Ocean Waves: This is Kristin Ornelas!


Ocean Waves is your behind-the-scenes look at the people who make Ocean Media a leading independent media planning and buying agency. We chat with the employees who make our agency so great, ask them a number of questions and then share their answers with the world. Today we are spotlighting Kristin Ornelas, Ocean Media’s Executive Assistant to the Chairman and CEO, Mike Robertson. 


Name: Kristin Ornelas
Position: Executive Assistant to the Chairman and CEO

In a nutshell, my job at Ocean Media is…

It’s really all-encompassing. The reason I love what I do is the fact that my position is so diversified. I have the privilege of working with Mike, managing confidential projects for Ocean Media, and running the philanthropy for Share A Smile.

The clients I work with are:

I work with all of them, in various ways. I get to see the beginning when we’re pitching new business and I love seeing where those pitches go. Things like booking travel and keeping the confidentiality aspect intact are essential, and it’s always exciting to think about the potential relationship with that client and how the travel might help win a piece of business. I coordinate a lot of gift-giving too, like when babies are born and during the holiday season. Managing that aspect of our client relationships is really nice and it allows for a personal touch.

What sets Ocean Media apart from other agencies?

First and foremost, the company was founded from a place in Mike’s heart. It was formed at his dining room table, and now we’re all here. He went through a lot, but his strength and commitment to Ocean Media created a foundation that permeates everything and makes us a strong team. People here want to help others and we want to contribute to the greater good. We’re all working for the betterment of the company and, while it helps us grow as individuals, it’s ultimately all for the team. I really feel like Mike, Ron, and Jay have a desire for us to have the balance between work and our own personal lives and they see that through. Then there are the perks like “Michaelmas” (an extra day off between Easter and Memorial Day) and having a catered lunch brought in daily—you just don’t see those things a lot in this day and age.

What’s your favorite thing about Ocean Media?

The Ocean Media team! The environment is great and is a true reflection of inviting spaces where we can work, eat, chat, and even have a moment to relax. Ocean is inclusive, fun, it lacks the rigid bureaucracy that so many other places have, and it’s just a wonderful place to be—we are surrounded by beautiful views and amazing art.

When it comes to working in media, what skills or traits would help someone go far in the industry?

I’m a firm believer in communication and I feel like it’s a bit of a lost art. Communication in any aspect of life is important, because if you’re able to communicate clearly, it will help the overall cause.

If I wasn’t working here at Ocean Media, you’d most likely find me:

In the culinary field. I love cooking/hosting and would want to collaborate with my mom in owning a bed and breakfast in Napa. I am really into farm-to-table fresh cuisine. I love cooking and baking—the kitchen is the heart of any home.

What’s your favorite restaurant?

I have a passion for food, so I don’t have just one favorite. My current favorite is a restaurant in New York called Balaboosta in the Nolita neighborhood of Manhattan. It’s a quaint Mediterranean place, and they also own a chain that has a lot of hummus and falafel—but Balaboosta is a single, stand-alone place. Their octopus is amazing!

Another favorite restaurant in New York is Osteria Morini, an Italian place in Soho. Their prosciutto is next-level and you have to have their flourless chocolate cake with gelato and sorbetto.

Here in California I love Gjelina in Venice. Their butterscotch pot de crème with salted caramel and the roasted Thumbelina carrot dish are both fantastic—and everyone raves about their artisan pizza.

Another place I adore is M.A.K.E. by raw food chef Matthew Kenney in Santa Monica. It’s a “living foods” restaurant and they offer a churro ice cream that is phenomenal.

If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you want to have with you?

I’d want a music festival atmosphere—something old-school, like Woodstock. I’d need to have my hippie flowers and I’d need great, old, feel-good rock and roll: The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Ramones, Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan—who I actually met at the Austin City Limits festival in Texas. I had a chance to spend five minutes with him and I asked him how he rates his life moments. His response, in that great, Bob Dylan way was, “You don’t. They’re all just memories.” Profound!

My nicknames are:

Ever since the age of three it’s been “Scoop.” I always knew what was going on, even at a young age. Headline news, what’s good to eat, what’s bad to eat—you name it, I knew it. My best friend’s dad gave me that nickname. The other one is “KO” for obvious reasons.