Movers & Shakers Featured

12:45pm EDT June 22, 2004

The Greater Columbus Chamber of Columbus hired Linda Siefkas as senior vice president for business advocacy. She will lead a new department responsible for marketing, communications and government relations.

"We need to be more aggressive telling the story about Columbus as a great place to do business and communicating the value of the chamber to our own business community," says Ty Marsh, president and CEO, Greater Columbus Chamber. "With Linda coming on board, I've got the new team and a new plan to do that."

Siefkas was previously senior vice president and manager of the Columbus office of Edward Howard & Co., a major regional public relations firm.

"For this new job, I wanted a blend of experience in communications, marketing and shaping public policy. I sought out Linda as the ideal candidate for this position," says Marsh. "She is a recognized local communications professional who is a part of the fabric of our community. She has previous experience at the Statehouse and the Ohio Chamber. It's a great combination, and I'm confident she will add immediate value to our operation."

Siefkas has more than 20 years of experience in business and communications. She joined Edward Howard & Co. in 1998 with the acquisition of Siefkas Communications Inc., a public relations firm known for public affairs and marketing communications. She serves on the boards of Action for Children and the Mental Health Association of Franklin County. Long committed to United Way of Central Ohio, she served on the 2003 Campaign Cabinet.


Wendy's International Inc. appointed Sally Abshire, a 28-year veteran of Wendy's, as chief operating officer of Baja Fresh Mexican Grill and Bonita Williams as vice president of human resources.

Both report to Bill Moreton, named CEO of Baja Fresh in April.

"The addition of Sally and Bonita strengthens our leadership team as we focus on growing the brand profitably and improving restaurant operations, training and development," says Moreton. "They are both talented professionals who will bring considerable skills to the Baja Fresh organization."

Abshire was most recently vice president of training and development for Wendy's North America. Previously, she was division vice president - Wendy's Midwest for six years.

Williams joined Wendy's in 2001 as director of human resources in the company's western region. She has successfully led HR initiatives, achieved outstanding results in management and crew retention and demonstrated the ability to build a team.


Blue Diesel, a leading interactive marketing company, named Ann Friedman-Ryan senior vice president/client services. She is responsible for overseeing client relationships, managing the account services team on a day-to-day basis and providing strategic and tactical marketing solutions. She will also lead Blue Diesel's business development efforts.

Friedman-Ryan brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing communications and client services. She joins the company from Wunderman Worldwide/Young & Rubicam, a global marketing and communications organization and subsidiary of the WPP Group, where she served as senior vice president, account director responsible for managing account teams and business development. In addition, she handled the client marketing objectives for consumer and health care clients including Pfizer, Roche, Biogen and AstraZeneca. Friedman-Ryan will report to Kelly Gratz, president of Blue Diesel.


GSW Worldwide, the largest privately owned health care advertising agency in the world, named Gary Ostrager executive vice president of direct marketing. Based in the Columbus office, Ostrager is responsible for building the direct marketing practice across all GSW Worldwide offices with existing clients and new prospects. He will focus on business development and growing the agency's direct-to-patient and direct-to-consumer capabilities.

Ostrager brings more than 30 years of experience in direct marketing, corporate marketing and advertising in industries including pharmaceuticals and health care, retail and financial services. He joins GSW Worldwide from Pfizer, where he served as a full-time strategic consultant with responsibility for planning, building and implementing the Viagra, Lipitor and Zoloft customer relationship marketing programs. Prior to Pfizer, he was vice president of marketing at Macy's Direct, overseeing the company's Web site and mail order catalog.


Richard Carrick was named senior vice president for community impact at United Way of Central Ohio, reporting to President and CEO Janet Jackson.

He will collaborate with the CEO and the all-volunteer United Way Board of Trustees on strategic planning and development of community initiatives. He will represent the CEO at community events, meetings and strategy sessions when she is unable to attend.

Carrick arrived at United Way in 1981 as an agency relations associate. After stints as planning coordinator, corporate planning director and assistant vice president, he served one year as assistant to the united Way president before being named vice president of the organization in 1992. He has helped guide the agency from primarily a fund-raising and distribution organization to a leader in transforming the community's health and human service agenda.