After securing two Maryland Department of Health accounts, Pittsburgh-based Beyond Spots & Dots announced the opening of a Baltimore office at the 23rd floor Regus coworking center at the Legg Mason Building. The Baltimore office marks the agency’s second expansion in three years following the opening of a Columbus, Ohio, office in 2017.

“As a home-grown agency with a growing national client roster, the decision to expand into the Maryland market was a natural next step for our business progression,” said Melanie Querry, founder & president, Beyond Spots & Dots. “I grew up near Baltimore so this is a very exciting endeavor for me personally. Now all these years later with business ties to the area, I’m excited to move forward with our east coast expansion with no plans of slowing down any time soon.”

As a woman-owned agency, Beyond Spots & Dots is certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) by the Maryland Department of Transportation and in 2019 was awarded two Maryland contracts: the Advanced Directives Program contract ($480,935) and a Maryland Cancer Fund contract for $118,020.

Bill Atkinson,  a former Baltimore Sun reporter and columnist, launched a public relations and strategic communications firm called Atkinson Strategic Communications. The firm specializes in working with corporations, CEOs, senior executives and their teams in three areas: public relations, crisis communications and grassroots strategies.

Atkinson is joined by Emily Atkinson, who is a director at the firm, and Will Atkinson, who is an account executive. They previously worked at 212 Communications, a Baltimore-based public relations firm which Bill Atkinson joined in June 2015.

“Our strategies help protect and build reputations and change opinions,” said Atkinson, who has been in public relations for 15 years. “We help our clients form the words and ideas to tell their stories in good times and when they are under pressure.”

Prior to 2012, Atkinson was a senior vice president at global public relations agency Weber Shandwick where he worked with clients that included Constellation Energy, Honeywell, General Motors, Bank of America, Promontory Financial Group, Raymond James and 1st Mariner Bank.

Prior to becoming a public relations practitioner in 2005, Atkinson was a business columnist and financial reporter at the Baltimore Sun where he wrote a twice-weekly column that tracked the personal dimensions of top executives of Maryland corporations. He was also the newspaper’s economics correspondent and covered the banking industry, stock market, mutual fund companies, brokerage houses, investment banks and white-collar crime. A series of stories on Allfirst Bank was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism.

Atkinson also was an editor at American Banker newspaper in Washington, D.C., and a reporter covering federal regulators and regional and community banks. He also worked as a reporter for the Washington Business Journal and for American City Business Journals newspapers in San Jose, Calif., Columbus, Ohio, and Milwaukee, Wis.

Atkinson Strategic Communications has deep experience in banking and finance, environment, healthcare, medical devices, real estate and consumer goods, namely non-alcoholic beverages.

The firm specializes in developing grassroots and corporate social responsibility programs for its clients and helps businesses form strategic community partnerships that have a lasting impact. It also develops strategies for organizations facing challenges ranging from bankruptcy, environmental contamination, legal disputes and CEO missteps.

The firm also offers media training, content creation ranging from drafting website content to writing commentaries and Op-Eds to social media posting and monitoring.

A project director at Right Source Marketing in Hunt Valley for more than six years, Dov Hoffman has moved to Havas Helia in Baltimore as account director. Well known in AMA and Baltimore marketing circles, Hoffman serves as AMA Baltimore’s VP Programming and past-president and has held active leadership roles on the chapter’s executive board since 2009, and most recently president where he was charged with overseeing the chapter’s growth and implementing the vision for the organization.

Bright MLS, the leading multiple listing service (MLS) in the Mid-Atlantic representing 95,000 real estate professionals, announced that Chris Finnegan is joining the Bright MLS executive team as Chief Marketing and Communications Officer.  In this role, Finnegan will oversee all external outreach for the organization; including marketing, communications, local account management, industry events, and shareholder relations.

Finnegan joined Bright MLS in March 2019 as vice president of marketing and communications, focusing on media relations, industry outreach and brand development. In his expanded role, Finnegan will develop strategies to drive subscriber success by enhancing awareness of Bright MLS’s industry-leading technology, tools and data.

Finnegan came to the real estate industry from the media and entertainment field, having spent ten years at Discovery, Inc., where he was senior vice president of communications.


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