30-year H+K veteran Harry Costello takes on new state chairman’s role

TAMPA, Fla., July 26, 2016—Hill+Knowlton Strategies (H+K) today named Ron Bartlett general manager of Florida, overseeing the firm’s offices in Tampa and Tallahassee.

Ron Bartlett

Bartlett joined Hill+Knowlton in 2000 and most recently served as deputy general manager of Florida, splitting time between Tampa and Tallahassee. He previously was a senior vice president in charge of Florida’s public affairs team, working on legislative, regulatory and public policy issues.

He succeeds Harry Costello, who becomes chairman of the firm’s Florida operations. Costello will focus on new business development while continuing to serve as a senior advisor. Costello joined the firm 32 years ago and was general manager in Tampa for 29 years, making him H+K’s longest-serving general manager in the United States.

“With nearly 50 years of combined service with H+K, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more steady leadership handoff than this between Harry and Ron, and that is something to celebrate,” said Beth Balsam, president and CEO of H+K U.S. “Our clients in Florida and throughout the network have benefitted from Harry and Ron’s counsel and experience for decades, and we’re pleased that will continue as Ron takes the helm of the Tampa and Tallahassee offices and Harry steps into this new role as chairman of Florida.”
Harry Costello


“I look forward to my new and expanded role in continuing to grow the H+K footprint in Florida. But, I am very excited to see Ron broaden his role in the growth of the Tampa and Tallahassee offices, as well as the firm nationally,” Costello said.

With expertise in government, media relations and communications campaigns, Bartlett has worked extensively with insurers, hospitals, agricultural interests, corporations, government agencies and associations on a wide range of issues and crises. As general manager, he plans to continue growing and diversifying Hill+Knowlton’s strong portfolio of clients. Bartlett will also coordinate closely with Cori Rice, president of Hill+Knowlton’s office in Miami, and Alia Faraj-Johnson, a senior vice president who heads the firm’s Florida public affairs practice in Tallahassee.

“I am truly excited to lead a team that includes a terrific mix of highly seasoned, veteran communicators along with the best and brightest young professionals in the business,” Bartlett said. “We will continue to help our clients to communicate with the public and score victories through outstanding client service, relevant and compelling offerings, insightful research and best-of-class senior counsel.”

Prior to joining H+K, Bartlett spent 20 years as a newspaper editor and reporter, including more than a decade at The Tampa Tribune, where he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1991 for a series of investigative stories on the Florida Marine Patrol.

Bartlett has won several state and national public relations industry awards for his work, including a 2005 Silver Anvil from the Public Relations Society of America for a campaign on behalf of 130 groups that won medical liability insurance reforms in Florida. Bartlett received an MBA from St. Leo University and has a bachelor’s degree from Trenton State College, now The College of New Jersey. He lives in Tampa.


About Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Inc. is a leading international communications consultancy, providing services to local, multinational and global clients. The firm is headquartered in New York, with more than 80 offices in 50 countries, as well as an extensive associate network. The agency is part of WPP, the world’s largest communications services group. Learn more at www.hkstrategies.com.