Siegel & Gale appointed Lee Rafkin global director-simplification. In his new position at the Omnicom firm, whose philosophy is "Simple is smart," he will be charged with making customer experiences less complicated across a variety of brands. Mr. Rafkin was founder and president of Rafkin & Company, a strategic brand consultancy he founded in 2002 that worked with clients such as AOL, Discovery Networks and The Tribune Company. He was also executive director at FutureBrand, where he led the Latin America region and was the global client executive for AOL International.
David Yovanno joins Gigya as chief executive officer. A former U.S. Navy lieutenant and chief information officer, Mr. Yovanno also climbed the ranks at ValueClick, where he rose from VP-sales to chief operating officer-U.S. Media. Gigya's claim to fame is quite a tongue twister: It's ranked by ComScore as the largest widget company worldwide.
Peter Isacksen became president of the Alan Ett Creative Group, where he will head future marketing and development for newdance, a new division of AECG that focuses on developing creative concepts for strategic partnerships. Mr. Isacksen was co-creator and executive producer of the TBS microseries "Lovebites," the longest-running short-format series ever, and will be developing short-format series for newdance as well. Before that, he founded Radio ... with Pictures, a television and film production company. Mr. Isacksen is well-known in the advertising community for his work with Bert Berdis & Company (BB&C), at which he received over 200 major advertising awards, but he has also appeared on the small screen on series such as "The Love Boat" and "Three's Company" and in movies such as "Grand Theft Auto" (1977) and "Under the Rainbow" (1981).
Randi Barshack was tapped as VP-marketing for Organic. Formerly VP-worldwide marketing at Mercado, she will lead the firm's public relations, analyst relations, alliances, advertising, events and digital-communications initiatives. Ms. Barshack is the founder and former VP-marketing of TeaLeaf Technology. In addition to her marketing background, she has produced programs for CBS, Turner, the International Olympic Committee and the Foreign Ministry of Japan.
Publicis USA hired John Rabasa as exec VP-managing director, Publicis Modem & Dialog in San Francisco. Most recently he was VP-product development for ePals, a start-up online community connecting global classrooms. Prior to that venture, he spent seven years at AOL, where he oversaw the launch of the AOL.com portal, the migration of the AOL channels and the turnaround of the organic search-engine placement.
Francis Farrell was named publisher of Men's Journal. Mr. Farrell comes to the publication from National Geographic Adventure, where he was publisher since June 2003. He has also held positions at The Sporting News, Food & Wine and Travel & Leisure. In 2008, Men's Journal still continues to see ad pages climb.
Marketing veteran Alain P. Begun was chosen for the newly created position of associate publisher-marketing at The Week. He was formerly associate publisher-marketing and brand development at Better Homes and Gardens. During his tenure, Better Homes and Gardens landed in first place on Adweek's 2008 Magazine Brand Leaders and was named Advertising Age's Magazine of the Year in 2007. Mr. Begun also spent 10 years in senior marketing roles at several Time Inc. titles, including People, Fortune and Fortune Asia, where he was part of the executive launch team.