CHICAGO—Howard Solomon, managing director of Ruder Finn/Chicago, has been appointed executive vice president, U.S. regional operations of Ruder Finn. His expanded role includes overseeing regional business operations in southern California and working to develop new business protocols domestically. He will continue to head the Chicago office of Ruder Finn. According to Funess, Solomon will develop and manage new business and be responsible for increasing profitability by combining and coordinating personnel from around the Ruder Finn network to offer clients ‘best-in-class’ teams, particularly in the areas of technology and overall business-to-business marketing.
LONDON—Following the acquisition of Bay Area technology public relations specialist Applied Communications by its parent company, Next Fifteen Communications Group, Text 100 will merge Applied Amsterdam with its own Amsterdam office to create an office with combined revenues of over $1 million and strengthen Text 100’s European network. Text 100 Amsterdam will take responsibility for all of Applied’s European PR clients, including Autodesk Location Services, Siebel, NAI, VeriSign and Scala. Text 100’s existing local and European clients, include NTT/Verio, Adobe, Tele2 and eBay.
ATLANTA—GCI Group has named William Marks president of GCI Atlanta. Marks will also lead GCI’s business-to-business practice in North America and serve as the firm’s managing partner for diversity. Ken Willis, who had been president of GCI Atlanta, will now focus on his duties as chairman of Grey Global Atlanta and continue to build the organization’s integrated marketing capabilities. Marks, who headed the GCI Atlanta office in 1999 and 2000, returned to the firm in June after serving as vice president of public relations for Coca-Cola North America.
EAST RUTHERFORD—The MWW Group has been retained by DDi Corp for strategic public relations counsel. DDi is a leading provider of advanced interconnect services for the electronics industry, and MWW will provide the company with corporate communications and financial media relations support.
SAN MATEO—A&R Partners, one of Silicon Valley’s largest independent public relations agencies, has named two new directors, Joan Stone and Joanne Rasch. Stone was previously managing director at Citigate Cunningham and Rasch was vice president at Matthews Media Group. At A&R, each will mentor account teams and drive PR programs for the agency’s enterprise software and security clients.
FAIRFIELD, NJ—Coyne Public Relations has fashion product specialist Keshia Townes as senior account executive and Brian Lowe as assistant account executive. The new hires follow the firm’s recent addition of Loreal’s Matrix hair care division to its growing client roster. Townes joins Coyne PR from Jordache Enterprises, where she served as public relations manager for the licensed FUBU Ladies Collection.
ST. LOUIS—Kupper Parker Communications, an integrated marketing communications firm, has opened a new office in northern Florida. The office is serving KPC’s clients with operations in the Southeast, including CareMedic Systems, Service Corporation International, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Pfizer Oncology. Michelle Magan, former marketing communications director at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, will manage the new Southeast office.
NEW YORK—Frank Tortorici has been named associate director of communications at The Conference Board. Tortorici will report to executive director of communications Randall Poe and will be the principal contact between Conference Board researchers and newspapers, magazines, radio, broadcast and cable outlets that use the Board’s data. Prior to joining the Board in 1991, Tortorici worked at Edelman Public Relations Worldwide and Robert Marston Corporate Communications.
STAMFORD—Environics Communications has named Brett Gold as a senior account executive. He joins from Perpetual Solutions, Inc., an IT/web development firm, where he developed and implemented in-house corporate public relations and marketing communications initiatives. Prior to his tenure with Perpetual Solutions, Brett served as a senior account executive with Middleberg Euro RSCG and Shandwick International.
TORONTO—BenchMark Porter Novelli has changed its name to Porter Novelli Canada to “more accurately reflect the company’s business-centred communications approach across its four practice areas: consumer, corporate, health care and technology.” The name change also reflects the growing integration of the Porter Novelli International network of offices around the world.
SAN ANTONIO—Technology public relations firm, Alan Weinkrantz & Company has been retained by Tel Aviv-based Waves to handle the company’s semiconductor and OEM licensing division public relations account. Waves is a leading provider of audio signal processing solutions for professional, broadcast, and consumer electronics audio markets.