián Castro and the department’s 8,000 employees. Brandon previously served as a vice president with global PR firm FleishmanHillard, as the first Director of Digital Strategy at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and as a spokesperson for He began his career in 2000 as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, serving in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

A regular media contributor since 2007, Brandon is quoted in the press often and has appeared on CNN, BBC, MSNBC, Al Jazeera and C-SPAN. For his work in communications, he has been profiled by The Washington Post, PR Week, Stars and Stripes, and Government Executive. Brandon's memoir, The War I Always Wanted, was recognized in 2010 by The Military Times as one of “The Best Military Books of the Decade.” He contributes as a regular guest columnist for The New York Daily News and has also been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME and The Guardian. Brandon was selected in 2010 as a Truman National Security Fellow and designated an “emerging leader” by Government Executive in 2012. In 2013, he was named by Stars and Stripes as one of the most influential voices on Twitter for veterans policy. Brandon has an MPA from the University of Texas at Dallas and a BA from LSU in Shreveport.

Brandon was nominated by Jeanne Whitesides, Deputy Director of Global Chamber Dallas.

The Grow Globally Fair is an annual event hosted by Global Chamber and is open for registration! It will be held from 3-5pm on November 16th, 2017 at the Law Offices of Gardere in Uptown. Global Chamber currently has about 100 chapters worldwide that are either active and running, or have an Executive Director in training to launch their chapters. The vision is to expand into 525 metro areas by 2020. Global Chamber® is the only organization in the world with the mission to grow a business from anywhere to anywhere while collaborating with every organization. We're a thriving and collaborating community of CEOs, executives and professionals in over 500 metros taking on the world of global business.

The Fair culminates with the Global Awards ceremony. Please join us as we recognize Brandon and these other incredible leaders:

“Global Diplomat of the Year" Consul General of Mexico in Dallas, Francisco de la Torre. Read more HERE.

"Global Startup of the Year" Joshua Johnson, Sr., CEO of Global Expertise. Read more HERE.

“Global Innovator for Education Technology” Ramesh Balan, CEO & Founder of Knomadix. Read more HERE.

“Global Game Changer under 30” Kyle Lukianuk, President of Good Returns. Read more HERE.

"Global Service Provider of the Year" Jessica Gordon, Director of the US Commercial Service. Read more HERE.

"Exporter of the Year in the Field of Electronics" Knight Electronics / Orion Fans. Read more HERE.

"Exporter of the Year in the Health Industry"  Craig DiGiovanni, Partner in Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products, Ltd. Read more HERE.

"Emerging Exporter of the Year"... Milk Snob

“Global Attorney of the Year” Olga Torres of Torres Law, PLLC. Read more HERE.