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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - May 14, 2012 - Vol. 45 - No. 20 (download PDF version)

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The Farm Credit System, the federally backed network of lenders to the agricultural sector, is on the hunt for a PR firm to mark the centennial of its founding under President Woodrow Wilson.

Farm Credit

FCS, which includes several entities like Farmer Mac, Agricultural Credit Banks and AgriBank, on May 11 issued an open request for qualifications for the long-term PR project calling for several aspects of an integrated campaign to highlight its history and value to the U.S. Its communications team is based in Denver.

“Farm Credit has been serving rural America for nearly 100 years, and we are seeking the right partner to help us begin to prepare for this once in a lifetime milestone,” said Leigh Picchetti, senior VP of communications for FCS, known as Farm Credit.

The system had assets of $230 billion and loans of $175B at the end of 2011. It was created in 1916 with the Federal Farm Loan Act, signed by Wilson a year later.

FCS said it wants to hear from firms or networks and collaborations of firms by June 29.

A conference call has been set for June 6. View the RFQ:


Dale Petroskey, who headed the National Baseball Hall of Fame and led marketing for the Texas Rangers, has moved to Occidental Petroleum as VP of public affairs.

Fleishman-Hillard veteran Richard Kline stepped down as VP of comms. and PA for the Los Angeles-based oil and gas giant last year.

Petroskey, 56, has been running his Dallas-based consulting shop for the past two years. He was president of the Baseball Hall of Fame for more than eight years before taking an executive VP role with the Rangers.

Earlier, he worked PA and mission programs for the National Geographic Society and served in the Reagan administration as an assistant press secretary at the White House and assistant secretary for PA at the Dept. of Transportation.

Oxy Pete is the fourth largest U.S. oil company. First quarter profit hit $1.56B on revenue of $6.27B

Melissa Schoeb, senior director, comms. and PA, was promoted to VP of corporate comms.

She joined the company in 2007 after a stint as senior VP and senior partner at Fleishman-Hillard.


WPP CEO Martin Sorrell received a 30 percent pay hike in 2011 to $2M as reported earnings soared 43 percent to $1.3B and revenues rose 7.4 percent to $16B.


The pay hike marks Sorrell’s first increase since 2007, according to the ad/PR conglom’s annual report. The Guardian reported that last fall WPP proposed a 50 percent increase for Sorrell.

WPP’s compensation committee, which is chaired by investment banker Jeffrey Rosen, determined that Sorrell merited a pay hike because since 2007 the company has “continued to grow in scale and complexity, with worldwide headcount increasing from fewer than 80,000 people in 2,000 offices to over 113,500 people in over 2,500 offices; revenues increasing by over 69 percent; and earnings per share increasing by over 61 percent by the end of 2011.”

The boost also is due to factors such as business and personal performance, competitive pay levels and the extended time since the last review.

Sorrell’s total compensation hit the $21M mark last year. A good chunkof that package – $8.8M – came from WPP’s long-term incentive plan.

Rosen plans to meet with investors to make the case for Sorrell’s pay hike.

WPP says it typically reaches out to shareholders after its annual report is published.


The Hoffman Agency has named Steve Burkhart general manager/North America for the high-tech shop with $9.1M in 2011 fee income.

Burkhart is a veteran of Weber Shandwick and Edelman. He served in Edelman’s Seattle office, handling B2B and consumer tech accounts and co-founded the Portland outpost of the No. 1 independent firm.

At Interpublic’s WS, Burkhart counseled Microsoft and became a top leader of its clean technology team, managing teams in New York, Seattle, San Francisco and Portland.

THA CEO Lou Hoffman said he got to know Burkhart through a consulting relationship at the San Jose firm.

Hoffman says Burkhart has a “can do better mentality” that will benefit THA clients.



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