A new president has been named for Z-Pop Media, the company that publishes Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Beat.
Sumindi Peiris will oversee the publications’ day-to-day operations in the newly established position, CEO Scott Copeland announced on Tuesday.
Peiris, a Montgomery County Public Schools graduate, has spent the past 25 years helping international companies build their brands. Her experience spans the media, hospitality and beverage sectors.
Most recently, Peiris, 50, was the global chief marketing officer at Time Out Group, a global media organization that won international awards for its efforts to reinvent itself amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release from Z-Pop Media.
Peiris will report to Copeland, and work with Jennifer Farkas, who was recently promoted from associate publisher to vice president of business development. Peiris will also work with Anne Tallent, who was promoted from editor to executive editor of Bethesda Beat and Bethesda Magazine.
In an interview Monday, Peiris said her work with companies across the globe helped prepare her to take the reins at Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Beat. She said she’s “privileged and honored” to now work for a company in her home community.
“Every day, I wake up and I know everything that I’m doing is for my community, and I challenge myself on that,” she said. “I know it’s not going to be an easy task to do everything that we want to do but … things like this don’t come very often in people’s lives and I am so grateful.”
Prior to working at Time Out, Peiris was the vice president of global marketing for luxury and lifestyle brands at Hilton Worldwide, and held leadership positions at Diageo, LVMH, Bacardi and Unilever.
Peiris said she sees multiple areas for the company to grow and improve, including in “expanding our reach” geographically and to more demographics. Additionally, she said, she sees potential in expanding and improving the magazine and Beat’s digital and social media presence.
“It’s a lot of that understanding and developing our audience … to make sure our content is delivered to them in a way that they want to be delivered,” Peiris said. “Because what we want to do is be of service to our community. So, it’s not what we think — it’s what they want.”
In April 2021, Bethesda Beat and Bethesda Magazine founders Steve and Susan Hull sold the business to Scott and Jillian Copeland of Rockville.
In a statement, Scott Copeland said: “We’re thrilled to have Sumindi join us, supporting our journey in further strengthening Bethesda Magazine and Bethesda Beat as we look to broaden our depth and reach — editorially and geographically — as well as elevate our digital presence. Her deep understanding of brands, and how they connect and engage audiences, will be integral to our growth strategy.”
Peiris said she was attracted to the position with Z-Pop Media because its products are aimed at serving, connecting, celebrating and informing the community. Initially, she was helping the company evaluate its branding strategy and through that work, met and spoke with each of the staff members who, she said, are passionate and devoted, which was a draw.
Peiris was born in Sri Lanka and grew up in Kensington. She and her family live in North Bethesda. Her son, Daveeth, attends Walter Johnson High School, Peiris’ alma mater.