PR Rundown, 3.31.2015: Edelman, Ketchum Change, Newlink

And news from Grant Thornton, Eric Mower + Associates, and Playbook Strategies.

NEW YORK: Edelman has named Martin O’Reilly as global chief information and technology officer. He was previously global CIO at Burson-Marsteller. Based in New York, O’Reilly will oversee Edelman’s global IT team and report to global COO Matthew Harrington.

CHICAGO: Marci Kaminsky has joined Grant Thornton as CCO, based at its Chicago headquarters. She was most recently SVP of corporate relations at Allstate, leading a department of more than 100 people. Kaminsky has also worked at Stryker and United Airlines.

NEW YORK: Ketchum has named partner Tyler Durham as president of Ketchum Change, the firm’s change management specialty group. Durham was most recently MD of Ketchum Change.

AUSTIN, MN: Hormel Foods has announced the retirement of Julie Craven, VP of corporate communications, and VP of legislative affairs Joe Swedberg. Wendy Watkins, global VP of corporate communications at Delaware North Companies, was named VP of corporate comms at Hormel.

MIAMI: Juan Valdez Café has selected Newlink America as its AOR, with the goal of positioning it in the US market. The company plans to open 60 stores in Florida in the next five years.

BUFFALO, NY: Labatt USA has named Eric Mower + Associates as its social media AOR, managing its Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. The relationship between the two companies dates back to 2008, when the brand hired Eric Mower + Associates to manage PR.

DALLAS: Kevin Nix, who previously worked for marriage equality at Freedom to Marry and Human Rights Campaign, has launched Playbook Strategies, a strategic consulting firm focused on legislative, ballot, and judicial initiatives.

NEW YORK: Tumblr has hired Stephanie Dolgins as its first CMO, according to Re/code. She previously ran her own marketing agency, Dolgins & Company, and has also worked at AOL as SVP.

SAN FRANCISCO: W2O Group has acquired social engagement and CRM platform VinTank in an effort to enhance its technology enabled client service offerings. VinTank was founded by Paul Mabray and James Jory to service winery and small business owners.

NEW YORK: Evins Communications has named Drew Tybus as VP and director of its food, wine, and spirits division. He will report to chairman Matthew Evins. Tybus was previously VP of brand marketing at Porter Novelli.

MILWAUKEE, WI: B-to-b agency Ripley PR has been named a partner in IPREX, a network with more than 100 member agencies around the world. It is the only Tennessee-based firm in the alliance. It works with clients such as Wireless Zone and The Casual Pint.

SALT LAKE CITY: SnappConner PR has promoted Cory Maloy to EVP. He leads client services and operations for the firm’s Salt Lake City operations.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI: Lambert, Edwards & Associates has promoted Jeremy Bakken to senior director. He has worked for LE&A for the past decade, and previously worked at Straightline Public Relations, the former PR arm of Hanon McKendry/Do More Good.

DEERFIELD, IL: CF Industries Holdings has hired Chris Close as director of corporate communications. He previously served as director of internal and executive communications for Jones Lang LaSalle, responsible for all aspects of internal and executive communications for the Americas.

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