Roll Call: Cohn & Wolfe, Hill + Knowlton, Southard Communications, and More

Staffing news from around the industry.

New York’s Cohn & Wolfe announced the launch of a new strategic consulting practice to more effectively address the “critical role of communications in building corporate reputation” and win new business in the process. The practice will be led by Geoff Beattie, who knows a thing or two about authenticity: he helped us run down the “20 most authentic brands in the US” last November. In his new role, Beattie will hold the global head of strategic consulting title. (Release)

Hill+Knowlton Strategies has announced that Sara Gourlay has been appointed to lead the firm’s Global Technology Practice. In her 15 years with H+K, Gourlay has served in numerous roles throughout the Europe, Middle East and Africa region (EMEA), and the Asia-Pacific region (APAC), including having led the tech practices for both H+K London and APAC. Gourlay takes the replaces Amanda Groty, the outgoing global technology lead, who will begin a new role at PayPal as senior director, communications, EMEA. (Marketing Interactive)

Brandon Thomas has joined Southard Communications as senior account director. In this role, he will help lead strategy, media relations and event planning for a the firm’s clients. Prior to joining Southard, Thomas spent nearly five years at Widmeyer Communications, a Finn Partners Company, where he focused on education and policy. There he supported a variety of initiatives in areas such as: STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), youth health and safety, equity, and workforce development. (Bulldog Reporter)

CMG Partners has named Agile for Marketing (A4M™) expert Barre Hardy associate partner, effective immediately. Barre is charged with growing the strategic marketing consultancy’s west coast operations and Agile-for-Marketing practice area while continuing to serve enterprise-level clients in sectors ranging from e-commerce to industrial manufacturing. Before joining CMG Partners, Barre was the automotive industry manager at GE Plastics. (Triangle Business Journal)

Wyndham Worldwide has appointed Nadeen Ayala to the role of senior vice president, communications. In this role, Ayala will oversee and align all internal and external communications functions for the company and for its lodging business, Wyndham Hotel Group. She most recently led the company’s global crisis communications strategy and managed brand and executive communications globally for its largest brands, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and Westin Hotels & Resorts. (Release)