NEWS BRIEFS

WASHINGTON: Lisa Kahle Kruska has been officially named assistant secretary of labor for public affairs. Formerly, Kruska was the deputy assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Labor and has acted in her new role since November 2003. She previously served as the deputy director of the Women's Bureau at the Department of Labor.

WASHINGTON: Lisa Kahle Kruska has been officially named assistant secretary of labor for public affairs. Formerly, Kruska was the deputy assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Labor and has acted in her new role since November 2003. She previously served as the deputy director of the Women's Bureau at the Department of Labor.

WASHINGTON: Michael Mason has joined Dittus Communications as a director in its food, nutrition, and agriculture practice. He'll provide public affairs, media relations, community outreach, and issue advocacy counsel for clients, including the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition and Pernod Ricard USA.

CHARLESTON, WV: Gov. Bob Wise's director of communications, Joe Carey, has left state government to be VP at Widmeyer Communications, an independently owned communications and public affairs firm with headquarters in Washington, DC. Before joining the Wise administration in 2002, Carey was appointed by former President Clinton to serve in the office of the US secretary of transportation.

NEW YORK: Regina Ragone, former food editor at Prevention, has joined Ogilvy PR's consumer marketing practice to strengthen food and nutrition marketing. She is a registered dietician and author.

NEW YORK: Marilyn Gerber has joined Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations as MD. She joins from the consumer marketing practice at Weber Shandwick.

WALTHAM, MA: Schwartz Communications announced six new clients, including Lucid8, a provider of Microsoft Exchange maintenance applications; MBI, a provider of payment software for employee benefit programs; and PatientKeeper, a provider of mobile computing solutions. Four of the clients will be serviced by its Waltham office, while two others will be run from its San Francisco office.

IRVINE, CA: Toshiba Digital Products has selected Maples Communications as its AOR. The division, which includes Toshiba's laptop computers, previously worked with Golin Harris. Due to a conflict, Maples has dropped Fujitsu Computer Systems as a client. Maples has also signed security hardware developer Enfotec.

PALO ALTO, CA: Global Fluency, a coalition of agencies specializing in tech, has added two more firms to the network - The Jeffrey Group, based in Miami, and Maverick PR, based in Toronto. With the additions, Global Fluency now has 80 offices in 65 countries.

SANTA CLARA, CA: Jeff Ferry has joined Sun Microsystems as senior director of corporate communications. Ferry will lead the team, including communications for the offices of the CEO and COO, media relations, corporate affairs, financial and crisis communications, and broadcast PR. Ferry will report to Andy Lark, VP of global communications and marketing.

SAN FRANCISCO: Bite Communications has hired Jill Ratkevic and Carol Wentworth as VPs. Ratkevic joins from MontaVista Software, where she was director of marketing and communications programs, and Wentworth joins from Sparkpr, where she was MD.

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