News in Brief (April 26, 2004)
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

News in Brief (April 26, 2004)

Two Texas public relations firms, Levenson Public Relations and Brinker Communications, have merged operations. The new company will be called Levenson & Brinker Public Relations.

Paul Holmes

DALLAS—Two Texas public relations firms, Levenson Public Relations and Brinker Communications, have merged operations. The new company will be called Levenson & Brinker Public Relations. Levenson was founded in 1984 by Stan Levenson and served clients include the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, Central Market, Zale Corporation and Snelling Personnel Services. Brinker, founded in 1989 by Cindy Brinker, specialized in brand development, promotions, cause-related marketing and public affairs and had a client list that included Medical Center of Plano, Quest Capital Management and the National School Fitness Foundation. Brinker will be president and Levenson chief executive of the new entity, which is projected to have billings of $1.4 million for 2004.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Aker Partners is working on behalf of five new clients, including the Ford Motor Company, which has borrowed an executive from Aker to temporarily fill a position in its D.C. office and has recruited the entire Aker team for an upcoming new model publicity campaign. Aker will also assist the Maritime Intelligence Group (MIG), a firm devoted to increasing homeland security. MIG’s maritime experts have hired The Aker Partners to market a computer-profiling system that assesses the threat that vessels pose to port security.

BOW, NH—High Point Communications Group has hired Margaret Bonilla as executive vice president, providing counsel to clients on strategic communications initiatives designed to enhance brand recognition and business performance. Prior to joining High Point, Bonilla served as senior vice president at Boston-based Brodeur Worldwide, where she was responsible for strategic direction and implementation of public relations and integrated communications programs for a number of technology, health care and financial services clients.

RALEIGH—French/West/Vaughan has been named public relations agency-of-record for Sapiens
International Corporation, a global provider of IT solutions for insurance organizations.  FWV will support North American communications initiatives and provide counsel on international marketing. “FWV has the right combination of insurance and technology experience to effectively provide counsel to Sapiens,” says Steven Bessellieu, president of Sapiens Americas. “More importantly, it has a proven track record of developing strong leadership positions for companies within multiple industry sectors.”

LOUISVILLE, KY—Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations has acquired Pelfrey Associates. Deanna Pelfery joins the Guthrie/Mayes management committee as a vice president and account group manager. The acquisition will increase revenues at the firm by about $400,000 to around the $2 million mark.

SHARON, MA—Tiziani Whitmyre, a marketing communications firm that focuses on business-to-business, technology and consumer clients, has hired industry veteran Don Goncalves as senior vice president.   He will serve as a senior account manager for all agency business. Goncalves joins TW from Shift Communications, a technology PR firm where he was a vice president. Previously, Goncalves was a vice president for PR account services at Sterling Hager.

EVERETT, WA—David Valdez has been named vice president of public policy and external affairs for
Verizon’s Northwest region. Valdez will be responsible for the company’s regulatory and legislative initiatives in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and the Crescent City, Calif., area and will oversee Verizon’s community relations, including the company’s philanthropic arm, Verizon Foundation, which provides grants to nonprofit organizations in the Northwest.

MIAMI—rbb Public Relations, Florida’s largest independent public relations firm, has added four new clients: Levitt Corporation, Fortune International, Puerto Costa Maya and The Village of Merrick Park.

GAITHERSBURG, MD—Biotechnology company MedImmune has promoted Lori Weiman to vice president of corporate communications. Weiman has more than 20 years of experience in communications, training and research in the healthcare, financial services, accounting and legal industries. In her new role, she is responsible for the company’s investor relations, public relations, media relations, employee communications, community relations and e-communication functions. 

LOS ANGELES—The Pollack PR Marketing Group has been selected by The Jewish Free Loan Association, a non-profit, non-sectarian agency that provides interest-free loans, to help promote JFLA’s celebration of its first 100 years.  PPMG has planned numerous activities to communicate JFLA’s history, beginning with a retrospective photographic exhibit of JFLA’s first 100-years, which will launch in May 2004. 

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