News in Brief (February 23)
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

News in Brief (February 23)

Gold mining giant Barrick Gold has named Darren Blasutti as vice president, investor relations. Most recently, Blasutti was director of corporate development for Barrick, playing a key role in strategy development.

Paul Holmes

TORONTO—Gold mining giant Barrick Gold has named Darren Blasutti as vice president, investor relations. He has responsibility for the strategic development and implementation for Barrick’s investor relations activities, including maintaining and building relationships with analysts and investors, and broadening the shareholder base through targeted programs. He reports to Larry Parnell, senior vice president of corporate relations. Most recently, Blasutti was director of corporate development for Barrick, playing a key role in strategy development and the acquisitions of Sutton Resources, Pangea Goldfields, and Homestake Mining Company.

LOS ANGELES—MWW Group has been retained by The Independent Cities Association (ICA) to manage public relations, media relations and legislative advocacy.  ICA represents 54 cities throughout Southern California and more than 7 million people.  MWW was selected by ICA to lead a new public relations and advocacy effort designed to promote and protect the interests of municipal government. MWW is working with ICA to develop priorities for the new legislative year and opportunities to increase ICA’s media presence.

LONDON—Former Conservative Party communications director Paul Baverstock has been named managing director of Ketchum’s U.K. corporate practice. Prior to his role with the Conservative Party, Baverstock held senior management and consulting positions with Bell Pottinger and LLM Communications in London.

HAGERSTOWN, MD—Allegheny Energy has named Michelle Morris has been named vice president, corporate communications. Morris will report to Paul Evanson, chairman, president and chief executive officer. Morris joined Allegheny from Capital One Financial, where she handled strategic communications for the global finance organization and advised the chief financial officer. Prior to that, she worked in both global policy and workforce communications at IBM.

BOSTON—Jockey International has selected Cone as its agency of record to bring the company’s brand positioning and the breadth of its product offerings to a broader consumer audience. According to Ed Emma, president and chief operating officer of Jockey, Cone “has the resources and leadership record for developing and integrating strategic PR programs to fully capitalize and clearly communicate the comfort positioning of the Jockey brand.”

SACRAMENTO—Kahl/Pownall Companies, a government relations and public affairs firm, has hired editor and water policy expert William Kahrl to lead the firm’s new communications division. Kahrl was most recently general manager of the Sacramento office of Burson-Marsteller, where he counseled clients on natural resources, environmental regulation, water policy, oil and gas development and telecommunications issues and led the firm’s efforts to secure the permanent preservation of the Headwaters Forest.

SANTA BARBARA, CA—Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System—a Kansas City based healthcare system of 13 facilities in Kansas, California, Colorado, and Montana—has retained Davies for branding, marketing, and public relations support. Davies is working with SCLHS to create a cost-effective approach to communications, advocacy and governmental relations, and to help SCLHS build a stronger brand that resonates in the communities where its hospitals operate, as well as on a national scale.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Goodman Media International has hired Jennifer Dargan as senior account director in its Washington office. Dargan will direct initiatives for ABC Radio Networks and U.S. News & World Report, and will also be heavily involved in new business development. Prior to joining Goodman Media, Dargan served in communications and public relations positions in the management consulting and pharmaceutical industries.

NEW YORK—The American Stock Exchange has named Fred Yager senior vice president of corporate communications. Yager most recently served as president and founder of the World News & Information Network, a marketing and communications company. Previously, he was vice president, media relations and director, global broadcast services at Merrill Lynch.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—MWW Group has hired Iya Davidson as vice president in its corporate communications practice. Davidson will help lead corporate communications, restructuring management and crisis communications initiatives for many of the firm’s top clients.  Davidson joins MWW from Gavin Anderson & Company where she served as an associate director and worked on restructuring communications for United Airlines, WestPoint Stevens, Northwestern Corporation and transaction communications such as the $6 billion Caremark/Advanced PCS merger and several acquisitions for Rabobank.

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