Annapolis-based Weitzman Agency has appointed Rich Reiter as president. He joined Weitzman in December 2016 as executive creative director, coming from Planit in Baltimore where he had been creative director since 2014.

“Rich is an amazing talent,” said Alan Weitzman, founder. “He’s a driven creative leader that combines inspiration, strategic insight, and interpersonal style to foster agency culture, build brands, energize teams, and gratify clients. We’re proud to have him leading Weitzman.”

According to an announcement, Reiter brings over 18 years of agency experience developing campaigns for brands such as McDonald’s, KFC, Hyundai, Red Lobster, SC Johnson and Miller Coors Brewing.

“I’m honored to have been chosen to lead Weitzman,” said Reiter. “With my experience and Weitzman’s pedigree, I know there’s a bright future ahead for us and all our clients.”

Pat Balasavage has joined Baltimore’s idfive as graphic designer

Transamerica announced the appointment of Frank Sottosanti as chief marketing officer. In this role, Sottosanti will lead Transamerica’s marketing, brand management, digital platforms, content delivery, innovation effort and channel marketing support for the organization’s distribution strategy.

“Frank brings a wealth of knowledge and an impressive track record to this role,” said Dave Paulsen, executive vice president and chief distribution officer for Transamerica. “We are looking forward to him providing strategic leadership as CMO by further executing on the innovative and transformational brand and digital platform initiatives that we have in development to enhance our customer, advisor and employer experiences.”

Sottosanti has more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the financial services, insurance, consumer packaged goods and entertainment industries. He served in a similar role with Protective Life since 2012, where he developed and directed the efforts of a new consumer marketing team to create innovative digital marketing strategies to build brand awareness, relevance and trust. His career path also included marketing leadership positions at BBVA Compass, Wachovia Bank, Bank of America and the Coca-Cola Company.

Warschawski announced that Gabriella Tancona has been named a Rising PR Star by PR News in the program that recognizes PR leaders under the age of 30 who are passionate and inspirational in the communications field. Tancona will be recognized along with 70 other honorees during the PR News PR People Awards Luncheon at the National Press Club. Also at Warschawski, Maddie Slezak was promoted to senior associate. In her new role, Slezak will take on additional responsibility overseeing client relations, and will create and execute integrated marketing communications campaigns for the agency’s clients. A 2015 graduate of Texas Christian University, she was hired as a Junior Associate after completing the agency’s Assistant Associate (AA) program that year.

Columbia-based Merkle announced that it has been named the 2017 Search Agency of the year by the editorial board of MediaPost, recognizing companies that represent the best-in-class in the advertising community. Merkle will be honored at the MediaPost Agency of the Year awards ceremony in New York in January 2018.

We are honored to be recognized by MediaPost. This award, in addition to our other recent accolades, underscores that we have top-notch search strategists and practitioners as well as first-rate proprietary tools and technologies,” said Coleen Kuehn, chief media officer at Merkle. “Our approach to search and media focuses on people before channels. We don’t just serve ads – we create meaningful brand interactions that drive results for clients.”

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