Detroit – August 2, 2006 – Just one year after Airfoil Public Relations formally launched its newest practice group, Automotive and Manufacturing Technology, the agency reports that the practice has grown 30 percent from new and current account growth. The anniversary of Airfoil’s Automotive and Manufacturing Technology group is marked by the addition of seasoned PR veterans Tanisha Leonard and Emily Whitall as account supervisors, under the leadership of Vice President Kim Welch, as well as two new accounts: Gas Station TV (GSTV) and Merillat Industries, LLC.

“Airfoil has always operated at the intersection of innovation and industry,” said Welch, “both historically, from the technologist’s perspective, and moving forward, with automotive and broader manufacturing industries. I look forward to leveraging the expertise my team and I possess to benefit the industry as a whole, and my clients’ interests in particular.”

The automotive practice group provides the full scope of Airfoil’s PR and marketing services for its growing client roster, including the development and execution of media relations, analyst relations, customer communications, employee communications and special events coordination. The wide breadth of services the automotive practice provides to its clients reflects Airfoil’s Higher Thinking approach, which enables the agency to service unique clients that span several focus areas: Tier-I automotive suppliers to alternative energy providers, logistics-management companies and technology solution providers.

The growth of Airfoil’s automotive practice will be supported and sustained by the addition of recent hires Leonard and Whitall, both of whom have extensive experience in communications and with the automotive industry. Account Supervisor Tanisha Leonard provides a wealth of knowledge in the areas of event management, corporate communications and media relations. Her previous experience includes the role of PR manager at GM R*Works, the promotions and events agency servicing General Motors, and work at several large advertising agencies that specialize in automotive clients.

Emily Whitall joins Airfoil as an account supervisor after spending the past six years at Campbell-Ewald, an advertising and marketing communications agency, where she provided PR services for Chevrolet and ACDelco, as well as consumer and business-to-business marketing communications services. Prior to her work at Campbell-Ewald, Whitall worked at Sandy Corporation, serving the Pontiac, GMC and Harley Davidson accounts.

“The success of our automotive practice is an exciting testament to Airfoil’s continued growth, building on the disciplines and best practices that our historical business-to-business and business-to-consumer technology teams have honed,” said Airfoil CEO and co-founder Lisa Vallee-Smith. “Airfoil Vice President Kim Welch, who joined the firm in July of 2005, continues to drive the automotive practice group forward with the strength of her 20-plus years of experience in automotive and corporate communications.”

Welch has ten years experience as vice president of corporate communications for Tier-I automotive suppliers Visteon and Federal-Mogul, where she executed global communications events and activities. Prior to these positions, Welch spent more than 12 years working in the automotive industry, from both the OEM and the agency side, where she honed her skills in the areas of executive communications, event planning, financial and crisis communications, issue management, media relations, marketing, corporate identity and branding, and communication strategy and planning disciplines.

New and established Airfoil professionals alike will provide significant competitive advantage to the automotive practice’s clients, including its latest additions- Gas Station TV (GSTV) and Merillat Industries, LLC. GSTV, an innovative new company that delivers television programming through TV screens built into gas pumps, chose Airfoil as its agency of record to aid with national expansion. Currently in Dallas and rolling out to Atlanta and Houston in the fall, the company is partnering with Murphy Oil USA, Inc., a premier “big box” gas retailer, and ABC National Television Sales. Airfoil is helping GSTV launch its new service and spark media coverage and awareness among gas retailers and advertisers.

Merillat Industries, LLC, headquartered in Adrian, Michigan, selected Airfoil to develop an extensive internal communications program. Merillat produces the construction industry's number-one builder-preferred cabinet brand, and has nine manufacturing plants across the United States. Airfoil's comprehensive communications program for Merillat management and employees will include strategies and actions designed to improve the customer satisfaction levels of home builders and distributors.

Airfoil was originally founded in 2000 as a technology-focused agency, servicing start-up clients and established brands such as Microsoft. As Airfoil’s client base grew, the agency diversified into the consumer, healthcare and the aforementioned automotive industry. Airfoil supported Microsoft Automotive & Industrial Equipment Vertical (Microsoft AIE) and other automotive interests for a number of years, but a recent influx of new clients drove the formalization of the Automotive and Manufacturing Technology practice area.

About Airfoil Public Relations, Inc.
Airfoil is an independent firm that specializes in marketing communications and public relations for both emerging and established brands. Established in 2000, Airfoil is ranked 12th among O’Dwyer’s top 50 technology PR firms, in addition to being recognized by PRWeek as one of their Top 100 PR firms. Airfoil was also a recipient of the PRWeek Boutique PR Agency of the Year Honorable Mention. For more information about Airfoil Public Relations, please call 866.AIR.FOIL or visit