ST. LOUIS—FleishmanHillard has formed a military and veterans affairs group, based in the firm's Washington, DC, office. The group was formed in response to increasing demands from both government and private organizations struggling to address the issues affecting military members and their families after more than 11 years of sustained conflict.

Many members of the group are veterans, military dependents, military family members, or former military civilian employees and have served on site at the Pentagon, Department of Veterans Affairs and a variety of military installations.

The group will be led by Erin Hazard, senior vice president and partner and a 13-year FH veteran, who will oversee a team of 20 counselors supporting clients such as the Department of Defense, US Army, US Navy, US Marine Corps, Wounded Warrior Project, Operation Military Child Care, USAA and others.

The group includes Stephen Naru, senior vice president and senior partner, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point; Brandon Friedman, vice president, who joined FleishmanHillard in 2012 from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, where he launched and managed the first office of online communications; Tracy Pannozzo, senior vice president and an expert in community relations; Kassidie Blackstock, vice president; Peter Klaus, senior vice president and partner with a background in youth, social, and cause marketing; Susie Schoenberger, vice president; Dave Pacholczyk, senior vice president and partner, and lead on the firm's work for USAA; and Patricia Lomax, senior vice president and partner, who brings more than 20 years of government contracting experience.