WALTHAM, MA—Socialtext, a leading enterprise social software provider, has appointed Tom Tardio as chairman of the board. Tardio, currently CEO of entertainment public relations giant Rogers & Cowan, will assume the position in mid-July, following 27 years at R&C. Tardio also serves on the Board of Directors at PeopleFluent, a leading human capital management company that—like Socialtext—is owned by Bedford Funding, a private equity firm focused on the software and IT services sector.

SAN DIEGO—San Diego based public relations firms Nuffer Smith Tucker Public Relations and Gable PR have merged operations. Led by veterans Bill Trumpfheller and Tom Gable, the combined firm will operate under the Nuffer Smith Tucker name and will have 26 professionals generating annual billings of more than $3.5 million. 

IRVINE, CA—Sarah Catz has joined Vectis Strategies as senior partner and will open the firm’s Irvine office and lead its Orange County expansion. Catz spent 10 years with the Orange County Transportation Authority, serving as chairman of the board, and was a founding member and two term chairperson of the board of directors of Southern California Regional Rail Authority. She is currently chairwoman of the Orange County Forum, a nonpartisan current affairs organization. She has also served as the state’s acting deputy secretary of transportation.

KNOXVILLE—Business-to-business firm Ripley PR has become a partner in IPREX, the global network of communication agencies. Based in the greater Knoxville area, Ripley has expertise in franchise, construction, energy, health care IT, home services and manufacturing sectors and offers a range of communication services, including crisis management, media relations, and social media strategies.

NEW YORK—Havas PR has launched a new practice focused on gluten-free products. The firm has handled assignments for clients such as Pirate Brands and B&G Foods (launching new gluten-free CLVR bars from Rickland Orchards) as well as Au Bon Pain, the fast-casual chain, and Ruby Rocket’s, a line of fruit-and-veggie frozen snacks made with all-natural ingredients.