WHITE PLAINS, NY—Heineken USA, the nation’s largest beer importer, has promoted Sergio Barrios to director of public affairs. In his new role, Barrios will be responsible for leading community involvement and state legislative affairs strategies and programs for Heineken USA. Barrios has spent his professional career with Heineken USA, spending two years as a merchandiser before shifting to the corporate relations side of the business, serving as industry and government affairs manager (West) and more recently public affairs manager (West). In addition to his day-to-day responsibilities as a public affairs professional for Heineken USA, Barrios has represented the company on the boards of directors for the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, The California Latino Caucus Institute and the Los Angeles Chapter of the Hispanic MBAs.
NEW YORK— Nancy Palumbo, former director of the New York State Lottery, has joined the New York Daily News as senior vice president of strategic marketing and corporate communications. Palumbo will be responsible for developing and managing new and existing strategic alliances and partnerships, branding initiatives, communications strategies, public relations and promotions. Governor George Pataki appointed Palumbo as state lottery director in 2004. She previously was executive deputy commissioner for finance and administration for the state Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation.
CHICAGO—Public Communications has named Pam Rwankole its vice president of media relations. Rwankole re-joined PCI to head the agency’s media division after a two-year stint with the Alzheimer’s Association, managing national media outreach for a variety of initiatives. She first worked with PCI from 1999 to 2004, rising through the ranks to become manager of the 20-person staff of media specialists.
NASHVILLE—Caremark Rx, a pharmaceutical services company, has hired Susan Bro as senior vice president of corporate communications. Bro was most recently senior communications director in the office of the commissioner at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, where she served as the FDA’s chief spokesperson and senior communications strategist. Bro earlier served as director of corporate media relations at Pfizer. Prior to joining Pfizer, she led client teams at both Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe Healthcare. She also founded Hippocrates Communications, a boutique healthcare communications practice.
CLEVELAND—Integrated marketing communications firm Marcus Thomas has hired multicultural marketing veteran Peter DeSouza as account manager in its account services group. DeSouza is also a partner with Cleveland-based United in Diversity, a multicultural consulting, marketing and communications firm.
CARLSBAD, CA—Spy Optic, which designs and markets products for the action sports and youth lifestyle markets, has hired Elizabeth “Liz” Randall as of manager of corporate communications. Randall will oversee all public relations and communications functions including media relations, corporate news, product launches, athlete press, and advertising buys. She will report to Fran Richards, vice president of marketing. Randall recently spent three years at Smith Optics as advertising and public relations manager. Prior to Smith Optics, she worked at TransWorld Media in both editorial and production capacities.
GERMANTOWN, MD—Advancis Pharmaceutical Corporation, a pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing novel anti-infective products, has promoted Robert Bannon to vice president of investor relations and corporate communications. Bannon has headed Advancis’ investor relations efforts since joining the company in October of 2003.