DALLAS: Hill+Knowlton Strategies has hired Jody Venturoni, former Weber Shandwick Southwest president, as EVP, effective January 3, 2012.
Venturoni said her duties at H+K will have a more national focus than the regional work she handled at Weber, which included clients such as Fort Worth, TX-based American Airlines. She will help the firm establish client-service standards, in addition to working with the agency's practice groups. Venturoni will continue to work from the agency's Dallas office, as she did at Weber.
“[H+K has] been through a lot of transition in the past year with the merger with Public Strategies, and it's really exciting the direction that they're headed in, combining that consultative model with the more traditional PR model,” she said. “It seems like a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor on something that's really cool. They have some very aggressive goals, and one of the things I like to do best is build things. This is a chance to really get in there and build something.”
Earlier this month, H&K rebranded as Hill+Knowlton Strategies. H&K merged with sister WPP firm Public Strategies in January. Dan Bartlett became president and CEO of H&K USA and Jack Martin, founder and chairman of Public Strategies, became global executive chairman of H&K. Veteran H&K executives Paul Taaffe and MaryLee Sachs left the firm soon thereafter.
Weber said Friday that it will consider both internal and external candidates for the president role left vacant by Venturoni's departure, and that it promoted David Nieland to acting GM of the Dallas office. Nieland, a former EVP at Weber, will report to Cathy Calhoun, president of Weber Shandwick North America.
Melanie Ofenloch, Dallas EVP at Weber, has also left the firm to join IBS Software Services as global CMO, effective at the beginning of next year, according to a source at the agency. An IBS representative could not be immediately reached for comment.
Weber Shandwick Southwest also promoted Chris Vary, Ryan Mikolasik, and Neil Nowlin to EVP roles. It named Alison McMillon SVP of corporate and Beth Pederson creative director in the visual communications practice.
Weber Shandwick's Southwest operation also hired Matt Dickman as EVP of social business innovation. He most recently served as senior partner and global digital and social practice co-chair at Fleishman-Hillard.
Maggie Thill has also rejoined Weber as a VP in its Dallas office. She has held senior-level roles at FedEx, Kinko's, and the Dallas Arboretum.