MIAMI — Boosting its global institutional relations practice, Llorente & Cuenca has named Antonieta Mendoza de López (pictured) as VP of Latin American advocacy. López will lead Latin American-focused projects, mediation and political and institutional relations, as well as advocacy strategies for businesses. A human rights advocate, López has worked for more than 25 years in Latin American communications and corporate relations, and is the mother of Venezuelan political leader Leopoldo López.

SAN FRANCISCO — BOCA Communications has named Merrill Freund executive VP, as well as the digital agency’s first general manager. Freund will support client service, create new offerings and expand business growth.  He most recently served as managing director at ICR, where he ran the firm’s west coast tech PR practice.

LOS ANGELES — Ivy Mollenkamp, a former Rogers & Cowan exec, has joined DKC as executive VP of entertainment. Mollenkamp will be responsible for expanding the communications and content production company’s national entertainment practice, with an emphasis on multi-platform content. A veteran of entertainment PR and marketing, Mollenkamp at Rogers & Cowan served as executive VP of entertainment and lifestyle.

TORONTO — National Public Relations has hired Becca Young as its senior VP of strategy & integration, a move meant to boost the integrated communications expertise in its Toronto office.  Young is responsible for expanding the adoption of National’s non-traditional offerings across platforms. She has a range of experience in strategic, digital and creative communications, including and leading planning sessions and workshops for organizations.

HIGH POINT, NORTH CAROLINA — Home furnishings-focused Steinreich Communications Group has hired industry journalist Larry Thomas as content manager. Thomas has spent 40-plus years in journalism, the last 29 of dedicated to covering bedding, case goods and major stories affecting the home furnishings business. He most recent was senior editor at Home Furnishings Business.

ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND — Bolstering its social media operation, Crosby Marketing Communications has hired Juliet O’Connor and Taylor Smith as social media specialists. Both will focus on creating real-time content, managing social media channels and using analytics to optimize program performance. O’Connor joins Crosby from Planit in Baltimore. Smith joins Crosby from Nashville agency MP&F Public Relations.