Roll Call: Hill+Knowlton, LEVICK, Rooney, Ogilvy, and More

Staffing news from around the industry.

Hill+Knowlton Strategies promoted Michael Kehs, who rejoined the firm to head up both the Houston office and the U.S. energy practice in 2014, to the role of global energy practice leader. This appointment will be in addition to his existing responsibilities with the agency; it begins immediately. Kehs will lead H+K’s efforts to support clients focused on various energy initiatives including “natural resources stewardship and sustainability.” (Release)

LEVICK of Washington, D.C. hired veteran comms counsel Timothy M. Gay, who previously served as SVP at Grayling. The title held by Gay, who is also an author and expert on American history, is not yet clear. (Release)

New York’s Rooney & Associates Communications hired Len Costa as managing director. Costa, who previously oversaw internal/external comms at financial association CFA Institute, will lead the firm’s digital and social media practices. Costa writes, “Like many current and former journalists, I have long admired Rooney & Associates. It’s a unique firm with a market-leading practice and I am gratified to be joining this talented team of strategic communications professionals.” (Release)

Ogilvy PR hired Melissa Smith, previously SVP at MSLGroup, to fill the EVP/New York brand marketing practice director roles. She will handle business development, account/talent management, and business growth responsibilities while reporting to Dr. Jennifer Scott, Ogilvy’s New York managing director. (PR Week)

Toyota promoted head of North American comms Julie Hamp to the managing officer position as part of a larger push for diversity among its ranks. She will be the first female executive in the company’s 77-year history, and the move inspired headlines across business media outlets this week. (Fortune, Bloomberg)

M Group Strategic Communications (“M Group”) announced that its New York headquarters, formerly JMR Worldwide NY, has completed a year-long agency transition and rebranding process as the firm expanded its global reach, strengthened the leadership team and magnified scope of services. The new global agency group provides enhanced corporate communications services across a wide range of vertical industry sectors. M Group’s 360-degree, integrated approach to strategic business communications includes public and investor relations, public affairs, crisis and issues management, and marcomm initiatives, all with social and digital integration across the entire communications ecosystem. (Release)

Hollywood Public Relations, which recently moved to a new office, hired Melissa Parrelli as an account executive. Parelli brings years of journalism experience to the role; she most recently worked as an associate producer at TMZ. Hollywood also promoted senior account executive Brooks Wallace to the role of account manager/media specialist. (Release)