First Lady’s Former Press Aide Back in L.A.
Ashleigh Adams might no longer be rubbing elbows with Larry King or Paula Zahn, but Edelman Public Relations Worldwide’s newest account supervisor is happy to be home.
Adams has joined the L.A. firm’s issues management group after serving a year as deputy press secretary to Laura Bush, for whom she handled media inquires both in Washington and during the First Lady’s jaunts across the nation.
“The first year of any administration is (about) getting your feet on the ground,” said Adams. “You learn how the White House works, how Washington works and how the White House press corps works. I can honestly say it’s the hardest I’ve ever worked. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially during such a historic time for our nation.”
At Edelman, her responsibilities range from developing clients’ media campaigns to working on land use and health care issues, as well as crisis communications.
Adams, 27, originally joined the company as an assistant account executive after graduating from USC in 1996 with a bachelor of arts degree in communications and political science. Her first foray into politics came the next year when she began a two-year stint as deputy press secretary to then Mayor Richard Riordan. Adams also was a vice president of corporate affairs for Bank of America in between her work at City Hall and the White House.
She said she returned to L.A. to be closer to her family, who reside in Northern California, and to be with her fiance, a local architect.
Leaving the world of politics behind was not difficult, she said. “I’m not so passionate about politics as I am passionate about the challenges of public relations work,” said Adams. “And at Edelman you really get to be creative for a variety of clients.”
Juan Castillo has been promoted to Los Angeles-based West Coast sales director for LanChile Airlines. He was previously its assistant marketing manager for North America.
Perkowitz + Ruth Architects has named Rick Overley a senior associate with the firm. He served the last few years as an associate responsible for production management for several of the Long Beach firm’s entertainment and commercial projects.
Comerica Bank-California has promoted Alan Davidson as first vice president of Community Business Bank, where he will develop new business relationships from his Long Beach office. He was elevated from the position of business development officer.
Julius Baer Investment Management Inc. has hired Melvin Lindsey as first vice president and director of business development, a position that has him responsible for creating marketing initiatives and other duties. He was previously senior managing director for Wells Capital Management.
Laura-Beth Sholkoff has been named senior vice president and manager of corporate marketing for Union Bank of California, where she will manage the bank’s consumer marketing for community banking business units. She most recently served as the firm’s vice president of corporate marketing.
Consulting and PR
Jerry Thode has been appointed area director for Cap Gemini Ernst & Young Pacific Southwest operations, where he will oversee efforts to obtain new business in that region from his Los Angeles office. He will continue to hold the position of company vice president.
Cerrell Associates Inc. has hired Matt Birkhofer as an account coordinator, making him responsible for assisting clients in the development and implementation of public affairs, media relations and community relations programs. Previously, he was a legislative correspondent and aide working in the Washington office of Republican Congressman Tom Latham of Iowa.
Sudhir Damle has been promoted to lead the statewide infrastructure service line for PinnacleOne, where he will work out of the construction consulting firm’s L.A. office. He will retain his title of general manager of local operations.
FIND/SVP Inc. has hired Maggie Baron as senior business development manager and Celia Smith as business development manager for the executive consulting firm’s L.A. area operations. Baron was previously executive vice president of alliances and business development at Examen Inc., while Smith held a sales and marketing positions at Be Free Inc.
Dee Murphy has been promoted to vice president of sales for Rhino Entertainment/Warner Strategic Marketing, a position that has her supervising the catalog sales and national sales staff as well as devising strategies for the Los Angeles operation. Prior to that, she was a senior director of special markets and budget sales for the firm.
Steven Miller has been named executive vice president of creative advertising at MGM Distribution where he will be responsible for the creation of advertising for both MGM and United Artists theatrical releases. He previously was vice president of creative advertising at New Line.
Discovery Networks, which produces the Discovery Channel and 11 other networks, has hired Billy Campbell as its new president, a position that has him overseeing reality-based programming. He was previously president of Miramax TV.
MGM Pictures and United Artists, the film production units of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc., have named Michel Glick as senior vice president of physical production for theatrical releases. He has been producing movies for various studios for nearly three decades.
Universal Music Publishing Group has appointed Susan Ranta director of music sampling clearance. She is responsible for managing requests for adaptations and translations of all U.S.-based Universal and Randor copyrights.
Universal Pictures has promoted Adam Fogelson to president and Eddie Egan to co-president of marketing, where they will spearhead all aspects of marketing for domestic feature film releases. The two previously served as executive vice presidents in that department.
Zenia Mucha has been appointed senior vice president of corporate communications for Walt Disney Co. She previously was the senior vice president of communications for the ABC Broadcast Group and the ABE Television Network.
Howard Schwartz has joined Tatum CFO Partners as a partner in the firm’s Los Angeles practice where he will help companies develop business strategies. For the last 20 years, he has served as a chief financial officer for numerous retail and manufacturing companies, as well as Internet start-ups ranging in size from $50 million to $1.3 billion.
Jennifer Braun has been appointed an assistant United States Trustee, a division of the Department of Justice that oversees case administration and litigation to enforce bankruptcy laws. She will be responsible for overseeing activities in the Woodland Hills branch office. Prior to the hiring, she worked for Bet Tzedek Legal Services, most recently as a litigation and training supervisor.
Luis Kreckler, the consul general of Argentina, has assumed the post of dean of the Los Angeles Consular Corps, an organization of foreign diplomats from 86 nations stationed locally to promote economic and trade relations, as well as tourism and cultural exchange. Kreckler was previously consul at the Argentine Embassy in Panama.
Greenberg Traurig’s Los Angeles office continued its expansion with the addition of intellectual property attorneys Charles Berman and Christopher Darrow, who will counsel clients on patent acquisition and licensing as well as provide patent portfolio management. Berman is a former partner at Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly while Darrow was a manager partner of that firm’s L.A. office.
Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp has hired Stephen Bauman as an of counsel for the family wealth planning practice and Evan Kent as a partner in the intellectual property and technology department. Prior to joining the L.A. firm, Bauman was a partner with Willis, Butler in Los Angeles, while Kent was a partner with Russ August Kabat & Kent in L.A.
Heather Mynatt has been promoted to branch manager of the Hollywood office of Vector Marketing, which is the exclusive marketer of Cutco kitchen cutlery. She previously served as Vector’s field sales manager.
Peter Lee has been appointed associate vice president of Colliers Seeley International Inc.’s Diamond Bar office, where he will serve commercial real estate clients in Los Angeles, the San Gabriel Valley and elsewhere. He was most recently an associate vice president with Grubb & Ellis Co.
Octave Software Inc. has appointed Terry Ferose as vice president of global client and partner services, putting him in charge of the Los Angeles firm’s consulting, education and partner relationship services worldwide. He previously served as vice president of professional services and general manager of the Latin American business unit of Vignette Corp.
CrownPeak Technology has appointed Rob Rose as vice president of sales and marketing for the Marina del Rey content management provider. He was previously Ignited Minds’ vice president of strategic planning.
Ramella Motio has been named national sales manager for the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau, where she will market the city’s convention and meeting facilities as well as hotels to corporations and associations in the northeast U.S. She was promoted from the positions of sales manager at the Pasadena Conference Center, the bureau’s sister organization.