News in Brief (January 18, 2004)
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
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News in Brief (January 18, 2004)

Gary Grates has been named vice president of General Motors’ North America communications. He replaces Tom Kowaleski, who recently was promoted to vice president of GM communications.

Paul Holmes

DETROIT—Gary Grates has been named vice president of General Motors’ North America communications. He replaces Tom Kowaleski, who recently was promoted to vice president of GM communications, responsible for GM communications efforts globally. Grates will become a member of the GM North America strategy board, the senior management team responsible for the region’s business. He will oversee marketing, brand, financial, internal and product communications in the region, the largest within GM.

SAN FRANCISCO—Ketchum has named Aaron Heinrich as technology practice leader for Ketchum West, covering the agency’s San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. Heinrich has technology experience that includes integrated marketing, corporate identity development and issues management, in both consumer and business-to-business communications. He joined Ketchum from OutCast Communications, where he served as vice president, dedicated to client retention and new business development.  Prior to that, he was senior vice president of global technology at Manning Selvage and Lee where he headed up the Intuit account.

MURRAY HILL, NJ—John DeBono is rejoining Lucent Technologies as investor relations vice president, replacing MaryAnn Niebojeski, who will be retiring at the end of January. Most recently, DeBono served as investor relations vice president for Agere Systems, where he helped launch its initial public offering (IPO) in April 2001 and subsequent spin-off from Lucent. Prior to moving with Agere, DeBono spent 20 years with Lucent Technologies and AT&T.

NEW YORK—Investor relations and financial communications specialist The Ruth Group has added eight new clients and three senior consultants to the firm’s life sciences practice. The three new consultants include John Capodanno, vice president, who will head the firm’s medical devices and healthcare services practice and Cynthia Isaac, also vice president, who will take responsibility for its healthcare media team—both were formerly with Euro RSCG Life NRP—and Margaret Wahle, assistant vice president in the firm’s San Francisco office, who joins from biotech boutique Burns McClellan. The Ruth Group’s latest client wins in the healthcare sector include Aderis Pharmaceuticals; Adventrx Pharmaceuticals; American Oriental Bioengineering; Benitec Limited; Cytyc Corporation; Protein Polymer Technologies; Trinity Biotech; and EntreMed.

DENVER—Linhart McClain Finlon Public Relations has been selected to provide public relations counsel to ProLogis, a global provider of distribution facilities and services.  The firm will provide services including media relations surrounding developments of facilities and customer agreements in the United States and abroad, as well as community relations initiatives.

PARIS—Hill & Knowlton Paris and [email protected], the healthcare practice of advertising agency J. Walter Thompson Paris, have joined forces to provide an integrated healthcare offering. The two firms will offer consulting in marketing, advertising, communication strategies and branding; professional and consumer promotion; healthcare public relations and public affairs; medical education; crisis prevention, simulation and management; and relationship marketing.

CHICAGO—USF Corporation, a $2.25 billion leader in the transportation industry, has named James Hyland vice president, investor relations and corporate communications, responsible for creating a coordinated communications strategy for the corporation. Prior to USF, Hyland was formerly senior vice president, investor relations at Comdisco, where he worked for 18 years.

ATLANTA—The CDC Foundation has tapped Duffey Communications to promote its fellowship program, which provides an opportunity for working journalists to learn first hand how to report on community health issues.

METAMORA, MI—Teri Chouinard, former vice president of sales for Alden Advertising & Design, has established the Intuit Group, a full service advertising, public relations, design and events firm specializing in business-to-business communications and special events. Intuit Group services include the development of ads and campaigns, logos, brochures, videos and DVD’s, slide presentations, direct mail, new product introductions, special events, press releases and advertising and public relations programs. Its clients include DuPont Automotive and the SPE (Society of Plastics Engineers) Automotive Division.

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