CHICAGO: Zeno Group has appointed McDonald’s communications veteran Danya Proud as an SVP in its Chicago office, effective immediately.
Proud, who most recently served as director of corporate relations for the fast-food giant across Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa, is reporting to Grant Deady, MD of Chicago and chief culture officer at Zeno.
Deady said Proud was hired after a referral by a Zeno staffer who had previously worked with her.
"We feel [Proud] is a dynamic and versatile talent, and we feel very fortunate that she has joined the Zeno team," he explained. "My take is that she is the best available [quick-service restaurant] PR strategist on the market, and we’re excited to connect her with our clients that operate in that category."
Zeno’s restaurant clients include Pizza Hut.
In addition to her QSR work, Zeno hired Proud in part for her global experience, Deady added.
Proud is based in Chicago, but will serve as a resource across the agency’s global network, meaning she will "likely touch pieces of business beyond QSR," he explained.
The agency’s Chicago office is the largest in its network with about 65 staffers.
McDonald’s did not respond to inquiries for comment about Proud’s departure or who will replace her.
Proud worked at McDonald’s since 2006, serving in a number of communications roles, such as director of external communications for the US, senior manager of US media relations, and manager of US media relations, according to her LinkedIn profile.
She also previously worked at GolinHarris in Chicago and Carlman Booker Reis Public Relations in Orlando, Florida. During her time at Golin, she worked on the McDonald's account, her LinkedIn profile states.