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Anheuser-Busch is creating new vice president positions to oversee Hispanic and African-American marketing, reflecting the brewer's increased focus on ethnic markets, according to Advertising Age.

Henry Dominguez, a longtime Anheuser-Busch executive who has held sales and marketing positions in the past, will return to St. Louis headquarters from California, where he is currently vice president for government affairs for the western region to take the top Hispanic job.

Johnny Furr Jr. will be vice president for African-American marketing, according to several executives familiar with the matter. Furr is vice president of sales development and community affairs, a job in which he is already involved with consumer awareness, education and marketing, and sales initiatives to African-American consumers.

The creation of a Hispanic marketing department headed by a vice president includes the recent promotion of Juan Torres to the post of director of Latino marketing. Torres, who is from Colombia, was previously Hispanic brand manager for Budweiser. Rudy Beltran, Hispanic brand manager for Bud Light, may also take on a somewhat different role, said executives familiar with the changes.

In other people news, Pinnacle Corp. announced the hiring of Judy Schmidt as its new manager of marketing and communications. In this role, Schmidt oversees a team of marketing specialists focused on developing and implementing strategic marketing initiatives centered around Pinnacle's products and services.

"The pace of the convenience store and petroleum industry is fast and can be trend-sensitive not just from a product standpoint but from all aspects of the business," said Schmidt. "I'm very excited about and look forward to executing cutting-edge marketing and sales plans that will push Pinnacle's business performance to new heights."

Schmidt brings to Pinnacle a wealth of experience in marketing and business development. Previously at NEC America Inc. for seven years, she was the manager of marketing for the wireless division, developing national cooperative programs for NEC's cellular phones and was also the manager of marketing support for NEC's Corporate Networks Group, working with 600 nationwide dealers and distributors.

Heineken USA appointed Ken Kunze vice president of marketing, replacing Steve Davis, who left the company last month. Kunze was the general manager for the western region at the company before the appointment.

Kunze began his career at Heineken USA eight years ago as director of marketing for the Heineken brand, with responsibility for all Heineken brand marketing activities. During his tenure in the position, he directed development of the brand's award-winning "It's All About the Beer" advertising campaign; established the first-ever multicultural marketing effort for Heineken; and introduced the Keg Can, which has become the most successful can package in the imported beer segment. Kunze was named an Ad Age "Top 100 Marketer" in 2001.
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