Rising                                                          Matthew Burns                                             ...
40stars40                                                                                               U N D E RJJ Carter...
40                   Maureen Davenport                     VP, corporate communications,                     Fannie Mae, 3...
Chris FullerDirector, international public affairsand CSR, Yum! Brands, 35                                         Stacy G...
40                   Allyson Hugley                     EVP of measurement, analytics, and                     insights, W...
Brent MillerAssociate director, external relations,Procter & Gamble Beauty, 35                                          Da...
40                   Leslie Schrader                     SVP and director, Well-Connected,                     Ketchum Was...
Heidi SullivanVP, global media research, Cision,34                                         Melisa Tezanos                 ...
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  1. 1. Rising Matthew Burns MD, Southwest public affairs market leader, Burson-Marsteller, 34 Some say life begins at 40, but many PR Matthew Burns has surged ahead in a brilliant career spanning political professionals have already blazed a trail and public affairs campaigns, state and federal governments, and a through the communications industry Fortune 20 company. by that time. PRWeek profiles 40 rising Prior to joining Burson-Marsteller in June, he was director of corporate stars under the age of 40, nominated communications for UnitedHealth- care Medicare & Retirement, where by their colleagues and peers, who have he was responsible for leading exter- made a long-lasting impression on the nal communications for a $36 bil- lion, 3,500-employee business. business early in their careers He revamped its communications unit, which resulted in a 300 percent increase in media exposure. “Under Matt’s leadership, I believe our history of excellence in public affairs will continue,” explains Nate Tibbits, chair of the US public affairs practice, Burson- Marsteller, the firm Burns joined as Southwest public affairs market leader.32/prweekus.com/August 2012
  2. 2. 40stars40 U N D E RJJ Carter Howard Clabo Jesica D’AvanzaPresident and senior partner, US West Corporate media relations & executive Senior director, strategic comms plan-region, Fleishman-Hillard, 39 comms leader, Hewlett-Packard, 39 ning, American Cancer Society, 30 With his highly Howard Clabo has had a diverse Jesica D’Avanza successful back- and distinguished career to date and, is helping save ground in sports like his former employer FedEx, lives with her PR, JJ Carter always delivers. award-winning is someone you For the past three years, he has work for the certainly want held communications leadership American Can- on your team. roles at Fortune 500 technol- cer Society. He is cur- ogy company Applied Materials, As senior rently the head increasing the quality of media cov- director for stra- of Fleishman- erage and helping raise the profile tegic commu-Hillard’s West Coast region, having of the firm. nications planning, she plays a keypreviously overseen operations and He was key in the launch of the role in the society’s mission, directlya significant expansion at the com- Applied Parts Center, a ground- supervising a team of eight PR pro-pany’s San Francisco office. breaking online resource that fessionals and providing advice and During his time at the firm, Cart- enables customers to order spare support to more than 30 differenter has led growth areas including parts for manufacturing tools. departments, units, and divisions.digital and social media, healthcare, Clabo is now embarking on a She has helped devise success-corporate communications, con- new role with Hewlett-Packard, ful campaigns including the Moresumer and technology practices, and where his team Birthdays initiative. Other achieve-been instrumental in developing key will develop ments include developing theaccounts including EA and Visa. an integrated society’s DetermiNation program In 2007 he helped launch the communica- for runners taking part in endur-agency’s global sports marketing tions strategy ance events, which generates morepractice, calling on his experience as to support HP’s than $16.5 million in revenue, andhead of communications for business goals the Great American Health Checkseveral professional sports teams and reputation, campaign to encourage all US citi-and leagues such as the Dallas Mav- and lead global zens to take control of their healthericks and the Detroit Pistons. media relations. and lower their risk of cancer. August 2012/prweekus.com/33
  3. 3. 40 Maureen Davenport VP, corporate communications, Fannie Mae, 37 James Davis Comms director/chief spokesman, 2012 Republican National Convention, 31 Dani Dudeck GM of global communications, marcomms, Zynga, 3140 U N D E R Maureen Davenport joined Fannie James Davis Dani Dudeck has built a career by Mae as VP of corporate communi- has been at the connecting people online. cations in 2011 and has made a big heart of some At just 31, she is head of global impact in her first year. of the biggest marketing communications for She has helped the government- communications San Francisco-based social game sponsored company communicate challenges in the designer Zynga, best known for significant progress in conservator- past decade. hugely popular titles such as ship and share its point of view as Various FarmVille and Words With Friends. the leader in housing finance. Her assignments She leads a 15-strong team and achievements include developing have taken him her achievements have ranged from digital strategy, including revamping from the bowels of the Pentagon, promoting a partnership with Lady the corporate website, and increas- where he spearheaded crisis com- Gaga to orchestrating the commu- ing the effectiveness of internal munications around the closure nications strategy for Zynga’s recent communications. of military bases in 2004, to the $1 billion stock market launch. “Maureen is a trusted adviser and Gulf of Mexico, where he helped “Dani consistently works to devel- strong manager who attracts and BP frame its response to the 2010 op each member of her team while develops great talent,” says Kelli Deepwater Horizon oil spill. lending her expertise to all groups Parsons, CCO In his role as director of congres- across the orga- and SVP at sional research at the Pentagon, nization and Fannie Mae. he devised and carried out the com- the PR com- “She is that munications and media strategy munity,” says rare combina- to build support for the troops the Zynga mar- tion of strategic in Iraq. comms team. thinking and He is now reprising a role he She also orga- execution abili- played four years ago as communi- nized the first ties. The com- cations director for the 2012 Repub- Zynga press plete package.” lican National Convention. conference. Whitney Eichinger Nathan Friedman Catherine Frymark Senior communications manager, MD, Chicago, Ogilvy Public SVP, communications, Discovery Southwest Airlines, 35 Relations, 35 Communications, 39 Whitney Eichinger’s career has Nathan Fried- Discovery is right out there in terms taken off and, for her, the sky’s man is the of social media, thanks in no small the limit. youngest man- measure to Catherine Frymark. As primary spokesperson for one aging director Career highlights include the of the nation’s most successful air- in the history of launch and development of Discov- lines, she intimately understands the global agency ery’s centralized US social media power of the press and the impact of Ogilvy PR. practice and revamping communi- positive corporate reputation. Under his cations for Discovery Education. Her management role has helped leadership, the She has also been at the forefront the team win awards including agency’s Chica- of numerous network launches, PRWeek’s corporate communications go office has gone from strength to including HD Theater, the Science team of the year. Eichinger led com- strength, securing major new clients Channel, and played a vital role munications for the launch of flights and achieving 100 percent growth in communications and press for from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta in revenue over three years. joint venture OWN - the Oprah International airport, and played a Chicago has three thriving prac- Winfrey Network. key role in the airline’s participation tices and three of Ogilvy’s top 10 “Catherine embodies the defini- in a TLC reality show. clients by revenue. Despite the tion of leadership – always willing She headed up demands of the role, he still scores to go that extra communications major wins for the agency as well mile to make for the South- as nurturing talent, contributing to sure her team west Porch proj- high levels of employee satisfaction. succeeds in ect, which gave “There are very few situations – every endeavor,” New Yorkers a client, staff or, industry-related says Michelle taste of the air- – Nathan hasn’t seen and solved in Russo, SVP of line’s hospitality his career, which is impressive con- corporate com- in Bryant Park, sidering his age,” says Judy Brennan, munications at Manhattan. EVP, corporate practice, Ogilvy PR. Discovery.34/prweekus.com/August 2012
  4. 4. Chris FullerDirector, international public affairsand CSR, Yum! Brands, 35 Stacy Green SVP, marketing and communications, Mashable, 29 Adrienne Hayes GM, New York consumer marketing division, Edelman, 37 40 40 UNDER Chris Fuller is Stacy Green is at the forefront of Described by a slice of PR modern integrated communica- colleagues as perfection. Until tions. She has pioneered the model a professional recently he at Mashable, making the company “who truly has was director of a standard bearer for the new face of it all,” Adrienne public affairs at the media business. Hayes is a high- Pizza Hut, but She has played a key role in help- ly successful PR in January took ing the company grow from what champion for on lead global was seen as a tech blog to a digital dozens of global PR responsibili- news site for the “connected genera- brands.ties at parent company Yum! Brands tion,” expanding from a staff of 25 She helped eBay reinvent itself,for Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell. to 70 in under a year. launched a new snack food category He also oversees US and interna- Early in her career, Green headed for Kraft, and got Microsoft intotional corporate social responsibility corporate communications for all the music business.strategies. With his commitment, things digital at The New York Times One of her boldest campaignshe’s cemented himself as one of and was one of the pioneers of social – the launch of Trojan Condoms’America’s top young PR minds. He media at the newspaper. SexyTech range – scooped awas the brains behind the “Pasta Her innova- PRWeek Award this year for bestHut” campaign and the offer of tive public- consumer launch campaign.an all-inclusive Valentine’s Day ity programs Hayes oversees more than 140proposal package to launch the $10 at Mashable specialists in marketing, media, digi-Dinner Box. have included tal communication and content. Known to many under the red an April Fool’s She is one of Edelman’s “most cre-roof as “the ultimate team player,” joke that saw ative and brave thinkers,” accordingcolleagues say his versatility and TV host Conan to Christina Smedley, global chair ofleadership make him “one of the top O’Brien take the consumer practice, who says thePR professionals in America today.” over the site. company is “lucky to have her.”Jonathan Heit Sue Hensley Stephanie HowleyPresident and senior partner, SVP, public affairs communications, SVP, human resources,Allison+Partners, 39 National Restaurant Association, 39 Cohn & Wolfe, 37 Jonathan Heit Sue Hensley has had a remarkable Stephanie is one of the career to date and is now giving the Howley is the most influential whole nation food for thought. beating heart of PR minds in At the National Restaurant global market- social media Association, she spearheaded highly ing communica- and a trusted successful initiatives including the tions firm Cohn adviser to some Dine for America program, which & Wolfe. of today’s best- saw 17,500 restaurants help raise She has known technol- nearly $13 million for the American helped make the ogy brands. Red Cross, benefiting those hit by WPP agency a Among the youngest global presi- hurricanes Katrina and Rita. top employer, bursting with some ofdents at Allison+Partners, he has More recently, Hensley played the best talent in the business.helped make the MDC-owned firm a key role in the Kids LiveWell Perhaps one of her biggest suc-one of the fastest-growing mid- program that sets nutrition criteria cesses to date was dealing with thesized agencies in the nation. for restaurants and helps parents merger of C&W and GCI Group, The firm’s technology and digital choose healthy options. a monumental task. But Howleymedia practice has quadrupled in The launch of the campaign gen- rose to the challenge with initiativessize since 2008 under Heit’s leader- erated nearly such as a “speed dating” program toship and now accounts for more 200 million introduce staff to each other.than 30 percent of agency revenue, media impres- Within its first six months, thewith clients including Samsung, sions. After just merged organization won new busi-Sony, Mozilla, Dropbox, Gowalla, nine months ness with three Fortune 15 com-TiVo, and THQ. the program panies – Wal-Mart, ExxonMobil, In a CV studded with achieve- now includes 88 and McKesson. She has also playedments, he launched the original brands and is a key role in training and develop-MySpace and also guided YouTube in 25,000 ment, recruitment, and high levelsall the way from its startup phase. locations. of staff satisfaction. August 2012/prweekus.com/37
  5. 5. 40 Allyson Hugley EVP of measurement, analytics, and insights, Weber Shandwick, 36 Jennifer Kamienski VP, Coyne Public Relations, 39 Melody Lee EVP, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, 3140 U N D E R In today’s bewildering world of “big She has Melody Lee goes for gold in every- data,” the PR industry would be lost crowned the thing she does in her work life. without experts like Allyson Hugley, Statue of Lib- In a dazzling career to date, high- a guiding force in the field of mea- erty, but when lights include being a core member surement and analytics. it comes to of the team that provided interna- She has led numerous successful PR, Jennifer tional communications, media rela- initiatives at Weber Shandwick, Kamienski tions, and research assistance to the including a new measurement is queen. International Olympic Committee, model and a measurement steering The 39-year both in Beijing and in Lausanne, committee. -old supermom Switzerland. An influential and respected fig- heads up Coyne PR’s lifestyle group, Key achievements include coor- ure in the wider industry, her roles which includes the agency’s restau- dinating strategic and tactical cam- include serving on the measurement rant, travel, and pets divisions and paigns for a major airline in Tokyo and evaluation taskforce for the involves working with clients such and managing communications Council of PR Firms. as Burger King, Hong Kong Tour- around three high-profile mergers. “Allyson offers leading thoughts, ism Board, South African Tourism, She also led a team that provided insights, and approaches that reflect Heathrow Airport, and Del Monte grassroots and government affairs the chang- Pet Products. advice to Gen- ing needs of Among her many notable cam- eral Motors in clients and tire- paigns was the launch of the Burger its Washington, lessly strives to King BK Crown Program for chil- DC, office dur- advance the field dren, which included a Guinness ing a year in and our indus- World Record-sized crown made which the com- try,” says Gail specifically for the Statue of Liberty. pany embarked Heimann, vice Superb at pitching, she has over- on the world’s chair of Weber seen some of the biggest wins largest stock Shandwick. in the agency’s history this past year. market launch. Jay Leveton Abby Lunardini Richele Messick EVP, worldwide, Burson-Marsteller VP of corporate communications, Communications manager, enterprise 36 Virgin America, 37 community banking, Wells Fargo, 31 At 36, Jay Leveton is one of the Abby Lunar- Richele Messick has been a tower youngest members of Burson- dini is a real of strength during turbulent times Marsteller’s business team. high flyer. She for the banking industry. The firm’s second-ranking has piloted She started out at Wells Fargo as executive after the CEO, he has corporate com- an intern in 2002 and has risen to been instrumental in expanding munications become one of its most trusted and the company’s global presence, is for Virgin valued associates. a trusted adviser to major clients America since During 10 years at the company including GlaxoSmithKline and before take-off she has served as a communica- UnitedHealthcare, and heavily in 2007 and has tions consultant for retail banking, involved in bringing in senior talent. always reached for the skies. She wholesale banking, and corporate, Career highlights include found- has not only overseen all aspects and become a go-to person for the ing Proof Integrated Communica- of traditional communications for entire communications team of tions and managing the $22 million the airline, but has also piloted the almost 200 professionals. division and nearly 75 employees. company’s award-winning social Messick created and leads a Prior to that, Leveton was a senior media presence. 50-strong team that focuses on pro- leader at Penn Schoen Berland. He She has secured multiple top-tier active PR and joint approaches to has a wealth placements and major brand part- key events. She of experience, nerships and led PR campaigns has helped steer including in that grabbed attention, such as an Wells Fargo crisis communi- in-flight wedding officiated by Vir- through one cations such as gin America boss Richard Branson. of the top issues helping Virginia Sharp, creative, and motivated, facing banks Tech in the she is known for staging “incredible today – the aftermath of the events,” including a tandem flight changing land- April 2007 cam- by an Airbus 320 and Virgin Galac- scape for deposit pus shootings. tic Spaceship. products.38/prweekus.com/August 2012
  6. 6. Brent MillerAssociate director, external relations,Procter & Gamble Beauty, 35 Damien Mills Communications director, mobility, The Boeing Company, 39 Lauren Nodzak PR manager, Mars Chocolate North America, 29 40 40 UNDER Brent Miller is In the highly sensitive world of Lauren Nodzak a consummate military aviation, Damien Mills has tasted sweet PR professional navigates a brilliant course. success at Mars who knows the As director of communications for Chocolate beauty business mobility aircraft at Boeing Defense, North America. from top to he directs a nationwide team provid- Just a few years bottom. ing communications and marketing out of college, He has han- support for the company’s military this rising star dled complex airlift programs. now leads day- communica- Achievements during his 11-year to-day PR andtions issues and played a key role in career at Boeing include his deft social media for some of the world’sthe success of many of Procter & handling of media relations around most iconic chocolate brands,Gamble’s leading brands. the multibillion dollar US Air Force including M&M’s, Twix, Milky Career highlights include the procurement program, which result- Way, and Snickers.125th anniversary of the revered ed in Boeing winning the contract In 2011 she oversaw more thanIvory soap brand, sponsorship of to supply KC-46 aircraft. 30 campaigns, delivering a total ofMilan Fashion Week, the Secret Mills, who is known for his “no- nearly 1 billion media impressions.deodorant “Mean Stinks” anti- nonsense” style This year she led the largest PR pro-bullying campaign, and football star is particularly gram in Mars’ recent history – theTroy Polamalu’s endorsement of adept at build- launch of M&M’s newHead & Shoulders. ing good rela- “spokescandy” Ms. Brown. “Brent has a unique combination tionships with Nodzak has routinely shown howof communications skills. He is the media, PR and social media can delivercreative and innovative while at the despite the cost-effective results. In one yearsame time being a master of detail,” demands of his she delivered the top two ROIs onsays Nicholas Hotham, external highly conserva- key brands and has a reputation as arelations director at P&G. tive industry. champion for responsible marketing.Miguel Piedra Jorge Plasencia Patrick SanduskyVP, global communications and culture, Chairman and CEO, Chief comms and public affairs officer,Burger King, 37 República, 38 US Olympic Committee, 38 Miguel Piedra Jorge Plasencia began his excep- He may not boasts more tional career at the tender age of 14 be a competi- than a decade as an intern at a Miami radio group. tor, but Patrick of experience That was the start of a meteoric Sandusky is a working for rise that has seen him win countless true Olympic two of the most industry awards and become one champion. recognizable of America’s most influential His- He oversees brands in the panic leaders. the United world – The He has held leading marketing States Olympic Walt Disney and publicity roles at the Florida Committee’sCompany and Burger King. Marlins; Estefan Enterprises, the communications division in Colo- In his career, he has produced entertainment firm owned by Glo- rado Springs and its governmentaward-winning work and ground- ria Estefan and her husband Emilio; relations office in Washington, DC.breaking campaigns, and been a and the Hispanic Broadcasting He is spokesman for the orga-trusted adviser to management. Corporation. With Luis Casamay- nization, a key adviser to its lead- Piedra is currently responsible for or, he founded República in 2006. ership, and responsible for thethe strategic development and exe- Despite the tough economic cli- Olympic Visitor Center and UScution of all communications efforts mate the agency Olympic Hall of Fame.for Burger King and its network has achieved He has played a key role in creat-of more than 12,500 restaurants in double-digit ing a stronger image for the com-over 80 countries. growth every mittee as a global ambassador, not His achievements include leading year since then, only of Team USA, but also thechallenging internal and external winning clients Olympic movement as a whole.communications for the acquisition including Pepsi- Prior to his current role, Sanduskyof Burger King Holdings by 3G Co, Nielsen, was VP for communications andCapital, which involved two signifi- and Universal chief spokesman for the Chicagocant reductions in workforce. Orlando Resort. 2016 bid committee. August 2012/prweekus.com/41
  7. 7. 40 Leslie Schrader SVP and director, Well-Connected, Ketchum Washington, DC, 39 Jon Schwartz Senior director, brand and business communications, NASCAR, 39 Sonia Sroka SVP, director of Hispanic marketing, Porter Novelli, 3540 U N D E R Leslie Schrader’s commitment to Jon Schwartz Sonia Sroka is not only a high- client service sets her apart from the is a driving achieving PR professional, but also a pack. Her career is characterized by force behind trailblazer for diversity and inclusion hands-on leadership of award- the National in the field. winning consumer health cam- Association for During her six years at Porter paigns for Fortune 500 companies. Stock Car Auto Novelli, she established the Hispan- In her current role, she oversees Racing. ic marketing practice and under her Well-Connected, the dedicated In just under leadership it has seen double-digit health speciality practice she helped a year, he has growth across clients such as Bayer, establish, working with some of the played a key role Gillette, Timberland, and the Inter- agency’s biggest clients. in enhancing the sport’s reputation, nal Revenue Service. She has led her more than having been brought in to transform In 2011 Sroka led the develop- 20-strong team through five straight communications for NASCAR with ment of the highly successful “It’s years of growth. The loyalty of a new integrated marketing com- All in the Numbers” multimedia Schrader’s clients is testament to the munications model. initiative, based on the 2012 cen- fantastic service she provides. He has helped generate power- sus results. Previously, she was a “Leslie provides exceptional and ful headlines and build positive founding member of Weber Shand- innovative client relationships with the media and wick’s leading service that set played a key role in championing multicultural her apart from NASCAR’s green credentials and firm The Axis others in our use of ethanol as an alternative fuel. Agency. field,” says Nick Previously, as VP of global media She is also Ragone, partner relations at Bank of America, a member and director he helped the bank rebuild trust of the Omni- of Ketchum, through volunteering programs com Diversity Washington, with Major League Baseball and the Development DC. National Football League. Committee. Christina Steed Eve Stevens Ben Stringfellow SVP, Flowers Communications Group, VP, insight & analytics, WE Studio D, VP, communications, McDonald’s 35 Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, 36 USA, 38 Christina Steed is “one of the stron- Eve Stevens is He’s the golden boy of the golden gest PR professionals of today” with a woman with arches. Having been promoted to a diverse career spanning journalism, her finger on the post of VP of communications PR, marketing, and international the pulse of in April 2011, Ben Stringfellow has communications. analytics and already made a big impact, creat- As SVP at Flowers Communi- measurement. ing brand-defining PR strategies cations Group in Chicago, she is For five years including National Hiring Day, and the strategic lead for key accounts straight she has a public announcement of McDon- including AT&T, McDonald’s, and driven double- ald’s nutrition commitments. Wells Fargo. digit growth Previously, he devised and imple- A leader in multicultural com- of Waggener Edstrom’s insight and mented a communications process munications, achievements include analytics business, building it from and protocol for McDonald’s USA’s developing the local, award-winning just five to more than 50 analysts 22 regions, three divisions, and close jobs campaign for McDonald’s with established practices across to 14,000 restaurants. in the Chicago area and north- the globe. “Ben understands everything that west Indiana. A true innovator, she has been a goes into communications – from “Christina is representative of key player in the development and the orchestration, and the plan- the type of PR execution of the agency’s successful ning, to the practitioner that research and measurement tools. relationships, will usher the “Eve is a leader and recognized the messaging, future of our for her incredible passion, market- and position- industry,” says leading innovative approaches and ing – which is Flowers Com- ‘get in and get her hands dirty’ why he is terrific munications mentality to solving the biggest at his job,” says Group presi- challenges in research and measure- McDonald’s dent Rashada ment,” says Jennifer Houston, for- USA president Whitehead. mer president of WE Studio D. Jan Fields.42/prweekus.com/August 2012
  8. 8. Heidi SullivanVP, global media research, Cision,34 Melisa Tezanos Senior director, brand Pepsi communications, PepsiCo, 38 Dustee Tucker Jenkins VP, communications, Target, 34 40 40 UNDER Self-proclaimed Melisa Tezanos truly has the X Dustee media metrics Factor. Leading Pepsi’s extensive Tucker Jenkins nerd Heidi communications around the hit describes her Sullivan is the talent show is just one of many role as VP of Interested in youngest mem- achievements in a career that has communications nominating ber of Cision’s seen her work all around the world at Target as a someone executive man- and across all major facets of com- “pinch-myself for next year’s agement team. munications. exciting job” 40 Under 40? E-mail 40under40@ She has In her current role, Tezanos drives and her passion prweek.com for transformed all communications for Pepsi, Diet shines through. more information.the company’s approach, including Pepsi, Pepsi Max, and the newly Since joining the company inupdating Cision’s vast media data- launched Pepsi Next. She also leads August 2010, she has changedbase to reflect the increasing impor- PepsiCo Beverages’ Hispanic com- the PR department, championingtance of social media. munications efforts. innovative approaches to telling the She has played a key role in devel- One of her innovative marketing Target story.oping products and services such programs was the Pepsi Refresh She has played an integral role inas the Social Influencer Search and Project grant program, which earned launching partnerships with design-Cision Influencer Lists. Sullivan is more than 3 ers such as Missoni and Jason Wuheavily involved in Cision’s Seek or billion impres- and led the launch of Target’s firstShout online community. sions in 2010 online magazine A Bullseye View. “Her passion for exploring new across media, Described by colleagues as some-contacts and channels for delivering which Forbes one who “never settles for standard,stories has allowed Cision to be on named one of cookie-cutter communications cam-the forefront of the convergence of the top five paigns,” Jenkins oversaw announce-social media and traditional market- social media ments such as Target’s planneding,” says Cision North America programs of expansion into Canada and theCEO Peter Granat. all time. launch of smaller CityTarget stores.Denise Vitola Daphne Wang Yanique WoodallSVP and director, personal care Associate director, APCO Worldwide, VP, enterprise public relations,practice, MSLGroup New York, 37 New York, 31 1-800-Flowers.com, 35 Denise Vitola Daphne Wang joined APCO Yanique Wood- has taken the Worldwide’s New York office early all is a rare PR industry last year and was swiftly identified bloom who has by storm. as a rising star. helped her com- In the short Described as an “outstanding” pany thrive in a time since join- PR professional by colleagues, she tough terrain. ing MSL New focuses on corporate communica- Since joining York she has tions for companies from the 1-800-Flowers. “blazed the food, beverage, healthcare, and com, she has trail of a rock financial sectors. reshaped thestar,” nearly tripling the size of her She also handles media relations company’s approach to PR, estab-accounts and winning fistfuls of for a diverse range of clients and lishing it as a core business func-national and global awards. is known for her deft handling of tion and helping to drive sales in a Creatively brilliant, Vitola has extremely sensitive issues. volatile market and in the face ofcontributed substantially to agency The fluent Mandarin speaker increased competition.growth, bringing in new clients such plays a leading role in the firm’s In addition to the core brand,as Safilo’s Armani brand, and in the Chinese-USA relations team, she also oversees communicationslast year alone, she grew the Procter where she for all the company’s other brands& Gamble digestive wellness port- assists Chinese and her efforts have led to markedfolio by 173%. businesses in increases in sales for The Popcorn “Denise is loved by both staff and expanding over- Factory, Fannie May chocolates,management and her energy and seas and also and Cheryl’s cookies.passion for her business and agency helps multina- She has also led the way whenare infectious,” explains Michael tional compa- it comes to social media, withEchter, director of marketing and nies understand 1-800-Flowers.com becomingcorporate communications for the Chinese the first brand to open a storeMSLGroup Americas. market. within Facebook. August 2012/prweekus.com/43