The PR Council has voted in BCW global president Jim Joseph as chair. Joseph, who will serve a two-year term, succeeds Weber Shandwick CEO Gail Heimann. “During my term, I will focus our efforts on solving critical talent questions,” said Joseph. Walker Sands president Mike Santoro will take the role of treasurer. Santoro and Joseph will be members of the council’s executive committee, joining Double-Forte CEO Lee Caraher, who serves as PRC secretary, and PRC president Kim Sample. Newly elected board members, who will serve three-year terms, are Fleishman-Hillard COO J.J. Carter, Egami CEO Teneshia Jackson Warner and MWWPR CEO Michael Kempner. The PRC’s active members from over 110 U.S. agencies represent around 80 percent of U.S. PR firm revenues and employ over 12,000 professionals.
Purple Strategies has brought on Rebecca Ballard as managing director, communications, marketing and engagement, a newly created role. Ballard comes to Purple Strategies from Hill + Knowlton Strategies, where she most recently served as head of communication and culture for H+K U.S. and founder and executive director of the firm's women's network. She began her career at Public Strategies, which merged with H+K Strategies in 2011. In her new position, Ballard will build out and lead internal and external communications. “Rebecca's deep experience partnering with both client- and agency-side leaders through times of growth and change will be an invaluable asset for us,” said Purple Strategies partner and COO Kristen Morgante.
Olympic Steel has named Michelle Pearson-Casey vice president, corporate communications & marketing. Pearson-Casey was previously at the company from 1999 to 2015, leaving to take on the role of manager, communications & change management at the J.M. Smucker Company. She most recently served as a communications and change management consultant at Blue Communications Agency. Pearson-Casey will lead Olympic Steel’s internal and external communications efforts, reporting to company CEO Richard Marabito. “Michelle brings a wealth of experience in developing and delivering effective communications strategies,” said Marabito.