Up to the Minute: Rock-It names new leadership

Plus, McCann wins Santa Claus Parade mandate, Swoop picks Brookline and Apply Digital expands to Los Angeles.

Hires and promotions

Rock-It Promotions has promoted former VP Kate Makinson to the role of president, assuming responsibility of day-to-day operations and strategic direction of the PR agency. This comes as founder Debra Sadowski moves into a CEO role, focusing more on long-term strategic growth, client acquisitions and executive team mentorship. In addition, Victoria Gormley – who had previously worked as VP at the agency during Makinson’s recent maternity leave – has been hired to the role permanently.

Bob Pickard is joining National Public Relations as managing partner in Toronto. He was most recently principal of Toronto-based Signal Leadership Communication, a social public relations consultancy he co-founded in 2016.

Carolane Stratis is joining BICOM as its digital content manager. The new addition is one of several new hires in recent months, which include Ashley Sivil, digital strategy director, Lauren Hildebrand, creative content manager, Anick Lacroix senior account manager, Marie-Ève Venne, digital PR and project manager, and Tina Raveloson, digital project manager.

Creative video and animation agency By the Booth announced James Murday is its new VP of marketing and business development. Murday has been tasked with driving new business, creating new client relationships and building the By The Booth brand.

Apply Digital has announced the opening of a new LA office to grow its U.S. client base. It will be helmed by Dan Olson, who was previously a managing director for Wunderman and a CEO at Y&R.

LP/AD is opening an office in San Francisco later this month, headed by partner Sasha Zaprudska. The expansion is in support of Vindicia, a service that helps businesses manage subscription revenue, though the agency plans to build the office with other clients in the region.

New business

McCann Canada has been named AOR for the social/digital assets of the Toronto Santa Claus Parade following a competitive review. The agency’s work will begin with social content this year, before expanding into a larger campaign in 2020.

Brookline Public Relations has been chosen as PR AOR for Swoop, the low-cost subsidiary of WestJet which was introduced to the Canadian market last years. The agency will take on a variety of communications initiatives to build more brand awareness including proactive and reactive media relations, inaugural celebrations, consumer activations and more.