NEW YORK — Marina Maher Communications has expanded its corporate brand and healthcare engagement leadership with the hires of Ann Sommerlath and Chris Iafolla respectively.

Sommerlath, who comes from IMAX, joins as MD of corporate brand. In the newly created role, she will oversee and guide the growth of the firm’s corporate brand practice, which includes  serving as senior counsel for clients such as Novartis, J&J, Merck and Aflac. She joins as part of the executive leadership team and will report directly to CEO Marina Maher.

Sommerlath has spent the last seven years with the entertainment company IMAX, most recently as chief communications officer. She is also a veteran of the agency world, having held Edelman and FleishmanHillard senior VP positions and serving as an RF|Binder managing director.

Iafolla has been named group senior VP and head of the firm’s healthcare brand engagement team, as which he is responsible for bolstering digital, social and influencer offerings. He joins MMC from Syneos Health Communications, where he was head of digital and social strategy. He has also held leadership roles at W2O Group, where he oversaw digital and social programs for the company’s pharmaceutical clients. 

Sommerlath and Iafolla join MMC fresh off the firm's banner 2018, during which it was named Holmes Report’s Global Consumer Agency of the Year and overall North American Agency of the Year. The firm has grown to more than $62m in annual revenue and is viewed as one of the crown jewels among Omnicom’s stable of PR agencies, combining healthcare and consumer prowess for such clients as P&G.

The hires follow the November departure of Diana Littman, who stepped down from her role as chief integration officer to become US CEO of MSL. MMC is actively recruiting EVP candidates to replace her, an agency representative said.