Peter Hurley

President and Founder

At the core of this contemplative leader is a competitive spirit who sees an opportunity and is determined to make it happen. If there's a will, Peter wants to find the way. He doesn't take this lightly! Can't play tennis because of a shoulder injury? Teach yourself to play with the other hand. This is the ethos he brings to Synergy as "chief coach" – and it's apparent at every turn.
Peter founded Synergy in 1992 based on a personal desire to help grow tennis. An enthusiastic player and passionate advocate of the sport, he wanted to provide a solution to help introduce people to the game.

Since getting people onto the court was a challenge, he simply took the court to the people. Before he knew it, a business model was born – creating portable tennis festivals in unlikely, high traffic locations, giving people, who otherwise wouldn't, a taste of the tennis experience.

Today, Synergy is a leader in creating fan and consumer experiences, working with the most recognizable brands and top agencies. "What I love about what we do at Synergy is the creativity behind solutions. We're helping people and brands solve problems and connect in meaningful ways. That's real value."

But Synergy personifies much more than business. Peter also believes in relationships and extends that value to everything he does. He elaborates: "Our clients become family – they're like cousins, sisters, and brothers, and Synergy is a true partner, committed to your success, no matter what. We give great thought to our relationships and it's the focus of what I bring to work every day: doing the right things, making the right decisions. We are a partner that's got your back, creating the most memorable experiences and bringing your message right to where your customers live, work and play."

Peter remains involved in the world of tennis, where he is an active member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and is the recipient of their prestigious Chairman's Award, given annually to a board member for outstanding dedication and service. He also serves the sport locally on the Board of Governors of the Seabright Lawn Tennis & Cricket Club. He is a graduate of the University of Vermont where he earned a B.S. in Organizational Communication. See Pete featured in Sports Business Journal's People and Pop Culture series.

Jay Silva

Senior Vice President, Operations

Throughout his 13 years at Synergy, Jay has worked on hundreds of successful programs for a wide variety of clients. Ask him about his favorite accomplishment and you'll get a quick response: creating the world's largest logo for KFC in the middle of the Nevada desert, just outside Area 51. Visible from space, the logo had global impact, receiving more than 550 million media impressions including coverage in Korea and China. The icing on the cake? Having dinner there with Colonel Sanders.

Jay manages Synergy's growing and experienced Production Team with a laser focus on service, preparation and attention to detail. As the creator of the Synergy 150™, he designed a process for managing and executing account programs at a consistent level of excellence. This is important given the fact that his teams are typically on the road creating more than 500 branded experiences in over 100 markets a year.

Jay earned a B.S. in Sports Management with honors from St. John's University (NY). He resides in Manahawkin, NJ with his wife Lorraine and their son, Jay and twins Justin and Leah.

Bill Holtz

EVP, Client Services


Holtz serves as the Executive Vice President, Client Services at Synergy, with responsibilities that include account management, business development and agency marketing and public relations.

 

He joined Synergy with more than 20 years of marketing communications experience.  Holtz was a principal in Catalyst Public Relations, where he helped lead the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of an agency that was recognized with five Agency of the Year awards by PRWeek and The Holmes Report.  Prior to his time at Catalyst, Holtz spent 11 years at Taylor, becoming part of the senior management team of an agency that was named Agency of the Decade by The Holmes Report.

 

While at Catalyst and Taylor, Holtz also focused on the strategic planning, development and execution of programs for such clients as USAA, DICK’s Sporting Goods, Facebook, Abbott Nutrition, Levi’s, NASCAR, DHL, the Royal Bank of Scotland, adidas, AT&T, the ATP Tour and other category leading brands.  His experience includes communications and experiential activations around the NFL, MLB, NASCAR, the NCAA, golf and tennis.

 

A native of Philadelphia, Holtz graduated from Fordham University with a B.A. in Communications.  

Lisa Lopes

Vice President, Finance

Multi-tasking, problem solving and simultaneously leading teams toward growth: whether it’s a family of seven or a multi-million dollar organization, Lisa Lopes is up to the challenge.  She brings this unique talent to Synergy in her role as Vice President of Finance.

While Lisa’s expertise is overseeing the financial health of an organization, her real strength is found in a holistic view of the overarching business and strategy.  To be part of creating a vision and then helping something grow is what she loves the most about her work.

She brings this mindset, along with deep experience with growth organizations, to her function at Synergy - overseeing the agency’s finances, IT and HR.

Lisa credits her approach on the experience of various corporate positions – starting out as a financial analyst and working her way through the ranks to include management roles in IT, HR and, ultimately, a spot as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of the Board for a leading provider of public safety solutions.

She lives in Ocean with her husband Zeke, where she can typically be found at one of their five children’s sporting events, having fun on the beach with the family’s Lab, or, in more peaceful moments, with her head in a favorite book.

Lisa received her undergrad in economics and a MBA in finance with Monmouth University.

 

Steve Palecek

Director, Client Services

Steve combines a background in the music merchandising industry with a heart for serving clients to manage experiential events all over the country.

Born in Germany to a military family, Steve traversed homes in Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois and Belgium before landing in New Jersey for college. These experiences have served him well for managing the twists and turns of locations and ever-changing projects and situations that may be thrown his way.

Steve’s interest in music (he’s a fanatic enthusiast with almost 15,000 songs on his iPod) also sparked a keen understanding for marketing tactics and the power of entertainment. He started his career in the merchandising division at Music Marketing Network managing accounts for bands such as Ben Folds Five and Korn. This opportunity was a turning point that, he notes, provided him with experience in direct marketing while also requiring organizational skills to get things done. 

Steve’s experience includes handling the day-to-day operations with large promotional tours across the U.S. for major brands such as Pringles, Ford and M&M’s® Mars. With a philosophy that puts service at the forefront of his work, Steve brings a unique perspective for understanding both the client and his teams on the road because he’s lived in both shoes, “When I speak with a tour or brand manager in the field I understand their perspective and wouldn’t ask them to do anything I haven’t or wouldn’t do myself.”

Steve lives in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, five blocks from the beach, where he also enjoys going to concerts with his son Conor. Steve is a graduate of Monmouth University.  

Jason Blake

Senior Vice President, Client Development

Jason has been connecting brands with consumers for 20 years, having developed integrated marketing strategies and creative activations for Fortune 500 companies to start-ups. As Senior Vice President, Client Development, he works with brands and agency partners looking to leverage Synergy’s award-winning ideas and production capabilities to power their strategic experiential marketing platforms.

He joined Synergy after most recently building the New York office of TEAM Enterprises, an MDC Partners experiential marketing agency where he managed agency growth across existing clients, new business and MDC Partners’ creative and PR agencies.

Previously, Jason was the North American lead of MEC Access, the sports, entertainment and experiential marketing practice of media agency MEC. At MEC, he developed insight-driven ideas, sports partnerships, experiential strategies and entertainment tie-ins for a diverse roster of clients, including Accenture, AT&T, Chevron, DHL, IKEA, KFC, Marriott, Netflix, Scotts Miracle-Gro and United Airlines.

Jason’s business-building background includes establishing an agency division for female marketing and media company, Shecky’s, where he created experiential, digital and influencer marketing programs for Allergan, Anheuser-Busch, Brown-Forman, Church & Dwight, Colgate-Palmolive, Henri Bendel, Johnson & Johnson, LaCroix Water, Lindt, L’Oreal, P&G, Remy Cointreau, Sony Electronics, Turner Broadcasting, Unilever, VH1 and Yes To Carrots.

His through-the-line marketing experience includes business development, strategy and marketing roles at Clear Channel, Disney Internet Group, ESPN, Strategic Agency and his own agency, MarketingJuice. He’s produced ESPN Dream Job and Stump the Schwab television shows, operated live music festivals, served as an understudy Indiana Pacers mascot and is currently an Advisory Board Member for the new women’s sports media company, Excelle Sports.

Jason is a Cubs fan and University of Maryland graduate now living in New Jersey with his wife and two children.