WASHINGTON, DC—Public affairs and strategic communications firm Levick has acquired Chase Communications, a public relations and marketing communications firm co-headquartered in San Francisco and Washington, DC. In addition to its capabilities in crisis, corporate, and public affairs, Chase has expertise in the healthcare and real estate sectors. Julie Chase, formerly president and CEO of Chase Communications will chair the company's real estate practice and a role on several accounts.

LOS ANGELES—Zapwater Communications has entered into an agreement to acquire The Barry Group, a Los Angeles-based boutique agency. The move strengthens Zapwater’s Los Angeles office and allows the agency to better serve its existing West Coast clients. The Barry Group, founded in 2000 by Jennifer Barry, specializes in the areas of travel and hospitality, and luxury home and design. The Barry Group will become part of Zapwater Communications’ Los Angeles office, with Barry becoming managing director, Los Angeles.

PHILADELPHIA—GCI Health is expanding its presence in the Northeast with the opening of a new office in Philadelphia. GCI Health has US offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles and South Florida. The new office will be co-located with CMI, a leading media services company for the healthcare industry and will serve clients in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical technology and hospital sectors. Sherry Goldberg, executive vice president, will be market leader.

SAO PAULO—Agora Public Affairs & Strategic Communications, a Latin American consultancy that provides strategic communications, public affairs and research services, has opened its first office in Brazil. Based in Sao Paulo, the new office is led by partners Cristina Iglecio, president, and Gerson Penha, executive director (pictured), both of whom previously worked at Jeffrey Group.

MIAMI—Iveliesse Malavé, former vice president of consumer and entertainment public relations at Univision Communications, has launched The CC Shop , a communications collaborative that brings together marketing communications counselors with experience in multicultural marketing, public relations, event management and social media. The boutique agency was co-founded with Favila Budyszewick, previously a managing director at Policy Wisdom.

NEW YORK—Fastlane Communications has formed a strategic alliance with The CEO’s Right Hand, a boutique consulting firm specializing in strategic, financial and business development expertise. The two agencies have collaborated on numerous client engagements over the past year. The new partnership will now enable TCRH and Fastlane to provide an all-inclusive growth-strategy solution to their respective clients.

LOS ANGELES—Haley Miranda Group has launched HMG-Plus, a dedicated lifestyle communication division of the marketing and events agency, offering social media, public relations and digital services. The new unit will be led by a team of industry veterans, with Ashton Spatz, vice president, communication, at the helm. Spatz has held positions with House of Blues Entertainment, Quiksilver, and Warner Bros.

ROCHESTER, NY—Roberts Communications has acquired Brandtatorship, a digital branding agency. The firm's clients include Brite Computers, The Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, Heinen's Fine Foods and local franchises Moe's Southwest Grill and Smashburger. The acquisition deepens Roberts' digital marketing, branding, and analytics offerings for clients.