NEWS BRIEFS

CHICAGO: United Airlines has hired Barry French as VP of corporate communications. French, currently director of public affairs and international services at Dell, will oversee United's corporate image and reputation, internal and external communications, crisis management and creative services, begnning in July. French's departure from Dell comes as the company looks for a new head of communications, after Dell reassigned VP of corporate communications Elizabeth Allen and VP of communications Tim Doke into unspecified corporate communications roles in April.

WASHINGTON, DC: Ogilvy PR and Shire Health Group have created Fast4wD Ogilvy, a clinical trial recruitment and retention firm. The firm will combine Ogilvy PR's Washington office with the European and Asian capabilities of Shire's Fast4wD UK's.

NEW YORK: In announcing its name and executive slate Tuesday, the new Virgin-branded US domestic airline, Virgin America, said that its director of communications would be Stacy Geagan. Geagan, who has nearly a decade of PR and marketing experience in the airline industry, was most recently director of PR and corporate communications for Song.

SAN FRANCISCO: Larry Shushan, who has held executive PR positions with ChevronTexaco and The Gap, has joined MS&L as SVP in the corporate communications group. Previously, Shushan was running his own consultancy.

NEW YORK: Rowland Communications said it's added ten new clients since January, including Roche, Sanofi Syntholabo, Siemens (BSH Division), Shonfelds, and ESI Design.

FAIRFIELD, CT: Bill Hughes has been named VP of communications and public affairs at IMS Health, which provides perscription-drug data to pharmaceutical companies and also does consulting. Hughes, who had been VP of media relations, corporate, at IBM, will direct all communications activities.

LOS ANGELES: Susan Arons has joined Rubenstein Communications as EVP. Previously, she was VP of PR for Radio City Entertainment.

PARSIPPANY, NJ: NRT, the nation's largest residential real estate brokerage company, has tapped Ramon Rodriguez as VP of diversity and community relations. Rodriquez was most recently COO for the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and host of the nationally syndicated television program "Hispanics Today."

WINSTON-SALEM, NC: Brand specialist Mullen named Colleen Cotter Brannan VP of PR. Brannan will relocate from Atlanta to Mullen's Winston-Salem, NC, office. Most recently she was senior manager of corporate communications at Cox Enterprises.

NEW YORK: 5W Public Relations said it bought boutique agency Handelsman Public Relations. Adam Handelsman, the firm's founder and principal, joins as SVP. Handelsman, who will manage 5W's corporate communications group, is bringing with him clients including The Mercantile Capital Group and Cardinal Health's Pyxis PatientStation.

AURORA, IL: Todd Andrlik has left Weber Shandwick to become director of public relations for the Aurora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (AACVB). Aurora is the second largest city in Illinois. Andrlik, a resident of Aurora and life-long Illinois resident, is responsible for planning and executing all marketing, advertising and public relations initiatives for the AACVB.

LOS ANGELES: mPRm Public Relations said Jennifer Rettig has joined the company as VP of the television practice. Rettig was a director of PR at Bragman Nyman Cafarelli in the television department.

DENVER: Frontier Airlines has promoted two members of its communications team: Andrew Hudson from director of communications to senior director of corporate communications and marketing, and Joe Hodas from corporate spokesman to senior manager of corporate communications.

SAN FRANCISCO: Telecommunications companies Nayna Networks and P-Cube have selected Sterling Communications as their agency of record. Nayna provides broadband access services, while P-Cube develops IP-service control technology.

AUSTIN: Nanotechnology company NanoVance has selected the Loomis Group as its lead PR agency. The start-up company connects researchers and startups with product developers to manufacture nanotech devices, focusing on prototype and experimental products.

REDWOOD CITY, CA: Eastwick Communications has launched a digital life practice, providing counsel and media relations programs for technology companies that develop products and services for consumers and small businesses. VP Joshua Weinberg will lead the new practice, whose clients include search company Groxis and mobile messaging firm Netpace.

LOS ANGELES: Darioush, a wine producer based in Napa California, has chosen Burditch Marketing Communications as the company's public relations agency.

ST. LOUIS: Fleishman-Hillard, Inc. has promoted five members of its St. Louis office to senior vice president: James Harrison, Jason Hillery, Cynthia McCafferty, Susan McCain, and Mary Sherfy. Angela Cross was promoted to vice president.

NEWARK, DE: 02Diesel Corp. has selected KCSA Public Relations Worldwide for PR and IR support. The fuel company is pursuing a listing on the American Stock Exchange.

CHICAGO: The American Dental Association has appointed Clay Mickel to the newly created position of associate executive director of communications and corporate relations. Mickel, who has been with the professional group for 11 years, was associate executive director for the division of communications.

DEERFIELD, IL: Baxter International Inc., a medical products and services company, said Neville Jeharajah, 51, has decided to retire as VP of IR after 22 years of service, effective June 30. On an interim basis, Mary Kay Ladone, 38, will assume responsibility for IR. Ladone has been with the company for 16 years, the last eight of which she has served as director of IR.

BATON ROUGE, LA: The Shaw Group, the largest supplier of fabricated piping systems in the United States, has named Chris D. Sammons as VP of IR and corporate communications. Sammons, a CPA, previously worked as a registered rep for brokerage/dealer firm. He has also been VP of IR at Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. and McMoRan Exploration Co.

VANCOUVER, WA: Salmon Creek PR has hired Dave Bourne as creative director and VP. Bourne joins the firm from Ignite Advertising, where he served as a principal.

GLASTONBURY, CT: Cashman & Katz Integrated Communications has signed a pair of new clients: Spalding Sports, a division of Russell Corporation, and Kemper Sports, a leading golf facility operator.

PARIS: French telecommunications company Alcatel has appointed Pascal Bantegnie as VP of IR. He had been director of international IR.

CHARLOTTE, NC: Lyerly Agency, a marketing, advertising, and PR firm, said it has added three new clients in the past month, Charlotte Preparatory School, Skilled Transcription Services, and Westfield Shoppingtown Eastridge, while expanding its account services with The Penrod Company and the telecommunications carrier US LEC.

WAYNE, PA: Boyd Tamney Cross, a marketing and corporate communications firm, has picked up three new accounts: 1st Colonial National Bank of Collingswood and Westville, NJ; Popular Cash Express, a subsidiary of Banco Popular North America, Inc. of Chicago, IL; and Total Solution of Norristown, PA.

CHARLOTTE, NC: Corder Philips Wilson, an advertising, marketing, and public relations firm, has been named agency of record for Patterson Business Systems, a Charlotte-based document storage company.

FLORHAM PARK, NJ: Keating & Co. has been appointed by the Alsace Tourist Board. The theme of the public relations program is liberty, which will capitalize on the tourism relationship between the U.S. and France and leverage the Statue of Liberty, whose creator, Auguste Bartholdi was born in Alsace. This year, Alsace commemorates the 100th anniversary of the death of Bartholdi.

BALTIMORE: Baltimore-based MGH Public Relations has been chosen as the new agency of record for performance wear innovator 180s, headquartered in downtown Baltimore's Columbus Center. As 180s' agency, MGH will be responsible for managing media relations and special events surrounding 180s' products, which include gloves, ear warmers, and eyewear.

DENVER: Lawscomm, a PR and marcomms firm, has hired Maggie Hatfield as a media specialist. Hatfield will be responsible for writing news releases, media advisories, and bylined articles, as well as conducting media-relations and special-event coordination. Hatfield spent the last three years working for Christopherson and Co. as an account executive. Lawscomm also promoted Alicia Olson to manager of agency services, a traffic-coordinator position.

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