NEW YORK—Cohn & Wolfe today announced that Liz Beck, executive vice president and New York consumer practice leader, will move into a new role as head of the firm’s US consumer practice. For the past 12 years, Beck has managed many of the firm’s largest clients, including Colgate-Palmolive, JM Smucker, Panasonic and 3M. Her new remit will be to seek out, identify and define consumer branding opportunities from the agency’s existing and new client base, as well as to foster close partnerships with digital, strategy, insights and research counterparts.

MINNEAPOLIS—Matt Kucharski (pictured), a 22-year veteran of Padilla Speer Beardsley, has been named to the newly created role of executive vice president, agency services. Kucharski’s responsibilities include overseeing the continued development of Padilla’s strategic planning, social media, research, crisis/critical issues and media relations offerings; spearheading new partnerships and opportunities to help Padilla continue to grow; and leveraging the firm’s global reach through its membership in the Worldcom Public Relations Group, the world’s largest network of independent PR firms. Additionally, Kucharski will continue to lead the firm’s technology practice area, and conduct media and presentation coaching.

DALLAS—David Chamberlin is joining Edelman as executive vice president and general manager of its Dallas office. He will report to Helen Vollmer, president of the Southwest region. Chamberlin is rejoining Edelman from MSL Group where he most recently served as senior vice president and director of issues and crisis management, North America. Previously, Chamberlin was head of public relations for the credit card business at JP Morgan Chase.

OTTAWA—Fleishman-Hillard International Communications has appointed Nicolas Ruszkowski as senior vice president, partner and general manager of the firm's Ottawa office. Ruszkowski joins Fleishman-Hillard from The Ottawa Hospital, his latest post in a 20-year career in the fields of public affairs and communications. He was a vice president of the FH Ottawa office from 2005 to 2007.

NEW YORK—Omar Gonzales has joined entertainment branding agency PMK*BNC as vice president of national publicity. Gonzales will spearhead marketing and communications campaigns on behalf of numerous clients and projects. He joins the firm from Focus Features, where he spent five years in the company’s East Coast publicity offices and worked on films such as Milk and Atonement. Prior to joining Focus, Gonzales was a publicist at DreamWorks SKG.

LOS ANGELES—Consumer lifestyle firm Blaze has added Heather Spilsbury as director, providing account leadership on clients including AmaWaterways, Grill Concepts and Roy’s Restaurants. She joins from Golin Harris in Los Angeles, where she was public relations manager. The firm has also added Daniela Galarza as director of digital media. Previously, Galarza worked at Bread & Butter Public Relations, a boutique hospitality PR firm.

CHICAGO—Walker Sands Communications has promoted Kimberly Lucio to interactive marketing manager from interactive marketing specialist. Lucio works as an account manager on website redesign and branding. In addition, Julie Walsh has been promoted to account executive and Jackie Lampugnano has been promoted to senior account executive.