People News in Brief
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People News in Brief

Blanc & Otus, the technology public relations subsidiary of Hill & Knowlton, has named Anna Leonard as general manager of its San Francisco headquarters. Prior to joining B&O, Leonard was the managing director and executive vice president of Porter Novelli.

Paul Holmes

SAN FRANCISCO—Blanc & Otus, the technology public relations subsidiary of Hill & Knowlton, has named Anna Leonard as general manager of its San Francisco headquarters. Prior to joining B&O, Leonard was the managing director and executive vice president of Porter Novelli in the Bay Area, leading the company’s third-largest U.S. operation. Previously, Leonard held positions with several public relations firms, working with companies in the computer, wireless networking and semiconductor technology segments.

IRVINE, CA—Mazda North American Operations has promoted Jeremy Barnes to director, product and corporate communications. In his new role, Barnes will continue to oversee product communications and has added responsibility for corporate communications, including dealer support activities and national shows and events. He will continue to report to Jay Amestoy, vice president, public and government affairs. Barnes joined MNAO in 2003 as manager, product communications. Prior to Mazda, Barnes held positions at Jaguar North America, the combined Aston Martin Jaguar Land Rover group and Lincoln-Mercury. Before that, he held a number of positions in corporate and product communications at Toyota Motor Sales, USA.

LOS ANGELES— Charisse Browner has been named vice president and group account director at Lagrant Communications, where she serves as the lead contact for Harley-Davidson. Prior to joining the firm, Browner was public affairs director for KPWR 106 FM for more than eight years and president/executive director for 11 years for the station’s nonprofit fund, Knowledge Is Power.

LOS ANGELES—Chris Petrikin has joined Twentieth Century Fox as senior vice president of corporate communications. Petrikin joins the studio from the William Morris Agency where he served as senior vice president of corporate communications since October 2002. A former journalist, he previously served the Writers Guild of America as executive editor, publications. Prior to that, Petrikin worked as a freelance contributor to the Los Angeles Times, Premiere Magazine, Salon.com, and National Public Radio. At Fox, Petrikin will oversee the studio’s internal and external corporate communications and strategy as well as its corporate advertising, and charitable projects.

BOSTON—360 Public Relations has hired Melissa Brenton as vice president leading the agency’s Internet business practice and will handle many of the agency’s social media initiatives. Before joining 360, Brenton led the East Coast office of high-tech PR agency Citigate Cunningham, leading campaigns for cliednts including ThinkGeek.com, Varsitybooks.com and Alibaba.com. Brenton previously worked at The Weber Group, where she served as the national fashion and decorating spokesperson for Marshall’s. 

ST. HELENA, CA—Merryvale Vineyards has appointed Christopher O’Gorman as public relations manager. O’Gorman has over 10 years of media and wine business experience, including stints at E. & J. Gallo Winery and Scott Street Portfolio.

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