DETROIT: PR executive and automotive writer Al Rothenberg, 85, died June 23. Rothenberg was media relations manager of the Automobile Manufacturers Association from 1978 to 1989. Prior to that he headed the Automotive Information Council and, from 1972 to 1976, edited in-house magazines for Chrysler's PR department. Early in his career, Rothenberg was auto editor of the Cleveland News beginning in 1948 and the Cleveland Press starting in 1960. He was business editor of Look magazine in Detroit from 1963 to 1971.

CHICAGO: Susan Schreiber Wolfe has joined Golin Harris as an SVP and will oversee the agency's McDonald's team. Wolfe had worked for the US food division of PepsiCo Beverages & Food prior to joining Golin.

CHICAGO: Cheryl Pearson-McNeil has joined Nielsen Media Research as VP of communications and community affairs. She'll oversee the company's communications strategy as it launches its controversial Local People Meters in Chicago August 5. Pearson-McNeil had been director of station relations with the Chicago NBC TV station.

SAN JOSE, CA: Brad Williams has joined eBay as a VP, overseeing marketing PR, internal communications, and community development. Williams, who reports to VP of corporate communications Henry Gomez, came from Gateway, where he was director of communications.

WASHINGTON DC: Dittus Communications has launched a food, agriculture, and nutrition policy practice, led by former Golin Harris EVP Elizabeth Weinmann, now a VP and managing director at Dittus. Clients include the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition, the International Dairy Foods Association, Swedish Match, Pernod Ricard USA, and the National Coalition for Food and Agricultural Research.

LONDON: PR Newswire and news aktuell have combined forces to offer communications services to German, Austrian, and Swiss companies that seek to reach international audiences, and to international companies who wish to reach German, Austrian, and Swiss audiences.

WASHINGTON: Susan Davis International has hired Michelle Shortencarrier as director of communications. Prior to joining the public affairs and communications agency, Shortencarrier worked under two administrations in the US Department of State, the US Agency for International Development, and the Department of Defense, where she was most recently deputy director for media outreach, handling regional media for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

SAN FRANCISCO: Susan Hook has joined as director of PR, overseeing all external and internal communications for the online gift site. Before joining the company Hook ran her own consultancy, and prior to that, she worked for Rogers & Cowan.

HOUSTON, TX: PR professional Peggy Hubble has been named EVP of Vollmer Public Relations, where she will work from the company's Austin office on local, state, and national clients.

SEATTLE: Journalist and public affairs specialist Lily Eng has joined the Seattle office of Pacific Public Affairs, where she will lead the office's media relations practice. Previously, she ran her own PR firm, Abuzz Communications. Before that, she was an editor and reporter for newspapers including The Seattle Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

SEATTLE: Michi Suzuki, a 25-year veteran of the Seattle restaurant scene, has opened Suzuki Public Relations, which will focus on the communications, marketing, special events, and publicity needs of Pacific Northwest restaurants and wineries. The agency's clients include restaurants such as Monsoon, Nell's, and Union.

CLEVELAND: Chris Thompson, former editor and GM for Crain's Cleveland Business, has joined Edward Howard & Co. as a VP. Thompson had spent 13 years as a business journalist in Cleveland.

PRINCETON, NJ: Philadelphia 76er Kenny Thomas recently selected The M&M Group for PR and marketing consulting services. The firm will work with Thomas on media relations, community relations, personal appearances, and endorsement development.

ALBANY, NY: The Berkshire-Hudson Group, whose principals are Christian Kersten, Pamela Sawchuk Brown, and David Brown, will provide strategic counsel to educational, health-related, cultural, community, religious, and other not-for-profit organizations. The firm will be an affiliate of Sawchuk, Brown Associates, a PR/public affairs/marketing firms.

NEW YORK: The NewsMarket has appointed James Thomas as its director of media relations. Prior to joining The NewsMarket, Thomas held several key positions at Reuters, including global marketing director for its video news services.

VENICE, CA: The Los Angeles Marathon has retained The Blaze Company to promote the Marathon's 20th Anniversary on March 6, 2005.

BEAVERTON, OR: Nike has promoted Pamela M. Catlett to VP of IR. Catlett, who was previously director of IR, will report to CFO Don Blair.

SAN DIEGO: Lewis PR has formed an alliance with Canadian PR firm The Communications Group to provide PR access into Canada for Lewis' technology clients, and similar access to the US for The Communications Group's tech clients.

MUNICH, GERMANY: Infineon Technologies has hired Rainer Westermann as head of corporate communications. Westermann, who will join the semiconductor company in October, is currently CEO of Burson-Marsteller Germany.

SAN JOSE: Xpherix has awarded its PR account to Porter Novelli. The company develops mobile applications that allow users to securely access their contacts, calendars and e-mail via cell phones.

SAN FRANCISCO: OutCast Communications has added new clients and staff. The new clients are voice applications developer Traverse, security company Fortify Software, and venture capital firm Garnett & Helfrich Capital. Joining OutCast as a VP is Dave Reddy, who came from Bite Communications, and Tim Smith, who joins as senior strategist of creative services. Smith was previously director of marketing at TeaLeaf Technology.

BEAVERTON, OR: Tech firm Armstrong Kendall has added four clients to its roster, including the iGrafx division of Corel, which develops business process management software. The other new clients are Golden Gate Technology, Stelar Tools, and Synfora.

BOSTON: Greenough Communications has promoted Stephanie Casey to EVP. Casey, a founding member of the agency, and formerly a VP and MD, will continue to lead the agency's client service and business development initiatives in technology and professional services markets.

REDWOOD CITY, CA: Eastwick Communications has launched a strategic services group that will help clients better align PR activities with measurable business goals. Led by VP Giovanni Rodriguez, services will focus on ROI measurement, multi-audience story development, and thought leadership and issues management.

SAN FRANCISCO: LaunchSquad has added three new clients - software company Macrovision, security firm Cenzic, and networking startup Net6.

LOS ANGELES: Jamdat Mobile has hired Kohnke Communications as its agency of record, focusing on PR for various marketing initiatives and product launches. Jamdat develops video games and other digital entertainment for wireless devices.

SAN FRANCISCO: Panache Communications has added @Road and Marsha Shenk as new clients. @Road develops mobile resource management services. Shenk is a business anthropologist, trainer and educator.

LADERA RANCH, CA: RMS Public Relations will help scanner manufacturer Plustek launch one of its latest products- the OpticScan 3600- in the US. RMS will develop a media relations and strategic launch plan for Plustek, as well as trade show support and a reviews program.

CHICAGO: The Bekins Company and its Bekins HomeDirect USA, a moving company, have retained HLB Communications to handle public and media relations. The Bekins win is one of five recently chalked up by HLB.

KANSAS CITY, MO: Fleishman-Hillard has hired Christine Yonke as VP in its biotechnology and healthcare practice. She joins the agency from Women's Health Associates of Overland Park, Kansas, where she was an administrator.

NEW HAVEN, CN: NewAlliance Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NewAlliance Bancshares, has appointed Brian S. Arsenault as EVP of corporate communications and IR.

JACKSONVILLE, FL: The Robin Shepherd Group has been selected as the marketing/communications AOR for north Florida's largest daily newspaper, The Florida Times-Union, and its community newspapers and special publications.

ATLANTA, GA: Hampton Island Preservation has retained Duffey Communications for strategic planning and marketing of the secluded island community.

LOUISVILLE, CO: CTA Public Relations has been hired by Icon Burger, a new quick-serve restaurant with a modern take on the 1950s trolley-car diner, to open in Lafayette, CO.

AUSTIN, TX: T3, an integrated marketing services firm has created T3 Talent Tank, a marketing professional outsourcing division to match talented individuals to growing companies as well as Fortune 500 and 1000 corporations.

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