News in Brief (February 28, 2005)
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

News in Brief (February 28, 2005)

Davies has added new clients including three northern California real estate projects for The Grupe Company, Dunmore Homes, and Centex Homes.

Paul Holmes

SANTA BARBARA, CA—Davies has added new clients including three northern California real estate projects for The Grupe Company,  Dunmore Homes, and Centex Homes. In southern California, the firm has been retained by Sares Regis Group for a commercial and a residential project, by D.R. Horton for its mixed-use waterfront marina development, and by Otay Ranch Company for a master planned community.

NEW YORK—Computer game company Atari has named Patricia Steele as its senior vice president of communications, reporting to Jim Caparro, president and chief executive officer. Steele will be responsible for all of Atari’s external and internal communications efforts, including media relations, corporate positioning and branding. Previously, Steele was senior vice president, communications of Sony Music Entertainment from 1995 through 2002.

ATLANTA—Christina Smedley has rejoined Edelman as senior vice president and creative director for the Eastern region, a new position within the company. Smedley served as business group director in the company’s London office from 1994 to 1999. She left Edelman to join, where as director of international communications she was responsible for the brand’s communications activities in France, Germany, Japan and the U.K. and also played a functional role in retail planning for handling advertising, media spend, online and email marketing.

LAGUNA HILLS—Moxxi Communications, headed by former GolinHarris executive vice president and managing director Lisa Zwick, has picked up its first two clients: Ingram Micro, one of the world’s largest technology distributors, and VLSystems, a fast-growing integrator of IT solutions. Prior to founding Moxxi Communications, Zwick was managing director in GolinHarris’ Orange County office and co-chair of the agency’s U.S. technology practice. She joined the office in 1995 when it was Benjamin Group and later Weber Shandwick.

LOS ANGELES—Manning Selvage and Lee has named Christy Salcido as senior vice president of the firm’s Los Angeles office. With more than 12 years of brand and youth marketing experience, Salcido will lead MS&L’s consumer group in Los Angeles, which represents brands such as Baby Ruth, Butterfinger, Nestlé Crunch, Nestlé Infant Formula, Friskies, General Motors, Sunkist, Philips Sonicare, and TurboTax.

SAN FRANCISCO—Access Communications has been named agency of record for, a leading online comparison shopping service. is one of the largest comparison shopping sites in the United States. Industry analysts predict online retail sales will exceed $79 billion this year, up from $66 billion in 2004.

LOS ANGELES—MWW Group has hired David Gershwin as vice president in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Gershwin will oversee media relations and strategic communications planning for the office. Most recently, Gershwin served as communications director for Los Angeles City Council president Alex Padilla.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—M&R Strategic Services, a Washington -based public affairs firm, has hired former Organic Trade Association Fiber Council coordinator Sandra Marquardt as senior consultant in its communications department. Marquardt will launch a new division, M&R Organics, that will focus on public relations, product development and policy assistance for the organic food and fiber industry.

NEW YORK—5W Public Relations has been selected as agency of record for 40-year-old gift and toy company, Russ Berrie. 5W will develop strategic communications, media relations, product placement and event planning for the company and its products and philanthropic efforts.

BIRMINGHAM, MI—Stan Stein, executive vice president of Weber Shandwick’s Detroit office, has been named global account director for the agency’s General Motors account. Stein joined Weber Shandwick in 2004 as part of a major expansion of the firm’s Detroit office. During his short tenure, the agency has added more than a dozen professional staff in Detroit and continues to add clients.

LOS ANGELES—The Lippin Group has entered into a new multi-year agreement with the Independent Film & Television Alliance to continue as public relations counsel for the organization. The Lippin Group has represented the IFTA and its membership since September 2003, and handles all of the corporate and event publicity for the organization and its annual event, the American Film Market.

MINNEAPOLIS—Print media veterans Melissa Levy and Jessica Tolliver have joined the Carmichael Lynch Spong (CLS) Public Relations firm as counselor and senior media relations specialist respectively. Levy joins the firm’s Minneapolis headquarters after serving as a retail reporter/columnist and general assignment business reporter at the Star Tribune. Levy is working for clients such as Maytag and MasterBrand Cabinets. Tolliver joins the firm’s New York office and media relations hub after working as an editor and writer specializing in home design. She is working on behalf of clients such as American Standard, Formica, Jenn-Air, Lutron Electronics and Select Comfort.

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