BHI Founder Dean Bender to Retire After 40 Years, Shawna Lynch Set as Sole President of 42West/BHI (EXCLUSIVE)

BHI Founder Dean Bender to Retire After 40 Years, Shawna Lynch Set as Sole President of 42West/BHI (EXCLUSIVE)

November 9, 2022

Dean Bender, BHI founder and co-president of 42West/BHI, is retiring at the end of 2022 after more than 40 years in PR, Variety has learned exclusively.

Upon Bender’s exit, 42West/BHI co-president Shawna Lynch will be elevated to sole president, continuing to lead the division’s content, video games, esports, consumer products and Web3 clients in collaboration with senior vice president Jonah Keel.

“Dean will always be known as a benevolent leader and a creative pioneer who introduced so many industry-changing ways in which to consume entertainment content,” 42West CEO Amanda Lundberg said. “For over three decades, he led a very successful and highly regarded agency that focused on the next generation of the entertainment experience. We are so grateful for his expertise and leadership and wish him a wonderful chapter ahead. In addition, we are very excited for Shawna, a very close ally of Dean’s for over 30 years, to build on the incredible foundation that she helped create with him.”

Bender added: “By working with a plethora of visionaries throughout my career, things never got dull. I found myself in awe of the ingenuity displayed by these entrepreneurs who introduced unique and compelling ways to consume entertainment. It’s with great pride knowing that we contributed to their success. I have the highest level of confidence in Shawna’s well-earned and well-deserved ascension to president as she’s been my partner and trusted confidant all of these years, ensuring a seamless transition.”

BHI was founded by Bender in 1986 as Bender, Goldman & Helper, repping significant players in the then-young home video industry, including Buena Vista Home Entertainment, MGM Home Entertainment and New Line.

In the mid-‘90s, Bender launched the firm’s video games division, which has since worked with brands EA, Ubisoft, Konami, Activision, Disney Interactive, Sony Online Entertainment, Square Enix, 2K Games and Nexon, as well as independent gaming studios.

Bender steered his clients through new platform innovations, from PC to console gaming, mobile gaming, online gaming and, most recently, blockchain gaming and metaverse experiences, and expanded BHI into the esports industry by representing organizations such as Team Liquid, Immortals, NYXL, Echo Fox and Tempo Storm.

In January 2021, BHI was acquired by Dolphin Entertainment and merged with 42West, becoming its fourth division alongside talent, entertainment marketing and strategic communications.

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