Roll Call: Brand.com, Waggener Edstrom, DKC PR, and More

Dave Armon, friend of the site and president of monitoring software provider Critical Mention for the past three years, is now president and CEO at Brand.com, a maker of content marketing software for both brands and publishers. President and founder Michael Zammuto is heading back into the startup space with a company called Cloud Commerce. Armon will focus on growing the company, whose offering he described to PR Week as “paid earned,” adding that “nothing like that exists today.” O’Dwyer’s notes that the company is in the process of unveiling a service “allowing brands and PR firms to commission reporter-written articles.” Armon is a reporter turned executive who spent more than two decades in various roles at PR Newswire earlier in his career, rising from bureau manager to COO. (We just hope he continues to leave the occasional comment on this blog.)

Waggener Edstrom announced the hire of two new executives in an expansion of its tech and digital teams. Emily Benning joins the team in Seattle as director of social and digital strategies; she will oversee North America account teams and clients while helping to drive “internal digital education initiatives.” Benning previously spent more than eight years at digital agency Razorfish, where she served as account manager and, most recently, associate director of advertising services. She will report to VP of social/digital strategies Matt Haynes. Marisa Hagerman joins the agency as a digital account director in its San Francisco office. Hagerman, who spent several years working in accounts at Allison+Partners and most recently served as PR principal at IT provider EMC, will report to SVP/GM Lisa Allen.

As reported in Capital New York yesterday, former Huffington Post PR lead Mario Ruiz is heading back to DKC PR. Ruiz, who led communications at Arianna Huffington’s venture before starting his own firm and w0rking with media outlets like Business Insider and Complex. Ruiz worked at DKC before joining HuffPo in the halcyon days of 2007, working in media relations for more than five years. In explaining the hire, DKC writes, “”Mario has developed a strong reputation in digital, which is why he’ll be a great addition to our media and tech practices.”

Jay Kosminsky joined Burson-Marsteller as a strategic advisor. Kosminsky, who most recently served as VP of public affairs at Johnson & Johnson, is the first appointment to B-M’s US-based Creative Council, a group created to “[bring] new thinking and new approaches to every client and business opportunity.” Kosminsky brings more than three decades of experience in public policy, crisis comms and corporate PR to the role; he currently teaches a course in strategic communications at New York University’s School of Professional Studies. He also has a history in politics, serving as a press secretary to an unnamed House representative before specializing in national security as a Deputy Director of Foreign Policy and Defense Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Lauren Selikoff, formerly of Allison+Partners and MWW, has launched a firm called Andrew + Selikoff with partner Gordon G. Andrew. Andrew brings more than 30 years experience in corporate communications to the role, having founded Princeton, NJ-based Highlander Consulting, and The PR Consulting Group and served in key comms roles at Prudential, Citigroup and others. The firm, which calls its process Marketing Craftsmanship®, will primarily serve B2B clients, helping them to connect marketing efforts and revenue. Here’s the homepage for the company, which will be based in South Orange, New Jersey.

San Francisco’s SutherlandGold Group announced three new hires. Lisa Broock, who joins SG Group in San Francisco as a vice president, brings more than 15 years’ experience in editorial and communications to the role; she was a producer at Good Morning America and managing editor at US WeeklyMelissa Klein is SVP of media and content in the San Francisco office; her previous positions include SVP of Global Communications at Fab and SVP at tech PR firm LaunchSquad. Dana Zemack is a New York-based VP set to specialize in content creation for the agency’s Story Studio; she previously held roles at LaunchSquad, founded her own PR firm, and created material for BuzzFeed, Jezebel, Vogue, and many more media properties. (Firm’s release)

British automaker McLaren Automotive named John Paolo (JP) Canton as its senior PR manager in North America. Canton joins as McLaren prepares to launch a new line of sports cars; he will receive support from the company’s AOR, JMPR Public Relations of Woodland Hills, California.

Rick Keefer has been named global chief business development officer at Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, where he will lead  global business development for the network. He has spent more than eight years with the group, most recently serving as president and CEO of Publicis Touchpoint Solutions.