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Brad Wilks Joins Citigate Sard Verbinnen as CEO of Chicago Office; Ron Culp to Continue as Chairman; Debbie Miller, Ten-Year Veteran of CSV New York, to Relocate to Chicago Office.

NEW YORK -- Citigate Sard Verbinnen, a leading financial and corporate communications firm, announced today that Brad Wilks, former head of the Chicago office of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, is joining the firm as a managing director and CEO of the Chicago office, effective August 1. The firm also announced that Ron Culp, who established the office in 2003, will continue as chairman. Debbie Miller, a principal and 10-year veteran of the New York office, will be relocating to Chicago.

George Sard, Chairman and CEO, said, "In its nearly two years of operation, Ron and the Chicago team have established a strong presence in the market, and we're excited by the opportunity to build on that solid foundation. With nearly 20 years of agency and corporate experience in both public and investor relations, Brad Wilks is the ideal candidate to lead our Chicago practice in its next phase of growth. I have known Brad since we worked together at Ogilvy Adams & Rinehart many years ago and I am extremely pleased that he is joining our team."

Paul Verbinnen, President, said, "We have established a solid platform in Chicago, and with the addition of Brad and Debbie to the office, we will further strengthen our resources in the firm's core areas of expertise, including advising on mergers and acquisitions and contests for corporate control as well as specialized financial and crisis communications. As one of the nation's key financial, commercial and manufacturing centers, Chicago is a key market for Citigate Sard Verbinnen and we look forward to continuing to build our franchise and serving clients in that region."

Wilks said, "Citigate Sard Verbinnen is well recognized as one of the top firms in the field, and I am extremely excited about the opportunity to lead the Chicago office. The firm's focus on financial and special situation communications aligns perfectly with my background. I have known several of the founding partners of Citigate Sard Verbinnen for many years and I look forward to working alongside my new colleagues as we continue to grow the firm in the Chicago area."

Culp said, "Brad is an outstanding addition to the talented team of PR professionals in the Chicago office. As I transition my role to focus on senior-level consulting and select business development efforts, I look forward to working closely with Brad as we take the franchise to the next level."

Before joining Citigate Sard Verbinnen, Wilks served as Managing Director and head of the Chicago office of Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide for six years. He has more than 19 years of combined agency and corporate experience, with areas of expertise including strategic positioning and reputation management, investor road show development, crisis communications, annual report writing, IPOs, spin-offs and corporate restructuring communications.

Prior to joining Ogilvy, Wilks headed the investor relations and technology practices for Fleishman-Hillard, Chicago. Before joining Fleishman-Hillard, he was head of investor relations for Ball Corporation for six years. During his tenure with Ball, Wilks was featured by Institutional Investor magazine as one of the leading investor relations professionals in the United States as selected by a poll of security analysts. Earlier in his career, he was at Ogilvy Adams & Rinehart in New York.

Ron Culp joined Citigate Sard Verbinnen in July 2003 when the firm opened its Chicago office. Previously, Culp had been senior vice president, public relations and government affairs at Sears, Roebuck and Co. and executive director of corporate relations for Sara Lee Corporation.

Debbie Miller, a principal and 10-year veteran of Citigate Sard Verbinnen's New York office, will relocate to the Chicago office. Miller has extensive experience in developing and executing a range of media and investor relations programs and has advised on a variety of friendly and contested merger and acquisition announcements as well as other special situations, including corporate restructurings, earnings warnings, regulatory issues, bankruptcies, initial public offerings, and executive transitions.

About Citigate Sard Verbinnen

Founded in 1992, Citigate Sard Verbinnen, Inc. is a financial and corporate communications consulting firm that operates at the nexus of public relations and investor relations. It provides strategic corporate, financial and crisis communications counsel and services to clients including Fortune 500 corporations, smaller public companies, financial and professional service firms, privately held entities and high-profile individuals. With offices in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, the firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the London-based Huntsworth, plc. For more information, visit the Company's website at www.sardverb.com or www.incepta.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 15, 2005
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