NEW YORK - MSLGROUP North America has strengthened its growing Brand and Talent Practice with the appointment of Brian Burgess as Practice Director for North America and the hiring of Andreau Blanchard from Mercer as a Vice President and specialist in organizational communication and change. At MSLGROUP, Brand and Talent concentrates on engaging employees whose influence over brand reputation has soared in the social media era.

Burgess will report to Shellie Winkler, MSLGROUP North America Health and Corporate practice director. Blanchard reports to Burgess. Both will be based at MSL New York.

"Brian is an exceptional, client-focused leader and the consummate specialist in employee engagement who will continue to help deepen our capabilities in aligning brand reputation and talent engagement," said Renee Wilson, president, MSLGROUP North America. "Andreau is a seasoned professional with deep and valuable experience in workplace communications, a specialty that has become more important to our clients," she said.

About Brian Burgess

Burgess joined MSL Atlanta in 2004 and transferred to MSL New York in 2008 to launch Brand and Talent at the agency's flagship office. Since then, the practice has grown significantly in the disciplines of employee engagement, internal communications and organizational change management. Burgess and his team serve a broad array of client needs in pharmaceuticals and healthcare, financial services, professional services, telecommunications, retail, consumer packaged goods and manufacturing-based businesses.

"As more companies increase their investments in recruiting and engaging talent, Brand and Talent becomes a central offering for building, enhancing and defending brand reputation from the inside out. I look forward to working with Renee and Shellie to expand our value to clients and be part of MSLGROUP North America's exciting growth," said Burgess.

Before joining MSLGROUP, Burgess directed internal communications and corporate branding at AGL Resources, an Atlanta-based energy company. While at InterContinental Hotels Group, he managed loyalty marketing initiatives for Priority Club Rewards, the frequent guest program of InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels. Burgess started his career in sales and promotions for the Atlanta Committee for the 1996 Olympic Games. He earned a B.S. from Missouri State University with a degree in communications management and marketing.

About Andreau Blanchard

Andreau joins MSLGROUP from Mercer, where he was a principal in Mercer's Workforce Communication and Change business. He advised clients, including Verizon, Hearst, Pfizer, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Lockheed Martin, on strategic communication and employee engagement. Andreau has specific experience in social media, employee websites, digital communications, branding and employee sensing.

"The care with which a company communicates change in the workplace offers tremendous insight into company values and vision. I look forward to helping clients connect their communications to the realities of their marketplace, business and culture," said Blanchard.

Prior to Mercer, Andreau worked in PricewaterhouseCoopers' Global Human Resource Solutions consulting practice. In this role, he advised clients such as Xerox, Tyco, BP Amoco, Mars, Nature Conservancy, Teach for America and Boys & Girls Clubs on employee communications, human resources strategy, organizational effectiveness and compensation issues. Blanchard has a B.A. degree in business economics from Willamette University and has earned numerous communications awards.

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