NEW YORK—DeVries Public Relations has promoted Stephanie Smirnov to executive vice president. A six-year veteran of the firm, Smirnov was previously managing director of the beauty and fashion practice. In her new role, she adds oversight of the health and wellness division plus expanded new business responsibility to her areas of accountability. Her portfolio of business now includes Sephora, Hanes, Johnson & Johnson and number of global Procter & Gamble brands. Smirnov began her career in marketing communications at the Donna Karan Beauty Company, and prior to her DeVries tenure served as assistant vice president of public relations at L’Oreal Paris.
NEW YORK—Burson-Marsteller has named Janie Gabbett, a former senior editor at Reuters as a director at Marsteller, its in-house advertising, design, interactive and production agency in Chicago. In 2004, Gabbett founded her own communications consulting practice, The Gabbett Group, where she guided the launch of Remarkable Woman Magazine and helped corporate executives hone and deliver their messages effectively. Earlier, she worked as a financial reporter and news editor for Reuters in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Hong Kong in a career that spanned 23 years.
LIVONIA, MI—American Community Mutual Insurance Company, a provider of individual and group health insurance, has appointed Ellen Downey as vice president of corporate communications. Downey will report jointly to Peg Briggs, senior vice president of the group division and Neal Spero, senior vice president of the individual division and will be responsible for corporate communications including corporate advertising, branding, public relations, communications, marketing events, field training and education, promotional material and marketing incentive programs. Downey was most recently director of communications, public affairs & training for trinity Health Plans are earlier worked at Computer Sciences Corporation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
STUART, FL—Liam Sullivan, former news managing editor with Fox’s WGHP in Greensboro, NC, has been hired as vice president of public relations at the Stuart, Fla., advertising and marketing firm Cotton & Company. Prior to his Fox News position, Sullivan was bureau chief at the NBC owned and operated station WTVJ in Miami.