Plante returns to MMG as EVP and other staff news

BRIAN PLANTE REJOINS Arlington Heights-based Midwest Media Group integrator/resellers EVP/business development in charge of the company’s North American sales operation. 

Plante returns to MMG after three years as VP/business development at Big Shoulders Digital Video, Chicago and its sister company, Quench Inc. Experiential Marketing, St. Louis.

Earlier, he’d been with MMG in sales development for nine years.  He is considered a pioneer in the desktop video market and an expert in content creation, management and distribution for more than 20 years. 

MMG focuses on digital technology and new media projects for visual media and data.  It also has branch offices in Detroit and Milwaukee.

THREE UPPER LEVEL PROMOTIONS at Draftfcb were announced Friday: Elevated from creative directors to VP/CDs were Nat Jones, an 11-year veteran, and Ron D’Innocenzo, who joined the agency last year from Element 79. VP Seth Goldberg, named SVP/group strategy director, has been with the agency for seven years.

Jones’ domain is Boeing, Sharpie and Motorola; D’Innocenzo, Dow Chemicals and Golberg, Milkpep and Volkswagen.

NEW DIRECTORS have been added to Radar’s directorial roster.  The live action/effects director known as AK is based in Johannesburg, S. A. and COPA, the directorial and visual effects team of Alex Frisch, co-founder and partner in Method, and Vico Sharabani, formerly of Rhino, is bi-coastal.

WE DON’T USUALLY COVER the movie theatre business, per se, but these two items are worth knowing about. 

Landmarks Illinois presented its “Stewardship Award” to the Downers Grove-based Classic Cinemas theatre chain and its owners, Willis Johnson, wife Shirley and son Chris, for their restoration of their six historic Illinois theatres.  They include the Tivoli/Downers Grove, Paramount/Kankakee, York/Elmhurst and Lindo/Freeport.

Founded in 1976, Classic Cinemas operates 13 theatres and 100 screens. The restored theatres are credited with revitalizing their respective downtown suburban areas.

Alisa and Donzell Starks, owners of the ICE Theatres are offering a big screen night of Monday Night Football excitement at their ICE Lawndale 10 and Chatham 14 multiplexes, for the cost a mere $5 concession stand purchase – no ticket purchase necessary.

THE NATIONAL ADDY AWARDS are seeking entries for its annual competition, which starts by entering the Chicago Ad Federation’s local Addy Awards. 

The best of Chicago winners then move to a shootout among the American Advertising Federation’s (AAF) districts and ultimately could be honored as one of the best in the biz at the National ADDY competition.  Early deadline is Dec. 9; final deadline, Dec. 16. Get the details here.

A SURPRISE HIT is the low-budget, locally filed thriller, “Munger Road,” which has done phenomenally well in its theatrical release. It stars Bruce Davison, Randall Batinkoff and Trevor Morgan.

Nicholas Smith, 26, wrote the script in 2010 and brought together his Columbia College friends to produce in his hometown of St. Charles. 

The story is about two St. Charles police officers who search for a return killer the same night four teenagers go missing on Munger Road, on the eve of the annual Scarecrow Festival.

THE FOODIES AMONG US should be lining up to attend the 2nd annual Chicago Food Film Festival, which brings a taste of the foods featured in the festival’s films to the guests’ palate.  CFFF screens 20 features and docs Nov. 18-20 at Kendall College, where gastronomy is taught, at 900 N. North Branch.  

FIVE LOCAL COMPANIES were recently named among the 2011 Event Marketing It List, a.k.a. “the 100 greatest event agencies found anywhere.”  A tip of the hat to the worthies: Draftfcbx, Intersport (celebrating its 25th anniversary this year), Jack Morton Worldwide, LimeGreen and Live Marketing.

THE HOLIDAY SEASON has officially started with the first holiday party invitation sent out today by LimeGreen.  And how thoughtful of them to hold it on Dec. 8, my birthday.  

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