- The Washington Times - Monday, October 1, 2001

Customer relations firm names new PR director

Customer relationship management (CRM) means ensuring different business departments, such as sales, marketing, customer service and management have the ability to share customer information to better serve customers.

ISM Inc., a Bethesda company that specializes in customer relationship management consulting, hired Jennifer Aleknavage, 29, on Aug. 27, to serve as the company's director of public relations. In that role, she is responsible for overseeing communications for the company's Top 15 CRM Software Awards, and the company's Web site.

The company has been expanding over the past 16 years, and Barton Goldberg, the founder and president of ISM says they added Miss Aleknavage to add another element to their company.

"We realized the need to complement our external public relations efforts … with an in-house communications professional," he says. "Jennifer brings a solid background in public relations and marketing communications that will help us maintain and exceed the level of service that our global clients have come to expect."

She previously served as the director of the Chemical Educational Foundation, where she was responsible for product development, communications, and marketing. A lot of her work was devoted to developing educational materials on using and disposing of chemicals safely.

"It was technical, but it also had a community-based role," she says.

Her experiences at the foundation gave her an idea of what to expect in her new job.

"I really like my job. It's challenging, but coming from the chemical industry, I'm being challenged in another way," she says. "Whether you're working at a nonprofit or for-profit company, you're trying to get the right message across."

After graduating from Old Dominion University, Miss Aleknavage says she wanted to get a job in public relations, which she studied in college, but she didn't expect to get a job in the chemical industry.

"I just fell into it and enjoyed it," she says.

Miss Aleknavage lives in Alexandria.

Kate Royce


Linda Straus, formerly a principal and creative director at Zefer in New York City, was named interactive creative supervisor for RTD Direct in the District.

• Dittus Communications Inc., the District, added Jack Cox as assistant vice president. Mr. Cox joined Dittus from International Paper, where he provided strategic counsel.


Stephen Altizer was named eastern region vice president at Dick Corp., a construction firm headquartered in Pittsburgh. Mr. Altizer will head a new Dick regional office in Vienna.


Kirsten Gamb, an adjunct professor of dance at American University and dance teacher with the Washington School of Ballet, was named director of DanceDC, the Washington Ballet's newest community education program for first through fourth graders.


The National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), Gaithersburg, named Roland C. Warren president of the organization. Mr. Warren, who has served on the NFI board since 1997, most recently joined NFI staff as executive vice president.

• The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, based in the District, appointed Elise Miller to its staff as research and policy analyst.

• The International Franchise Association (IFA), the District, named Sonya Thorpe Brathwaite director of diversity and emerging markets. Before joining IFA, Ms. Brathwaite was an account manager with Doner Direct in Baltimore.

• Bruce L. Hiatt, president of the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation (VFBF), was appointed to the Agriculture Technical Advisory Committee for Trade. The Carroll County orchardist is serving his second two-year term as VFBF president.

David R. Graves, president and chief executive officer of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, was appointed to the Agriculture Policy Advisory Committee for Trade.

• Cyril M. Hetsko, chief medical officer of COLA, a national health care accreditation organization based in Columbia, Md., was elected chairman-elect of the American Medical Association's Council on Medical Services.

• Harold Brown and Arthur Levitt was elected to the RAND board of trustees. Mr. Brown is currently a partner in the venture banking firm Warbug, Pincus and Co. and counselor at the D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. Mr. Levitt is currently a senior advisor for the Carlyle Group, a D.C. merchant banking corporation.

• The Lake Anne Merchants Committee, Reston, elected Judith Neal Ley, owner of Ley-Canovas Gallery, and Carol Walnetski, vice president of Millennium Bank, as co-presidents of the association.

• Andrew K. Semmel was appointed executive director of the U.S.-China Commission. Most recently, Mr. Semmel served as the senior foreign policy adviser to Sen. Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican.

• The Partnership for Public Service, a newly formed D.C. nonprofit organization, named its key staff: chief executive officer and president, Max Stier, who came from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), where was deputy general counsel for litigation; executive vice president and general counsel, Kevin M. Simpson, a former HUD deputy general counsel for programs and regulations; and vice president for programs, Joan Timoney, who served as the Peace Corps' new Crisis Corps program and as the agency's chief of staff.

• The Institute of International Education (IIE) appointed William Stacy Rhodes as IIE's vice president for development training and assistance. Mr. Rhodes, the former director of the U.S. Agency for International Development Mission in South Africa, will be based in IIE's D.C. office.

• SOC Enterprises, a community rehabilitation program with headquarters in Arlington elected their offices and added nine new board members.

Officers elected include: board chairman, William E. Halpern, manager, strategic planning with Mobil Oil Corp.; vice chairman, Douglas E. McKinley, attorney, McKinley and Bormer; treasurer, Henry E. Walton, independent training consultant; secretary, Summer Spencer, director, Workforce Organizations for Regional Collaboration.

New board members elected include: Estaban Alzamora, president, MEA Corp.; Joseph P. Corish, attorney, Bean, Kinney & Korman PC; Katherine Annette Spencer Farrars, sales associate, G Street Fabrics; Edith S. Gravely, social workers, Geriatrics, Arlington County; Vancille Trotter Hines, consultant, Millennium Services 2000+; Joan H. Rineberg, certified financial planner; Tom Smolinsky, director, Arlington Public Schools; John D.K. Smoot, property manager, Lancaster Realty; and Sandra P. Stein, former strategic adviser and corporate treasurer, Mobil Corp.

• Jeffrey H. Cohen was named vice president of finance and human services for the American Financial Services Association in the District. Previously, Mr. Cohen was chief financial officer of American Accreditation Health Care Commission.


Jesse H. Merrell, president of Merrell Enterprises News and Feature Syndicate in the District, has won this year's George Washington Honor Award from Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, for outstanding achievement over a period of years, reflecting the high ideals of human dignity and fundamental principles of a free society.

• American Management Systems, Fairfax, announced that its client, the Virginia Department of Taxation (VATAX), has received the National Association of State Chief Information Officers 2001 Recognition Award for outstanding achievement in the field of information technology in the category of public-private partnership. The annual award recognize technology-based initiatives that have made an important contribution to the operation of state government.

• Eisner Petrou and Associates Inc., which has offices in the District and Baltimore, won the highest honor at the International Association of Business Communicators' awards banquet. The agency was named Best of the Best for its creative and results-driven communications and media relations campaign on behalf of Sylvan Learning Center.

• The National Telephone Cooperative Association (NTCA), Arlington, honored Conley Cathey with the NTCA Association Member Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Cathey is the president of industry relations and a board member for Dallas-based CHR Solutions.

• Convera, Vienna, announced that its Screening Room technology received top scores to win Network World magazine's review of video content management solutions. Screening Room received an A rating and was cited as a mature and highly sophisticated solution customizable to diverse workflows in midsize and large businesses.

• The Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association, Silver Spring, presented awards recognizing voluntary environmental land development and development protection programs to the following builders and developers. The Magruder Cos. won the 2001 Environmental Builder Award for the Severn Chase project in Greater Gaithersburg. The consulting engineer on this project was Batta Goode and Associates.

Bozzuto Homes won the 2001 Environmental Builder Award for the Blueberry Hill community located in Vienna. The consulting engineer on the job was Christopher Consultants.

Manekin LLC was presented the 2001 Environmental Developer Award for Cloverleaf Center Germantown. The consulting engineer was Environmental Systems Analysis. Slenker Land Corp. was a winner for South River Colony in Edgewater; the consulting engineers and land planners were LDR International, Greenhorne & O'Mara and Chisholm Winchester Homes was a duel winner for Ashton Preserve in Ashton, where the consulting engineer was Cutschick, Little & Weber PA and for Dellabrooke in Olney; the consulting engineer was Marcis, Hendricks & Glascock. The Michael T. Rose Cos. was a winner for Meadow Gate in Croom where the consulting engineer was Joyce Engineering.

The winner of the 2001 Environmental Community of the Year is Elm Street Development for Fountain Hills in Germantown. The consulting engineer was C.P. Johnson & Associates.

• The Clark Construction Group Inc., headquartered in Bethesda, earned a grand prize award in Commercial Building Magazine's Construction competition for Lincoln Square, mixed-use development in the District. Designed by Hartman-Cox Architects of the District, Lincoln Square includes office space, 34,000 square feet of retail space, eight-screen cinema and three-level parking garage.

• Weihe Design Group PLLC (WDG), located in the District, has been honored with a Merit Award by Residential Architecture magazine for its design of the Whitney at Bethesda Theater. WDG received the award on the One the Boards category.

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