CHICAGO—FoodMinds has added nine new experts to its team of food and nutrition specialists, including Natalie Shafer and Stacey Stevens as senior vice presidents, from Edelman and the National Dairy Council respectively. In addition, managing directors Erin DeSimone and Michelle Kijek, were appointed to the newly established role of associate partner.

NEW YORK—Nicole Bott has joined MWW’s corporate communications practice as vice president. Bott, who will be based in the New York office, brings more than a decade of experience, most recently as senior manager, client relationships at Peppercomm. Previously, she was vice president at Linden Alschuler & Kaplan. In addition, Jesica Church has joined MWW as vice president in the  San Francisco office, where she will work with the firm’s technology practice. Prior to joining MWW, Church served as director at Allison + Partners and before that at Grayling/Atomic PR.

LOS ANGELES—John Echeveste, founding partner of VPE Tradigital Communications, one of the country’s leading Hispanic public relations firms, has retired from the agency to assume a new position as CEO of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles.  Patricia Pérez will continue to lead the agency as managing partner. Pérez joined VPE in 1990 and became a partner in 1992. She oversees VPE’s social marketing division, which manages social advertising, public awareness, consumer education and community outreach campaigns

AUSTIN, TX—Red Fan Communications has added Stephanie Trusler as director of finance and operations, reporting to Kathleen Lucente, president and founder of Red Fan Communications. She will oversee all financial and business operations. Previously at The Howe Insurance Group, Trusler’s role and responsibilities evolved from sales agent to company director to company sales manager.

BRIDGEWATER, NJ—Kyle Kappmeier has joined R&J Public Relations as account director, responsible for leading and managing R&J’s consumer products and technology accounts. Prior to rejoining R&J, Kappmeier worked as account director at MWW for four years, working with clients Nikon, Samsung Mobile, Vimeo and Zippo Manufacturing.