Ketchum has four new execs in its public affairs practice. Katie Conover joins as SVP. She was previously with Ogilvy PR for six years, where she last served as SVP in its public affairs practice. Joe Wagner joins as VP and group manager from GMMB where he focused on healthcare and public education. He was with the firm for seven years. Brian Hart is VP, group manager and senior strategist, going to Ketchum after serving as deputy chief of staff to former Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and comms director to former Sen. Judd Gregg(R-NH). And Matthew Simmons joins as VP and account supervisor from Potomac Communications Group where he was a program manager handling daily account management.
Waggener Edstrom has hired Cheri Winterberg as VP of the firm’s technology practice and GM of its Austin office. Among her duties, she will oversee accounts handled out of the Austin office, including 3M and Toshiba Storage. She previously worked at her own firm, Winterberg PR.
Worldcom, the global network of independent firms, has announced its new board of directors. Padilla Spear BeardsleySVP Matt Kucharski will continue to serve as chair for the 2011-2012 year. Cindy Payne from Singapore’s Asia-Pacific Connections will be the Asia-Pacific chair and Hal Dash of Los Angeles’ Cerrell Associates will be the At-Large/Next-Generation staffing chair. Both are new additions. Other returning board members include Corinna Voss from HBI Helga Bailey GmbH serving as the EMEA chair and Melissa Sturges from Sturges Word Communications serving as treasurer.
Tej Desai has joined Initiative, a media comms company, as SVP and group business director in the firm’s New York office. He was most recently VP of global marketing at New Video Group, where he worked with a number of cable networks, including managing A&E Networks business.
SHIFT Communications has added a VP to its Boston office. Joel Richman joins the firm, adding to its digital expertise. He has 13 years of experience and was previously a VP at fama PR.