Buzzer hires Liz Villafan, who most recently served as Amazon Alexa PR specialist, as VP of digital entertainment and consumer technology. At Amazon, she oversaw the PR strategy for Alexa’s entertainment capabilities, responsible for raising awareness for both B2B and B2C initiatives. She was previously an account supervisor at Metro PR and Ketchum, where she helped facilitate brand partnerships, coordinated media events, strengthened influencer relationships and managed communications initiatives. At Buzzer, Villafan will oversee media relations and thought leadership campaigns, as well as crisis communications for Buzzer’s roster of clients. She will also support campaigns across the Buzzer Collective of agency partners and independent PR consultants. “Her passion and dedication to the craft makes Liz ideally suited to expand our offering and our mission to be more integrated into client businesses and provide them with everything they need to drive awareness, tune-in and sales at scale,” said Buzzer founder and CEO Dana Block.
The NYU School of Professional Studies Division of Programs in Business names former CVS senior VP and chief communications officer Kathryn Metcalfe to the newly created role of visiting professor. Metcalfe has also held leadership roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Aetna, Deloitte, Novartis and Pfizer, as well as serving in senior roles at PR firms, including CEO of Cohn & Wolfe’s New York office. Earlier in her career, she was an adjunct professor for the NYU SPS program. In addition to teaching responsibilities, Metcalfe’s new position will entail helping to review curriculum, build thought leadership, and increase the program’s visibility and ties to business globally. She will also bring industry leaders to the program in a new speaker series. “Her strong reputation as well as her deep and diverse experience across all disciples of communications, public relations, government affairs, crisis communications, and marketing will help us ensure we continue to raise the bar academically and provide our students with relevant real-world insights,” said Martin Ihrig, associate dean and clinical professor at the NYU SPS DPB.
GoTo, which offers remote management and support and business communication software, appoints Peter Mahoney as CMO. In addition to serving as CMO at voice and AI leader Nuance Communications, Mahoney was founder and CEO of Plannuh, a venture-backed software company that developed an AI-driven platform to automate marketing leadership. At GoTo, he will lead the nearly 200 GoTo marketers, including customer marketing, partner marketing, IT solutions group marketing, unified communications & collaboration marketing, marketing operations, digital marketing, brand & creative, and corporate communications. “His extensive expertise and passion for developing and optimizing marketing plans, coaching marketers, executives, and early career leaders makes him extremely well-positioned to drive demand for our suite of products around the globe,” said GoTo CEO Paddy Srinivasan.