Heidi Hovland, Former Global CEO of DeVries Named Global Food & Beverage Chair;
Alison Borgmeyer, MS, RD Named U.S. Food & Beverage Chair

February 14, 2022 — NEW YORK — Building on the growth and momentum of its Food & Beverage sector, Edelman has named Heidi Hovland global chair of Food & Beverage effective February 22. Hovland, who brings a rich background in food and beverage, will oversee the 500+ employees globally that make up the Food & Beverage sector at Edelman. She will be based in New York and report to Katie Burke, chief corporate strategy officer, global president of Practices & Sectors. In addition, the firm has elevated Alison Borgmeyer, MS, RD, currently general manager of Edelman’s Food & Beverage Center of Excellence, to chair of U.S. Food & Beverage.  

“Food & Beverage, our third largest sector, experienced double-digit growth this past year while helping clients navigate rapidly evolving, complex issues including inflation, supply chain and ingredient concerns,” said Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman. “Heidi’s integrated communications and corporate reputation experience, paired with Alison’s deep nutrition and industry knowledge is a dream team that will allow us to deliver programs for clients that enable action not just communications.” 

Hovland joins Edelman from HH Strategic Communications, a communications consultancy she founded in March 2020. Prior to that, she served as Global CEO of DeVries Global, leading more than 200 people in eight offices across North America, Europe and Asia. At DeVries she helped architect an award-winning integrated communications offering with creative, strategy and data analytics capabilities. Her clients included J&J, P&G, RB, Celebrity Cruise Lines, Sephora, IHG, Staples, Essentia and IHOP.  

"In addition to being a source of nourishment, community and joy, food and beverage companies are at the nexus of the most pressing challenges and urgent opportunities across the globe: food waste and access, health equity, climate change and supply chain," said Hovland. "That makes this an exciting time to be in the industry, and no agency brings more to the table in terms of capabilities and experience than Edelman. I'm eager to join forces with our teams to bring innovative, integrated solutions to brands and organizations that want to thrive and grow in a complex landscape that’s also rich with opportunity.”

Previously, Hovland was a senior partner, deputy general manager and consumer products lead at FleishmanHillard. During her time there she helped transform the firm’s Americas Brand Marketing Practice into an integrated powerhouse, with industry-leading capabilities across paid, earned, shared and owned. Hovland also co-founded and co-led FH Moms, which was named the firm’s Practice of the Year. She is an executive board member of ProjectArt, an organization empowering youth, emerging artists and communities through partnerships with public libraries in cities across the U.S. 

Borgmeyer, who joined Edelman early last year, currently leads the firm’s Food and Beverage Center of Excellence. In this role she helped bring sector experts together across strategy, earned creative, advisory, data intelligence, influencer, social and digital to serve Edelman's food and beverage clients. Borgmeyer, who will be based in Chicago and report to Jim O’Leary, U.S. Chief Operating Officer and Corporate Practice Chair, has more than two decades of experience across the food, beverage, commodity and restaurant sectors and is also a registered dietitian. She also serves on industry judging panels, authors white papers and op-eds and routinely speaks on breakthrough food and beverage marketing.   

“The breadth of Alison’s experience working with leading global food and beverage brands, combined with her deep grasp of complex issues ranging from consumer trends to supply chain and food sustainability, have made her an invaluable resource for our clients,” said O’Leary. “In her short tenure here, she has been central to the rapid expansion of our business, winning a number of world class creative assignments and driving double-digit growth across the portfolio.”     

“Edelman is unequivocally one of the best firms in Food & Beverage,” said Borgmeyer.  “In the past year, our all-star team has delivered explosive growth with breakthrough campaigns for big and small players in the food industry — solving intense client challenges in the food space and developing new offerings that not only drive growth but make a positive societal impact too.” 

Edelman has served as lead idea and creative agency on a number of award-winning campaigns for some of the sector’s leading brands, including Mars, Yum Brands! Taco Bell and KFC, Sunkist, Ajinomoto Co., Inc.