Social Soup

Two things we never lack around FWV are thoughts and opinions. We invite you to dive in and see what we have to say about our industry — and the world.

French West Vaughan Press Releases – 12.17.2012


French West Vaughan

RALEIGH, N.C. (Dec. 17, 2012)  – French/West/Vaughan (FWV), one of the nation’s leading independent public relations and brand communications agencies, today announced 10 new hires and five promotions.

“This is an inspiring time for our agency,” said FWV Chairman and CEO Rick French. “Our recent new hires and well-earned promotions are a testament to the depth of our organization and the consistent level of talent we proudly attract.”

FWV welcomes Lesley Gross as vice president of digital services. Her responsibilities encompass digital, social and experiential marketing strategy and brand building for the agency’s clients. Gross has more than a decade of professional experience in marketing, sales/business development and public relations. Prior to joining FWV, Gross was a search engine marketing manager at iContact Corporation where she oversaw social media advertising, display and landing page optimization. She also worked in management roles at TransMedia Group, MoreVisibility, Inc. and Trident Marketing. Lesley holds an MBA from Nova Southeastern University in Florida and a B.S. in marketing from Miami University in Ohio.

John Riley joins the agency as senior art director. Riley comes to FWV from O’Brien Riley & Associates, where he led creative development and concept production for all agency projects. His preceding experience includes creative management and graphic design roles at Prisma, Inc., D&GG Advertising, Melone Advertising, Chemistry (formerly known as Krome) and Xanthus Design, all located in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Claire Howell joins FWV as senior account executive with six years of marketing and PR experience. Howell will be involved in strategic planning, day-to-day account management and program implementation for various local and national accounts. Howell was previously with McClatchey Broadcasting Company, most recently serving as an account executive, overseeing daily management of accounts, strategic campaign developments and advertising initiatives for clients. She has held additional communication and PR roles at Looking Glass Communications, Inc., Howard, Merrell & Partners and MMI Associates, Inc.

The agency welcomes Carrie Riggin as senior account executive. Riggin most recently was senior manager for PMG Sports, where she supported public relations and social media marketing, working with its many Olympic athletes, celebrity fitness trainers and chefs. Prior to joining PMG, she was with Howard Merrell & Partners’ public relations department, working with clients such as Georgia-Pacific, Butterball and DIXIE products.

FWV also welcomes Rachel Wing as senior account executive. Wing was previously creative project manager, supporting dynamic media, web and traditional creative projects for Capstrat, primarily serving as project manager for the Deloitte and Red Hat accounts. Wing held additional communication and management roles at Hill Holiday | Erwin Penland Advertising, Interactive Sites, Riester, AZIMA, ZSpot and VMW Logistic, Inc.

Don Rhoades joins the agency as online marketing strategist. Rhoades holds an A.S. in computer science from the University of Louisville and has experience strategizing and executing successful search and social marketing campaigns in competitive niches. He was previously with Search Marketing Savant, and specialized in linking acquisition strategies and assisting in reputation management consulting.

FWV welcomes Justin Hancock as graphic designer. Hancock holds a B.A. in graphic design from The Art Institute of Charleston and most recently hails from Rawle Murdy, where he was a freelance designer. Additionally, he served as a freelance art director for Pickled Type Co. in Charleston, S.C.

Brandi Gull joins FWV as interactive designer. Gull holds a Bachelor of Graphic Design from North Carolina State University. Gull was previously with Yellow House Design where she was a senior designer and front-end web developer.

Anne Clayton McCaul joins FWV as account coordinator. McCaul is a recent graduate of the University of North Florida where she majored in public relations/communications, and was the UNF PRSSA chapter president. She has held internships with St. John & Partners in Jacksonville, Fla., the Children’s Miracle Network and several other Florida-based organizations. McCaul will be supporting agency accounts such as the U.S. Polo Association and Hood River Distillers.

FWV welcomes Ariele McWhinney as social media coordinator. A James Madison University alum with an undergraduate degree in marketing and communications, McWhinney has worked to improve SEO and pay-per-click strategies and results on behalf of large national clients, including Mazda and Wildfire Interactive while at Search Mojo. From Berryville, Va., she recently relocated to the Raleigh area to join FWV, supporting a variety of social and digital marketing efforts for the agency’s accounts.

Additionally, FWV announced five promotions. Wendy McCarthy has been promoted to senior vice president. With FWV since 2006, McCarthy oversees an array of national and global agency clients within the consumer marketing practice area. Both Amy Lacker and Amanda Fennell have been promoted to senior account executives. Lacker will continue to provide PR support for accounts including ABB, Dix Visionaries, TigerSwan, Saft Batteries, Michael Vick, Strata Solar and Hudson Realty Corporation. Fennell, embarking on her third year with FWV, supports the development and implementation of integrated marketing and PR accounts including Moe’s Southwest Grill, Dude Ranchers’ Association, Polar Ice House, Wrangler, Riders by Lee, Wilmington and Beaches CVB and My Lasting Legacy. Hudson Haines was promoted to senior interactive designer. Haines will continue to fulfill a dual role as interactive graphic designer and front-end developer. Additionally, James Bailey has been promoted to digital account supervisor. Bailey leads key digital initiatives, marketing and digital content strategy for the agency’s clients.



 About French/West/Vaughan

French/West/Vaughan is the Southeast’s leading public relations, public affairs and brand communications agency, independent or otherwise. National, international and local clients represented by the agency include Melitta, Wrangler, Justin Boot Company, The Jimmy V Foundation, Tweetsie Railroad, Polar Ice House, Downtown Raleigh Alliance and Moe’s Southwest Grill restaurants. The agency also offers award-winning advertising, graphic design, media planning and placement, and digital and social media marketing and monitoring services for a wide range of clients. Headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., FWV also has offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Tampa and Dallas. For more information, please visit     

# # #