Fleishman taps Sweetman for biz development role

FleishmanHillard has named Della Sweetman as its first SVP and senior partner of business development for the Americas. Emily Frager will replace her as San Diego GM.

SAN DIEGO: FleishmanHillard has promoted Della Sweetman, previously senior partner and GM of Southern California, to the newly created role of SVP and senior partner of business development for the Americas.

Sweetman, who will report to Jack Modzelewski, Fleishman's president of the Americas, has worked at the firm since 2003. She will start in the new position next month.

Her main responsibilities will include working with client leaders and teams in the Americas, as well as international markets, to drive business growth, particularly focusing on large accounts. Sweetman will also help to oversee Fleishman's global brand marketing practice.

Modzelewski said the agency has business development leaders in Europe and Asia-Pacific and in specific US offices, such as New York, Washington DC, and St. Louis, but it was time for the firm to have someone to lead this sector in the Americas.

“The volume of major pitches that we're engaged in through the course of the year just keeps increasing, and the quality of the competition keeps increasing, so we felt pretty strongly that this is a role that should be 100% of someone's time,” he explained.

Sweetman will not focus on all major pitches, Modzelewski added, saying she will work on specific RFPs and ones that require very complex coordination. Since Sweetman has worked on major business pitches and has been part of large presentations, the firm picked her for the role, said Modzelewski.

Sweetman became GM of San Diego in 2007. Two years later, she took on responsibility for Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California.

Throughout her time at Fleishman, Sweetman has led national awareness initiatives and reputation management programs for clients in consumer packaged goods, food, tourism and hospitality, and government.

Before working at Fleishman, Sweetman, a Fiji native, hosted a daily national current affairs and magazine show produced by Fiji Television Limited.

Fleishman has promoted Emily Frager, SVP and senior partner in Los Angeles, to GM of its San Diego office, succeeding Sweetman. Reporting to JJ Carter, West regional manager, she will work to grow the firm's business in San Diego, along with Arizona, Nevada, and Hawaii. Frager will also continue to lead the retail division of the agency's brand marketing practice. Los Angeles GM Ryan Peal will continue to lead the Los Angeles operation, as well as Orange County.

Frager, who joined Fleishman in 1998 in Chicago, moved to the firm's Los Angeles office last year. She also served as GM of the Minneapolis office for two years.

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