BerlinRosen Expands DEI Capabilities with Investment in Onward

August 2022 

New York, New York

O2 Investment Partners ( is pleased to announce that through BerlinRosen, it has made an investment in and partnered with Onward ( and its Managing Director, Thaly Germain, to grow its impact and create practice areas that complement BerlinRosen’s service offerings. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. O2 made a significant investment in BerlinRosen in January 2022.

Onward builds personal and organizational capacity for change by designing and implementing solutions to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (“DEI”). The agency will help BerlinRosen drive coordinated DEI engagement strategy for clients and develop the firm’s cultural competency division, which focuses on counsel, strategy, messaging, and communications guidance for organizations handling complex cultural challenges.

“As an entrepreneur and as someone who took a fundamentally different approach to building a company, I am both humbled and thrilled for this new path for Onward. It was fundamental to join an agency that not only represents blue chip brands and organizations at the forefront of innovation, but also one that does the same DEI work internally,” said Thaly Germain, Managing Director of Onward. “Joining BerlinRosen is a massive opportunity for Onward to leverage the expertise of a powerful communications agency to fuel our work and create tremendous impact in the industry.”

Valerie Berlin, Co-Founder and Co-Principal at BerlinRosen commented, “As we experienced first-hand Onward’s super-skillful work to transform BerlinRosen into a more equitable organization, we started to see how extraordinary they are and realized how they could work with our clients on the challenges they are facing on DEI issues.”

Sean Darin at O2 commented, “Onward is at the forefront of cultural changemaking. The new partnership with Onward is transformative for BerlinRosen as it immediately allows us to drive superior DEI engagement and cultural competency strategy for clients. We are thrilled to support Thaly and the Onward team to build on their leading approach to tackling complex cultural organizational challenges.”

About Onward:

Onward designs and delivers innovative learning experiences that build personal and organizational capacity for change through DEI consulting focused on testing the most cutting-edge solutions to issues of equity. They have 10 employees who all work remotely yet serve clients across the country.

About BerlinRosen:

BerlinRosen is a fast-growing, full-service communications firm with more than 300 communications and campaign strategists in New York, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles. Since its founding in 2005, BerlinRosen has powerfully expanded its presence in corporate, social impact / ESG, nonprofit, entertainment, media, racial justice, healthcare, real estate, technology, issue advocacy and workers’ rights communications. They have received many important accolades including Large Agency of the Year (PRNews), finalist Large Agency of the Year (PRWeek), finalist for Digital Agency of the Year (PRNews), Agency Elite (PRNet), Gold in Consumer Marketing (HSMAI) and Best Integrated Campaign (PRSA).

About O2 Investment Partners:

O2 Investment Partners is a Midwestern based private equity firm that seeks to acquire majority interests in lower middle market B2B services, technology, and select industrial companies. The firm invests in businesses with earnings growth potential and a clear path to the creation of shareholder value. O2 invests with a view toward partnering with management to build and grow the business and take it to its next stage of development. This requires not only a clear vision and strategic plan to create shareholder value, but a close partnership and alignment of interest with management.

Additional information is available at ; ;

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