NASHVILLE, Tenn. Dan MacDonald, currently executive director, communications for Bridgestone Americas Inc. (BSAM) has been promoted to vice president, community and corporate relations, effective May 1. MacDonald assumes the role previously held by Christine Karbowiak, who was recently promoted to the newly created position of chief administrative officer.
As vice president of community and corporate relations, MacDonald will be responsible for the flow of communications among Bridgestone Americas’ (BSA) family of companies and its internal and external publics. In this role, he will oversee BSA’s community and corporate relations function, including media, public, internal and community relations and social media outreach efforts and the company’s strong commitment to driver safety initiatives, especially teen driver safety education.
“Dan has the skills, experience and the enthusiasm to help Bridgestone Americas continue to communicate effectively with its many audiences,” Karbowiak said. “He’s the right person to lead this department as we work with our new management team to develop communications efforts to support the company’s business and corporate social responsibility goals.”
MacDonald, formerly an award-winning broadcast journalist, joined BSAM in 2002 after having worked in broadcast news for 18 years. He graduated from Michigan State University with bachelor’s degrees in international relations and broadcast journalism. He also earned a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He currently serves on the boards of the non-profit Predators Foundation and The Tennessee Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.
BSAM also announced three additional changes in the Community and Corporate Relations department.
Succeeding MacDonald as executive director of communications is Don Darden, who was most recently director of media relations, BSAM. His promotion also takes effect May 1.
Darden will be in charge of managing corporate communications to both internal and external audiences and will be responsible for ensuring that accurate information about the company is provided to the news media, company co-workers, dealers and the community in a clear and consistent manner. He joined the Bridgestone Americas family of companies in 1995 as a territory manager for the Commercial Products Group. Since then he has assumed roles of increasing responsibility, including regional training manager and manager of marketing communications and advertising for the truck and bus tire division of the former Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC. Prior to joining the Bridgestone Americas family, he worked for Holiday Inn and Gaylord Entertainment Co. Darden earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
BSAM also announced the addition of two new staff members to its Community and Corporate Relations department. Former Dye, Van Mol and Lawrence (DVL) account exec Elizabeth Lewis has joined the company as a public relations coordinator, and former Tennessean reporter Angela Patterson has been named the digital media coordinator.
Lewis will offer support in the company’s public relations efforts, environmental communications and will also assist with media relations and event coordination. Patterson will oversee the department’s social media efforts, and coordinate with other departments to launch social media strategies throughout the company. In addition, she will help coordinate content updates for the company’s websites and help lead the company’s teen driver safety education programs.
After graduating from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a degree in communications, Lewis joined the staff at DVL, where she specialized in media relations, writing projects and event planning for clients including the Jack Daniel Distillery, Tractor Supply Company, the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors and Nestle Waters North America. Before coming to Nashville to report for the Tennessean, Patterson worked as a community news reporter at the Knoxville News Sentinel. Patterson graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and holds a master’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.
“At Bridgestone Americas it’s our company’s mission to serve our customers and society with superior quality, and being able to do that requires having an exceptional team in place,” MacDonald said. “We’re excited about Don’s promotion and the addition of Elizabeth and Angela to our Community and Corporate Relations team, and we look forward to advancing our company’s many communications activities with the help of their many talents.”