News Briefs

NEW YORK: Ketchum has appointed Michael Chayes, an expert in organizational change, as CEO of its change-management unit, Stromberg Consulting. Previously, Chayes was lead partner, organization and change strategy, eastern US, for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

NEW YORK: Ketchum has appointed Michael Chayes, an expert in organizational change, as CEO of its change-management unit, Stromberg Consulting. Previously, Chayes was lead partner, organization and change strategy, eastern US, for PricewaterhouseCoopers.

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA: Bill Vervaeke has joined The Meridian Group as VP of the travel and luxury team. Vervaeke comes from Fahlgren Benito in Tampa, FL, where he was the MD and SVP chiefly responsible for the Visit Florida account.

KENILWORTH, NJ: Joy Schmitt has been appointed director, global product communications and advocacy relations in the global communications department

of Schering-Plough.

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL: Electrolux Professional NA, a provider of kitchen products, has named The Food Group its AOR. The agency will handle media planning and buying and event planning.

BETHLEHEM, PA: Dina Silver has been named director of university communications at Lehigh University. Silver most recently served as VP at Tattar Richards-DBC.

NEW YORK: HLD/Blankman Public Relations has won four accounts: mortgage banker M. Robert Goldman & Co.; Rosenbaum Design Group, a commercial architecture firm; The Long Island Junior Soccer League; and Spectrum, a new magazine for families with autism.

ST. LOUIS: Cernium, a provider of behavior-recognition software and intelligent video surveillance, has named Wills & Associates its AOR.

CHICAGO: The McCormick Tribune Foundation has added Victoria Shire Dinges as VP of external affairs, a newly created position. Dinges will lead all marketing, communications, and PR efforts.

DENVER: Rocky Mountain Clothing Company has named Linhart McClain Finlon Public Relations its AOR.

LOS ANGELES: Golin Harris has been named US AOR for VTech Communications, a supplier of corded and cordless phones. Golin's Orange County and LA offices will serve the account.

NEW YORK: CooperKatz has launched MicroPersuasion, a service that helps corporations monitor and respond to blogs and online media channels. The service will be led by Steve Rubel, VP of client services, who has maintained a blog under the same name since 2004.

NEW YORK: Robert Dowling has joined Weber Shandwick as EVP and director of the New York office's tech practice. Dowling joins from Cohn & Wolfe, where he oversaw the tech and corporate practices in its New York office. Prior to Cohn & Wolfe, Dowling ran the tech practice in Ruder Finn's New York office.

SEATTLE: New York-based consumer agency Maloney & Fox, acquired by Waggener Edstrom in October 2003, has opened an office in Seattle. Jeff Miller, who worked for the agency from 1998 to 2000, will run the new office.

TORONTO: Sony PlayStation has named Maverick PR its AOR in Canada. The company will unveil its hand-held PlayStation Portable in North America later next month. In addition to Sony PlayStation, Maverick's other new clients include Mobile Computer and Bayer.

WASHINGTON: Qorvis has signed three new tech clients, including internet telephony start-up SunRocket. The other new clients are security tech company CyberGuard and data management firm Phase Forward.

SACRAMENTO: Chris Orrock has joined APCO Worldwide's Sacramento office as manager. Previously, Orrock was communications director for Assemblyman Todd Spitzer (R-CA).

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