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PR’s Revolving Door

GM Hires Familiar Face as SVP of Global Communications

bildeIn what may be the week/month/year’s least surprising move, General Motors has finally replaced its SVP of global policy and communications with a familiar name and face.

Tony Cervone, who most recently served as VP of group communications for Volkswagen, doesn’t just have an extensive history doing PR for car companies–he worked at GM for 10 years along with current CEO Mary Barra, serving in a VP of global comms/strategy role before leaving for an SVP gig at United Airlines.

The strategy behind the appointment is fairly simple: Barra wants old allies to help her right her company’s badly managed response to its not-going-away faulty brake switch scandal.

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Roll Call: MWW, Burson-Marsteller and IMM

MWW announced that Robyn Schweitzer has been promoted to vice president. Since joining MWW in 2008, Schweitzer has helped lead award-winning campaigns for a number of MWW’s consumer lifestyle marketing accounts spanning the CPG, food, hospitality and gifting sectors. Schweitzer specializes in integrated marketing communications campaigns and helping brands leverage public relations to work seamlessly in concert with advertising and marketing. Prior to joining MWW, Schweitzer spent four years at RFC&P where she specialized in travel and tourism. Schweitzer earned her bachelor’s degree in public relations from Penn State University. MWW’s award-winning consumer lifestyle marketing practice is comprised of public relations specialists who have extensive relationships with traditional and social media influencers and deep expertise in integrated marketing, brand marketing and product launches. (Release)

Burson-Marsteller announced the addition of two senior directors: David J. Roznowski, APR and Chris Short. Roznowski and Short, who together bring more than 45 years of communications experience to the company, will be based out of Burson-Marsteller’s Chicago office. Roznowski joins Burson-Marsteller as a senior director after a decade in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries, most recently with BP North America in a corporate, internal and crisis communications role for BP’s largest refinery in Whiting, Ind., as it completed a multi-year, multi-billion upgrade. He was also head of corporate communications and community relations for Hovensa, LLC., a joint-venture heavy-crude refinery located on the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

With 24 years of experience, Chris Short joins Burson-Marsteller from beverage company Phusion Projects, LLC, the maker of Four Loko, where for the past three years he was vice president of communications. Short has a track record of successfully managing award-winning communications programs for high-profile brands; overseeing the development and execution of business-to-business and consumer-facing campaigns, including national product launches; and managing issues and crises to prevent them from damaging sales or undermining corporate reputation. Before joining Phusion, Short held senior positions at several public relations agencies, including Porter Novelli, Cramer-Krasselt PR, GolinHarris and Cushman/Amberg Communications.(Release) Read more

Ketchum DC Office Leader Takes Role at Healthcare Org

ragone-book-party

Ragone with (L to R) PIX11 Morning News’ Jill Nicolini, Fox News’ Courtney Friel and CNN’s Ali Velshi in 2011

Nick Ragone, who has served as the director of Ketchum‘s DC office since 2011, announced today that he’s leaving the firm for a role at Ascension Health, a St. Louis-based nonprofit healthcare organization associated with the Catholic Church.

Ragone described his new role as “overseeing the entire communications team structure–internal and external–for Ascension and all of its properties”, which include a family of hospitals and related facilities across the country.

While this PR Week post covers most of the details, Ragone did have a unique insight for us:

“I just want to reassure everyone: I’m an outspoken Mets fan and I will remain so–even in St. Louis.”

Roll Call: Edelman, DDC Advocacy and High10 Media

Edelman has named Wayne Hickey general manager of Edelman San Francisco, effective July 1. Hickey is a six-year Edelman veteran with more than 20 years of experience in communications and politics, with a focus on consumer technology, gaming and entertainment. In his new role, Hickey will oversee all operations, client service and overall business direction and growth for Edelman San Francisco. Hickey most recently served as the founder and managing director of Assembly, which converged teams at Edelman to lead U.S.-based public relations, digital, social, measurement and creative on behalf of Microsoft. In addition, he served as Edelman’s global client relationship manager for Microsoft for more than three years where he drove continued expansion into social, retail, analytics and paid advertising. Hickey succeeds interim general manager Kristine Boyden, who will transition to a new role as COO of the Western Region, starting July 1. Boyden is a 13-year Edelman veteran who has held several leadership roles during her tenure at the firm including global client relationship manager for HP, leader of the U.S. CRM program and Bay Area GM for operations and integration where she was the lead architect for the integration of our Bay Area operations. In this newly created role, she will lead initiatives that advance the company’s mission. (Release)

DDC Advocacy (DDCA) welcomes Jessica Kahanek as its new deputy digital director. Kahanek, a tested Capitol Hill communications veteran, will help guide digital messaging and engagement efforts to deliver online victories for DDCA’s rapidly expanding client base. Kahanek, a Texas native, comes to DDCA with more than five years of experience managing digital and traditional communications for members of Congress, congressional committees and congressional campaigns. She served most recently as the communications director for Representative Jim Costa (D-CA) and has a background in new media from the office of Representative Gene Green (D-TX). (Release)

High10 Media announced the hiring of Fay Sliger as vice president. Sliger, who comes to High10 Media from VICE Media where she was a senior member of the company’s communications team, starts immediately. Before joining High10 Media, Sliger was a senior member of VICE Media’s communications department where she developed and executed strategies, and oversaw media relations, for the company’s corporate announcements, digital content, films and events. Sliger also led global communications efforts related to campaigns and partnerships developed by VICE’s in-house creative agency. Prior to VICE, Sliger was a senior account director at New York-based communications firm Sunshine Sachs. (Release)

Roll Call: Rubenstein PR, Makovsky and McMurry/TMG

Kelly Ferraro has joined New York’s Rubenstein Public Relations as Vice President. Ferraro, who has more than a decade of experience in the PR, financial services, and corporate comms fields, comes to the Rubenstein from “a boutique financial services and financial technology communications firm” that goes unnamed in the release; she also previously served as VP Guggenheim Securities, where she planned high-level events connecting investors to those at Guggenheim and other industry influencers. She will handle media relations for various RPR clients (among other responsibilities). (Release)

Makovsky has appointed Ross Sutherland as executive vice president and digital branding practice leader. Sutherland’s career spans more than 20 years with Ogilvy & Mather working in six countries. As creative director at Ogilvy, Ross managed campaigns such as Rolex, Chubb and Fiat and was elected to David Ogilvy’s esteemed Global Creative Council. His extensive global experience culminated in management responsibility of Creative leadership for the entire South East region worldwide. Prior to his time with Ogilvy, Ross spent seven years as executive creative rirector with Young & Rubicam. At Y&R, Ross was responsible for managing all the creative groups for clients such as Sony, AT&T, Dupont, Chevron, The NFL, 7UP, Bronx Zoo, Jaguar, Andersen Consulting and Star Alliance. (Release)

McMURRY/TMG has named Erica Pyatt director of Business Development, Associations. Pyatt brings with her 10 years of business development and communications management experience, along with a deep understanding of the association community. Pyatt was most recently associate publisher, Finance, at GOVERNING Media, where she oversaw business development strategy for financial services, consulting firms and associations. Additionally, Pyatt served as a liaison to the editorial and events teams working on finance-related content. At McMURRY/TMG, Pyatt will focus on developing a strategy for targeting the association category and bringing in new association clients. She plans to provide the associations industry with content marketing resources and learning. (Release)

Roll Call: Edelman, OCG PR, Public Relations Global Network, and More

Edelman has announced new leadership positions in the firm’s Chicago office, naming Kevin Cook as Chicago’s first chief operating officer and Una Pipic as the new chief of staff, effective immediately. Cook and Pipic will report to Jay Porter, president, Edelman Chicago. The addition of these positions is part of maintaining the momentum and continued evolution of the Chicago office. Cook joined Edelman in 1996 and has served as the managing director of Chicago’s Corporate Affairs practice since 2008, and Pipic joined Edelman in 2013 as senior vice president of the new business and marketing team. (Release)

OCG PR has added new, strategic leadership in public engagement, public relations and creative services. The agency has appointed Amanda L. Ray to senior vice president, public relations; Cynthia Northrop White to senior vice president, public engagement and Michel Ansara to creative director. Ray now leads the strategy and overall execution of the firm’s corporate communications, media relations, social media and integrated marketing communications campaigns. Over the past 20 years, she has brought award-winning PR programs to life for companies and organizations like AT&T, Cell Phones for Soldiers, The Women’s Museum and TXU Energy, among others. Northrop White now directs strategy and overall execution for the agency’s public engagement practice. A former Denton County Commissioner, she brings years of experience connecting and educating stakeholders and municipal leaders around public sector developments. Prior to joining OCG, she was the head of the Public Information Office for TxDOT’s Dallas District. Ansara now oversees all creative strategy and execution for the firm’s design and video production. A native of Johannesburg, South Africa, he brings more than 10 years of experience designing and developing print, digital and video assets and augmented reality engagement to OCG. (Release)

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Roll Call: Social@Ogilvy and SE10

John Stauffer has been promoted to SVP, regional strategy director for Social@Ogilvy effective May 1. In his new role, John will be responsible for accelerating adoption of social media by our existing clients. He will work across disciplines to deliver truly integrated social strategy to clients large and small, with a focus on accounts in North America. John joined Ogilvy six years ago as an early member of the 360 Digital Influence practice. For two years he was based in Hong Kong to help grow the firm’s social media practice across 23 cities in Asia, while serving as the Asia Pacific Social media lead for Ford’s blended WPP team. He developed programs, built a training curriculum, delivered social +creative “Hackathons”, all designed to unlock new revenue from clients like Ford, Ikea, and Diageo. Most recently ,John served as the Social@Ogilvy lead strategist on DuPont working to transform the brand from a chemical company to that of a science company, while doubling the size of the social media spend during his time on the business. (Release)

Global PR agency SE10 has appointed Randolph Pitzer as general manager, Americas, where he will manage SE10’s operations in the region, serving clients, including Volvo Construction Equipment, Manitowoc and Skyjack. Randolph Pitzer brings to SE10 more than 25 years of experience on both the client and agency sides of public relations, marketing and journalism. His experience includes business-to-business, technology and consumer public relations, as well as corporate reputation management. Pitzer comes to SE10 after spending his last two years managing his own firm, Pitzer Relations. Prior to that, he was managing director of Porter Novelli’s Chicago office and spent nine years as general manager of Edelman Chicago’s Business Marketing and Technology Practice. Pitzer also worked at Ketchum and Ogilvy PR in California, focusing on accounts such as Epson and Fujitsu. On the corporate side, he worked in marketing and communications capacities for SPSS (IBM), Spyglass and Universal Access. (Release)

Balsera Communications President Appointed to State Department Role

BalseraDavid Duckenfield, president and partner at Miami’s Balsera Communications, has accepted a new role as deputy assistant secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.

Starting next Monday, Duckenfield will both lead the State Department’s domestic outreach efforts and help promote its foreign policy goals via comms initiatives targeting audiences at home and overseas.

In a broader sense, he will be responsible for working with the Bureau of Public Affairs to facilitate a deeper appreciation of American culture and values and to show more audiences–especially in the Spanish-speaking world–what it means to be American.

Duckenfield has been a partner at Balsera since 2007; before joining the firm, he directed Yahoo’s Latin American and U.S. Hispanic PR programs and managed the NBA’s communications outreach efforts serving the same audiences.

Duckenfield will take a leave of absence from his Balsera duties during the appointment.

Edelman Names New York President

CohanFollowing the promotion of Russell Dubner to President/CEO of its U.S. operations, Edelman has named his successor: Jen Cohan.

Cohan will be president of Edelman New York effective July 1; she currently serves as global chair of the firm’s consumer marketing practice, and in her new role she will report directly to Dubner.

In the release, Dubner writes:

“Jennifer is a seasoned business leader and marketer who has deep experience working with both consumer and corporate brands…Jen’s skills will serve the office well as she charts new ways to bring even greater value to our clients’ business.”

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Roll Call: SpinMedia Group, Cumulus Media and The Center for Public Integrity

SpinMedia Group is expanding its sales and integrated marketing teams with 13 hires and promotions including the key hires of Pete Riherd from Selectable Media as vice president/western sales director and Todd Wienke from Hot Chalk as vice president/midwest sales director. As western sales director, Pete Riherd will run SpinMedia’s West Coast sales teams. Riherd brings with him 20 years of industry experience and a passion for entertainment brands. Prior to Selectable Media, Riherd worked at Entertainment Weekly where he began as a salesperson before becoming the San Francisco sales director and, ultimately, head of the company’s West Coast team. Midwest sales director, Todd Wienke, will oversee the Midwest region beyond Chicago and encompassing Texas, Minneapolis and Detroit. Wienke is a digital entertainment expert with 20 years of experience in sales and sales management. Prior to joining SpinMedia Group, he was director of corporate partnerships at HotChalk, Inc., and also helped launch Sony Digital Entertainment and Flixster. (Release)

Cumulus Media announced the appointment of Jeff Brown as senior vice president, Cumulus Corporate. Brown will be responsible for regional operations oversight in 26 Cumulus markets. Brown previously served as vice president/market manager of Cumulus’ Atlanta station cluster. Prior to joining Cumulus, Brown spent 15 years with Entercom Communications, with Market Manager posts in Boston, Portland, and Norfolk, Virginia. His appointment is effective immediately, and the nationwide search for Brown’s replacement at Cumulus’ Atlanta cluster is currently underway. (Release)

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