Stephen Macias
Stephen Macias

Rogers & Cowan PMK is launching a multicultural communications division, which has the goal of connecting brands and talent to consumers and organizations in the LGBTQ+ community, communities of color and female-driven initiatives. The division will be led by Stephen Macias, who joins the firm in the newly created position of executive vice president entertainment and multicultural practice lead. Macias was previously senior vice president, diversity and inclusion practice lead at MWWPR. Macias will lead a team dedicated to creating and executing multicultural communications strategies, initiatives, partnerships and programs, employing traditional and earned media, digital and social tactics, crisis communications and integrated marketing. Rogers & Cowan PMK chief executive Mark Owens said that launching the multicultural communications division “is an important next step in our business and who we are as an agency.”

Freeman Haven
Diana Haven and Andrew Freeman

af&co. (formerly Andrew Freeman & Co.) has announced its merger with Ellipses Public Relations. The combined company will operate under the af&co. name. Andrew Freeman continues in his role as president and chief executive officer, and Ellipses founder and CEO Diana Haven fills a new chief operating officer position at the agency. The 17-person firm is headquartered in downtown San Francisco and specializes in lifestyle, hospitality, food and beverage marketing and public relations. “This move gives us the opportunity to not only expand our offerings to new market segments but solidifies our place as one of the leading lifestyle firms in the Bay Area and nationally,” said Freeman. In January, af&co. launched Carbonate, a brand strategy and creative services agency.

Female Foundry

Dentsu Aegis Network, which includes Mitchell Communications Group and Merkle, is expanding its Female Foundry program—a global initiative that works to connect, mentor and develop female entrepreneurs—into the U.S. So far the program has worked with 71 businesses internationally, and has the goal of reaching 100 female entrepreneurs by the end of 2020. The first U.S. city to launch will be Chicago, which is hosting a three-day boot camp event from May 18-20. Female entrepreneurs interested in joining the business growth program should own some share of the business they work with (which must be within metro Chicago) and hold the main leadership position. Their companies should be leveraging technology in some capacity or be willing to adopt new technologies to scale and grow. Female Foundry is for licensed / registered businesses that have been selling products or services for at least one year and are generating revenue.  For more information, or to apply for the program, click here.