News in Brief (June 16)
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

News in Brief (June 16)

Paul Holmes

SEATTLE—Financial services company Washington Mutual has named first vice president Peter Villegas national manager of emerging markets in its community and external affairs division. Villegas will work to understand the needs of national non-profit organizations, community groups, civic organizations and community leaders that support and reach underserved, emerging markets: those with diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds; those of low-to moderate-income; immigrants; senior citizens; women business owners; and the gay and lesbian community.

NEW YORK—Hill & Knowlton has named Chaz Godwin to vice president and director of broadcast services, a new specialty offering that expands the services of the firm’s U.S. media communications practice. Godwin will report to Vickee Adams, senior vice president and director of the media communications practice. Formerly with Fleishman-Hillard, Godwin led award-winning broadcast campaigns for Fortune 500 clients.

BOSTON—Copy Cop, a leader in printing and imaging services, has retained RFBinder Partners. The firm will provide public relations services focused on Copy Cop’s summer launch of new high quality four-color imaging services and technologies that will change local businesses’ approach to printing materials.

BALTIMORE—Constellation Energy Group has hired Robert Gould as manager of corporate communications, overseeing media relations and internal and strategic communications. Gould succeeds Charles Welsh, who has assumed the role of manager of marketing communications and research. He will report directly to Paul Allen, vice president of corporate affairs. Most recently, Gould was a White House appointee responsible for directing communications and public affairs activities at the Federal Railroad Administration.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Two metro Washington, D.C., area technology firms, HPTi and WorkStrategy, have engaged APCO Worldwide as agency of record.
NEW YORK—The Worldcom Public Relations Group, one of the world’s largest networks of independently owned public relations firms, has added Off Madison Ave to its membership ranks. Based in Tempe, Az., Off Madison Ave is a full-service, integrated marketing communications agency.

MINNEAPOLIS—Former congressman and gubernatorial candidate Tim Penny is rejoining Twin Cities public relations firm of Himle Horner, as a senior counselor. PPenny will assist regional and national clients in strategic planning and public affairs.  Penny joined Himle Horner shortly after retiring from Congress in 1994. Last year, he took a leave of absence to run for Minnesota governor as the Independence Party candidate. He served in Congress from 1982 to 1994 representing Southeastern Minnesota’s First Congressional District.

IRVINE, CA—Best Software has named Dennis Frahmann to the new post of senior vice president, integrated marketing communications. Reporting to Nina Smith, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Frahmann will have overall responsibility for all internal and external marketing communications, including corporate branding, public relations, advertising and events.

ATLANTA—One of the nation’s pioneering biotechnology laboratories, Genovations, has selected Duffey Communications to launch and manage an international media relations, consumer and physician marketing program to promote the company’s breakthrough in using human genome technology to predict patient health in a variety of areas.

DUBLIN, OH—Julie Treon has been named manager of marketing communications in Ashland’s corporate affairs department with responsibility for Ashland Specialty Chemical Company. Treon will be responsible for marketing communications planning and execution, including brand management and positioning, product publicity, advertising and collateral material, web content, tradeshows, media relations and related activities.

DANVILLE, CA—Trainer Public Relations, which provides public relations services for emerging high-technology companies and start-up initiatives, has changed its name to Trainer Communications. Agency president Susan Trainer says the new brand is intended to underscore the firm’s commitment to providing a broader base of communications services ranging from traditional public relations to strategic messaging to customer loyalty programs.

MINNEAPOLIS—QuickMedx, a Minneapolis-based health care company that specializes in treating common family illnesses through clinics in retail locations, has tapped Fast Horse, a Minneapolis-based consumer PR specialist, as its public relations agency of record. Fast Horse has been retained to develop a comprehensive public relations program for QuickMedx clinics.

HONOLULU—Aloha Airlines has promoted Stephanie Ackerman to senior vice president marketing and external affairs. Ackerman has been directing Aloha’s public relations, community and industry affairs for the past 16 years. In her new position, Ackerman will be responsible for directing Aloha’s advertising and marketing, Aloha Pass—the carrier’s frequent flyer program, and customer relations as well as continuing to oversee corporate communications, industry and government affairs, community relations, promotions and properties/facilities management.

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