DENVER—Kim Essex has been promoted to director of the North American food and beverage practice at Ketchum. Essex has been with Ketchum since 2011 and recently led the Midwest food and agriculture practice and co-led the national practice. She reports to Linda Eatherton, partner and managing director, global food and beverage practice, and Bill Zucker, director, Ketchum Midwest.   

PHILADELPHIA—Brownstein Group has promoted Laura Emanuel to public relations group director for the agency's architecture/engineering/construction practice. Emanuel has been instrumental in the growth of the vertical and has helped the agency land clients such as Saint-Gobain North America, SageGlass, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, Campus Apartments, Cecil Baker + Partners and The McBride Company. 

WASHINGTON, DC—Whiteboard Advisors, a boutique strategy and communications agency that focuses on education, health and wellness, has added Sarah Silverman as vice president. Silverman most recently served as program director for the education division of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and before that was project director for TNTP, where she advised state education leaders on the design and implementation of human capital systems.

ALEIGH, NC—MMI has hired Joseph Lowe as senior writer, responsible for long and short-form content, blog communications, news media content, multimedia scriptwriting, and website copywriting. Prior to joining MMI, Lowe was a contract writer for leading publications within North Carolina’s Cape Fear region.