LOS ANGELES and SAN FRANCISCO — Dave Chapman, Ketchum's longtime Western region head, has stepped into a new role at the firm as Melissa Kinch takes over leading the region.

Chapman — who has overseen Ketchum's Los Angeles and San Francisco offices since 2004 — will take on a new role leading the firm's environmental reputation practice starting July 1. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles-based Kinch has been with the Omnicom firm for nearly two decades, most recently as the associate director of the Western region.    

“Melissa is a real star in our business," said Barri Rafferty, senior partner and CEO of North America. "Having served as associate director in Ketchum West for the last two years, our talent and many of our clients are already familiar with her, and they are looking forward to working more closely with her in her new position.”

“We stand at the intersection of issues and culture in California and the West, and our team understands the opportunities this presents in communications better than any other," Kinch said. 


Rafferty also mentioned the firm will "greatly benefit" from Chapman focusing fully on the environmental reputation space. Chapman will further focus Ketchum’s sustainability and social impact capabilities and will counsel brands and organizations on how their environmental actions and commitments impact their reputation. Chapman began his career working in environmental programming with Wisconsin’s Earth Day, and he has led Ketchum’s global sustainability offering since 2005.

Ketchum West’s San Francisco and Los Angeles offices are "key markets" for the firm, with a focus on corporate reputation, consumer branding, CSR and sustainability, healthcare, and food. The firm also plans to put more focus on technology and recently hired tech PR veteran Lisa Sullivan to run the North America tech practice from San Francisco. 

In February, Omnicom tapped Porter Novelli CEO Karen van Bergen to lead a newly-formed public relations unit that houses Omnicom's key PR agencies, including Ketchum.