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. Prior to that, she held an industry analyst position at the San Jose-based market research firm Dataquest.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ—MWW Group has hired David Pfeiffer as art director in the firm’s marketing and creative department. Pfeiffer has more than 10 years of experience working with leading brands including Guess, Marc Ecko, Harley Davidson, Fila, CVS, Motorola, KPMG, Lucent, Sears and Verizon Wireless. He joins MWW Group from Viva International Group where he served as a creative team leader and oversaw design and production of product catalogs, trade ads, in-store merchandising, POP, trend flyers, sales materials and presentations and trade show graphics. Previously, he was a freelance graphic designer with Morris Internet Group and a new media designer with The People Business Network. In both positions he handled Web site creation, logo design and online newsletter development.
BOUCHERVILLE, QUE—RONA, the largest Canadian retailer and distributor of hardware, home renovation and gardening products, has named Michele Roy vice president, communications and public affairs, and Stephane Milot senior director, investor relations. Roy will be responsible for managing the company’s internal and external communications, as well as government relations and will also sit on RONA’s management committee. For the past 10 years, she has been responsible for the North American corporate communications of several biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Until recently Milot was the director of investor relations and external communications for a major printing and publishing firm.
SAN FRANCISCO—MWW Group has promoted Larry Yu to group vice president in the agency’s San Francisco office. Yu has more than 10 years of experience working with technology brands such as Cisco Systems, Apple and Electronic Data Systems and helped open the firm’s San Francisco office in 2005. Yu joined MWW from Cisco Systems where he served as manager, executive communications, and worked closely with members of the senior executive operating team to create executive platforms on corporate strategy and the company’s technology vision and direction. Earlier, Yu led public relations for Cisco’s core products group, which included various product lines.
ANCHORAGE—Alaska Communications Systems Group, a leading telecoms company, has named Mary Gasperlin as its director of corporate communications. Gasperlin will serve as the company’s media spokesperson as she assumes responsibility for public relations, internal communications and certain investor relations functions. Gasperlin has been the corporate sales director for Northwest Airlines in Alaska for the past nine years, expanding the presence of the airline across the state and creating partnerships with industry organizations statewide.
HEALDSBURG, CA—Michael Heintz has been named senior manager of public relations for the E. & J. Gallo Winery. Heintz is a wine educator and a certified sommelier, with 20 years of experience in restaurant management and wine sales, and his duties for Gallo focus on presenting its top wines to the specialist press and assisting media. He shares these responsibilities with veteran Gallo public relations director Carmen Castorina, and reports to Gallo vice president of public relations Susan Hensley.