Bender_Headshot_WebSizeBetsy Bender announced the launch of Bender Solutions Group, a consultancy that helps clients differentiate their brand, improve the customer experience and develop their marketing team. Based in Baltimore, Bender, left, will work with clients to build comprehensive brand strategies, and provide interim and advisory chief marketing officer services. “We make our client’s job easier, so they can focus on the business,” Bender noted in an announcement. “B2C organizations navigating change or wanting to better distinguish themselves will find that our work supports sales, increases customer satisfaction and loyalty, and boosts employee engagement,” she explained. For client engagements requiring specialized services, Bender taps the experience of vetted partners. This approach provides clients with best in class expertise and a solutions group assembled specifically for their needs. Prior to launching Bender Solutions Group, Bender was most recently senior vice president of marketing for OneMain. There, she held leadership roles building teams and leading brand management, product development, customer experience and segmentation, consumer insights/research, P.O.S./collateral, direct mail, mass media advertising, and sponsorship.

Columbia-based Maroon PR has been retained by HMC Incorporated to serve as public relations agency of record. HMC, also based in Columbia, is a commercial custom millwork manufacturing firm specializing in custom millwork fabrication, foodservice design, specification and procurement. According to a release, Maroon PR will be working with HMC to lead media relations strategies for the organization, include “executive positioning” for HMC’s President and CEO, Kara DiPietro, who acquired the company from her father in 2015.

Ellen Hoover, an account supervisor at Mount Washington agency Siquis until it closed inDebbieNorris_2 January, has been hired by the Harvey Agency in Sparks. Also, former Siquis VP and media director Debbie Norris, right, is now media director at HZDG, based in Rockville. Earlier career experience includes media-focused roles at independents Rosenthal Partners (now RP3 Agency) and Eisner Communications. “Debbie’s a proven talent. She’s got a history of creating engaging, strategic media plans and brings valuable experience to our clients,” said Aaron Mushro, director of search and analytics at HZDG. “Her considerable experience adds to our fundamentals as we continue to expand our team. I’m excited to welcome her onboard.”

Jellyfish US, a global digital marketing agency with U.S. headquarters in Baltimore, announced the opening of an office in Reston Town Center’s RTC West. The new location will serve as the development and tech hub for the digital agency as it continues to grow its East Coast presence and will draw from the strong talent pool in the metro D.C. area. The Reston office, which will house more than 20 Jellyfish employees, currently has five job openings posted. “Jellyfish is a rapidly growing digital agency, and our new office in Reston is ideally situated to draw from a strong talent pool in the metro D.C. area,” said Jim Hamilton, managing director and head of U.S. agency at Jellyfish. “Our employees want to be at the epicenter of technology on the east coast.” Jellyfish employs nearly 100 people in the U.S. and 350 globally.

Van Eperen, an integrated communications agency specializing in public relations, marketing, social media and digital strategy, announced the hiring of Caterina Ore, a marketing project management professional, to support the firm’s growing contract work in Maryland. Fluent in Spanish, Ore brings strategic marketing research, communications planning and project management experience to Van Eperen, supporting accounts in the government and transportation sectors. Also at Van Eperen, account coordinator Debra Buck was promoted to assistant account executive. Van Eperen, a Capitol Communicator sponsor, has offices in North Bethesda and Baltimore.

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