Branding & PR Agency Chief Strategy Officer, Merilee Kern, MBA, Accepted into Forbes Business Council

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Internationally-regarded branding and public relations expert now an official member of Forbes Business Council—an invitation-only community for successful business owners and leaders

Merilee has been the most business-savvy public relations professional I've worked with in my nearly 20 years within the industry.

SAN DIEGO, CA, May 4, 2020—Internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist Merilee Kern, MBA, who serves as Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Publicist for industry-leading CEO and Personal Branding Agency The Ascendant Group (among other professional endeavors and agency affiliations) has been accepted into the Forbes Business Council—the foremost growth and networking organization for successful business owners and leaders worldwide.

Merilee was vetted and selected by a review committee based on the depth and diversity of her experience. Criteria for acceptance include a track record of successfully impacting business growth metrics, as well as personal and professional achievements and honors.

“We are honored to welcome Merilee into the community,” said Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, the collective that includes Forbes Business Council. “Our mission with Forbes Councils is to bring together proven leaders from every industry, creating a curated, social capital-driven network that helps every member grow professionally and make an even greater impact on the business world.”

As an accepted member of the Council, Merilee has access to a variety of exclusive opportunities designed to help her reach peak professional influence. She will connect and collaborate with other respected local leaders in a private forum and at members-only events. Merilee will also be invited to work with a professional editorial team to share her expert insights in original business articles on, and to contribute to published Q&A panels alongside other experts.

Finally, Merilee will benefit from exclusive access to vetted business service partners, membership-branded marketing collateral, and the high-touch support of the Forbes Councils member concierge team.

“Merilee has been the most business-savvy brand strategy and public relations professional I've worked with in my nearly 20 years within the industry,” notes Raoul Davis, CEO of The Ascendant Group and an original Founding Member of the Forbes Agency Council. “I have absolutely no doubt that her contribution to the Forbes Business Council will be immense.”

“It’s a true honor to have been accepted into this esteemed membership organization,” Merilee said. “I’m certain that my participation with Forbes Business Council will help further cement my leadership role within the various companies and agencies that I’m affiliated with, or own, while also elevating and further demonstrating my value within the branding, public relations and marketing communications communities at large.”

About Forbes Councils
Forbes Councils is a collective of invitation-only communities created in partnership with Forbes and the expert community builders who founded Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC). In Forbes Councils, exceptional business owners and leaders come together with the people and resources that can help them thrive. To learn more about Forbes Councils, visit

About Merilee A. Kern, MBA
Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist and futurist who serves as Chief Strategy Officer for The Ascendant Group—an industry-leading CEO and Personal Branding Agency. As a prolific branding and marketplace trends pundit, Merilee reports on noteworthy industry change makers, movers, shakers and innovators across all categories, both B2C and B2B. This includes field experts and thought leaders, brands, products, services, destinations and events. Also as the Executive Editor of “The Luxe List” and Executive Producer and Host of multiple television programs, Merilee’s cross-media platform work reaches an audience in the multiple millions each month through an array of broadcast TV programs, print and online publications as well as terrestrial radio. As a prolific business and consumer trends, lifestyle and leisure industry voice of authority and tastemaker, she keeps her finger on the pulse of the marketplace in search of new and innovative must-haves and exemplary experiences at all price points, from the affordable to the extreme—also delving into the minds behind the brands. Connect with her at and; on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @LuxeListReports; and on LinkedIN @MerileeKern.

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