CHICAGO, April 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ketchum, one of the world's leading public relations agencies, named Kim Essex as senior vice president and senior client director for the Ketchum Midwest Brand and Food Practice. In addition to leading brand work on key Ketchum accounts, Essex will serve as a senior strategist to clients for Ketchum Midwest, which comprises Ketchum's Chicago and Pittsburgh offices, and will lead business development in the agriculture and food sectors.
Essex most recently served as senior vice president of consumer marketing for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) for nine years. She led a team that executed the "Beef, It's What's for Dinner" program, including advertising, public and influencer relations, retail and foodservice marketing, and digital strategy.
"I've had the pleasure of working with Kim as both a colleague and a client, and I have seen her successfully tackle tremendous challenges in the food and commodity space," said Bill Zucker, director of Ketchum Midwest. "A common thread in all of her work is that Kim truly owns the challenge, embracing the client or the brand on both a professional and personal level."
Essex said, "As a client of Ketchum, I was provided smart strategists and real results. They were always on the leading edge of the communications environment and committed to my business. That's why I'm thrilled to be joining the Ketchum team. I look forward to enhancing the agency's service to food and commodity clients."
Before joining the NCBA, Essex worked for 13 years as a brand marketing consultant for Burson-Marsteller in Chicago. Her clients included McDonald's, Lipton Tea, Abbott Nutrition (Similac), Sprint, Monsanto and Equal Sweetener. In both her agency role and at the NCBA, Essex has led programs at the intersection of brand and nutrition. She has directed strategies through multiple releases of the USDA Dietary Guidelines, and she has helped grow the beef brand while navigating complicated public affairs and industry reputation issues.
Essex will report to Pamela Von Lehmden, senior vice president and director of the Midwest Brand and Food Practice. She will also work closely with Linda Eatherton, director of Ketchum's Global Food & Nutrition Practice.
Ketchum is a leading global communications firm with operations in more than 70 countries across six continents. Named 2010 Large PR Firm of the Year (Holmes Report and PR News) and the winner of an unprecedented three consecutive PRWeek Campaign of the Year Awards, Ketchum partners with clients to deliver strategic programming, breakthrough creative and measurable results that build brands and reputations. For more information on Ketchum, a unit of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC), visit www.ketchum.com.