MIAMI—rbb Public Relations has appointed Robert Phillips as chief operating officer, responsible for managing financial operations and strategic growth initiatives. The decision to add a COO to rbb’s executive leadership team was made in coordination with the firm's five-year strategic plan to become a midsized agency by 2016. Phillips has more than 20 years of experience in executive management, operations consulting and corporate merger services. Prior to joining rbb, he served as COO and CFO at Sam Schwartz Engineering, a transportation engineering and planning firm headquartered in New York City.
NEW YORK—Ketchum has made four digital hires across several of its US offices. Dean McBeth recently joined from his role as director of digital and integrated creative at Barton F. Graf and will be SVP, digital and content strategy, in the New York office; James Lin, most recently with Saga Technologies, has been appointed VP, digital strategist, in the San Francisco office; Amit Wadehra from Allstate Insurance has been hired as VP, digital strategist, in Chicago; and Louis Tehan, formerly of Edelman, will serve as a digital strategist in New York.
NEW YORK—Emanate has added two new vice presidents: Catherine Douglas will serve as VP on the Bank of America account, while Michael Kingsley will provide media relations support across Emanate’s entire client roster. Prior to joining Emanate, Douglas worked in the cable and satellite television industry in Australia where she held corporate affairs and corporate social responsibility roles for companies such as Foxtel (Newscorp) and Austar (Liberty Global). A veteran TV producer, Kingsley held previous positions at Bloomberg Television and Fox News Channel.
WASHINGTON, DC—Cliff Stearns, former congressman for the 6th District of Florida, is joining APCO Worldwide as a senior advisor and member of the company's International Advisory Council. Stearns served in Congress for 24 years where he gained extensive experience in telecommunications, technology, cybersecurity and international trade. As chair of the oversight and investigations subcommittee, he worked to increase transparency in the federal government. He also served as the Republican leader on the communications, technology and internet subcommittee.
CHICAGO—Edelman has added Denis Edwards, formerly of Milwaukee-based Manpower Group, as the firm’s global chief information officer. He will report to Matthew Harrington, Edelman’s global chief operating officer and will oversee the firm’s information technology systems and infrastructure globally, including internal and client-facing solutions. At Manpower Group, Edwards oversaw IT operations in 82 countries, and earlier he held top IT leadership positions at Cadbury-Schweppes (now Kraft), Marriott International and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
NEW YORK—RF|Binder has added Elyse Blazey Gentile and Lori Rodney, expanding senior management in the agency’s consumer, corporate and education practices. Blazey Gentile joins as senior managing director to consumer and corporate accounts, having most recently served as vice president, corporate communications at E*Trade, where she led corporate communications, media relations and internal communications efforts. Lori Rodney joins as a managing director of the education group, after serving as corporate account manager at Waggener Edstrom
NEW YORK—Finn Partners has promoted Dan Pooley to managing partner. Pooley joined the Ruder Finn Group in 2009 as managing director of the Chicago office, and oversaw the transition and launch of Finn Partners Chicago in 2012. In his new role, Pooley will continue to lead the agency’s Midwest operations and help guide the strategic growth and development of the agency overall. Previously, Pooley was SVP and client relationship leader for the National Milk Mustache “got milk?” campaign at Weber Shandwick.
CHICAGO—Mac Strategies Group, an Illinois-based strategic communications and public affairs firm, is has added Tom Bowen as senior advisor. Bowen previously served as executive director of The Chicago Committee, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's political action committee, and deputy campaign manager for his 2011 successful bid to become Chicago's mayor. Bowen has managed six political campaigns ranging from Chicago City Council to US Senate and consulted on the 2008 presidential campaign for Barack Obama.
CHICAGO—Christine Pietryla has joined Walker Sands as senior vice president of public relations. She will lead strategy and planning efforts for Walker Sands’ public relations teams and help the firm scale to accommodate a rapidly developing client base of B2B and technology clients. Prior to this role, Pietryla served as vice president of public relations and social media for David James Group.
HARTFORD, CT—Roy Occhiogrosso will rejoin Global Strategy Group as managing director in its Hartford, Conn., office. Occhiogrosso, formerly a partner with GSG from 2003 to 2010, returns to the firm after serving for the past two years as senior adviser and chief strategist to Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, overseeing all communications operations for the Office of the Governor. Earlier in his career, he served as a communications and political strategist for numerous candidates for public office at the local, state, and national levels.