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Leonhauser to Retire in December, Kozak to Succeed Her as President

Franco President Maria Leonhauser will retire at the end of 2013.

I am pleased to announce that after more than a year of planning and transition, Franco President Maria Leonhauser will retire at the end of this year. Franco Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer Tina Kozak will succeed Maria as president effective January 1. Maria will continue as a consultant with Franco, as well as take her words and ideas in another direction—writing mysteries.

Maria joined Franco as president in 2000 after 25 years in journalism and corporate communications.  During her tenure, she focused on diversifying Franco’s client base and imbuing its culture with creativity and passion. She also championed Franco’s social media discipline. Among her awards, Maria was named one of Detroit’s 100 Most Influential Women by Crain’s Detroit Business and a Leader and Innovator by Lawrence Technological University and Grant Thornton.

Tina Kozak, executive vice president and COO for Franco, will succeed Leonhauser as president effective Jan. 1, 2014.

Tina joined Franco in 2007 as an account manager overseeing the firm’s automotive practice. In her most recent role as executive vice president and chief operating officer, she has led client service, talent retention and business development. She counsels a range of clients in the auto/tech, healthcare and professional service industries in areas including corporate positioning, community relations and reputation management. She also consults on brand development, crisis communications and strategic planning.

Franco’s priority has always been service excellence. Maria instilled a new energy and enthusiasm into its delivery. I’m confident that Tina will not only advance our commitment to service excellence, but also identify other relevant initiatives to better serve our clients and employees.

It’s an exciting time at Franco. Please join me in congratulating Tina and in wishing Maria all the best in our comments section below.

Dan Ponder is the CEO at Franco Public Relations Group.