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BMW North America realigns communications department

Manfred Grunert, vice president of BMW’s government affairs and communications, Americas, recently announced the following changes within its corporate communications team.

BMW North America’s headquarters is in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. (Photo: BMW North America)

Thomas Plucinsky, currently head of BMW Group product communication, will transition to the newly formed position of head of BMW Group Classic USA. Tom will oversee all BMW Group Classic division activities in the USA and Canada in his new role.

Working closely with the BMW Group Classic in Munich, Tom will be responsible for communications of the BMW Group brands from a historical context. He will work with the various official clubs (car and motorcycle) and individual collectors to strengthen the BMW community in the U.S. and Canada. He will be responsible for growing the classic parts business in North America and will manage the BMW USA Classic Collection fleet of historically significant vehicles, artifacts, and archives.

Mariella Kapsaskis, currently head of BMW N.A. corporate communications, will add oversight of BMW Group product communications to her role and assume the new title of department manager, corporate and product communications. In this new position, Mariella will take on full responsibility for all U.S. corporate, product, and technology communications topics and management of the U.S. team.

Both Tom and Mariella will report directly to Manfred Grunert.

As part of this new structure, Phil DiIanni will take on an expanded role in the department. In addition to his current responsibilities as the U.S. corporate communications and external media relations lead for business, sales, marketing, and culture topics, Phil will also be responsible for technology, innovation, and sustainability communications and initiatives.

Alex Schmuck, currently manager of BMW product and technology communications and BMW Performance Center communications, also expand his area of responsibility to include oversight of MINI and BMW Motorrad communications in the U.S. He will assume the new title of manager of BMW Group product communications, U.S.

Kathryn Vallis adds digital communications to her current internal and executive communications responsibilities and assumes the new title of senior specialist executive, internal and digital communications.

Esther Mansfield expands her current scope to include strategy, planning, and steering and assumes the new title of senior specialist BMW Group corporate communications events.

Phil, Alex, Kathryn, and Esther will report directly to Mariella Kapsaskis.

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