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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - Dec. 10, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 49 (download PDF version)

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Finn Partners is acquiring New York-based travel specialist M Silver Assocs. effective Jan. 1.

CEO Morris Silver (85) and president Virginia Sheridan (68) counsel clients such as Aruba, Singapore Tourism Board, Turkey, Sheraton Nassau, The Plaza and Westin Hotels.

M Silver staffers will be moving from their 747 Third Ave. base into FP’s headquarters at 301 E. on 57th Street.

Gail Moaney heads FP's travel unit. FP booked travel revenue of $1,372,000 in 2011.


The Costa Rica Tourism Board is inviting firms to pitch its account as it works to position itself as the "sustainable and premier tourist destination" in the Caribbean/central America region.

The Board wants an American firm to develop "priority markets of the U.S. and Canada" as well as target markets of England, France, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Asia, according to the invitation for bid proposals dated Dec. 6. It established Jan. 9 as the deadline for email submissions. Those emails go to Miguel Zaldivar ([email protected]) or Irma Hernandez (iherna[email protected]). A print submission must be presented by Jan. 14.

Burson-Marsteller represents Costa Rica.


Heineken announced the selection of Edelman as PR firm for flagship Heineken, Heineken Light and Amstel Light beer brands. MSLGroup, which is owned by France's Publicis Groupe, had that business.

The No. 1 independent firm will manage general-market and Hispanic campaigns surrounding consumer-marketing launches and event-sponsorship activations.

Colin Westcott-Pitt, VP-marketing of Heinekin, credited Edelman's media relations expertise for notching the business of the Dutch brewer. He thanked MSL New York for its “collaboration in developing impactful programming for brand Heineken.”

Paul George, senior VP and partner at Fleishman-Hillard unit TogoRun, is set to join sister Omnicom unit Porter Novelli as global director of health. Susan Hayes led the health unit at PN until leaving last summer for the Obama campaign.


The Hawaii Health Connector, the state's healthcare exchange formed under the Affordable Care Act has awarded a $1.2M pact to Honolulu-based Milici Valenti Ng Pack Inc.

The pact runs through August with the option for an additional year. It calls for research, communications and PR services.

“The goal is to link Hawaii's people, particularly individuals and small businesses, with access to affordable health care coverage,” said Rose Hughes, HHC's director of communications, in a statement.

HHC requires a "sophisticated system that lays out the health benefits, choices and costs available, and is easy to understand and navigate," according to Hughes.

MVNP is to work with HHC in statewide "talk story" sessions, committee meetings and with advocacy groups. It will also develop public policy communications for informing legislative case workers about the benefits of HHC.

Media placements, social media work, town hall meetings, speaking engagements, and educational panels are part of its overall outreach effort.

Rose said HHC will ultimately “serve as a one-stop resource that allows consumers and small businesses to shop and compare health insurance plans, as well as determine eligibility for financial assistance.”

MVNP has worked with Aloha Airlines, Hawaiian Telecom, Hawaii Convention and Visitors Bureau, McDonald's, State Farm and Starwood Hawaii.


Kathryn Beiser, VP of corporate communications for Discover Financial Services, has checked in at Hilton Worldwide as executive VP, corporate comms.

Beiser takes over for senior VP Ellen Gonda.


She spent six years with Discover after an agency career that spanned Burson-Marsteller, GolinHarris, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, healthcare shop Caduceus Comms. and Ruder Finn. She was managing director for B-M's corporate practice and VP at GH.

Based in Hilton's McLean, Va., headquarters, Beiser, who joined the company Dec. 3, heads global external and internal communications, as well as corporate responsibility.

She reports directly to president/CEO Christopher Nassetta as a member of Hilton's executive committee.

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